Silver Wheaton Corp. recently announced the acquisition of a 25% production stake from Vale’s Salobo gold mine for $1.3 billion, with another 70% stake from the top Brazilian miner’s Sudbury Mines in Canada. These acquisitions increase Silver Wheaton’s gold production portfolio by 110,000 oz annually over the next 20 years (5.9 million silver equivalent oz), including about 60,000 oz/y from Salobo in Brazil, and approximately 50,000 oz/y from Sudbury.
For 2013, Silver Wheaton forecasts 33 million oz of silver production (including 145,000 gold oz). By 2017, Silver Wheaton predicts 53 million silver equivalent oz (including 180,000 gold oz), an increase of more than 80% from 2012.
Silver Wheaton CEO Randy Smallwood called the move “a significant step” for the company. “Not only does Silver Wheaton gain accretive gold ounces to diversify, but Vale has success spanning decades, and Salobo and Sudbury will deliver substantial long-term value,” he said. Vale’s Salobo mine, located in the state of Pará, Brazil, also contains that country’s largest copper deposit, having begun operation in 2012. Vale’s Sudbury Mines opened and rank among the world’s top nickel producing areas.