April 11, 2019 / 6:53 AM / in 15 days

Fresnillo first-quarter production slumps, sticks to full year targets

(Reuters) - Precious metals miner Fresnillo reported a fall in first-quarter production on Thursday, calling it “slightly weaker than anticipated” but sticking to output targets for the year as spending on tackling operational issues paid off.

Silver output slipped 14.8 percent to 13.1 million ounces in the three months ended March 31, mainly due to lower grades of ore and lower ore throughput, Fresnillo said. Gold production dropped by 8.8 percent.

“We expect to realise the benefits from the investments we have made into infrastructure, equipment and an extensive infill drilling programme, which will all have a positive impact on production in the second half,” Octavio Alvídrez, Fresnillo Chief Executive Officer, said.

The company, which mines gold and silver in Mexico, reported lower than expected full-year profit in February while warning of headwinds including lower precious metals prices for 2019.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham

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