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Buenaventura Q3 gold output down YOY

Cia. de Minas Buenaventura SAA reported a fall in preliminary gold output in the third quarter, while silver, zinc and copper production rose compared to a year earlier, all on a 100% project ownership basis.

In preliminary figures released Oct. 9, the company said that third-quarter gold production fell to 290,159 ounces from just under 400,000 ounces a year ago. Yanacocha contributed 153,523 ounces to the latest quarter's total. In its second-quarter results, Buenaventura slashed guidance for gold at Orcopampa as it implements an ore extraction debottlenecking program to centralize the underground operation.

On the other hand, silver production witnessed a small jump to about 6.8 million ounces from about 6.7 Moz in the third quarter of 2017, with Uchucchacua producing about 3.7 Moz of silver in the three months ended Sept. 30.

Meanwhile, zinc production rose to 19,248 tonnes from 17,713 tonnes, and copper production rose to 12,483 tonnes from 11,531 tonnes year over year.

Third-quarter gold sales fell to 135,208 ounces from 197,464 ounces, while silver sales fell to about 6.2 Moz from 7.2 Moz a year ago.

Buenaventura increased full-year gold, silver and zinc production guidance for Tambomayo as it is now operating at full capacity and ore processing is ahead of expectations. The mine is now expected to produce 125,000 to 135,000 ounces of gold, 3.5 Moz to 4.5 Moz of silver and 7,500 to 8,500 tonnes of zinc.

At Uchucchacua, the company flagged lower silver and higher zinc output for 2018 as it extracts more mineral from the Cachipampa area that which has higher zinc and lower silver grades than the rest of the mine, but is lower cost due to its proximity to underground facilities. Uchucchacua is seen producing between 15 Moz and 17 Moz of silver and 20,000 tonnes to 22,000 tonnes of zinc.

It also increased silver guidance for Julcani to between 2.3 Moz and 2.5 Moz as plans to streamline the operation are delivering stronger than expected results.