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Peru Gold Production Rises in February

Gold Production Increases 5% to 522,373 Ounces

Written by Luke Burgess
Posted March 25, 2010

Peru's Ministry of Mines and Energy reported that gold and zinc production rose in the country in February.

Gold production increased 5% to 522,373 ounces compared to February 2009, driven mainly by a jump of 69% at Barrick Gold's (NYSE: ABX) Minera Barrick Misquichilca, which represents 26% of national production, the ministry said.

Zinc output also rose 5% to 119,076 metric tons last month. Sharp increases in zinc production were reported at Compania Minera Antamina — up 45% — and Compania Minera Atacocha SA, up 25%.

On the downside, silver production in Peru — the world's largest producer — fell by 11% to 9,596,228 ounces of silver last month; an 11% decrease compared to February 2009 when 10, 819,793 ounces of silver were produced. The ministry said the drop was mainly due to a 44% lower output at Compania de Minas Buenaventura (NSYE: BVN), which was hit by strikes in February, and a 41% drop at Compania Minera Ares.

Copper production in Peru, the world's second largest producer, also fell 4% to 93,993 tons in February from the same month a year ago. Production was hit by lower output at Doe Run Peru, down 18% following strike action at its Cobriza mine, as well as 17% reductions at both Southern Copper Corp.(NYSE: SCCO) and Minera Condestable.

Molybdenum production rose 13% to 956 tons in February, according to the government. Iron production also rose by 37% to 445,155 tons.

As the Peruvian mining industry continues to expand, there will be a growing need for more energy. My colleague, Sam Hopkins, recently returned from the country where he got a first hand look at Peru's growing wind energy projects. To learn about Sam's Peruvian adventure — and two wind energy companies he believes will return expect upwards of 60% in short order — check out his latest report.

Luke Burgess
Editor, Wealth Daily
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