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Consistent performance produces banner year for Coeur at Kensington

Coeur Mining Inc. Feb. 10 reported a banner year at its Kensington gold mine in Southeast Alaska.

"It delivered consistent operating performance throughout the year, resulting in gold production of 126,000 ounces at cost of US$798/oz.," Coeur President and CEO Mitchell Krebs informed shareholders and analysts on Feb. 11.

The 126,266 ounces of gold produced at Kensington was recovered from 660,464 tons of ore averaging 0.2 oz. /t gold.

Mill recovery rates averaged 94.9 percent for the year.

Coeur added ore sorting technology to the mill flow sheet in November to improve recovery rates going forward.

Recovery rates during the fourth quarter were 96 percent, more than a one percent increase over the previous three months.

The company invested US$1.8 million to install the ore sorter and payback expected to be achieved in the second quarter of this year.

Coeur said underground development to reach the Jualin deposit at Kensington has advanced a little over 2,000 feet.

"We expect to encounter the Jualin ore body, once we've advanced about 7,000 feet.

So, we're almost 30 percent of the way there," explained Krebs.

The Coeur president said that about US$8 million has been invested in Jualin development and the company anticipates spending another US$20 million to US$25 million between now and the start of mining of the high-grade deposit in 2017.

The No. 4 Vein at Jualin currently hosts an estimated 289,000 tons of inferred resources with an average grade of 0.62 oz. /t.

Coeur plans to complete roughly 40,000 feet (12,000 meters) of underground drilling this year aimed at upgrading and expanding the Jualin resource.

This work will primarily focus on the No. 4 vein but also will include drilling of No. 5, a deeper vein that the company has cut with drilling but for which it has not yet developed a resource.

Krebs said the company anticipates roughly US$30 million in capital expenditures at Kensington, "mostly for underground development at both Jualin and at Kensington in order to access higher-grade ore that sets up Kensington to achieve an even further drop in cost and to realize strong and consistent free cash flow." Coeur anticipates this year's gold production at Kensington to be similar to the record levels reached in 2015.

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Shane Lasley, Publisher

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Over his more than 16 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.


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