07 Apr 2015 Last updated at 02:56:53 GMT
LIMA (Scrap Monster): The official production statistics released by the Peruvian Energy and Mines Ministry suggests sharp decline in mined tin production by the country during the initial two-month period of the year 2015. The production slumped nearly 24% year-on-year during January to February in 2015. The sharp drop in production is due to depletion of mineral resources at San Rafael mines- the only tin mine in the country.
The production of tin-in-concentrate during the initial two months from San Rafael operations totaled 2,911 tonnes. The production fell sharply in comparison with the production of 3,830 tonnes during the similar two-month period in 2014.
The rising costs at the mine along with declining grades have resulted in steady decline in refined tin production during the recent years. The head grade at the San Rafael Mine had reported a sharp cut of 7% from 2.68% in Q4 2013 to 2.48% in Q4 2014. The cash costs for processing tin concentrate stocks had risen sharply by 9% during 2014 to $8,459 when compared with 2013. Meanwhile, average tin prices had declined by almost 12% during 2014.
The production has declined by nearly 9% per annum during the past five years. According to Minsur-the company which operates the San Rafael mines, the declining trend in output is likely to extend further. The refined tin output from the operations had totaled 24,233 tonnes in 20147. However, the output is likely to fall between 9% to 17% year-on-year to nearly 20,000-22,000 tonnes in 2015.
Meantime, a pre-feasibility study for the B2 tailings treatment project at the San Rafael mine is expected to complete by the third quarter. The work on feasibility study is expected to commence during the fourth quarter of 2015.