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High expectations for Silvertip, Kensington

 

Last updated 10/19/2018 at 4:22am

High-grade silver zinc lead mine near BC Yukon border

Coeur Mining Inc.

Through the first nine months of 2018, Coeur Mining's recently acquired Silvertip Mine in northern British Columbia has produced 298,000 ounces of silver, 3.7 million pounds of zinc and 2.26 million pounds of lead.

Coeur Mining Inc. Oct. 9 indicated that it expects strong precious metals production from its Silvertip Mine in northern British Columbia and Kensington Mine in Southeast Alaska during the final three months of 2018.

Silvertip, acquired by Coeur late in 2017, reached commercial production on Sept. 1.

With repairs to various components of the plant impacting throughput, the Silvertip mill processed an average of 394 metric tons of ore per day during the third quarter.

With an average silver grade of 7.29 grams per metric ton and 47 percent recovery, Silvertip produced 96,000 ounces of silver during the third quarter. The northern B.C. operation also produced 2.21 million pounds of zinc and 1.16 million lb of lead during the three-month period.

So far this year, Silvertip has produced 298,000 oz silver, 3.7 million lb zinc and 2.26 million lb lead.

Considering that Coeur is maintaining its guidance of 700,000 to 1.2 million oz of silver, 13 million to 23 million lb of zinc and 11 million to 18 million lb of lead for 2018, the company is anticipating a strong close to the year.

To achieve this, it is expected that throughput, ore grades and mill recoveries at Silvertip will improve over the balance of the year.

The company expects the mill at Silvertip to reach an average of 750 metric tons per day by the end of the year.

The ore fed into the mill during the second quarter averaged 14.15 g/t silver, which is nearly double the third quarter average.

Coeur has completed extensive drilling at Silvertip since acquisition of the mine and expects to file an initial NI 43-101 technical report early in 2019. About the same time, the Chicago-based miner also expects to receive approval for a permit amendment application to increase mill throughput to 1,000 metric tons per day on a year-round basis.

More Jualin ore at Kensington

Gold production at Coeur's Kensington Mine in Southeast Alaska remained steady during the third quarter of 2018 but is expected to increase sharply during the final three months of the year.

Situated roughly 150 miles west of Silvertip, the Kensington Mine produced 26,809 ounces of gold during the third quarter, which is up 5 percent from the 25,570 oz produced during the second quarter and a 3 percent drop from the 27,541 oz produced during the third 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.

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.

Kensington underground gold mine north of Juneau Alaska

The Redpath Group

Underground development in the Jualin Mine. Coeur Mining anticipates high-grade ore from Jualin to significantly boost gold production at its Kensington operation in Southeast Alaska during the final three months of 2018.

Following dewatering at Jualin, Coeur mined approximately 4,400 tons of development ore late in the third quarter, which yielded nearly 2,100 oz of gold from pre-commercial production ore averaging around 0.48 ounces per ton. This is significantly higher than the 0.17 oz/t average grade for Kensington during the third quarter.

With more higher grade gold ore from Jualin being fed into the mill during the fourth quarter, Coeur is maintaining its production guidance of 115,000 to 120,000 oz of gold for Kensington during 2018.

With the Southeast Alaska operation producing 78,443 oz during the first nine months, the company expects the Jualin ore will help boost fourth quarter gold production to at least 36,557 oz.

Coeur's five operating mines – Silvertip, Kensington, Palmarejo (Mexico), Rochester (Nevada), and Wharf (South Dakota) – produced 2.9 million oz of silver and 88,833 oz of gold, 2.2 million lb of zinc and 1.2 million lb of lead, or 8.5 million silver-equivalent-oz when you calculate the value of all the precious and base metals produced.

–SHANE LASLEY

 

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