has announced mixed results for its Peruvian and Brazilian tin operations in Q3, with Peruvian refined tin production falling 4% year-on-year to 4,991 tonnes, in line with guidance, while refined tin output from Brazilian operations fell 6% to 1,629 tonnes.

The decline in Peruvian production was mainly due to an 8% lower ore grade fed into the San Rafael plant of 1.86% Sn, partially offset by higher tin recoveries, with production from the mine falling 5% year-on-year to 4,844 tonnes of tin in Q3. It was also reported that a fire occurred in the pre-concentration plant at San Rafael in September. Although the ore sorting equipment itself was not affected, the plant will require repair and maintenance before operations can be resumed in March 2018. However, the annual production guidance remains at 17,500 – 18,500 tons of refined tin. Treatment of ore stockpiles and new tailings through the ore sorting plant is expected to continue until the end of 2018, not the end of 2017 as previously anticipated.

Tin production from the Pitinga mine in Brazil fell 11% year-on-year to 1,707 tonnes in the quarter, which due to a lower volume of ore and lower recoveries. Tin production guidance remains between 6,500 – 7,500 tons of tin contained in concentrates. The start-up of the new Ferro Niobium and Ferro Tantalum plant in Brazil led to an 80% year-on-year increase to 818 tonnes in Q3, although this was lower than anticipated and means guidance of 3,000 – 3,500 tonnes of ferroalloys is now unlikely to be met.

ITRI View: The ongoing decline in production from San Rafael is not surprising as it reflects the long-term decline in tin head grades at the mine. However, the outlook for production from Peru is more positive due to the extended lifetime of low-grade material available for processing through the ore sorter as well as the confirmed execution of the B2 tailings project, which should come onstream in late 2019.