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Buenaventura Announces First Quarter 2012 Results

Stocks in this article: BVN

At La Zanja (53.06% owned by Buenaventura) total production in 1Q12 was 26,329 ounces of gold, a 5% increase when compared to 1Q11 (25,151 ounces). Cash operating cost in 1Q12 was US$496/oz, 43% higher than 1Q11 (US$346 /oz) due to higher labor and contractor expenses, partially offset by higher silver by-product contribution.

At Tantahuatay (40% owned by Buenaventura) Total production in 1Q12 was 27,606 ounces of gold (11,042 ounces attributable to Buenaventura). Cash operating cost in 1Q12 was US$497/oz.

During 1Q12, El Brocal (53.76% owned by Buenaventura) produced 7,607 MT of zinc and 2,279 MT of lead. Silver production decreased 2% from 443,942 ounces in 1Q12 to 453,674 ounces in 1Q11. Zinc cash cost in 1Q12 was US$1,346/MT.

Copper production in 1Q12 was 5,614 MT, 25% lower than 1Q11 (7,473 MT). Copper cash cost was US$4,984/MT, 55% higher when compared to the US$3,220/MT reported in 1Q11 due to higher contractor expenses at Marcapunta.

General and Administrative Expenses

General and administrative expenses in 1Q12 were US$29.8 million, 76% higher than the figure reported in 1Q11 (US$17.0 million) due to a higher long-term compensation provision (US$7.3 million in 1Q12 vs. zero in 1Q11) and a US$3.8 million increase in worker´s profit sharing.

Exploration Costs in Non-Operational Mining Sites

Exploration costs at non-operational mining sites, which include care and maintenance, in 1Q12 were US$19.4 million, an 83% increase compared to the US$10.6 million reported in 1Q11. Buenaventura’s main exploration efforts were focused at the Tambomayo (US$3.0 million), San Gregorio (US$2.4 million), Breapampa (US$2.0 million), Mallay (US$2.0 million) and Trapiche (US$1.5 million) projects.

Operating Income

Operating income in 1Q12 was US$131.5 million, a 26% decrease compared to the US$178.4 million reported in 1Q11. This decrease was mainly due to the 15% increase in operating costs and an 81% increase in operating expenses, while revenues remained flat.

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