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Hochschild looks to diversify into copper, zinc, battery minerals

Hochschild Mining Plc is looking to diversify into other metals, including copper, zinc and minerals linked to electronics and batteries, Reuters reported Feb. 21, citing CEO Ignacio Bustamante.

Bustamante, however, said that gold and silver will remain the miner's top priority for the foreseeable future.

The company has been on the hunt for early stage mining projects. It has set aside US$10 million for greenfield exploration projects this year.

Hochschild hopes to drill between four to six projects in Peru, Chile and the U.S., as well as advance exploration in Mexico, Canada and Argentina, the executive told the news wire.

The company's 2018 sustaining and development CapEx is estimated at between US$125 million and US$135 million.

Hochschild's profit from continuing operations attributable to shareholders for 2017 declined to US$41.6 million from US$45.6 million a year ago. It proposed a final dividend of 1.965 cents per share, up 42% from the 2016 final dividend.