Coeur Receives Approval for Rochester Expansion

Coeur d’Alene Mines announced in late October 2010 the Bureau of Land Management has issued a positive Decision Record (DR) that will allow Coeur’s Rochester mine in Nevada to extend silver and gold mining operations by several years, with new production ounces expected to be recovered beginning in the fourth quarter of 2011. Work on construction of a new leach pad and related infrastructure is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2011. Capital costs are estimated to total about $29 million in 2011 and $38 million over the life of the project.

The Rochester expansion project is expected to increase the mine’s average annual production to more than 2.4 million oz of silver and 35,000 oz of gold over a period of several years, representing a substantial increase from projected production of 700,000 oz/y of silver and 5,000 oz/y of gold from existing residual leaching operations. Current estimates call for Rochester to produce a total of 19.5 million oz of silver and 252,000 oz of gold over the period 2011-2018.

A recently completed and updated feasibility study of the expansion plan was based 27.6 million oz of contained silver and 247,000 oz of contained gold in proven and probable reserves of 48.3 million st at average grades of 0.57 oz/st silver and 0.005 oz/st gold, based on metal prices of $1,205/oz gold and $16.25/oz silver.

As featured in Womp 2010 Vol 10 -