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Endeavour Silver reopens Mexico mines

El Cubo project. (Image courtesy of Endeavour Silver.)

Canada’s Endeavour Silver (TSX: EDR) (NYSE: EXK) has resumed operations at its three underground silver-gold mines in Mexico, following approvals from the country’s health authorities.

The Vancouver-based silver producer noted its mines and plants were ramping up to achieve normal operations. It also said exploration crews would restart mapping, sampling and drilling programs in June.

It has three underground silver-gold mines in Mexico: Guanaceví, Bolañitos and El Compás

The announcement follows news from fellow Canadian miner Fortuna Silver Mines (NYSE: FSM) (TSX: FVI) that its San José mine, in Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca, is back at full tilt.

Earlier this month, Endeavour Silver posted a net loss in the first quarter, with revenue declining due to a suspension of operations at the El Cubo project. Results were also affected by output that went into inventory rather than immediate sales.

Endeavour has three silver-gold mines in Mexico: Guanaceví mine in the Durango state, Bolañitos mine in Guanajuato and El Compás mine in the state of Zacatecas.

Several other companies, including Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM), Pan American Silver (TSX: PAAS), Alamos Gold (TSX, NYSE: AGI),  Argonaut Gold (TSX: AR), Sierra Metals (TSX: SMT), Excellon Resources (TSX: EXN) and Torex Gold (TSX: TXG), have either restarted their Mexican mines or plan to do so in the coming days.

Hardest hit metal

Silver has been the commodity hardest hit by mine closures mandated by governments to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Mexico, the world’s top producer of the metal, is facing in 2020 one of the deepest recessions in its history as an already weak economy can barely cope with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The country’s economy is forecast to contract 6.7% this year, deeper than during the devastating Tequila Crisis of the mid-1990s, the latest Citibanamex analysts survey shows.

Mexico is responsible for nearly 23% of world production of silver, churning out more than 200 million ounces last year, up from 196.6 million ounces in 2018.

It also has major copper and zinc mines, operated by Grupo Mexico and Southern Copper, and produces a significant amount of gold, making the mining sector responsible for about 4% of the nation’s gross domestic product.