Hochschild Mining on Wednesday reported a fall in silver production and sales for the first quarter.
Silver production came to 4.3m ounces in the three months to March 31st, down from 4.77m in the previous quarter and 4.76m a year earlier.
The British-based company, which operates in North, Central and South America, sold 3.5m ounces of silver during the period compared to 5.1m in the last three months of 2012 and 4.1m in the prior year.
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Nevertheless, Chief Executive Officer Ignacio Bustamante said the company remained on track to meet its 2013 production target of 20m silver equivalent ounces.
He noted the performance of the group's so-called 'Advanced Projects' which include the Inmaculada and Crespo mines in Peru.
"At our Advanced Projects, we continued to make good developmental progress, achieving further key stages in both projects' permitting processes, and remain excited by these projects which are set to commence production in the second half of next year," he said.
"Furthermore, I am pleased that we were able to secure very competitive financing for the Inmaculada project during the quarter."
Hochschild's main operations include Arcata and Pallancata in Peru and San Jose in Chile.
At Arcata, silver equivalent production fell to 1.4m equivalent ounces from 1.8m a year earlier as a result of lower grade material from the Macarena Waste Dam Deposit.
Pallancata silver equivalent production declined to 2.0m ounces from 2.1m in 2012 mainly due to fewer production days in the first quarter.
Output at San Jose remained unchanged from the previous year at 2.6m ounces after operational problems caused a 10-day production stoppage and resulted in a loss of 200,000 ounces.
The company was also hit by falling commodity prices. Average realisable precious metal prices in the first quarter were at $1,599.6 per ounce for gold and $29.6 per ounce for silver, down from the prior year's $1,782.1 for gold and $36.9 for silver.
"Given the 2013 year-to-date price declines we are experiencing, we are in the process of implementing an action plan to conserve capital, cut operating costs, and review discretionary expenditure,"Bustamante said.
"I am confident that we will be able to report results of this effort as the year progresses."
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