Coeur Mining, Inc. provided an update on the exploration program at its Palmarejo gold-silver complex located in southwest Chihuahua, Mexico. Drill results from the Hidalgo deposit, discovered in 2019 and representing the northwest extension of the Independencia deposit, have contained the highest gold grades ever encountered at Palmarejo. The drilling program has defined two new mineralized structures.
Hidalgo has rapidly grown to become Palmarejo’s second largest source of mineral reserves after the Guadalupe deposit, where mining has taken place since 2014. In addition, mapping and sampling of East Palmarejo has defined numerous mineralized trends and high-priority targets set to be drilled, beginning in 2024. The company said geological observations and sampling results to date indicate high potential for new discoveries in this prospective area.
“Coeur has invested over $60 million in exploration and infill drilling at Palmarejo since 2018, which has led to strong reserve and resource growth with multiple new discoveries and meaningful extensions to its mine life,” said Mitch Krebs, Coeur President and CEO. “Recent drilling at the Hidalgo discovery continues to demonstrate some of the best gold grades we’ve ever seen, with some intercepts that support the potential for further extensions to its current eight-year mine life.”
At year-end 2022, Palmarejo’s proven and probable reserves totaled 18.2 million tons with average gold and silver grades of 0.052 oz/ton and 3.61 oz/ton, respectively, equaling 950,000 oz of gold and 65.7 million oz of silver. Over the past five years, the company said its strong commitment to exploration at Palmarejo has led to an increase in gold and silver proven and probable reserves by approximately 35% and 40%, respectively. On a measured and indicated basis, resources grew by approximately 815,000 oz of gold and 47.7 million oz of silver, corresponding to a 219% increase in gold and 176% increase in silver during that same period.
Palmarejo is Coeur’s largest producing mine with a landholding encompassing more than 270 km2, of which approximately only 7% has been drilled to date.