April 25, 2018 / 7:56 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico-focused Fresnillo's Q1 gold, silver production climbs

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April 25 (Reuters) - Precious metals miner Fresnillo Plc on Wednesday reported a 14 percent rise in first-quarter silver production, boosted by the start of phase II operations at the company’s San Julian facility in Mexico.

Mexico’s largest gold producer, which has seven operating mines in the country, said the silver production rose to 15.4 million ounces in the first quarter ended March from 13.5 million ounces a year ago.

Gold production climbed 4.1 percent to 231,500 ounces, buoyed by higher contribution from its Herradura mine, the company said.

The miner said it was on track to achieve its 2018 production guidance of 67 million-70 million ounces silver and 870,000-900,000 ounces gold, provided in February.

In comparison, it reported silver production of 58.7 million ounces and 911,132 ounces of gold in 2017.

Fresnillo said its two development projects - the Pyrites plant for increasing silver and gold recovery rates and a dynamic leaching plant for producing precipitate from pyrite concentrate - had advanced on time and on budget.

The company expects to commission both the projects during the second quarter and their contribution would add to 2018 production. (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Amrutha Gayathri)

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