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UPDATE 1-Mexican miner Fresnillo cautious on 2021 outlook on virus-related uncertainties

(Adds CEO comment, 2021 production outlook, shares)

March 2(Reuters) - Fresnillo Plc on Tuesday said it is still cautious about this year due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact in Mexico, even after the precious metal miner’s full-year profit tripled because of sharply higher gold and silver prices.

Fresnillo, which owns seven operating mines in Mexico, processed lower volume of ore at its Herradura mine, after mining activities were suspended for more than a month in the second quarter due to pandemic-related restrictions.

Mexico has been one of the worst-hit countries by the pandemic, and related curbs have also delayed permits and operations of a new Pyrites plant at the company’s eponymous Fresnillo project.

“Given the ongoing pandemic, there is a relatively high degree of unpredictability about the year ahead, so we are cautious,” Chief Executive Officer Octavio Alvídrez said.

However, the company that cut its production forecast twice last year, maintained its outlook for 2021 attributable gold and silver output.

The South American nation’s largest gold producer said profit before income tax jumped to $551.3 million for the 12 months ended Dec. 31 from $178.8 million in the previous year, beating average analyst estimates of $472.2 million, according to Refinitiv Eikon.

The FTSE 100-listed company’s shares, which jumped 76% in 2020, were up 0.3% at 905.4 pence at 0805GMT. (Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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