Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation (CDE)

Q2 2012 Results Earnings Call

August 7, 2012 1:00 PM ET


Wendy Yang – Vice President, Investor Relations

Mitchell Krebs – President and CEO

Frank Hanagarne – Senior Vice President and CFO

Leon Hardy – Senior Vice President and COO

Randy Buffington – Senior Vice President, Operations

Don Birak – Senior Vice President, Exploration


Michael Dudas – Sterne, Agee & Leach

Andrew Kaip – BMO



Good afternoon. My name is [Roshandha], and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Coeur d’Alene Mines Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions).

Thank you. I would now like to turn the call over to your host, Ms. Wendy Yang. Ma’am, you may begin your conference.

Wendy Yang

Thank you. Welcome to our second quarter conference call. I’m Wendy Yang, Vice President of Investor Relations. This call is being webcast on our website at, where we have also posted the second quarter 2012 financial results presentation to accompany our remarks. Telephonic replay of this call will be available on our website until August 14th.

We will be discussing some forward-looking information today and we caution our audience that such statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from projections.

Please refer to the cautionary statement shown on slide two of our financial results presentation and review the risk factors, including some that are unique to our industry also described in our latest annual and quarterly financial reports filed with the U.S. SEC and Canadian regulators.

On our call today we have Mitchell Krebs; Frank Hanagarne; Leon Hardy; Randy Buffington; and Don Birak.

With that, I’ll turn it over to Mitch.

Mitchell Krebs

Thanks, Wendy. Hello. And thanks for participating in our second quarter call. We delivered strong operating results during the quarter, which led to very robust free cash flow. We expect this performance to continue throughout the second half of the year and allow us to achieve the high end of our 2012 production guidance in the low end of our cash operating cost guidance.

Second quarter silver production remained consistent with the prior quarter and quarterly gold production was up 44%. Thanks to rising output from our Kensington mine in Alaska and Rochester mine in Nevada.

These strong operating results are driving solid financial performance and generating significant free cash flow for our shareholders, which are the primary factors that led to the unprecedented decision by the company’s Board of Directors to authorize $100 million share repurchase program, which represents approximately 5.5 million or just over 6% of the company’s outstanding shares. This program reflects the Board’s and management’s confidence in the company’s underlying cash flow and the long-term value the company represents for shareholders.

Controlling cost is a challenge throughout the mining industry. During the second quarter our cash operating cost per ounce of silver were flat, compared to the prior quarter and our cash operating cost per ounce of gold declined by 50%.

Although, we have seen cost pressures in areas such as labor, contractor costs and consumables, including cyanide and grinding media, we are offsetting this increases through operational efficiencies for the most part.

We are pleased with the success of our exploration program, which is the largest in the company’s history. We identified a new zone at Palmarejo located near the existing processing facilities and we continue to expand the Guadalupe deposit, which is located 6 kilometers away from the Palmarejo mine.

At Kensington, we completed more definition drilling in the first six months of the year than we did in all of 2011, which is increasing our confidence level in the ore body we are mining at Kensington.

We also reported an updated resource estimate for the Joaquin silver and gold project in Argentina as we said we do. There have been some negative events in Bolivia over the past few months regarding nationalization activities that are worth addressing.

First, the actions the Bolivian government recently took with other companies were not a result of any federal initiative or strategy to nationalize the natural resource sector, rather the Bolivian government has stated that their actions were taken to resolve conflicts specifically related to those mines and those communities.

Secondly, our San Bartolome mine is a very unique operation, unlike the high-grade underground mines that make up the majority of the historic silver mining industry in Bolivia, San Bartolome is a high volume, low-grade operation that uses a high-tech leaching process to recover the silver contained in dumps and deposits found on the surface of the Cerro Rico Mountain. San Bartolome is also unique because it produces value added high quality dual rate product on-site versus shipping concentrate out of the country for further refining.

Finally and probably most importantly, we continue to have very positive and constructive relationships with the local community and with the cooperatives with whom we are partners at San Bartolome.

In return the cooperatives are strong supporters of the Morales administration. We have been successfully operating in Bolivia for over four years now and because of these factors we believe we’ll continue to successfully and responsibly operate in Bolivia going forward.

Now, Frank will take us through the second quarter financial highlights.

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