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Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation (NYSE:CDE) (TSX:CDM) today announced that the Company increased its total combined proven and probable reserves and measured and indicated resources of silver and gold by 17% and 12%, respectively, resulting in the addition of 85.2 million silver ounces and 462,000 gold ounces at year-end 2012 over 2011. These gains exclude the 18.0 million ounces of silver and 226,486 ounces of gold produced during 2012.
The Company’s Rochester mine in Nevada increased silver and gold reserves by 52% and 25%, respectively, over 2011 after producing 2.8 million silver ounces and 38,071 gold ounces in 2012. As described in the Company’s January 17, 2013 news release, Rochester expects to increase production by 35 - 50% over 2012 based on continued processing of historic stockpiles. These historic stockpiles contributed to the increases in silver and gold reserves.
At the Palmarejo mine in Mexico, silver and gold measured and indicated resources grew 169% from 17.0 million to 45.7 million ounces of silver and 370% from 205,000 to 964,000 ounces of gold from 2011 to 2012.
Highlights:(All comparisons below refer to year-end 2012 compared with year-end 2011)
Company Total Consolidated Silver Mineral Reserves and Measured and Indicated Resources:
Proven and probable silver reserves increased 2% from 216.3 million ounces to 220.4 million ounces
36% increase in additional measured and indicated silver resources from 223.9 million ounces to 305.0 million ounces
Company Total Consolidated Gold Mineral Reserves and Measured and Indicated Resources:
Proven and probable gold reserves declined 13% from 2.3 million ounces to 2.0 million ounces
45% increase in measured and indicated gold resources from 1.7 million ounces to 2.4 million ounces
Proven and probable silver reserves increased 52% from 29.6 million ounces to 44.9 million ounces
Proven and probable gold reserves increased 25% from 247,000 ounces to 308,000 ounces
Consolidated proven and probable silver reserves declined 7% from 56.8 million ounces to 53.1 million ounces
Consolidated proven and probable gold reserves declined 3% from 688,000 ounces to 665,000 ounces
Consolidated measured and indicated silver resources increased 169% from 17.0 million ounces to 45.7 million ounces
Consolidated measured and indicated gold resources increased 370% from 205,000 ounces to 964,000 ounces
Guadalupe’s measured and indicated silver resources increased 42% and measured and indicated gold resources increased 31%
Initial indicated resources at La Patria of 9.8 million silver ounces and 0.5 million gold ounces
Proven and probable reserves declined 24% from 1.3 million gold ounces to 1.0 million gold ounces
Increased definition drilling at a cost of approximately $3.9 million was completed and has improved the Company’s overall understanding of the Kensington deposit. This will enhance development of a more reliable and accurate mine plan and improve exploration targeting.
Proven and probable reserves declined 8% from 118.1 million silver ounces to 109.1 million silver ounces.
Favorable results from the new Pucka Loma target included trench samples with silver values averaging 113 grams per tonne (3.3 ounces per ton) over an average of four meters (13.1 feet) deep. An initial mineral resource estimate of this new zone is expected by mid-year 2013.
Year-end silver measured and indicated resources stood at 65.2 million ounces, representing a 70% increase from the September 2012 estimates (100% basis) and with a 32% increase in the average silver grade from the previous 98 grams per tonne (3.76 ounces per ton) to 129 grams per tonne (2.85 ounces per ton).
Exploration led to the first estimate of mineral resources at Lejano, located in southern Argentina. Measured and indicated resources totaled 3.0 million silver ounces and 10,000 gold ounces and inferred resources of 5.7 million silver ounces and 19,000 gold ounces.
Donald J. Birak, Senior Vice President of Exploration for Coeur, said, “Our 2012 exploration program of $40.0 million was successful in cost-effectively adding approximately 109.6 million silver equivalent ounces of new proven and probable reserves and new measured and indicated resources, not taking into account the production of 29.9 million silver equivalent ounces in 2012.
1 We remain committed to maintaining an aggressive exploration program given the results achieved through these investments and the opportunities they provide for further mineral resource and reserve growth.
“During 2013, we plan to invest another $40.0 million in exploration with a goal to increase mineral resources and to further define our measured, indicated and inferred resources, which should drive increases in our mineral reserves. We will focus in 2013 on (i) continuing to drill the historic stockpiles at Rochester to add low-cost reserves and resources; (ii) expanding the existing reserves and resources at Palmarejo, including the nearby Guadalupe and La Patria deposits; (iii) adding high-grade mineral resources at Kensington; and (iv) expanding the size of the mineral resources at the Joaquin project in Argentina and (v) exploring for new silver and gold deposits at all our properties.”