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Coeur shares year-end 2018 mineral reserves and resources

Published by , Assistant Editor
Global Mining Review,

On 20 February, Coeur Mining, Inc. (Coeur) reported year-end 2018 proven and probable reserves from continuing operations of 2.8 million oz of gold, 171.3 million oz of silver, 291.2 million lb of zinc and 197.5 million lb of lead, an overall reserve increase year on year. Gold reserves declined modestly by 2%, while silver reserves increased 4%, year on year. Additionally, the company declared initial zinc and lead reserves at its high-grade Silvertip mine located in northern British Columbia (Canada). The strong reserve growth was driven by the company’s continued investment in its success-based, near-mine exploration programmes.

Year-end measured and indicated gold resources increased 26% compared to the prior year to 2.4 million oz, while silver measured and indicated resources increased 2% to 228.7 million oz. Higher gold resources were driven largely by Coeur’s acquisition of the Lincoln Hill Project, which is located approximately four miles west of the company’s Rochester mine in northern Nevada. Zinc and lead resources declined primarily due to conversion into reserves, which had been the company’s drilling priority at Silvertip since its acquisition in late 2017. The company also saw inferred resource growth with gold and silver inferred resources increasing 145% and 39%, respectively, compared to 2017.

The substantial increase to the company’s inferred resources was primarily a result of successful drilling at the Rochester mine and two strategic acquisitions of Nevada-based assets in 2018, including the Sterling mine and Crown Block in southern Nevada. For the year-end 2018 reserve estimate, Coeur’s assumed gold reserve price remained unchanged at US$1250/oz. The company’s assumed silver reserve price was lowered from US$17.50/oz to US$17.00/oz. Zinc and lead reserve price assumptions were US$1.25 and US$1.00/lb, respectively.

“Our 2018 drilling campaign delivered another year of reserve and resource growth. Reserves reflected the initial high-grade reserve declaration at Silvertip and higher average grades for both gold and silver. Total measured and indicated as well as inferred resources also increased meaningfully compared to the prior year,” said Mitchell J. Krebs, Coeur’s President and CEO.

“These improvements reflected our steadfast commitment to high-return, near-mine exploration and opportunistic acquisitions that can bolster our future growth pipeline and enhance the overall quality of our asset base. We prioritised resource conversion drilling to support an initial reserve and mine plan at Silvertip, continued to expand resources and discover new structures at Palmarejo, Rochester and Kensington, and commenced exploration programmes at the Sterling Mine and Crown Block after closing the Northern Empire acquisition at the beginning of the fourth quarter."

“As we look ahead in 2019, we remain excited about our portfolio’s organic growth potential, especially at Silvertip, Palmarejo, Kensington and Sterling. Although we successfully bolstered our development pipeline through the acquisition of two highly-prospective land packages in Nevada, our exploration strategy remains unchanged. We’ll continue to pursue near-mine targets and allocate capital based on our disciplined, success-based exploration framework. Success in recent years has proven the merits of this approach and we look forward to building on them.”

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