MEXICO CITY, Mar 31, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News Select via Comtex) -- Mexican mining production fell 1.4% in January from the year-ago month as lower copper and gold production offset higher silver output, the National Statistics Institute said Wednesday.
Copper production fell 8.8% from January 2009 to 18,973 metric tons, and gold output was 11% lower at 4,474 kilograms, the institute known as Inegi reported.
Mexico's copper production continues to be affected by a 32-month old strike at the Cananea mine, the country's largest. Mining company Grupo Mexico SAB (GMEXICO.MX) has been engaged in a drawn-out legal battle with the miners union, but has been unable so far to get the mine reopened.
Silver production rose from January 2009 by 4.6% to 231,244 kilograms. Mexico is the world's second-largest silver producer after Peru, and home to the world's biggest primary silver producing company, London-listed Fresnillo PLC (FRES.LN).
Mexico produced 11% more zinc in January than it did a year ago, with output of 35,705 tons, and 34% more iron at 695,299 tons, Inegi reported.
Lead production fell 29% to 7,403 tons, and coal production fell 20% to 817,538 tons.