In its fourth-quarter earnings statement, Silver Wheaton said it achieved record production for a fifth straight quarter resulting in more than 47 million silver equivalent ounces (oz) produced in 2015. Total silver and gold ounces sold also came in at a record level for a fourth quarter in a row, with more than 41 million silver oz (e) sold during 2015. The company expects to produce 54 million silver oz (e) in 2016, a forecast increase of more than 13% relative to 2015.
“2015 was a year of growth for Silver Wheaton as we set new records each quarter for production and sales volumes. These records were driven by our cornerstone assets, San Dimas, Peñasquito, Salobo, and as of last November, Antamina, as well as one of our key growth assets, Constancia,” said Randy Smallwood, president and CEO of Silver Wheaton. “While our assets performed well in 2015, the year was not without challenges. Along with pressure on precious metals prices throughout the year, Silver Wheaton received Notices of Reassessment from the CRA in September. We will continue to vigorously defend our position and work toward the quickest avenue for resolution. Given these headwinds, we believe our share price doesn't always reflect the quality of our portfolio, which was the reason why we initiated our first ever share buyback in 2015.”
“Our focus at Silver Wheaton has always been to add ounces from high-quality, low-cost mines,” Smallwood said. “This was clearly illustrated in the fourth quarter when we added Antamina, one of the lowest cost, largest copper mines in the world, into a portfolio that was already deriving more than 90% of its production from mines in the lowest half of their respective cost curves. Throughout the year, it was not only the cornerstone assets that performed well; one of our very first streams, Zinkgruvan, had record attributable production in 2015, and the mine continues to grow and improve.”
Silver Wheaton’s estimated average annual attributable production over the next five years is anticipated to be approximately 52 million silver oz (e), including 260,000 oz of gold.