Coeur Mining Provides 2018 Exploration Update
- High-grade oxide gold assays from drilling in new zones at Sterling and Daisy on recently-acquired Nevada projects;
- Positive results from several veins at Palmarejo including Las Animaszone and Guadalupe;
- High-grade drill results at Kensington from the Elmira and Ophirveins;
- Continued high-grade success at the Discovery and Silver Creek zonesat Silvertip; and
- High-grade results received from the Sunflower Ridge and Northeast(“NE”) pit zones at Rochester
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Coeur Mining, Inc. (“Coeur” or the “Company”) (NYSE: CDE) today provided an update on its 2018 exploration activities highlighting encouraging results from the recently acquired Sterling Mine in Nevada, the ongoing near-mine exploration at Palmarejo in Mexico, and positive results from Kensington in Alaska, Silvertip in British Columbia and Rochester in Nevada. Highlights include:
- Encouraging drill results from new areas west of the Sterling Mine and Daisy zone – While drilling is ongoing, results from a new condemnation drill hole at Sterling returned 70.0 feet (21.3 meters) of 0.18 ounces per ton (“oz/t”) (6.1 grams per tonne (“g/t”)) gold near its historic leach pad.
- Promising results from the Daisy zone north of Sterling – Large step out drill holes at the Daisy zone returned 40.0 feet (12.2 meters) of 0.13 oz/t (4.4 g/t) gold and 60.0 feet (18.3 meters) of 0.04 oz/t (1.4 g/t) gold; both holes are in oxidized mineralization.
- At Palmarejo, drilling at La Nación, Guadalupe and Independencia continues to expand the deposits – Drill results at La Nación include 25.6 feet (7.8 meters) of 0.17 oz/t (5.7 g/t) gold and 24.3 oz/t (833.1 g/t) silver. Development toward this new deposit remains on-schedule with production expected to commence in the second half of 2019. Drilling at the southern portion of Guadalupe, in the Las Animas zone, has discovered three potentially-mineralized zones, with one drill hole returning 9.2 feet (2.8 meters) of 0.07 oz/t (2.3 g/t) gold and 9.8 oz/t (336.6 g/t) silver, 17.1 feet (5.2 meters) of 0.08 oz/t (2.7 g/t) gold and 6.7 oz/t (229.0 g/t) silver, and 22.3 feet (6.8 meters) of 0.07 oz/t (2.3 g/t) gold and 3.6 oz/t (122.4 g/t) silver. At Independencia, near-mine drilling successfully extended mineralization by approximately 500 feet (152 meters) to the south; drill highlights from 2018 include one interval with 13.1 feet (4.0 meters) of 0.20 oz/t (6.8 g/t) gold and 20.2 oz/t (693.4 g/t) silver.
- At Kensington, exploration drilling generated strong drill results at Elmira and Ophir – Recent drill results at the Elmira vein, located 1,200 feet (366 meters) east of the Kensington Mine, include 14.3 feet (4.4 meters) of 1.01 oz/t (34.5 g/t) gold. At the new Ophir vein, located approximately 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) west of the Kensington Mine, drill results returned 2.4 feet (0.7 meters) of 0.86 oz/t (29.5 g/t) gold. Due to their proximity to existing underground infrastructure, the Elmira and Ophir veins represent potential high-grade gold mineralization.
- Infill drilling at Silvertip continued through late 2018 – One area of focus of the 2018 drilling program was resource conversion and further developing a reserve-based mine plan. Resource growth and expansion remain a longer-term priority for the Company. Multiple manto and vertical chimney structures were intercepted in the Silver Creek and Discovery zones; highlights include 27.6 feet (8.4 meters) of 21.9 oz/t (750.1 g/t) silver, 11.9% zinc and 15.7% lead from a hole in the Silver Creek zone.
- At Rochester, the Sunflower Ridge and NE pit zones returned high-grade results – Drill results at Sunflower Ridge, located on the southwestern edge of the Rochester Mine, include 80.0 feet (24.4 meters) of 1.2 oz/t (41.4 g/t) silver and 0.02 oz/t (0.5 g/t) gold. At the NE Rochester pit zone, drill results returned 400.0 feet (121.9 meters) of 1.0 oz/t (35.8 g/t) silver and 0.003 oz/t (0.1 g/t) gold.
During 2018, Coeur anticipates spending approximately $45–$55 million on exploration, approximately three times higher than exploration investment in 2015, including $25–$30 million of expensed exploration and $20–$25 million of capitalized exploration.1 Approximately 85%1 of the Company’s 2018 exploration budget has been allocated to expected lower risk and higher return near-mine drilling, with the objectives of (i) discovering new resources and (ii) converting existing resources to reserves to extend mine life. The remaining 15%1 has been earmarked for early-stage greenfield programs. Total rig count and feet drilled in 2018 is expected exceed 2017 levels and reach their highest levels since 2012.
“As a result of our ongoing commitment to high-return, near-mine exploration, and despite a persistently lower metal price environment, we have continued to deliver year-over-year growth in our reserve base since 2014,” said Mitchell J. Krebs, Coeur’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Over this period, we have tripled our results-driven exploration investment. The Company’s operations have been historically under-drilled and represent a unique opportunity to generate long-term value by increasing mine lives as well as expanding resources through brownfield programs. Our disciplined exploration programs are continuing to realize this value potential.
“Drilling at Palmarejo and Rochester continues to yield new discoveries and expand mineralized zones, highlighting the opportunity to build upon our existing, high-quality assets. We are also seeing positive drill results from Kensington, Sterling and Silvertip, which will provide both near- and longer-term growth opportunities for the Company. After closing the Northern Empire acquisition in October, we have accelerated the drill program at Sterling and have two active drills on site. At Palmarejo, we continue to find new high-grade discoveries near existing underground infrastructure. At Silvertip, we remain focused on defining the resource through our infill drilling program; however, we’ve also identified several new targets for expansion. Drill results from all of our operations demonstrate the potential to expand and upgrade our resource base over the next several years.”
Please see the following pages for additional details on the Company’s 2018 exploration program. For a complete table of all drill results, please refer to the following link: Click Here.
Please see “Cautionary Statements” for additional information regarding drill results.
Exploration at Coeur’s recently acquired Sterling Gold Project, near Beatty, Nevada, reflects a continuation and expansion of Northern Empire’s prior drill program. At the Sterling Mine, two reverse circulation drill rigs are currently focused on resource infill and expansion drilling.
Expansion drilling results at the Sterling Mine included 70.0 feet (21.3 meters) of 0.18 oz/t (6.1 g/t) gold. This interval is interpreted as a north-south mineralized fault that begins at the 144 Mine and is projected to continue for over 2.5 miles to the Mary-Goldspar Mines. The new hole is 1.3 miles north of the 144 Mine entrance; additional drilling, along strike as well as at angles across the zone, is planned to continue.
Additional highlights from the Secret Pass zone of the Crown Block include:
- Hole SP18-003C had 234.0 feet (71.3 meters) of 0.05 oz/t (1.7 g/t) gold
- Hole SP18-017 had 125.0 feet (38.1 meters) of 0.03 oz/t (1.0 g/t) gold
The Company will focus on targets around the Sterling Mine until year-end 2018. By mid-2019, Coeur anticipates most of the drilling will be focused on the Daisy, Secret Pass and SNA deposits, collectively known as the Crown Block, to both infill and expand known resources.
Coeur expects full-year 2018 exploration spending at Sterling to total approximately $1.5 million1, with approximately 65% spent on capitalized infill drilling intended to convert a portion of the historic resource to reserves. The core holes are planned to infill and provide samples for metallurgical testing.
Exploration at Palmarejo remains focused on thicker zones of mineralization (“clavos”) near the Independencia and Guadalupe underground operations. The primary objective of exploration in these areas is to expand resources and extend mine life. In 2018, a total of approximately 250,000 feet (76,000 meters) in 238 holes has been drilled on the following targets:
- Las Animas – In late 2018, two surface drill rigs have been focused on the Las Animas portion of the mineralized Guadalupe vein system. The Company is encouraged by the gold grades in the zone indicated by early drilling results, including 38.4 feet (11.7 meters) of 0.08 oz/t (2.6 g/t) gold and 8.9 oz/t (304.4 g/t) silver. Up to three mineralized zones are present in different portions of the Animas zone; one drill hole returned 9.2 feet (2.8 meters) of 0.07 oz/t (2.3 g/t) gold and 9.8 oz/t (336.6 g/t) silver, 17.1 feet (5.2 meters) of 0.08 oz/t (2.7 g/t) gold and 6.7 oz/t (229.0 g/t) silver, and 22.3 feet (6.8 meters) of 0.07 oz/t (2.3 g/t) gold and 3.6 oz/t (122.4 g/t) silver.
- La Nación – Drilling to expand mineralization at La Nación was completed by mid-2018. The vein extends for over 4,000 feet (approximately 1,200 meters) of strike length with two clavos occurring in the northern half of La Nación and a third clavo present in the southern portion of the structure. The entire vein is located exactly halfway between the Guadalupe and Independencia underground mines. Production from La Nación is expected to commence in the second half of 2019, providing additional high-quality mill feed to supplement existing ore sources. Assays from the 2018 drill program, including 25.6 feet (7.8 meters) of 0.17 oz/t (5.7 g/t) gold and 24.3 oz/t (833.1 g/t) silver, continue to refine the resource model. Further resource conversion drilling is planned for 2019.
- Zapata – Both infill and expansion drilling continued during 2018. The vein is located immediately west of the Guadalupe Mine, allowing for relatively straightforward access in future mine plans. Further drilling is planned to be completed in 2019 focused on growing the resource along strike to the west. Highlights from the 2018 program include 47.6 feet (14.5 meters) of 0.12 oz/t (4.1 g/t) gold and 12.7 oz/t (435.8 g/t) silver in one drill hole.
- Independencia – Both southern and northern Independencia, including the Hidalgo and Reforma veins, were the focus of drilling in 2018. Significant results were drilled from the surface and underground on the southern portion of Independencia, where drilling was focused around the contact of a rhyolite dome. Surface drilling also tested the northern portion of Independencia, where the vein separates into the distinct Hidalgo and Reforma veins. Drill results from 2018 were encouraging, leaving the northern regions of both veins, as well as the Barrera vein, open for future potential growth in 2019. At Independencia, near-mine drilling successfully extended mineralization to the south by 500 feet (152 meters), including 13.1 feet (4.0 meters) of 0.20 oz/t (6.8 g/t) gold and 20.2 oz/t (693.4 g/t) silver.
Since completing the acquisition of Silvertip in late 2017, a key focus of Coeur’s exploration efforts has been resource definition and conversion within the Silver Creek, Central and Discovery zones; up to six diamond core drill rigs were active in these areas during 2018. On July 26, 2018, the Company provided an update on the initial drilling program totaling 145,960 feet (44,500 meters). As a result of this program’s success, the Company completed a second phase of drilling focused on resource conversion and expansion drilling. An additional 43,165 feet (13,160 meters) were drilled bringing cumulative total drilling since the acquisition to 189,125 feet (57,660 meters).
Infill and expansion in the Central and Discovery zones were successful; holes from CEN18-Pad11 targeted the Earn-McDame contact footwall to the Discovery fault and mineralization in the merged the Discovery/Central zones. The structural intersection between the Earn contact and Discovery fault is a favorable host to mineralization. The CEN18-Pad11 holes also extended the merged Discovery/Central zone to the north. Significant manto intercepts, referred to as Lower Zone (“LZ”) in the McDame Limestone include:
- Phase II resource expansion drilling at DSC18-Pad1 followed-up on the early season “Haul Road Pad” drilling. Four holes were drilled from this pad, all reached their targets and intercepted manto mineralization. Significant LZ intercepts are shown above and a full list is included in the Company’s complete table of drill results. Coeur expects that the DSC18-Pad1 will be a high priority drill target in 2019.
- Three resource expansion holes drilled at DSC18-Pad7 (see results in complete table) targeted the southern extension of Discovery zone. While all three holes hit manto-style mineralization, the intercepts are zinc-rich with low silver-lead values; for example, hole DSC18-Pad7-002 returned 4.6 feet (1.4 meters) of 1.5 oz/t (52.0 g/t) silver, 24.1% zinc and 0.2% lead. The presence of manto on the southern extent of the Discovery zone is encouraging and indicates the continuation of mineralization to the southeast, which will be targeted in future drill programs.
Infill and expansion drilling continued on Kensington’s upper Zone 30 and Upper Raven, while the geology team at Kensington initiated a district-wide exploration program to identify and map new vein targets in the district.
In addition, several new potential high-grade vein targets were drilled, including Elmira, Ophir and Seward. Approximately 90,000 feet (27,430 meters) have been drilled at Kensington in 2018.
To date, 11 holes have been drilled and assayed on the Elmira prospect from two stations underground. Results confirmed the existence of a mineralized zone approximately 1,300 feet (396 meters) east of existing underground infrastructure. Several high-grade intercepts were returned with overall zone morphology strongly resembling Kensington’s Zone 10. Significant intercepts were noted in eight of these holes, including 14.3 feet (4.4 meters) of 1.01 oz/t (34.5 g/t) gold and 12.8 feet (3.9 meters) at 1.05 oz/t (35.9 g/t) gold. Drilling has confirmed that the Elmira vein remains open to growth in all directions.
The Ophir prospect outcrops on surface as an 8-foot thick vein near existing Kensington infrastructure. Surface drilling confirmed its continuity throughout the seven completed surface drill holes; significant assay results were returned from one drill hole. Additional underground drilling is currently underway to develop understanding of the vein’s morphology and grade distribution.
At Seward, two of four holes drilled intercepted gold-bearing structures 1,900 (579 meters) below the surface. The Orval Shear, a major regional structural control, was intercepted in the two holes where veins were not encountered, indicating the vein may have been offset by a shear, or structural discontinuity.
Additional drilling is planned in 2019 as a result of the successful results of Kensington’s exploration programs. Likely priorities include expansion and infill of Elmira, Raven, Ophir and Seward veins, as well as continuation of the infill programs at Kensington Main and Jualin.
Exploration around the Rochester Mine, specifically the Sunflower Ridge, NE Pit and South Charlie areas, has focused on infill drilling with the objective of expanding resources and converting a portion of the resource to reserves to extend mine life. New, higher-grade structures were intersected at Sunflower Ridge and NE Pit with the potential to increase the grade of any future reserves in those areas.
Additionally, several holes have been directed at engineering and condemnation drilling for the Plan of Operation Amendment (“POA”) 11 expansion area, called Plainview. A total of 41,530 feet (11,576 meters) in 71 holes have been drilled in 2018, for which the priorities included:
- Resource conversion drilling at Sunflower Ridge and NE pit zones.
- Resource conversion and growth drilling was completed, primarily at the South Charlie inferred resource. Drilling began near the end of October 2018.
- POA 11 condemnation drilling for potential leach pad and processing infrastructure has been ongoing since October 2018.
Coeur Mining, Inc. is a well-diversified, growing precious metals producer with five mines in North America. Coeur produces from its wholly-owned operations: the Palmarejo silver-gold complex in Mexico, the Silvertip silver-zinc-lead mine in British Columbia, the Rochester silver-gold mine in Nevada, the Wharf gold mine in South Dakota, and the Kensington gold mine in Alaska. In addition, the Company has interests in several precious metals exploration projects throughout North America.
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities legislation in the United States and Canada, including statements regarding exploration efforts and plans, exploration expenditures, drill results, growth, value creation, extended mine lives, grade, thickness, investments, mine expansion plans, and resource delineation, expansion, and upgrade or conversion. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause Coeur’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the risk that anticipated additions or upgrades to reserves and resources are not attained, the risk that planned drilling programs may be curtailed or canceled due to budget constraints or other reasons, the risks and hazards inherent in the mining business (including risks inherent in developing large-scale mining projects, environmental hazards, industrial accidents, weather or geologically related conditions), changes in the market prices of gold, silver, zinc and lead and a sustained lower price environment, the uncertainties inherent in Coeur’s production, exploratory and developmental activities, including risks relating to permitting and regulatory delays, ground conditions, grade variability, any future labor disputes or work stoppages, the uncertainties inherent in the estimation of gold and silver reserves, changes that could result from Coeur’s future acquisition of new mining properties or businesses, the loss of any third-party smelter to which Coeur markets its production, the effects of environmental and other governmental regulations, the risks inherent in the ownership or operation of or investment in mining properties or businesses in foreign countries, Coeur’s ability to raise additional financing necessary to conduct its business, make payments or refinance its debt, as well as other uncertainties and risk factors set out in filings made from time to time with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Canadian securities regulators, including, without limitation, Coeur’s most recent reports on Form 10-K or Form 10-Q. Actual results, developments and timetables could vary significantly from the estimates presented. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Coeur disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additionally, Coeur undertakes no obligation to comment on analyses, expectations or statements made by third parties in respect of Coeur, its financial or operating results or its securities.
Christopher Pascoe, Coeur’s Director, Technical Services and a qualified person under Canadian National Instrument 43-101, approved the scientific and technical information concerning Coeur’s mineral projects in this news release. For a description of the key assumptions, parameters and methods used to estimate mineral reserves and resources, as well as data verification procedures and a general discussion of the extent to which the estimates may be affected by any known environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing or other relevant factors, Canadian investors should refer to the Technical Reports for each of Coeur’s properties as filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
The potential quantity and grade for the deposits described herein are conceptual in nature. There is insufficient exploratory work to define a mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the applicable target being delineated as a mineral resource.
1. Based on the midpoint of guidance published by Coeur on October 31, 2018.