As at September 30, 2012, approximately 1.2 million ounces of cumulative payable silver equivalent ounces have been produced at Yauliyacu but not yet delivered to the Company, representing an increase of 0.4 million payable silver equivalent ounces during the quarter.
As per Barrick Gold Corporation's ("Barrick") third quarter 2012 MD&A, Barrick made substantial progress at its world-class gold-silver Pascua-Lama project during the quarter. Along with construction advancement at site, Barrick strengthened the construction management team and hired Fluor Corporation ("Fluor") to assume overall project management. Fluor is a global leader in construction of large mining projects, and the same firm that successfully managed construction of Barrick's recently completed Pueblo Viejo mine. Initial production from the Pascua-Lama project is now scheduled for the second half of 2014. Previous guidance, announced in July, was for mid 2014. Delays in the earthworks and underground works for the process plant are the main reason for the shift in schedule to the second half of 2014. Other highlights in the third quarter of 2012 include advancing the ore conveyor tunnel to approximately 60% complete, increasing on site labor by approximately 1,900 new hires, and securing 90% of the required material and equipment for the processing plant.
Until December 31, 2015, Silver Wheaton will be entitled to all or a portion of the silver production from Barrick's Veladero, Pierina and Lagunas Norte mines, to the extent Pascua-Lama is operating below 75% of design capacity. Once in production, Pascua-Lama is forecast to be one of the largest and lowest cost gold mines in the world with an expected mine life in excess of 25 years. In its first full five years of operation, Silver Wheaton's silver production attributable to Pascua Lama is expected to average 9 million ounces annually.San Dimas - Subsequent to the quarter, Primero Mining Corp. ("Primero") announced a mine and mill expansion of the San Dimas mine in Mexico. Primero has elected a staged approach to the full expansion and has approved the expenditure of a total $14.4 million to expand the San Dimas mine and mill from the current 2,000 tonnes per day to 2,500 tonnes per day. Construction of the mine and mill expansion will begin immediately, with an estimated completion during the first quarter of 2014. A further plant expansion to 3,000 tonnes per day continues to be assessed and is dependent on future exploration success by Primero. Produced But Not Yet Delivered -
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