UPDATE 1-Miner Fresnillo facing staff shortage after Mexico's labour reforms

(Adds detail on labour reform, CEO comments, background)

Oct 27 (Reuters) - Mexico-focussed precious metals miner Fresnillo Plc said on Wednesday that some of its mines were grappling with a staff shortage as new labour reforms in the Latin American country restricted the hiring of subcontractors.

The company, which owns seven operating mines in the Latin American nation, said the reforms were also affecting equipment availability and utilisation rates at some of its projects.

The labour reforms, which came into effect from Sept. 1, have barred companies from subcontracting jobs to third-party firms, except in cases where workers are needed for special services beyond a company’s main business.

“We have seen some limited short-term disruption as a result of the new labour reforms in Mexico which has impacted the performance of our Fresnillo and Saucito mines in particular, due to the higher proportion of contractors at those underground mines,” Chief Executive Officer Octavio Alvídrez said.

The Latin American nation’s largest gold producer also said it was monitoring the possible impact of the labour reform and general shortage of personnel, while reaffirming its full-year production forecast.

The company reported a 4.7% fall in silver production in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, due to lower ore grade and volume of ore processed at Fresnillo and Saucito mines, while gold output was in line with last-year’s levels.

Shares of Fresnillo fell 2.3% to 865.4 pence in morning trading. (Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Anil D’Silva)