Peru miner Volcan rolls out 'austerity' plan to offset price slump

miércoles 23 de septiembre de 2015 17:39 GYT

By Teresa Cespedes

LIMA, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Peruvian silver and zinc miner Volcan said it is implementing "austerity" measures to offset slumping metal prices - its fourth cost-cutting plan in the past 18 months, the company's president said on Wednesday.

But the company expects to be able to maintain current production levels in coming years, Jose Picasso added.

This year Volcan will likely produce a total 24 million ounces of silver and about 300,000 tonnes of zinc - up slightly from 2014, Picasso said.

Falling silver and zinc prices have kept the company focused on keeping current operations afloat.

"With these prices you can't make any important investments," Picasso told Reuters on the sidelines of a mining conference. "We're being very careful these days."

Volcan has cut contractor personnel by about 30 percent and is asking suppliers for steep discounts on goods, Picasso said.

He added that Volcan is still making a profit.

Mining investment in Peru will likely fall to about $2.5 billion in coming years from $10 billion in previous years, Picasso said. "The panorama looks complicated."

(Reporting By Teresa Cespedes; Editing by Bernard Orr)