Hochschild Mining profit jumps on silver price rise, production rebound

Inmaculada – Hochschild Mining

Precious metals miner Hochschild Mining Plc posted a 41% jump in full-year core earnings on Wednesday, boosted by a rise in average silver prices and rebound in production after operational stoppages in 2020 due to the pandemic.

London-listed Hochschild, which operates two mines in southern Peru and one in Argentina, said adjusted core profit rose to $382.8 million for the year ended Dec. 31, from $270.9 million a year earlier.

Operations at the miner’s flagship Inmaculada gold-silver mine in Peru were suspended again in July 2020, as some of its workers tested positive for covid-19 after Hochschild halted all operations between mid-March and May that year.

In November last year, Peru planned to rule out timeline extensions for Ayacucho mines on environmental concerns and said they would instead close down in the near future, setting up a clash with mining executives and sending Hochschild’s shares crashing.

However, the South American nation reversed its stance soon after.

“Whilst we never stopped operating, this crisis exemplifies the country’s current heightened political, regulatory and social risk,” Chairman Eduardo Hochschild said in a statement.

The miner is also at odds with Peruvian communities calling for the closure of the Inmaculada mine over allegations that it has polluted local water sources.

(By Shanima A; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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