Fresnillo Silver Mine Sees Output of 10 Million Ounces

Fresnillo Plc, the world’s largest primary silver miner, will have the capacity to produce 10 million ounces of silver and 50,000 ounces of gold in 2013 at its Saucito mine in north-central Mexico, the company said in a statement.

Mexico City-based Fresnillo has invested about $303 million so far in Saucito, the company said.

“The Saucito project may double capacity in the coming years,” to about 20 million ounces of silver, Fresnillo Chief Executive Officer Jaime Lomelin said today in Zacatecas. He said the mine’s next round of investments is being studied.

Last year, total global silver demand climbed 15 percent to 1.06 billion ounces, the highest level in at least 20 years, researcher GFMS Ltd. said April 7. Purchases for investment portfolios accounted for 279.3 million ounces of demand, up 40 percent from a year earlier, GFMS said.

Saucito will produce 4.7 million ounces of silver this year, Fresnillo said in the July 12 statement. Gold output will be 20,000 ounces, below an original 2011 forecast of 22,500 ounces, the company said.

Fresnillo, controlled by billionaire Alberto Bailleres, is investing about $800 million this year, including $250 million to increase 2011 output of silver to 44 million ounces.

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