Coeur Reports Steady First Quarter Production and Reaffirms Full-Year Production Guidance

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Coeur Reports Steady First Quarter Production and Reaffirms Full-Year Production Guidance

Production levels expected to accelerate during remaining three quarters of 2013

Growing contribution from gold relative to silver as gold production rises at U.S. operations


COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation (the "Company" or "Coeur")(NYSE: CDE, TSX: CDM) announced it produced 3.8 million ounces of silver and 56,913 ounces of gold during the first quarter of 2013. The Company also reaffirmed its full year production guidance of 18.0-19.5 million ounces of silver and 250,000-265,000 ounces of gold in 2013. Coeur will report its full operating and financial results on May 9, 2013.

First Quarter Operating Highlights

  • Companywide silver production of 3.8 million ounces was 22% lower than the first quarter 2012 due to lower grade ore processed from both open pit and underground operations at the Company's Palmarejo mine.
  • Companywide gold production of 56,913 ounces was 30% higher than the first quarter 2012 due to significantly higher production from the Company's Kensington and Rochester mines.
  • Metal sales were $178.6 million, down 13% compared with the first quarter 2012.
  • Average realized silver and gold prices were $30.61 per ounce and $1,630 per ounce, respectively, representing decreases of 6% and 4%, respectively, compared with the first quarter of 2012.
  • Grades and mining rates rebounded at Palmarejo late in the first quarter compared to the third and fourth quarters of 2012. Palmarejo produced 1.6 million ounces of silver and 22,965 ounces of gold in the first quarter 2013. While lower than first quarter 2012 levels, silver and gold production was 6% and 15% higher, respectively, compared to the fourth quarter 2012. Production rates are expected to climb in the second half of 2013.
  • San Bartolomé produced 1.4 million ounces of silver, which was 12% lower than the first quarter of 2012 due to lower silver grades, but the mine performed better than planned and this level should reflect anticipated production rates during the remainder of the year.
  • Rochester's production was temporarily affected by extremely cold temperatures and heavier than normal snowfall during January and February, which impacted ore crushing. Rochester produced 0.6 million ounces of silver and 8,742 ounces of gold, which was lower than production in the fourth quarter 2012, but 47% and 65% higher than the first quarter 2012, respectively.
  • Kensington's gold production more than tripled compared to the first quarter of 2012, reaching 25,206 ounces. Kensington's production is expected to increase in the second half of 2013 over the first half of 2013 due to anticipated improved grades and higher throughput rates.
 

Table 1: Operational Highlights: Production

 
(silver ounces in thousands) 1Q 2013 1Q 2012 

Quarter
Variance

  Silver Gold Silver Gold Silver Gold
Palmarejo1,646 22,965 2,483 31,081 (34%) (26%)
San Bartolomé1,3911,591(13%)n.a.
Rochester6488,7424415,29247%65%
Martha(1)12384n.a.n.a.
Kensington25,2067,444n.a.239%
Endeavor150  248  (40%)n.a.
Total3,83556,9134,88643,901(22%)30%
 

1. The Martha mine in Argentina ceased production at the end of the third quarter 2012.

2013 Outlook

In addition to its unchanged 2013 production outlook provided in Table 2 below, Coeur reiterated its full-year 2013 projected cash operating costs1 of $8.00 - $9.00 per silver ounce, assuming a gold by-product price of $1,650 per ounce. Kensington's cash operating costs1 are estimated at $900 - $950 per gold ounce for 2013.

 

 

Table 2: 2013 Production Outlook

 
(silver ounces in thousands) Country Silver Gold
Palmarejo Mexico 7,700-8,300 98,000-105,000
San BartoloméBolivia5,300-5,700
RochesterNevada, USA4,500-4,90044,000-46,000
EndeavorAustralia500-600
Kensington Alaska, USA  108,000-114,000
Total   18,000-19,500 250,000-265,000
 

About Coeur

Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation is the largest U.S.-based primary silver producer and a growing gold producer. The Company has four precious metals mines in the Americas generating strong production, sales and cash flow in continued robust metals markets. Coeur produces from its wholly owned operations: the Palmarejo silver-gold mine in Mexico, the San Bartolomé silver mine in Bolivia, the Rochester silver-gold mine in Nevada and the Kensington gold mine in Alaska. The Company also has a non-operating interest in a mine in Australia. The Company also conducts ongoing exploration activities in Mexico, Argentina, Nevada, Alaska and Bolivia. In addition, the Company owns strategic investment positions in eight silver and gold development companies with projects in North and South America.

Cautionary Statement

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities legislation in the United States and Canada, including statements improvements in the Palmarejo operations, operating results, production levels, grades and operating costs. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause Coeur's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the risk that permits necessary for the planned Rochester expansion may not be obtained, the risks and hazards inherent in the mining business (including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, weather or geologically related conditions), changes in the market prices of gold and silver, the uncertainties inherent in Coeur's production, exploratory and developmental activities, including risks relating to permitting and regulatory delays and disputed mining claims, ground conditions, grade variability, any future labor disputes or work stoppages, the uncertainties inherent in the estimation of gold and silver ore reserves, changes that could result from Coeur's future acquisition of new mining properties or businesses, reliance on third parties to operate certain mines where Coeur owns silver production and reserves, the loss of any third-party smelter to which Coeur markets silver and gold, the effects of environmental and other governmental regulations, the risks inherent in the ownership or operation of or investment in mining properties or businesses in foreign countries, Coeur's ability to raise additional financing necessary to conduct its business, make payments or refinance its debt, as well as other uncertainties and risk factors set out in filings made from time to time with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Canadian securities regulators, including, without limitation, Coeur's most recent reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. Actual results, developments and timetables could vary significantly from the estimates presented. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Coeur disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additionally, Coeur undertakes no obligation to comment on analyses, expectations or statements made by third parties in respect of Coeur, its financial or operating results or its securities.

1. Cash operating costs are non-GAAP measures.

Non-U.S. GAAP Measures

We supplement the reporting of our financial information determined under United States generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP) with certain non-U.S. GAAP financial measures, including cash operating costs. We believe that these adjusted measures provide meaningful information to assist management, investors and analysts in understanding our financial results and assessing our prospects for future performance. We believe these adjusted financial measures are important indicators of our recurring operations because they exclude items that may not be indicative of, or are unrelated to our core operating results, and provide a better baseline for analyzing trends in our underlying businesses. We believe cash operating costs is an important measure in assessing the Company's overall financial performance.

Table 3:

Operating Statistics from Continuing Operations - (Unaudited):
 
 Three months ended
March 31,
2013 2012

Silver Operations:

Palmarejo
Tons milled573,170528,543
Ore grade/Ag oz3.656.12
Ore grade/Au oz0.040.06
Recovery/Ag oz(1)78.8%76.8%
Recovery/Au oz(1)90.1%93.3%
Silver production ounces1,646,3972,482,814
Gold production ounces22,96531,081
San Bartolomé
Tons milled374,985378,104
Ore grade/Ag oz4.094.62
Recovery/Ag oz(1)90.6%91.2%
Silver production ounces1,391,0991,591,292
Martha(3)
Tons milled34,069
Ore grade/Ag oz4.43
Ore grade/Au oz0.004
Recovery/Ag oz(1)%81.4%
Recovery/Au oz(1)%64.6%
Silver production ounces122,793
Gold production ounces84
Rochester
Tons milled2,439,7572,009,518
Ore grade/Ag oz0.520.55
Ore grade/Au oz0.0030.004
Recovery/Ag oz(2)50.8%40.2%
Recovery/Au oz(2)108.6%62.1%
Silver production ounces647,589441,337
Gold production ounces8,7425,292
Endeavor
Tons milled194,519195,846
Ore grade/Ag oz1.613.35
Recovery/Ag oz(1)47.8%37.8%
Silver production ounces149,594247,958

Gold Operation:

Kensington
Tons milled129,05743,936
Ore grade/Au oz0.200.18
Recovery/Au oz(1)96.2%93.4%
Gold production ounces25,2067,444
CONSOLIDATED PRODUCTION TOTALS
Total silver ounces3,834,6794,886,194
Total gold ounces56,91343,901
 

1. Recoveries are affected by timing inherent in the leaching process.
2. Recoveries at Rochester are affected by residual leaching on Stage IV pad and timing differences inherent in the heap leaching process.
3. The Martha mine ceased active mining operations in September of 2012.

 

Table 4:

Results of Operations by Mine - Palmarejo - (Unaudited)

 

     
1Q 2013 4Q 2012 3Q 2012 2Q 2012 1Q 2012
Underground Operations:
Tons mined151,232139,925143,747162,820158,030
Average silver grade (oz/t)4.224.706.138.917.82
Average gold grade (oz/t)0.090.08900.140.11
Surface Operations:
Tons mined388,651465,498424,380321,758347,609
Average silver grade (oz/t)3.452.622.794.145.32
Average gold grade (oz/t)0.030.020.030.040.04
Processing:
Total tons milled573,170563,123532,775489,924528,543
Average recovery rate - Ag78.8%84.2%90%84.2%76.8%
Average recovery rate - Au90.1%91.4%102.5%92%93.3%
Silver production - oz (000's)1,6461,5551,8332,3652,483
Gold production - oz22,96519,99823,70231,25831,081
 
 

Table 5:

Results of Operations by Mine - San Bartolomé - (Unaudited)
     
1Q 2013 4Q 2012 3Q 2012 

2Q 2012

 1Q 2012
Tons milled374,985363,813344,349391,005378,104
Average silver grade (oz/t)4.094.204.914.304.60
Average recovery rate90.6%88.0%90.3%88.3%91.2%
Silver production (000's)1,3911,3431,5261,4701,591
 
 

Table 6:

Results of Operations by Mine - Kensington - (Unaudited)
     
1Q 2013 4Q 2012 3Q 2012 2Q 2012 1Q 2012
Tons mined116,747140,626113,77084,63256,815
Tons milled129,057129,622123,42897,79443,936
Average gold grade (oz/t)0.200.230.210.230.18
Average recovery rate96.2%96.9%95.9%94.2%93.4%
Gold production25,20628,71824,391

21,572

7,444
 
 

Table 7:

Results of Operations by Mine - Rochester - (Unaudited)

 

 1Q 2013 4Q 2012 3Q 2012 2Q 2012 1Q 2012
Tons mined2,924,472 3,031,428 3,170,129 2,585,914 2,923,324
Average silver grade (oz/t)0.520.510.520.630.55
Average gold grade (oz/t)0.0030.0050.0040.0050.004
Silver production (000's)647828819713441
Gold production8,74212,05510,59910,1205,292
 
 

Table 8:

Results of Operations by Mine - Endeavor - (Unaudited)

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