Canadian base metal mining company, Sierra Metals, saw its copper production dip 33pc and zinc production increase 11pc with lead output largely remaining flat in Q1 2021 from the prior-year quarter, according to recently a released report. The company achieved a 4.5pc growth in its consolidated ore throughput.
The company owns Yauricocha polymetallic mine in Peru, and the Bolivar copper in and Cusi silver mines in Mexico.
Copper production dropped 33pc to 7.9mn lbs compared to prior-year quarter due to a temporary shift from copper-rich zones to lower grade polymetallic areas at Yauricocha mine caused by temporary operational challenges.
The Yauricocha Mine achieved 14pc higher throughput in the quarter despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic but lower grades for all metals resulted in a 21pc decrease in copper equivalent production compared to Q1 2020.
Lead production largely remained flat with just 1pc dip in output at 9mn lbs in Q1 compared to the prior year quarter.
Lead is mined at Yauricocha and Cusi mines by the company.
Zinc production stood at 24.1mn lbs in Q1, an increase of 11pc increase from prior-year quarter when 21.6mn lbs was produced.
Apart from the ongoing operational difficulties due to COVID-19 in Peru and México, the company faced additional challenges, including a power failure at the Cusi Mine resulting from the large scale power outage originating in Texas and operational issues at Yauricocha at the Esperanza Zone which provides most of the copper ore for the mine.
The company said the coming months continue to pose a challenge due to COVID-19 operational constraints at all mines, particularly in Peru. It expects to improve upon the first quarter production results and focus on completion of Preliminary Feasibility Studies for all three mines. Brownfield and Greenfield Exploration will also continue, the company said.