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Steady Silvertip ramp-up, Kensington gold


Last updated 7/20/2018 at 4:20am

High grade silver deposit in northern British Columbia near Yukon

Coeur Mining Inc.

A blazing sunset over Coeur Mining's recently acquired Silvertip Mine in northern British Columbia.

Coeur Mining Inc. July 9 reported a steady climb in mill throughput rates at its newly commissioned Silvertip Mine in northern British Columbia during the second quarter of 2018.

Last October, Coeur paid US$200 million to acquire Silvertip and has agreed to pay up to another US$50 million more if certain permitting and resource expansion milestones are met.

In March, the company began ramping up production at the high-grade silver mine just a few miles south of the Yukon border with the goal of achieving 750 metric tons per day by the end of the year.

During the second half of June, throughput averaged slightly above 300 tpd and in the final days of the month achieved 500 tpd.

Coeur submitted a permit amendment application to operate at 1,000 metric tons per day earlier in the quarter and is anticipating approval for the increased throughput around year-end.

While Coeur did not report metals recoveries at Silvertip during the second quarter, the company anticipates the mine will produce 1.5 million to 2 million oz, along with 23 million to 28 million pounds of both zinc and lead this year.

Mining activities at Silvertip remain focused on underground rehabilitation and development while surface activities are focused on the planning, construction and commissioning of various process optimization projects and infrastructure upgrades.

At the time of Coeur's purchase, the newly built Silvertip Mine hosted 2.35 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 352 g/t silver, 9.4 percent zinc and 6.7 percent lead; plus 460,000 metric tons of inferred resource averaging 343 g/t silver, 9.8 percent zinc and 6.2 percent lead.

Since the acquisition, the Chicago-based miner has completed more than 40,000 meters of drilling at Silvertip focused primarily on upgrading resources. The company said results form this drilling have been positive and anticipates publishing an exploration update later this month.

Steady gold at Kensington

Gold production at Coeur's Kensington Mine in Southeast Alaska remained steady during the second quarter of 2018 but is expected to pick up later in the year.

Situated roughly 150 miles west of Silvertip, the Kensington Mine produced 25,057 ounces of gold during the second quarter of this year, which is down 3 percent from the 26,424 oz produced during the first three months and 2 percent from the 26,064 oz produced during the second quarter of 2017.

The Kensington property hosts two historical mines that date back to the dawn of the 20th Century –Kensington and Jualin.

Coeur began operations at the historic Kensington Mine and most of the gold produced by the company has been mined from there.

Kensington gold mine project near Juneau Southeast Alaska

Courtesy of The Redpath Group

Following two years of underground development, Coeur began mining the high-grade Jualin deposit during the third quarter of 2017.

Following two years of underground development, Coeur began mining the high-grade Jualin deposit during the third quarter of 2017. Production from this higher grade deposit, however, has been hampered by the water encountered there.

Dewatering efforts at Jualin remain on-schedule and are expected to be completed during the third quarter, facilitating ramp up of production through year-end. As a result, 2018 gold production at Kensington is expected to be weighted towards the fourth quarter and the company continues to anticipate the Southeast Alaska operation to produce 115,000 to 120,000 oz of gold this year.

Overall, Coeur's five operating mines – Silvertip, Kensington, Palmarejo (Mexico), Rochester (Nevada), and Wharf (South Dakota) – produced 3.2 million oz of silver and 94,052 oz of gold, or 8.8 million silver-equivalent-oz when you calculate the value of the precious metals, zinc and lead produced.



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