Falling silver prices and rising exploration costs pushed profits at miner Fresnillo down 19 per cent last year despite record production levels.
The group made $845 million (£570m) in 2012 came despite record gold and stable silver production. The firm said it had met its operational targets but profits were lower because of four factors: lower silver price, lower ore grades at a key mine, greater depreciation and higher exploration expenses.
Chief executive Octavio Alvídrez said: “Our performance over a year of volatile silver prices has illustrated how strong our business model is. Operationally we met our guidance for 2012 and we are pleased that EBITDA margins have remained amongst the strongest in the industry at 60 per cent.
“Looking ahead, we are excited about the strength of the growth pipeline, and the four exploration projects we have highlighted today illustrate some of the many opportunities for future growth.”