VANCOUVER, March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
TSX: SLW NYSE: SLW
Silver Wheaton Corp. ("Silver Wheaton" or the "Company") (TSX:SLW) (NYSE:SLW) is pleased to announce that attributable proven and probable reserves increased by over 38% in 2012 [ 1 ] to a record total of 1,116.1 million silver equivalent ounces [ 2 ], consisting of 851.4 million ounces of silver and 4.96 million ounces of gold. Over the same period, attributable measured and indicated resources increased 28% to a record total of 603.2 million silver equivalent ounces, consisting of 529.1 million ounces of silver and 1.39 million ounces of gold. Attributable inferred resources totaled 341.4 million silver equivalent ounces, consisting of 294.7 million ounces of silver and 0.88 million ounces of gold.
Silver Wheaton's increase in attributable reserves was a result of both acquisition and organic growth, which, when combined, more than offset depletion resulting from strong production over the year. In 2012, the Company acquired from Hudbay Minerals Inc. ("Hudbay") a precious metals stream from its 777 mine and a silver stream from its Constancia project. Subsequent to 2012 year end, Silver Wheaton also acquired 25% of the gold from Vale S.A.'s ("Vale") Salobo mine for the life of mine and 70% of the gold from certain of its Sudbury operations for a 20-year period, with both these agreements effective as of January 1, 2013. In addition to these acquisitions, there was a substantial increase in reserves and resources at Augusta Resource Corp's ("Augusta") Rosemont mine based on an updated feasibility study released on July 24, 2012."Silver Wheaton has now reached yet another milestone with silver equivalent reserves exceeding well over one billion ounces," said Randy Smallwood, Silver Wheaton's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Silver equivalent reserves have grown by over 38% since the end of 2011 through both acquisition and organic growth, even after another year of strong production. On the acquisition front, we were able to add two new partners over the past year, which resulted in a significant increase to our gold reserves and resources. We now have almost five million ounces of gold reserves, over twenty times more than we had at the end of 2011. On the organic front, we saw substantial replacement of mined reserves in 2012 through our partners' exploration success. This once again highlights the strength of our partners and the high-quality, long-term nature of the mines underlying our streams." "We are extremely pleased with the reserve and resource growth we have seen over the past year, and we continue to be excited about the prospect of adding additional high-quality ounces to our portfolio in 2013 given the strength and depth of the current opportunity pipeline. The foundation of any strong mining company is the quality of its mineral reserves and resources, and Silver Wheaton has one of the strongest and most active portfolios in the entire precious metals sphere."