Tahoe Resources reported record production levels of 21.3 million ounces (oz) of silver and 385,111 oz of gold in 2016, including more than 200,000 oz of gold from the La Arena mine and a little less than 122,000 oz of gold from its Canadian operations, which were acquired in April.
“We made significant progress building our gold business with the acquisition of Lake Shore Gold in April, adding both production and growth in Canada,” said Ron Clayton, president and CEO of Tahoe. “We also achieved commercial production at Shahuindo and identified a number of growth opportunities at both our operations in Peru. In Guatemala, Escobal had an outstanding year, with record production, low costs and excellent profitability and cash flows.”
Clayton said the company is ramping up development of multiple projects, including deepening the Bell Creek shaft and further development of Shahuindo as it moves that mine toward full production. It is also targeting higher production from both Canadian operations and Shahuindo to offset reduced gold output at La Arena, while Escobal is poised for another excellent year.
The Escobal silver mine, the third largest silver mine located in southeast Guatemala, is expected to continue to produce more than 20 million oz per year (oz/y) of silver.
The company is currently investing in a leach pad and waste dumps in Peru as well as ongoing development efforts in Canada and Guatemala. The expansion of Shahuindo to its full production capacity of 36,000 metric tons per day remains on target for completion by mid-2018.
Project capital expenditures in 2017 are targeted at $150 million to $175 million. The two largest components of the company’s growth plan in the coming year are the shaft project at the Bell Creek mine and the construction of a crushing and agglomeration plant at Shahuindo. In Canada, more than $50 million of the $80 million capital requirement for the Bell Creek shaft project is planned for 2017, with completion of the project anticipated in the first half of 2018.