Feasibility Study Phase
The feasibility study phase will focus primarily on the open pit mine optimization and metallurgical testing to maximize plant operating efficiency and recoveries. Geomechanical studies will evaluate rock strength and fracture characteristics to provide information for slope design. The evaluation will also include tradeoff analyses comparing dry stack versus conventional tailing storage, tailing locations, and alternate cyanide destruction methods. The feasibility study will also investigate the potential to supplement or extend mine production through the inclusion of underground mining of resources that lie beyond the boundary of the currently designed surface pit.
In parallel with the feasibility process, Coeur will complete baseline environmental work and prepare an Environmental Impact Statement as a part of an application for construction and operating permits.
Coeur anticipates total 2013 expenditures of $12 million, including $6 million for the PEA and $5 million for exploration and feasibility work, and an additional $18 million of expenditures in 2014, including $5 million for exploration. All such costs will be expensed.Exploration Upside La Preciosa is situated within a contiguous block of concessions totaling more than 125 square miles (32,400 hectares). The La Preciosa deposit and the majority of prior exploration work are contained within a smaller core of concessions covering approximately 4.2 square miles (1,100 hectares), or 3% of the total land package. Coeur believes the surrounding, larger land package contains similar host rocks and structural features to those in the core concessions but these have not yet been explored in a systematic manner. The Company's exploration priorities will be to (i) upgrade key inferred mineral resources included in the current PEA mineral resource results to at least indicated status, (ii) commence exploration near the current mineral resources for extensions and new mineral occurrences and, (iii) conduct a full district compilation of all historic data to assist with regional exploration.