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Compania de Minas Buenaventura S.A.A. ( BVN), a precious metals mining company, reported on February 27, 2009 that it fell to a net loss for Q4 FY08, hurt by a decline in contributions from affiliates and higher operating costs. Net loss for the quarter stood at $6.06 million, or $0.02 per share, compared to a profit of $120.06 million, or $0.47 per share, in the prior year's quarter.

Net sales for the fourth quarter dipped 31.6% to $155.00 million from $226.55 million a year ago, primarily due to significant decreases in the prices of silver and base metals, as well as lower sales volume of silver, lead, and zinc. Royalty income decreased 12.9% to $10.18 million from $11.69 million. Moreover, gold sales increased 5.0% to 132,392 ounces from 126,116 ounces, while average realized price of gold declined 1.1% to $801.00 per ounce from $810.00 per ounce. Furthermore, sales of silver plunged 16.0% to 3.90 million ounces from 4.64 million ounces in the year-ago quarter, while average silver prices slipped 28.1% to $10.12 per ounce from $14.08 per ounce. In addition, lead sales declined 8.2% to 9,693 metric tons (MT), while sales of zinc declined 24.9% to 20,780 MT. Meanwhile, average realized prices for lead plummeted 56.9% to $1,237 per MT and zinc prices fell 54.3% to 1,184 per MT.

During the quarter under review, BVN entered into an agreement with Global Geoscience to explore the Peruvian Mancha Pampa copper-gold porphyry project. Also, the company paid a cash dividend of $0.09 per share.

For FY08, net sales inched up 2.6% to $766.60 million from $747.02 million in the previous year. Net income for the year plunged 44.2% to $153.28 million, or $0.60 per share, from $274.76 million, or $1.08 per share, in FY07.

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