A six-month planned reduction in mining activity at the Kensington Gold Mine near Juneau should lead to lower operating costs. That’s according to Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation officials, who held an investor conference call today (Monday) to announce first quarter financial results.
Kensington temporarily curtailed mining and milling activity last November in order to complete several underground and surface projects. The mine recently resumed full production two months ahead of schedule.
During the first four months of 2012, Kensington produced 7,444 ounces of gold at a cost of about $2,700 per ounce. Coeur President and CEO Mitchell Krebs expects the mine’s production costs to average $1,150 to $1,250 an ounce over the entire year.
“Obviously what that means is that by the fourth quarter we’ll see costs on the low end of that average, given where we were in the first quarter,” says Krebs. “So, we’ll be seeing costs as we end the year in the $900 range to pull that average down.”
Kensington is expected to produce as much as 86,000 ounces of gold this year. The two-year-old mine contributed $10.4-million in metal sales to Coeur’s first quarter bottom line, but spent nearly $11-million on infrastructure. That included completion of an underground paste backfill plant, an electrical upgrade, a new warehouse, and a new 200-bed dormitory.
Krebs says Coeur’s silver and gold Palmarejo Mine in Mexico remains its largest producer. The company also has operations in Bolivia, Argentina, Australia, and Nevada. Company-wide, metal sales were up and operating costs were down during the first quarter of the year.
- Juneau grappled with the water fluoridation debate a decade ago and ultimately decided to scrap fluoride. Dentists say cavities in youngsters appear to be rising though there's been no hard data to confirm this trend.
- This week, we're responding to a listener who asked whether it's true that sea ice in Antarctic waters has been generally increasing, while Arctic sea ice has seen dramatic declines.
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski said it’s too early to judge the Trump presidency. She’s been skeptical of some of his actions, but in her annual address to the Alaska Legislature this morning, Murkowski presented the Trump administration as an opportunity for resource development.
- The governor of North Dakota had set Wednesday as the evacuation deadline for the largest protest camp. The Trump administration is allowing the pipeline to be built, despite the protests.