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Silver Wheaton Reports Record Quarterly Production Results

Stocks in this article: SLW

Net earnings in the third quarter of 2012 were US$119.7 million ( US$0.34 per share), compared with US$135.0 million ( US$0.38 per share) for the same period in 2011, a decrease of 11%. Cash flow from operations in the third quarter of 2012 was US$128.7 million ( US$0.36 per share [ 1 ]), compared with US$167.2 million ( US$0.47 per share [ 1 ]) for the same period in 2011, a decrease of 23%. The change in net earnings and operating cash flows is primarily due to a 13% decrease in the realized price per silver equivalent ounce.

Balance Sheet

At September 30, 2012, the Company had approximately US$555 million of cash on hand. In addition, the Company had US$400 million of available credit under its revolving bank debt facility. The combination of cash, available credit, and strong operating cash flows, positions the Company well to execute on its growth strategy of acquiring additional accretive silver stream interests.

[1] Please refer to non-IFRS measures at the end of this press release.

Operational Highlights

Attributable silver equivalent production was 7.7 million ounces (6.8 million ounces of silver and 18,000 ounces of gold) in the third quarter of 2012, representing an increase of 26% compared to the third quarter of 2011.

Operational highlights for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, are as follows:

Peñasquito -

As stated in Goldcorp Inc.'s ("Goldcorp") October 25, 2012, disclosure, the Peñasquito mine achieved record production during the third quarter as higher grades and recoveries partially offset the continued impact of water shortages from lower well field production. The plant achieved throughput of 100,000 tonnes per day during the third quarter, within their previously guided range of 98,000 and 107,000 tonnes per day. Goldcorp also stated that work continues on the drilling of additional water wells in the current well field, and that they have initiated a Water and Tailings Study to optimize potential long-term water constraints and tailings operations. Goldcorp anticipates the study to be completed during the first half of 2013.

As at September 30, 2012, approximately 1.6 million ounces of cumulative payable silver equivalent ounces have been produced at Peñasquito but not yet delivered to the Company, representing an increase of 0.5 million payable silver equivalent ounces during the quarter.

777 -

On September 28, 2012, the Company announced that it had closed the previously announced purchase from Hudbay of 100% of the life of mine silver production from its currently producing 777 mine, 100% of the life of mine silver production from its Constancia project (" Constancia"), as well as 100% of gold production from the 777 mine until Constancia satisfies a completion test, or the end of 2016, whichever is later. At that point, Silver Wheaton's share of gold production from 777 will be reduced to 50% for the remainder of the mine life.

Production from 777 began accruing to Silver Wheaton on August 1, 2012, and totaled 733,000 silver equivalent ounces (139,000 ounces of silver and 11,500 ounces of gold) in Q3 2012. As at September 30, 2012, approximately 0.7 million ounces of cumulative payable silver equivalent ounces (0.1 million ounces of silver and 11,100 ounces of gold) have been produced at 777 but not yet delivered to the Company, with the Company having received its first delivery of silver and gold related to the 777 mine on October 3, 2012.

Yauliyacu    -

Since mid-2009, concentrate shipments from Glencore International AG's ("Glencore") Yauliyacu mine have been affected by the shut-down of the Doe Run Peru La Oroya smelter, historically the largest buyer of the bulk concentrate produced at the mine.  Since that time, alternative smelting arrangements have been made by Glencore for a portion of the stockpiled bulk concentrates at Yauliyacu, leading to an inconsistent delivery schedule and delaying the eventual complete reduction of this bulk concentrate. In the second quarter of 2011, Glencore began producing separate copper and lead concentrates, replacing the bulk concentrate. During the third quarter of 2012, Glencore established new offtake agreements for the sale of bulk concentrates.  As a result, Glencore has decided to return to the production of bulk concentrates.

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