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Hochschild Mining predicted annual output would increase 70 per cent over the next four years after it met its production target last year and said its main new project should be commissioned by the end of the year.
The UK-listed silver miner is expecting the Inmaculada mine in Peru to help it lift output from 21m ounces this year to 35m oz in 2017. The miner “can now look forward to four years of strong production increases”, said Ignacio Bustamante, chief executive.
Hochschild said all-in sustaining costs last year were between 12 per cent and 16 per cent lower, with cost-cutting programmes and currency depreciation in Peru and Argentina helping to offset inflation in both countries. Miners’ “all-in” cost measures include some investment spending considered necessary to keep operations running smoothly.
Like gold miners, silver producers have been severely hit by falling precious metals prices. Hochschild said it would pare back annual exploration spending from about $50m to $30m.
Analysts at Citi called Hochschild’s performance “satisfactory” but said: “We had been assuming that Inmaculada would make a quicker contribution in 2014 but it seems that there will be little contribution with the ramp-up taking place in 2015.”