Coeur Mining, Inc. said its newly-expanded Rochester silver and gold mine in Nevada, had achieved commercial production as of March 31, 2024.

“Following its full hand-off to the operations team in early March, the expanded Rochester mine has ushered in a new growth phase for Coeur leading to higher silver and gold production levels, lower unit costs, and positive free cash flow,” said Mitch Krebs, president and CEO, Coeur Mining. “The invaluable experience and learnings gleaned over the past three years from operating similar infrastructure that we installed at the legacy operation has contributed to an impressive ramp-up curve to date and positions the mine for a strong second half of 2024. With commissioning now behind us and the ramp-up proceeding well, the team is turning its focus to mine optimization efforts and business improvement initiatives aimed at maximizing the value of this world class, long-life asset.”

Commissioning of the new three-stage crushing circuit and truck load-out facility was completed on March 7. Since then, the crushing circuit has operated at an average throughput of nearly 70,000 tons per day and has exceeded 88,000 tons per day, leading to the declaration of commercial production as of the end of the first quarter. Ramp-up to full design capacity of 88,000 tons per day—or approximately 32 million tons per year—remains on schedule for completion during the first half of 2024.

Approximately 9.3 million tons of ore have now been placed on the new Stage 6 leach pad, which – together with the new Merrill Crowe processing facility – was commissioned late last year. Materially higher production levels are anticipated to build throughout the second half of 2024 consistent with completion of Rochester’s ramp-up.

Once operating at full capacity, throughput levels are expected to be approximately 2.5 times higher than historical levels, making Rochester one of the world’s largest open pit heap leach operations and a key driver of cash flow growth for the company. It is expected to be America’s largest source of domestically produced and refined silver.