Coeur dAlene Mines Corp. says it has acquired exploration and mining rights to a large area adjacent to a property in Bolivia where its evaluating building a silver mine.
The Coeur dAlene-based company announced in its second-quarter earnings report that it reached an agreement in mid-June with the governments Bolivian State Mining Co., La Corporacion Minera de Bolivia, to acquire the rights to the property next to the San Bartolome deposit. Coeur dAlene Mines says it believes the additional mining rights could increase the San Bartolomes current measured and indicated resource of 122 million troy ounces of silver. It says that if it were able to mine the additional property and complete other optimization opportunities at the San Bartolome, that would reduce the risks and increase the returns of putting the property into production.
The San Bartolome is a front-burner project for us, Coeur dAlene Mines spokesman Michael A. Steeves says. Every time weve looked at it, its been better and better.
The company has just begun a formal study of the feasibility of making a major investment to develop a mine there, Steeves says. The company says a pre-feasibility study at the property earlier concluded that if Coeur invested $60 million to $70 million (U.S.) in the property, a mining and milling operation could produce, on average, about 6 million troy ounces of silver annually for eight years at an estimated cash cost of $3.50 an ounce. The company defines cash cost as all mine-site-related costs.
Steeves says hes unsure when Coeur dAlene Mines will complete the new study. Under the recent mineral-rights agreement, Coeur will make rental payments on the additional property and pay a 4 percent net smelter royalty interest if it puts the property into production.
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