Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. produced 3.8 million oz of silver and 60,775 oz of gold in Q4 of 2012 and 18 million oz of silver and an all-time high 226,491 oz of gold for all 2012. Coeur also expects 2012 metal sales to total $890 million-$900 million.
The company attributed the performance to its Rochester mine in Nevada and its Kensington mine in Alaska. Significant production at Rochester was offset by lower grade ore in the second half of the year at its Palmarejo silver and gold mine in Mexico and its San Bartolomé silver operation in Bolivia.
During Q4, Palmarejo produced 1.6 million oz of silver and 19,998 oz of gold compared with 1.8 million oz of silver and 23,702 oz of gold in Q3 2012. Underground operations at Palmarejo resumed normally late in Q4 after temporary unfavorable ground conditions in September of 2012. Silver grades from open-pit operations are expected to increase throughout 2013 as mining transitions to the new phase of the pit.
Coeur expects to produce 18 million-19.5 million oz of silver in 2013 while gold production is expected to surge to 265,000 oz this year from 250,000 owing to higher production at the Kensington and Rochester operations.
Palmarejo is expected to produce 7.7 million to 8.3 million oz of silver and 98,000-105,000 gold oz in 2013. About 60% of underground ore tons are expected to come from the 76 Clavo zone, which has been expanded at drilling completed in 2012; the remainder will come from the 108 Clavo zone.
The company plans a significant expansion at Rochester in 2013, with silver expected to increase to 4.5 million-4.9 million oz compared with 2.8 million oz in 2012. This year’s gold production is expected to increase a minimum 44,000 oz contrasting with 2012’s 38,071 oz.