Form 10-K
Table of Contents

 

 

 

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

Form 10-K

 

(Mark One)

  
þ   

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)

OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

  

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011

OR
¨   

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)

OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

  

For the transition period from                to

Commission File Number 1-8641

COEUR D’ALENE MINES CORPORATION

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Idaho   82-0109423

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

505 Front Ave., P. O. Box “I”

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

  83816
(Address of principal executive offices)  

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (208) 667-3511

Securities Registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share

  New York Stock Exchange/Toronto Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ¨    No  þ

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  þ    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  þ    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  þ    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.    ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer     þ

 

Accelerated filer     ¨

 

Non-accelerated filer     ¨

 

Smaller reporting company    ¨

                                             (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ¨    No  þ

State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter.

$2,163,851,195

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the registrant’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.

As of February 22, 2012, 89,896,158 shares of Common Stock, Par Value $0.01

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Certain information called for by Part III of the Form 10-K is incorporated by reference from the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the 2011 Annual Meeting of Shareholders which will be filed pursuant to Regulation 14A not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this report.

 

 

 


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART I   
Item 1.  

Business

     2   
Item 1A.  

Risk Factors

     12   
Item 1B.  

Unresolved Staff Comments

     19   
Item 2.  

Properties

     19   
Item 3.  

Legal Proceedings

     41   
PART II   
Item 4.  

Mine Safety Disclosure

     41   
Item 5.   Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities      41   
Item 6.  

Selected Financial Data

     44   
Item 7.  

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

     45   
Item 7A.  

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

     67   
Item 8.  

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

     70   
Item 9.  

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

     70   
Item 9A.  

Controls and Procedures

     71   
Item 9B.  

Other Information

     71   
PART III   
Item 10.  

Directors, Executive Officers of the Registrant

     72   
Item 11.  

Executive Compensation

     72   
Item 12.   Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters      72   
Item 13.  

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions

     72   
Item 14.  

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

     73   
PART IV   
Item 15.  

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

     73   
SIGNATURES      77   


Table of Contents

PART I

 

Item 1. Business

INTRODUCTION

Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation (referred to separately as “Coeur” and referred to along with its subsidiaries as “the Company”) is a large primary silver producer with growing gold production and has assets located in the United States, Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina and Australia. The Palmarejo mine, San Bartolomé mine, Kensington mine, Rochester mine and Martha mine, each of which is operated by the Company, and the Endeavor mine, which is operated by a non-affiliated party, constituted the Company’s principal sources of mining revenues during 2011. The Company sold its Cerro Bayo mine in Chile in August 2010. Coeur is an Idaho corporation incorporated in 1928.

OVERVIEW OF MINING PROPERTIES AND INTERESTS

The Company’s most significant operating properties and interests are described below:

 

   

Coeur owns 100% of Coeur Mexicana S.A. de C.V. (“Coeur Mexicana”), which operates the underground and surface Palmarejo silver and gold mine in Mexico. The Palmarejo mine began shipping silver/gold doré in April 2009. Palmarejo produced 9.0 million ounces of silver and 125,071 gold ounces during its second full year of operation in 2011. On January 21, 2009, the Company entered into a gold production royalty transaction with Franco-Nevada Corporation under which Franco-Nevada purchased a royalty covering 50% of the life of mine gold to be produced by Coeur from the Palmarejo mine. Royalty payments made beyond the minimum obligation of 400,000 ounces of gold are payable when the market price per ounce of gold is greater than $400.00. The Company controls a large land position around its existing operations.

 

   

Coeur owns 100% of Empresa Minera Manquiri (“Manquiri”) S.A., a Bolivian company that controls the mining rights for the San Bartolomé mine, which is a surface silver mine in Bolivia where Coeur commenced commercial production in June 2008. San Bartolomé produced 7.5 million ounces of silver during 2011. On October 14, 2009, the Bolivian state-owned mining organization COMIBOL, announced a temporary suspension of mining activities above the elevation of 4,400 meters above sea level while stability studies of Cerro Rico Mountain are undertaken. The Company’s mine plan has been adjusted and mining continues on the remainder of the property. In March 2010, the San Bartolomé mine began mining operations above the 4,400 meter level in high grade material located in the Huacajchi deposit, which was confirmed to be excluded from the October 2009 resolution, under an agreement with the Cooperativa Reserva Fiscal. In December 2011, a further area in the deposit, known as Huacajchi Sur, was further confirmed to be open for mining as well. Other mining areas above the 4,400 meter level continue to be suspended. Access to the Huacajchi deposit and its higher grade material is having a beneficial effect on production and costs at the mine. The Company does not use explosives in its surface-only mining activities and is sensitive to the preservation of Cerro Rico Mountain under its contracts with the state-owned mining entity and the local cooperatives. It is uncertain at this time how long the suspension on other areas above the 4,400 meter level will remain in place.

 

   

Coeur owns 100% of Coeur Alaska, Inc., which owns the Kensington mine, an underground gold mine located north of Juneau, Alaska. The Kensington mine began processing ore on June 24, 2010 and began commercial production on July 3, 2010. Kensington produced 88,420 ounces of gold during its first full year of operation in 2011.

 

   

Coeur owns 100% of Coeur Rochester, Inc., which has operated the Rochester mine, a silver and gold surface mining operation located in northwestern Nevada, since 1986. The Company completed construction of a new leach pad and related infrastructure in the fourth quarter of 2011. Rochester produced 1.4 million ounces of silver and 6,276 ounces of gold in 2011.

 

   

Coeur owns, directly or indirectly, 100% of Coeur Argentina S.R.L., which owns and operates the underground silver and gold Martha mine located in Santa Cruz, Argentina. Mining operations commenced at the Martha mine in June 2002. The Company carries on an active exploration program at

 

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its Martha mine and on its other exploration properties in Santa Cruz, which totals over 516 square miles. During 2011, Martha produced 0.5 million ounces of silver and 615 ounces of gold.

 

   

In May 2005, the Company acquired, for $44.0 million, all of the silver production and reserves (up to 20.0 million payable ounces) contained at the Endeavor mine in New South Wales, Australia, which is owned and operated by Cobar Operations Pty. Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBH Resources Ltd. (“CBH”). The Endeavor mine is an underground zinc, lead and silver mine, which has been in production since 1983. Endeavor produced 0.6 million ounces of silver in 2011.

 

   

In August 2010, the Company sold its subsidiary Compañía Minera Cerro Bayo Ltda. (“Cerro Bayo”), which controlled the Cerro Bayo mine in southern Chile, to Mandalay Resources Corporation (“Mandalay”). Under the terms of the agreement, Coeur received the following from Mandalay in exchange for all of the outstanding shares of Minera Cerro Bayo: (i) $6.0 million in cash; (ii) 17,857,143 common shares of Mandalay; (iii) 125,000 ounces of silver to be delivered in six equal quarterly installments commencing in the third quarter of 2011 which had an estimated fair value of $2.3 million; (iv) a 2.0% Net Smelter Royalty (NSR) on production from Minera Cerro Bayo in excess of a cumulative 50,000 ounces of gold and 5,000,000 ounces of silver which had an estimated fair value of $5.4 million; and (v) existing value added taxes of $3.5 million. As part of the transaction, Mandalay also agreed to pay $6 million of reclamation costs associated with Minera Cerro Bayo’s nearby Furioso property. Any reclamation costs above that amount will be shared equally by Mandalay and Coeur. As a result of the sale, the Company realized a loss on the sale of approximately $2.1 million, net of income taxes. Results for the Cerro Bayo mine for the period prior to the sale are reflected in discontinued operations.

Coeur also has interests in other properties that are subject to silver or gold exploration activities upon which no minable ore reserves have yet been delineated.

SILVER AND GOLD PRICES

The Company’s operating results are substantially dependent upon the world market prices of silver and gold. The Company has no control over silver and gold prices, which can fluctuate widely. The volatility of such prices is illustrated by the following table, which sets forth the high and low prices of silver (as reported by Handy and Harman) and gold (as reported by London Gold PM) per ounce during the periods indicated:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2011      2010      2009  
     High      Low      High      Low      High      Low  

Silver

   $ 48.55       $ 26.77       $ 30.64       $ 14.78       $ 19.28       $ 10.45   

Gold

   $ 1,895       $ 1,319       $ 1,421       $ 1,058       $ 1,213       $ 810   

MARKETING

All of the Company’s mining operations produce silver and gold in doré form except for the Martha Mine, which produces a concentrate that contains both silver and gold, the Kensington Mine, which produces gold concentrate, and the Endeavor Mine which produces a concentrate that contains silver.

The Company refines its precious metals doré and concentrates using a geographically diverse group of third party smelters and refiners, including clients located in Mexico, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, China, and the United States (Penoles, Valcambi, Nyrstar, Aurubis, China National Gold and Johnson Matthey).

The Company markets its doré to credit worthy bullion trading houses, market makers and members of the London Bullion Market Association, industrial companies and sound financial institutions. The refined metals are sold to end users for use in electronic circuitry, jewelry, silverware, and the pharmaceutical and technology industries. The Company currently has six trading counterparties (International Commodities, Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Standard Bank, Valcambi and Auramet) and the sales of metals to these companies amounted to approximately 82%, 83% and 83% of total metal sales in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Generally, the loss of a single bullion trading counterparty would not adversely affect the Company due to the liquidity of the markets and the availability of alternative trading counterparties.

 

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Sales of silver and gold concentrates to third party smelters (Penoles, Nystar, Aurubis and China National Gold) amounted to approximately 18%, 17% and 17% of total metal sales for the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. The loss of any one smelting and refining client may have a material adverse effect if alternate smelters and refiners are not available. The Company believes there is sufficient global capacity available to address the loss of any one smelter.

HEDGING ACTIVITES

The Company’s strategy is to provide shareholders with leverage to changes in silver and gold prices by selling silver and gold production at market prices. The Company has entered into derivative contracts to protect the selling price for certain anticipated gold production and to manage risks associated with foreign currencies. For additional information see “Item 7A, Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk” and Note 17 to the consolidated financial statements, Derivative Financial Instruments and Fair Value of Financial Instruments.

GOVERNMENT REGULATION

General

The Company’s activities are subject to extensive federal, state and local laws governing the protection of the environment, prospecting, development, production, taxes, labor standards, occupational health, mine safety, toxic substances and other matters. The costs associated with compliance with such regulatory requirements are substantial and possible future legislation and regulations could cause additional expense, capital expenditures, restrictions and delays in the development and continued operation of the Company’s properties, the extent of which cannot be predicted. In the context of environmental permitting, including the approval of reclamation plans, the Company must comply with known standards and regulations which may entail significant costs and delays. Although the Company has been recognized for its commitment to environmental responsibility and believes it is in substantial compliance with applicable laws and regulations, amendments to current laws and regulations, more stringent application of these laws and regulations through judicial review or administrative action or the adoption of new laws could have a materially adverse effect upon the Company and its results of operations.

Estimated future reclamation costs are based primarily on legal and regulatory requirements. As of December 31, 2011, $32.3 million was accrued for reclamation costs relating to currently developed and producing properties. The Company is also involved in several matters concerning environmental obligations associated with former mining activities. Based upon the Company’s best estimate of its liabilities for these items, $1.0 million was accrued as of December 31, 2011. These amounts are included in reclamation and mine closure liabilities on the consolidated balance sheet.

Federal Environmental Laws

Certain mining wastes from extraction and beneficiation of ores are currently exempt from the extensive set of Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) regulations governing hazardous waste, although such wastes may be subject to regulation under state law as a solid or hazardous waste. The EPA has worked on a program to regulate these mining wastes pursuant to its solid waste management authority under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). Certain ore processing and other wastes are currently regulated as hazardous wastes by the EPA under RCRA. If the Company’s mine wastes were treated as hazardous waste or such wastes resulted in operations being designated as a “Superfund” site under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) for cleanup, material expenditures could be required for the construction of additional waste disposal facilities or for other remediation expenditures. Under CERCLA, any present owner or operator of a Superfund site or an owner or operator at the time of its contamination generally may be held liable and may be forced to undertake remedial cleanup action or to pay for the government’s cleanup efforts. Such owner or operator may also be liable to governmental entities for the cost of damages to natural resources, which may be substantial. Additional regulations or requirements may also be imposed upon the Company’s tailings and waste disposal in Alaska under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) and state law

 

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counterparts, and in Nevada under the Nevada Water Pollution Control Law which implements the CWA. Air emissions are subject to controls under Nevada’s and Alaska’s air pollution statutes implementing the Clean Air Act. The Company has reviewed and considered current federal legislation relating to climate change and does not believe it to have a material effect on its operations. Additional regulation or requirements under any of these laws and regulations could have a materially adverse effect upon the Company and its results of operations.

Proposed Mining Legislation

A portion of the Company’s U.S. mining properties are on unpatented mining claims on federal lands. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors. — Third parties may dispute the Company’s unpatented mining claims, which could result in the discovery of defective titles and losses affecting Coeur’s business” and Note 21 — Litigation and Other Events. Legislation has been introduced regularly in the U.S. Congress over the last decade to change the Mining Law of 1872 as amended, under which the Company holds these unpatented mining claims. It is possible that the Mining Law may be amended or replaced by less favorable legislation in the future. Previously proposed legislation contained a production royalty obligation, new environmental standards and conditions, additional reclamation requirements and extensive new procedural steps which would likely result in delays in permitting. The ultimate content of future proposed legislation, if enacted, is uncertain. If a royalty on unpatented mining claims were imposed, the Company’s U.S. operations could be adversely affected. In addition, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have considered revising regulations governing operations under the Mining Law on federal lands they administer, which, if implemented, may result in additional procedures and environmental conditions and standards on those lands. The majority of the Company’s operations are either outside of the United States or on private patented lands and would be unaffected by potential legislation.

Any such reform of the Mining Law or Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service regulations thereunder could increase the costs of mining activities on unpatented mining claims, or could materially impair the ability of the Company to develop or continue operations which derive ore from federal lands, and as a result could have an adverse effect on the Company and its results of operations. Until such time, if any, as new reform legislation or regulations are enacted, the ultimate effects and costs of compliance on the Company cannot be estimated.

Foreign Government Regulations

The mining properties of the Company that are located in Argentina are subject to various government laws and regulations pertaining to the protection of the air, surface water, ground water and the environment in general, as well as the health of the work force, labor standards and the socio-economic impacts of mining facilities upon the communities. The Company believes it is in substantial compliance with all applicable laws and regulations to which it is subject in Argentina.

Bolivia, where the San Bartolomé mine is located, and Mexico, where the Palmarejo mine is located, have both adopted laws and guidelines for environmental permitting that are similar to those in effect in the United States and other South American countries. The permitting process requires a thorough study to determine the baseline condition of the mining site and surrounding area, an environmental impact analysis, and proposed mitigation measures to minimize and offset the environmental impact of mining operations. The Company has received all permits required to operate the San Bartolomé and Palmarejo mines.

The Company does not directly hold any interest in mining properties in Australia. However, under the Silver Sale Agreement with CBH Resources Limited (“CBH”), the Company has purchased CBH’s silver reserves and resources in the ground at the Endeavor mine. CBH is responsible for the mining operation and compliance with government regulations and the Company is not responsible for compliance. The Company is however at risk for any production stoppages resulting from non-compliance. CBH’s mining property is subject to a range of state and federal government laws and regulations pertaining to the protection of the air, surface water, ground water, noise, site rehabilitation and the environment in general, as well as the occupational health and safety of the work force, labor standards and the socio-economic impacts of mining facilities among local communities. In addition, the various federal and state native title laws and regulations recognize and protect the rights and interests in Australia of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in land and waters and may

 

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restrict mining and exploration activity and/or result in additional costs. CBH is required to deal with a number of governmental departments in connection with the development and exploitation of its mining property. The Company is not aware of any substantial non-compliance with applicable laws and regulations to which CBH is subject in Australia.

Maintenance of Claims

Bolivia

The Bolivian state-owned mining organization, Corporación Minera de Bolivia (“COMIBOL”), is the underlying owner of all of the mining rights relating to the San Bartolomé mine. COMIBOL’s ownership derives from the Supreme Decree 3196 issued in October 1952, when the government nationalized most of the mines in Potosí. COMIBOL has leased the mining rights for the surface silver and tin bearing sediment (“pallacos”, “sucus”, and “troceras”) to several Potosí cooperatives. The cooperatives in turn have subleased their mining rights to Coeur’s subsidiary, Manquiri, through a series of “joint venture” contracts. In addition to those agreements with the cooperatives Manquiri holds additional mining rights under lease agreements directly with COMIBOL. All of Manquiri’s mining and surface rights collectively constitute the San Bartolomé project. For additional information regarding the maintenance of its claims to the San Bartolomé mine, see Item 2. Properties — Silver and Gold Mining Properties — Bolivia-San Bartolomé below.

Mexico

In order to carry out mining activities in Mexico, the Company is required to obtain a mining concession from the General Bureau of Mining which belongs to the Ministry of Economy (Secretaría de Economía) of the Federal Government, or be assigned previously granted concession rights, and both must be recorded with the Public Registry of Mining. In addition, mining works may have to be authorized by other authorities when performed in certain areas, including villages, dams, channels, general communications ways, submarine shelves of islands, islets and reefs, marine beds and subsoil and federal maritime-terrestrial zones. Reports have to be filed with the General Bureau of Mining in May of each year evidencing previous calendar year mining works. Generally nominal biannual mining duties are payable in January and July of each year, and failure to pay these duties could lead to cancellation of the concessions. Upon expiration or cancellation of the concession, certain obligations remain, including obligations to file technical reports and not to withdraw permanent works of fortification.

United States

At mining properties in the United States, including the Rochester and Kensington mines, operations are conducted upon both patented and unpatented mining claims. Pursuant to applicable federal law it is necessary to pay to the Secretary of the Interior, on or before August 31 of each year, a claim maintenance fee of $140 per claim. This claim maintenance fee is in lieu of the assessment work requirement contained in the Mining Law. In addition, in Nevada, holders of unpatented mining claims are required to pay the county recorder of the county in which the claim is situated an annual fee of $8.50 per claim. For unpatented claims in Alaska, the Company is required to pay a variable, annual rental fee based on the age of the claim and must perform annual labor or make an annual payment in lieu of annual labor. No maintenance fees are payable for federal patented claims. Patented claims are similar to land held by an owner who is entitled to the entire interest in the property with unconditional power of disposition and are subject to local property taxes. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors.—Third parties may dispute the Company’s unpatented mining claims, which could result in the discovery of defective titles and losses affecting Coeur’s business”.

Argentina

Minerals are owned by the provincial governments, which impose a maximum 3% mine-mouth royalty on mineral production. The first step in acquiring mining rights is filing an exploration concession (“Cateo”), which gives exclusive prospecting rights for the requested area for a period of time, generally up to three years. The maximum size of each cateo is 10,000 hectares; a maximum of 20 cateos, or 200,000 hectares, can be held by a single entity (individual or company) in any one province.

 

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The holder of a cateo has exclusive right to establish a discovery concession “(Manifestacion de Descubrimiento” or “MD”) on that cateo, but MDs can also be set without a cateo on any land not covered by someone else’s cateo. MDs are filed as either a vein or disseminated discovery. A square protection zone can be declared around the discovery — up to 840 hectares for a vein MD or up to 7,000 hectares for a disseminated MD. The protection zone grants the discoverer exclusive rights for an indefinite period, during which the discoverer must provide an annual report presenting a program of exploration work and investments related to the protection zone. A MD can later be upgraded to an exploitation concession (“Concesion de Explotacion or “Mina”), which gives the holder the right to begin commercial extraction of minerals.

Australia

At the Endeavor mining property in Australia operated by CBH, operations are conducted on designated mining leases issued by the relevant state government mining department. Mining leases are issued for a specific term and include a range of environmental and other conditions including the payment of production royalties, annual lease fees and the use of cash or a bank guarantee as security for reclamation liabilities. The amounts required to be paid to secure reclamation liabilities are determined on a case by case basis. In addition, CBH holds a range of exploration titles and permits, which are also issued by the respective state government mining departments for specified terms and require payment of annual fees and completion of designated expenditure programs on the leases to maintain title. In Australia, minerals in the ground are owned by the state until severed from the ground through mining operations.

Chile

In Chile, mineral rights are owned by the national government. Mineral concessions are granted by the court with jurisdiction over the land where the requested concession is located. For exploitation concessions (“Mensuras”), to maintain the concession, an annual tax is payable to the government before March 31 of each year in the approximate amount of $8.00 per hectare. For exploration concessions (“Pedimentos”), to maintain the right, the annual tax is approximately $1.60 per hectare. An exploration concession is valid for a five-year period. It may be renewed unless a third party claims the right to explore upon the property, in which event the exploration concession must be converted to an exploitation concession in order to maintain the rights to the concession. As of December 31, 2011, the Company held exploration concessions on two properties in Chile, totaling 8,918 square miles (4,664 hectares).

EMPLOYEES

The number of full-time employees at the Company as of December 31, 2011 was:

 

U.S. Corporate Staff and Office

     52   

Rochester Mine

     224   

Kensington Mine

     248   

South American Administrative Offices

     23   

South American Exploration

     8   

Martha Mine/Argentina(1)

     116   

San Bartolomé Mine/Bolivia(1)

     328   

Palmarejo Mine/Mexico

     904   
  

 

 

 

Total

     1,903   
  

 

 

 

 

(1)

The Company maintains two labor agreements in South America, consisting of a labor agreement with Associacion Obrera Minera Argentina at its Martha mine in Argentina and a labor agreement with Sindicato de la Empresa Minera Manquiri at the San Bartolomé mine in Bolivia. The Martha mine labor agreement is effective from June 12, 2006 to June 30, 2012. The San Bartolomé mine labor agreement, which became effective October 11, 2007, does not have a fixed term. As of December 31, 2011, approximately 14.4% of the Company’s worldwide labor force was covered by collective bargaining agreements.

 

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EXPLORATION STAGE MINING PROPERTIES

The Company, either directly or through wholly-owned subsidiaries, owns, leases and has interests in certain exploration-stage mining properties located in the United States, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico and Tanzania. During 2012, the Company expects to invest approximately $40.0 million in exploration and reserve development compared to $26.3 million spent on similar activities in 2011.

BUSINESS STRATEGY

The Company’s business strategy is to discover, acquire, develop and operate low-cost silver and gold operations that will produce long-term cash flow, provide opportunities for growth through continued exploration, and generate superior and sustainable returns for shareholders.

SOURCES OF REVENUE

The Palmarejo mine, San Bartolomé mine, Kensington mine, Rochester mine, and Martha mine, each operated by the Company and the Endeavor mine, operated by a non-affiliated party, constituted the Company’s principal sources of mining revenues in 2011. See the Financial Statements, Note 20 — Segment Reporting, under the heading “Geographical Information”, for revenues attributed to all foreign countries. The following table sets forth information regarding the percentage contribution to the Company’s total revenues (i.e., revenues from the sale of concentrates and doré) by the sources of those revenues during the past five years, excluding discontinued operations:

 

     Coeur  Percentage
Ownership at
December 31,
2011
    Percentage of Total Revenues(2)(3)
For The Years Ended December 31,
 

Mine/Company

     2011     2010     2009     2008     2007  

Palmarejo Mine

     100     50     45     30        

San Bartolomé Mine

     100     26        28        38        14          

Kensington Mine

     100     15        4                        

Rochester Mine

     100     6        11        15        52        69   

Martha Mine

     100     1        10        15        24        26   

Endeavor Mine(1)

     100     2        2        2        10        5   
    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 
       100     100     100     100     100
    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

(1)

Ownership interest reflects the Company’s ownership interest in the property’s silver production. Other constituent metals are owned by a non-affiliated entity.

 

(2)

Effective July 1, 2009, the Company sold to Perilya Broken Hill Ltd. its 100% interest in silver contained at the Broken Hill mine for $55.0 million in cash.

 

(3)

Effective August 9, 2010, the Company sold its interest in the Cerro Bayo mine to Mandalay Resources Corporation.

DEFINITIONS

The following sets forth definitions of certain important mining terms used in this report.

“Ag” is the abbreviation for silver.

“Au” is the abbreviation for gold.

“Backfill” is primarily waste sand or rock used to support the roof or walls after removal of ore from a stope.

“By-Product” is a secondary metal or mineral product recovered in the milling process, such as gold.

“Cash Costs” are costs directly related to the physical activities of producing silver and gold, and include mining, processing, transportation and other plant costs, third-party refining and smelting costs, marketing expense, on-site general and administrative costs, royalties and in-mine drilling expenditures that are related to

 

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production and other direct costs. Sales of by-product metals, including gold, are deducted from the above in computing cash costs per ounce. Cash costs exclude depreciation, depletion and amortization, corporate general and administrative expense, exploration, interest, and pre-feasibility costs and accruals for mine reclamation. Cash costs are calculated and presented using the “Gold Institute Production Cost Standard” applied consistently for all periods presented. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Costs to GAAP Production Costs.”

“Cash Costs per Ounce” are calculated by dividing the cash costs computed for each of the Company’s mining properties for a specific period by the amount of gold ounces or silver ounces produced by that property during that same period. Management uses cash costs per ounce produced as a key indicator of the profitability of each of its mining properties. Gold and silver are sold and priced in the world financial markets on a U.S. dollar per ounce basis. By calculating the cash costs from each of the Company’s mines on the same unit basis, management can determine the gross margin that each ounce of gold and silver produced is generating. While this represents a key indicator of the performance of the Company’s mining properties you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this single measurement. To fully evaluate a mine’s performance, management also monitors U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“U.S. GAAP”) based profit/(loss), depreciation and amortization expenses and capital expenditures for each mine as presented in Note 20 — Segment Reporting. Total cash costs per ounce is a non-GAAP measurement and investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on it and are urged to read all GAAP accounting disclosures presented in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying footnotes. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Costs to GAAP Production Costs.”

“Concentrate” is a very fine powder-like product containing the valuable metal from which most of the waste material in the ore has been eliminated.

“Contained Ounces” represents ounces in the ground before reduction of ounces not able to be recovered by applicable metallurgical process.

“Cutoff Grade” is the minimum metal at which an ore body can be economically mined; used in the calculation of reserves in a given deposit.

“Cyanidation” is a method of extracting gold or silver by dissolving it in a weak solution of sodium or potassium cyanide.

“Development” is work carried out for the purpose of accessing a mineral deposit. In an underground mine that includes shaft sinking, crosscutting, drifting and raising. In an open pit mine, development includes the removal of over burden.

“Dilution” is an estimate of the amount of waste or low-grade mineralized rock which will be mined with the ore as part of normal mining practices in extracting an ore body.

“Doré” is unrefined gold and silver bullion bars which contain gold, silver and minor amounts of impurities which will be further refined to almost pure metal.

“Drilling”

Core drilling: process of obtaining cylindrical rock samples by means of an annular-shaped rock-cutting bits (diamond impregnated) rotated by a bore-hole drilling machine. The core samples are used for geological study and chemical analysis used in mineral exploration.

In-fill: is any method of drilling intervals between existing holes, used to provide greater geological detail and to help establish reserve estimates.

Reverse circulation: a method of drilling, often used in mineral exploration, that produces fragmented samples of rock collected by a rotary, percussion drilling machine.

“Exploration” is prospecting, sampling, mapping, drilling and other work involved in searching for ore.

“Gold” is a metallic element with minimum fineness of 999 parts per 1000 parts pure gold.

“Grade” is the amount of metal in each ton of ore, expressed as troy ounces per ton or grams per tonne for precious metals.

 

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“g/t Ag” are grams of gold per metric ton (tonne) of rock. A tonne is equal to 1.1023 short tons, or 2,205 pounds.

“g/t Au” are grams of silver per metric ton (tonne) of rock. A tonne is equal to 1.1023 short tons, or 2,205 pounds.

“Heap Leach Pad” is a large impermeable foundation or pad used as a base for ore during heap leaching.

“Heap Leaching Process” is a process of extracting gold and silver by placing broken ore on an impermeable pad and applying a diluted cyanide solution that dissolves a portion of the contained gold and silver, which are then recovered in metallurgical processes.

“Hectare” is a metric unit of area equal to 10,000 square meters (2.471 acres).

“Mill” is a processing facility where ore is finely ground and thereafter undergoes physical or chemical treatments to extract the valuable metals.

“Mill-Lead Grades” are metal content of mined ore going into a mill for processing.

“Mineralized Material” is gold and silver bearing material that has been physically delineated by one or more of a number of methods, including drilling, underground work, surface trenching and other types of sampling. This material has been found to contain a sufficient amount of mineralization of an average grade of metal or metals to have economic potential that warrants further exploration evaluation. While this material is not currently or may never be classified as ore reserves, it is reported as mineralized material only if the potential exists for reclassification into the reserves category. This material cannot be classified in the reserves category until final technical, economic and legal factors have been determined. Under the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s standards, a mineral deposit does not qualify as a reserve unless it can be economically and legally extracted at the time of reserve determination and it constitutes a proven or probable reserve (as defined below). In accordance with Securities and Exchange Commission guidelines, mineralized material reported in the Company’s Form 10-K does not include material that would be classified as inferred.

“Mining Rate” tons of ore mined per day or even specified time period.

“Non-cash Costs” are costs that are typically accounted for ratably over the life of an operation and include depreciation, depletion and amortization of capital assets, accruals for the costs of final reclamation and long-term monitoring and care that are usually incurred at the end of mine life, and the amortization of the cost of property acquisitions.

“Open Pit” is a mine where the minerals are mined entirely from the surface.

“Operating Cash Costs Per Ounce” are cash costs per ounce minus production taxes and royalties.

“Ore” is rock, generally containing metallic or non-metallic minerals, which can be mined and processed at a profit.

“Ore Body” is a sufficiently large amount of ore that can be mined economically.

“Ore Reserve” or “Reserve” is that part of a mineral deposit that could be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination. Mining dilution and recovery, where appropriate, has been factored into the estimation of ore reserves.

“Probable (Indicated) Reserves” are reserves for which quantity and grade and/or quality are computed from information similar to that used for proven (measured) reserves, but the sites for inspection, sampling, and measurement are farther apart or are otherwise less adequately spaced. The degree of assurance, although lower than that for proven (measured) reserves, is high enough to assume continuity between points of observation.

“Proven (Measured) Reserves” are reserves for which (a) quantity is computed from dimensions revealed in outcrops, trenches, workings, or drill holes; grade and/or quality are computed from the results of detailed sampling and (b) the sites for inspection, sampling, and measurement are spaced so closely and the geologic character is so well defined that size, shape, depth , and mineral content of reserves are well-established.

 

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“Reclamation” is the process by which lands disturbed as a result of mining activity are modified to support beneficial land use. Reclamation activity may include the removal of buildings, equipment, machinery and other physical remnants of mining, closure of tailings, leach pads and other features, and contouring, covering and re-vegetation of waste rock and other disturbed areas.

“Recovery Rate” is a term used in process metallurgy to indicate the proportion of valuable material physically recovered in the processing of ore. It is generally stated as a percentage of material recovered compared to the material originally present.

“Refining” is the final stage of metal production in which impurities are removed from the molten metal.

“Run-of-mine Ore” is mined ore which has not been subjected to any pretreatment, such as washing, sorting or crushing prior to processing.

“Silver” is a metallic element with minimum fineness of 995 parts per 1000 parts pure silver.

“Stripping Ratio” is the ratio of the number of tons of waste material to the number of tons of ore extracted at an open-pit mine.

“Tailings” is the material that remains after all economically and technically recovered precious metals have been removed from the ore during processing.

“Ton” means a short ton which is equivalent to 2,000 pounds, unless otherwise specified.

“Total costs” are the sum of cash costs and non-cash costs.

IMPORTANT FACTORS RELATING TO FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This report contains numerous forward-looking statements relating to the Company’s gold and silver mining business, including estimated production data, expected operating schedules, expected capital costs and other operating data and permit and other regulatory approvals. Such forward-looking statements are identified by the use of words such as “believes,” “intends,” “expects,” “hopes,” “may,” “should,” “plan,” “projected,” “contemplates,” “anticipates” or similar words. Actual production, operating schedules, results of operations, ore reserve and resources could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements include (i) the risk factors set forth below under Item 1A, (ii) the risks and hazards inherent in the mining business (including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, weather or geologically related conditions), (iii) changes in the market prices of gold and silver, (iv) the uncertainties inherent in the Company’s production, exploratory and developmental activities, including risks relating to permitting and regulatory delays and disputed mining claims (v) any future labor disputes or work stoppages, (vi) the uncertainties inherent in the estimation of gold and silver ore reserves, (vii) changes that could result from the Company’s future acquisition of new mining properties or businesses, (viii) reliance on third parties to operate certain mines where the Company owns silver production and reserves, (ix) the loss of any third-party smelter to which the Company markets silver and gold, (x) the effects of environmental and other governmental regulations, (xi) the risks inherent in the ownership or operation of or investment in mining properties or businesses in foreign countries, (xii) the worldwide economic downturn and difficult conditions in the global capital and credit markets, and (xiii) the Company’s ability to raise additional financing necessary to conduct its business, make payments or refinance its debt. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

AVAILABLE INFORMATION

The Company maintains an internet website at http://www.coeur.com. Coeur makes available, free of charge, on or through its website, its Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and Proxy Statements, as well as Forms 3, 4 and 5 with respect to its common stock, as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports are electronically filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Copies of Coeur’s Corporate Governance Guidelines, charters of the key committees of the Board of Directors (Audit, Compensation, Nominating and Corporate Governance, and Environmental,

 

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Health, Safety, and Social Responsibility Committees) and its Code of Business Conduct and Ethics for Directors, Officers and Employees, applicable to the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer, are available at the Company’s website http://www.coeur.com. Information contained on the Company’s website is not a part of this report.

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors

The following sets forth certain risks and uncertainties that could adversely affect the Company’s business, financial condition or operating results. References to “Coeur,” in these risk factors refer to the Company. Additional risks and uncertainties that the Company does not presently know or that the Company currently deems immaterial also may impair its business operations.

The Company’s results of operations and cash flows are highly dependent upon the market prices of silver and gold, which are volatile and beyond its control.

Silver and gold are commodities, and their prices are volatile. During 2011, the price of silver ranged from a low of $26.77 per ounce to a high of $48.55 per ounce, and the price of gold ranged from a low of $1,319 per ounce to a high of $1,895 per ounce. The market prices of silver and gold on February 22, 2012 were $34.15 per ounce and $1,752 per ounce, respectively.

Silver and gold prices are affected by many factors beyond the Company’s control, including prevailing interest rates and returns on other asset classes, expectations regarding inflation, speculation, currency values, governmental decisions regarding the disposal of precious metals stockpiles, global and regional demand and production, political and economic conditions and other factors. In addition, Exchange Traded Funds (“ETFs”), which have substantially facilitated the ability of large and small investors to buy and sell precious metals, have become significant holders of gold and silver. Net inflows of investments into and out of ETFs have amplified the historical volatility of gold and silver prices.

Because Coeur derives all of its revenues from sales of silver and gold, the Company’s results of operations and cash flows will fluctuate as the prices of these metals increase or decrease. A sustained period of declining gold and silver prices would materially and adversely affect the Company’s results of operations and cash flows. Factors that are generally understood to contribute to a decline in the prices of silver and gold include a strengthening of the U.S. dollar, net outflows from gold and silver ETFs, bullion sales by private and government holders and a general global economic slowdown.

A substantial decline in gold and silver prices could cause one or more of the Company’s mining properties to become unprofitable, which could require it to record write-downs of long-lived assets that would adversely affect the Company’s results of operations and financial condition.

Established accounting standards for impairment of the value of long-lived assets such as mining properties requires Coeur to review the recoverability of the cost of its assets by estimating the future undiscounted cash flows expected to result from the use and eventual disposition of the asset. Impairment, measured by comparing an asset’s carrying value to its fair value, must be recognized when the carrying value of the asset exceeds these cash flows. A significant and sustained decline in silver or gold prices, or the Company’s failure to control production costs or realize the minable ore reserves at its mining properties, could lead the Company to terminate or suspend mining operations at one or more of its properties and require it to write down the carrying value of the Company’s assets. Any such actions would negatively affect Coeur’s results of operations and financial condition.

The Company also may record other types of additional mining property charges in the future if it sells a property for a price less than its carrying value or if it has to increase reclamation liabilities in connection with the closure and reclamation of a property. Any such additional write-downs of mining properties could adversely affect the Company’s results of operations and financial condition.

 

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Coeur is an international company and is exposed to political and social risks in the countries in which it has significant operations or interests.

A majority of the Company’s revenues are generated by operations outside the United States, and the Company is subject to significant risks inherent in resource extraction by foreign companies and contracts with government owned entities. Exploration, development, production and closure activities in many countries are potentially subject to heightened political and social risks that are beyond the Company’s control. These risks include the possible unilateral cancellation or forced re-negotiation of contracts; unfavorable changes in foreign laws and regulations; royalty and tax increases, claims by governmental entities or indigenous communities, expropriation or nationalization of property and other risks arising out of foreign sovereignty over areas in which Coeur’s operations are conducted. The right to export silver and gold may depend on obtaining certain licenses and quotas, which could be delayed or denied at the discretion of the relevant regulatory authorities. In addition, the Company’s rights under local law may be less secure in countries where judicial systems are susceptible to manipulation and intimidation by government agencies, non-governmental organizations or civic groups.

Any of these developments could require the Company to curtail or terminate operations at its mines, incur significant costs to meet newly-imposed environmental or other standards, pay greater royalties or higher prices for labor or services and recognize higher taxes, which could materially and adversely affect Coeur’s results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

The Company’s operations outside the United States also expose it to economic and operational risks.

Coeur’s operations outside the United States also expose it to economic and operational risks. Local economic conditions can cause the Company to experience shortages of skilled workers and supplies, increase costs and adversely affect the security of operations. In addition, higher incidences of criminal activity and violence in the area of some of the Company’s foreign operations could adversely affect Coeur’s ability to operate in an optimal fashion, and may impose greater risks of theft and greater risks as to property security. These conditions could lead to lower productivity and higher costs, which would adversely affect results of operations and cash flows.

Coeur sells gold and silver doré in U.S. dollars, but conducts the Company’s operations outside the United States in local currency. Currency exchange movements could adversely affect results of operations.

Silver and gold mining involves significant production and operational risks.

Silver and gold mining involves significant production and operational risks, including those related to uncertain mineral exploration success, unexpected geological or mining conditions, the difficulty of development of new deposits, unfavorable climate conditions, equipment or service failures, current unavailability of or delays in installing and commissioning plants and equipment, import or customs delays and other general operating risks. Commencement of mining can reveal mineralization or geologic formations, including higher than expected content of other minerals that can be difficult to separate from silver, which can result in unexpectedly low recovery rates.

Problems also may arise due to the quality or failure of locally obtained equipment or interruptions to services (such as power, water, fuel or transport or processing capacity) or technical support, which could result in the failure to achieve expected target dates for exploration, or could cause production activities to require greater capital expenditure to achieve expected recoveries.

Many of these production and operational risks are beyond the Company’s control. Delays in commencing successful mining activities at new or expanded mines, disruptions in production and low recovery rates could have adverse effects on results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

The estimation of ore reserves is imprecise and depends upon subjective factors. Estimated ore reserves may not be realized in actual production. The Company’s operating results and financial position may be negatively affected by inaccurate estimates.

The ore reserve figures presented in the Company’s public filings are estimates made by Coeur’s technical personnel and by independent mining consultants contracted by Coeur. Reserve estimates are a function of geological and engineering analyses that require the Company to make assumptions about production costs,

 

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recoveries and silver and gold market prices. Reserve estimation is an imprecise and subjective process. The accuracy of such estimates is a function of the quality of available data and of engineering and geological interpretation, judgment and experience. Assumptions about silver and gold market prices are subject to great uncertainty as those prices have fluctuated widely in the past. Declines in the market prices of silver or gold may render reserves containing relatively lower grades of ore uneconomic to exploit, and the Company may be required to reduce reserve estimates, discontinue development or mining at one or more of its properties or write down assets as impaired. Should Coeur encounter mineralization or geologic formations at any of its mines or projects different from those predicted, the Company may adjust its reserve estimates and alter its mining plans. Either of these alternatives may adversely affect actual production and results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

Forward sales and royalty arrangements can result in limiting the Company’s ability to take advantage of increased metal prices while increasing its exposure to lower metal prices.

The Company has in the past entered into, and may in the future enter into, arrangements under which it has agreed to make royalty or similar payments to lenders in amounts that are based on expected production and price levels for gold or silver. Coeur enters into such arrangements when it concludes that they provide the Company with necessary capital to develop a specific mining property on favorable terms. Royalty or similar payment obligations, however, can limit the Company’s ability to realize the full effects of rising gold or silver prices and require Coeur to make potentially significant cash payments if the mine fails to achieve specified minimum production levels.

Coeur’s future operating performance may not generate cash flows sufficient to meet its debt payment obligations.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company had a total of approximately $380.0 million of outstanding indebtedness, which includes $231.5 million for future estimated gold production royalty payments due to Franco-Nevada Corporation and Capital lease obligations of $28.6 million. The liabilities associated with such royalty payments increase as the price of gold increases. Coeur’s ability to make scheduled debt payments on its outstanding indebtedness will depend on its future results of operations and cash flows. Coeur’s results of operations and cash flows, in part, are subject to economic factors beyond its control, including the market prices of silver and gold. The Company may not be able to generate enough cash flow to meet its obligations and commitments. If the Company cannot generate sufficient cash flow from operations to service its debt, the Company may need to further refinance its debt, dispose of assets or issue equity to obtain the necessary funds. The Company cannot predict whether it will be able to refinance its debt, issue equity or dispose of assets to raise funds on a timely basis or on satisfactory terms.

The Company’s future growth will depend upon its ability to develop new mines, either through exploration at its existing properties or by acquisition from other mining companies.

Because mines have limited lives based on proven and probable ore reserves, an important element of the Company’s business strategy is the opportunistic acquisition of silver and gold mines, properties and businesses or interests therein. During 2011, Coeur successfully constructed a new leach pad at its Rochester mine and substantially completed development of its other major mining properties at Palmarejo, San Bartolomé, and Kensington. The Company’s ability to achieve significant additional growth in revenues and cash flows will depend upon its success in further developing Coeur’s existing properties and developing or acquiring new mining properties. Both strategies are inherently risky, and the Company cannot assure that it would be able to successfully compete in either the development of its existing or new mining properties or acquisitions of additional mining properties.

While it is Coeur’s practice to engage independent mining consultants to assist in evaluating and making acquisitions, any mining properties or interests that the Company may acquire may not be developed profitably. If profitable when acquired, that profitability might not be sustained. In connection with any future acquisitions,

 

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the Company may incur indebtedness or issue equity securities, resulting in increased interest expense, or dilution of the percentage ownership of existing shareholders. Coeur cannot predict the impact of future acquisitions on the price of its business or its common stock or that it would be able to obtain any necessary financing on acceptable terms. Unprofitable acquisitions, or additional indebtedness or issuances of securities in connection with such acquisitions, may adversely affect the price of the Company’s common stock and negatively affect its results of operations.

Mineral exploration and development inherently involves significant and irreducible financial risks. Coeur may suffer from the failure to find and develop profitable mines.

The exploration for and development of mineral deposits involves significant financial risks that even a combination of careful evaluation, experience and knowledge cannot eliminate. Unprofitable efforts may result from the failure to discover mineral deposits. Even if mineral deposits are found, those deposits may be insufficient in quantity and quality to return a profit from production, or it may take a number of years until production is possible, during which time the economic viability of the project may change. Few properties which are explored are ultimately developed into producing mines.

Substantial expenditures are required to establish ore reserves, to extract metals from ores and, in the case of new properties, to construct mining and processing facilities. The economic feasibility of any development project is based upon, among other things, volatile metals prices, estimates of the size and grade of ore reserves, proximity to infrastructures and other resources such as water and power, metallurgical recoveries, production rates and capital and operating costs. Development projects also are subject to the completion of favorable feasibility studies, issuance and maintenance of necessary permits and receipt of adequate financing.

The commercial viability of a mineral deposit, once developed, depends on a number of factors, including: the particular attributes of the deposit, such as size, grade and proximity to infrastructure; government regulations including taxes, royalties and land tenure; land use; importing and exporting of minerals; environmental protection; and mineral prices. Factors that affect adequacy of infrastructure include: reliability of roads, bridges, power sources and water supply; unusual or infrequent weather phenomena; sabotage; and government or other interference in the maintenance or provision of such infrastructure. All of these factors are highly cyclical. The exact effect of these factors cannot be accurately predicted, but the combination may result in not receiving an adequate return on invested capital.

Significant investment risks and operational costs are associated with the Company’s exploration, development and mining activities. These risks and costs may result in lower economic returns and may adversely affect Coeur’s business.

Coeur’s ability to sustain or increase its present production levels depends in part on successful exploration and development of new ore bodies and expansion of existing mining operations. Mineral exploration, particularly for silver and gold, involves many risks and is frequently unproductive. The economic feasibility of any development project is based upon, among other things, estimates of the size and grade of ore reserves, proximity to infrastructures and other resources (such as water and power), metallurgical recoveries, production rates and capital and operating costs of such development projects, and metals prices. Development projects are also subject to the completion of favorable feasibility studies, issuance and maintenance of necessary permits and receipt of adequate financing.

Development projects may have no operating history upon which to base estimates of future operating costs and capital requirements. Development project items such as estimates of reserves, metal recoveries and cash operating costs are to a large extent based upon the interpretation of geologic data, obtained from a limited number of drill holes and other sampling techniques, and feasibility studies. Estimates of cash operating costs are then derived based upon anticipated tonnage and grades of ore to be mined and processed, the configuration of the ore body, expected recovery rates of metals from the ore, comparable facility and equipment costs, anticipated climate conditions and other factors.

As a result, actual cash operating costs and economic returns of any and all development projects may materially differ from the costs and returns estimated, and accordingly, the Company’s financial condition and results of operations may be negatively affected.

 

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Coeur might be unable to raise additional financing necessary to meet capital needs, conduct its business, make payments when due or refinance its debt.

Coeur might need to raise additional funds in order to meet capital needs, implement its business plan, refinance its debt or acquire complementary businesses or products. Any required additional financing might not be available on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. If the Company raises additional funds by issuing equity securities, holders of the Company’s common stock could experience significant dilution of their ownership interest, and these securities could have rights senior to those of the holders of the Company’s common stock.

A significant delay or disruption in the Company’s sales of concentrates as a result of the unexpected discontinuation of purchases by its smelter customers could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s operations.

The Company currently markets its silver and gold concentrates to third-party smelters and refineries in Mexico, Germany, China and Australia. The loss of any one smelter could have a material adverse effect on the Company if alternative smelters and refineries were unavailable. The Company cannot assure you that alternative smelters or refineries would be available if the need for them were to arise, or that the Company would not experience delays or disruptions in sales that would materially and adversely affect results of operations.

Coeur’s silver and gold production may decline in the future, reducing its results of operations and cash flows.

The Company’s silver and gold production, unless the Company is able to develop or acquire new properties, will decline over time due to the exhaustion of reserves and the possible closure of mines in response to declining metals prices or other factors. Identifying promising mining properties is difficult and speculative. Coeur encounters strong competition from other mining companies in connection with the acquisition of properties producing or capable of producing silver and gold. Many of these companies have greater financial resources than the Company does. Consequently, Coeur may be unable to replace and expand current ore reserves through the acquisition of new mining properties or interests therein on terms that are considered acceptable. As a result, Coeur’s revenues from the sale of silver and gold may decline, resulting in lower income and reduced growth. The Company cannot assure you that it would be able to replace the production that would be lost due to the exhaustion of reserves and the possible closure of mines.

There are significant hazards associated with the Company’s mining activities, some of which may not be fully covered by insurance.

The mining business is subject to risks and hazards, including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, the encountering of unusual or unexpected geological formations, cave-ins, flooding, earthquakes and periodic interruptions due to inclement or hazardous weather conditions. These occurrences could result in damage to, or destruction of, mineral properties or production facilities, personal injury or death, environmental damage, reduced production and delays in mining, asset write-downs, monetary losses and possible legal liability. Insurance fully covering many environmental risks, including potential liability for pollution or other hazards as a result of disposal of waste products occurring from exploration and production, is not generally available to the Company or to other companies in the industry. Any liabilities that the Company incurs for these risks and hazards could be significant and could adversely affect results of operation, cash flows and financial condition.

The Company is subject to significant governmental regulations, including under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, and related costs and delays may negatively affect its business.

Mining activities are subject to extensive federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations governing environmental protection, natural resources, prospecting, development, production, post-closure reclamation, taxes, labor standards and occupational health and safety laws and regulations, including mine safety, toxic substances and other matters. The costs associated with compliance with such laws and regulations are substantial. Possible future laws and regulations, or more restrictive interpretations of current laws and regulations by governmental authorities, could cause additional expense, capital expenditures, restrictions on or suspensions of operations and delays in the development of new properties.

 

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U.S. surface and underground mines like the Kensington and Rochester mines are frequently inspected by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”), which inspections often lead to notices of violation. Recently, the Company has undergone inspections and received numerous citations and orders as a result of the inspections.

Failure to comply with applicable laws, regulations and permitting requirements may result in enforcement actions, including orders issued by regulatory or judicial authorities causing operations to cease or be curtailed, which may require corrective measures including capital expenditures, installation of additional equipment or remedial actions. In addition, any of our U.S. mines could be subject to a temporary or extended shut down as a result of a violation alleged by the MSHA. Parties engaged in mining operations or in the exploration or development of mineral properties may be required to compensate those suffering loss or damage by reason of the mining activities and may be subject to civil or criminal fines or penalties imposed for violations of applicable laws or regulations. Any such penalties, fines, sanctions or shutdowns could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Compliance with environmental regulations and litigation based on environmental regulations could require significant expenditures.

Environmental regulations mandate, among other things, the maintenance of air and water quality standards and land reclamation, and set forth limitations on the generation, transportation, storage and disposal of solid and hazardous waste. Environmental legislation is evolving in a manner that will require stricter standards and enforcement, increased fines and penalties for non-compliance, more stringent environmental assessments of proposed projects, and a heightened degree of responsibility for mining companies and their officers, directors and employees. The Company may incur environmental costs that could have a material adverse effect on its financial condition and results of operations. Any failure to remedy an environmental problem could require the Company to suspend operations or enter into interim compliance measures pending completion of the required remedy. The environmental standards that ultimately may be imposed at a mine site affect the cost of remediation and could exceed the financial accruals that Coeur has made for such remediation. The potential exposure may be significant and could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

Moreover, governmental authorities and private parties may bring lawsuits based upon damage to property and injury to persons resulting from the environmental, health and safety impacts of prior and current operations, including operations conducted by other mining companies many years ago at sites located on properties that the Company currently or formerly owned. These lawsuits could lead to the imposition of substantial fines, remediation costs, penalties and other civil and criminal sanctions. Substantial costs and liabilities, including for restoring the environment after the closure of mines, are inherent in the Company’s operations. Coeur cannot assure you that any such law, regulation, enforcement or private claim would not have a negative effect on results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.

Some of the Company’s mining wastes currently are exempt to a limited extent from the extensive set of federal Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) regulations governing hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). If the EPA designates these wastes as hazardous under RCRA, Coeur would be required to expend additional amounts on the handling of such wastes and to make significant expenditures to construct hazardous waste disposal facilities. In addition, if any of these wastes causes contamination in or damage to the environment at a mining facility, that facility could be designated as a “Superfund” site under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”). Under CERCLA, any owner or operator of a Superfund site since the time of its contamination may be held liable and may be forced to undertake extensive remedial cleanup action or to pay for the government’s cleanup efforts. The owner or operator also may be liable to governmental entities for the cost of damages to natural resources, which could be substantial. Additional regulations or requirements also are imposed on the Company’s tailings and waste disposal areas in Alaska under the federal Clean Water Act (“CWA”) and in Nevada under the Nevada Water Pollution Control Law which implements the CWA.

Airborne emissions are subject to controls under air pollution statutes implementing the Clean Air Act in Nevada and Alaska. In addition, there are numerous legislative and regulatory proposals related to climate

 

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change, including legislation pending in the U.S. Congress to require reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Adoption of these proposals could have a materially adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations and cash flows.

The Company’s ability to obtain necessary government permits to expand operations or begin new operations can be materially affected by third party activists.

Private parties such as environmental activists frequently attempt to intervene in the permitting process and to persuade regulators to deny necessary permits or seek to overturn permits that have been issued. Obtaining the necessary governmental permits is a complex and time-consuming process involving numerous jurisdictions and often involving public hearings and costly undertakings. These third party actions can materially increase the costs and cause delays of the permitting process and could cause the Company to not proceed with the development or expansion of a mine.

An environmental organization has brought an administrative appeal challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s approval of a plan of amendment which allows active mining to be resumed and a new heap leach pad to be constructed at the Rochester property. The Interior Board of Land Appeals is expected to rule on the appeal in 2012. The Company cannot predict the outcome of the appeal or what effect, if any, an adverse ruling may have on current operations. If an adverse ruling is issued, the Company may be required to update the permitting for the current operations at Rochester.

Coeur’s operations in Bolivia are subject to political risks.

The Bolivian government adopted a new constitution in early 2009 that strengthened state control over key economic sectors such as mining. In connection with the 2009 constitution, the government of Bolivia announced a restructuring of the mining law. A commission was established in March 2011 to finalize the mining law updates and the commission’s evaluation remains ongoing. The Company has been assessing the potential effects of the proposed legislation on its Bolivian operations but any effects remain uncertain until the law is enacted. The law is expected to regulate taxation and royalties and to provide for contracting with the government rather than concession holding. The revised mining law is expected to be enacted in 2012. The Company cannot assure that its operations at the San Bartolomé mine will not be affected in the current political environment in Bolivia.

On October 14, 2009, the Bolivian state-owned mining organization, COMIBOL, announced by resolution that it was temporarily suspending mining activities above the elevation of 4,400 meters above sea level while stability studies of Cerro Rico mountain are undertaken. The Company holds rights to mine above this elevation under valid contracts backed by Supreme Decree with COMIBOL as well as contracts with local mining cooperatives that hold their rights through COMIBOL. The Company temporarily adjusted its mine plan to confine mining activities to the ore deposits below 4,400 meters above sea level and timely notified COMIBOL of the need to lift the restriction. In March 2010, the San Bartolomé mine began mining operations above the 4,400 meter level in high grade material located in the Huacajchi deposit, which was confirmed to be excluded from the October 2009 resolution, under an agreement with the Cooperative Reserva Fiscal. In December 2011, a further area in the deposit, known as Huacajchi Sur, was further confirmed to be open for mining as well. Other mining areas above the 4,400 meter level continue to be suspended. The mine plan adjustment may reduce production until the Company is able to resume mining above 4,400 meters generally. It is uncertain at this time how long the temporary suspension will remain in place. If the restriction is not lifted, the Company may need to write down the carrying value of the asset. It is also unknown if any new mining or investment policies or shifts in political attitude may affect mining in Bolivia.

The Company’s business depends on good relations with its employees.

The Company could experience labor disputes, work stoppages or other disruptions in production that could adversely affect the Company. As of December 31, 2011, unions represented approximately 14% of Coeur’s worldwide workforce. The Company has a collective bargaining agreement covering the Martha mine which expires on June 30, 2012. Additionally, the Company has a labor agreement at its San Bartolomé mine which became effective October 11, 2007, and does not have a fixed term.

 

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Third parties may dispute the Company’s unpatented mining claims, which could result in the discovery of defective titles and losses affecting Coeur’s business.

The validity of unpatented mining claims, which constitute a significant portion of Coeur’s property holdings in the United States, is often uncertain and may be contested. Although the Company has attempted to acquire satisfactory title to undeveloped properties, in accordance with mining industry practice the Company does not generally obtain title opinions until a decision is made to develop a property. As a result, some titles, particularly titles to undeveloped properties may be defective. Defective title to any of Coeur’s mining claims could result in litigation, insurance claims and potential losses affecting its business as a whole.

Coeur Rochester is party to a legal action relating to a third party’s assertion of rights to unpatented mining claims at and near the Rochester property in Nevada. Coeur Rochester held 541 U.S. Federal unpatented claims through August 2011. On September 1, 2011, the Company inadvertently missed a claims fee payment to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) and as a result the prior unpatented mining claims were forfeited. The Company re-staked 479 claims in early December 2011 and filed notices with Pershing County, Nevada and the BLM. The new claims cover the majority of the prior unpatented claim area. A third party asserts that it also staked and filed notices on the Company’s original unpatented mining claims. The Company believes it holds a superior property interest to the adverse staking party and filed a lawsuit to quiet title in the claims. The mine operates under an approved BLM plan of operations and has continued normal operations while the legal action is pending. The Company believes there would be no effect on the current silver and gold reserves at Coeur Rochester assuming an adverse outcome. However, the Company does believe an adverse outcome would require it to modify existing plans to further expand future mining operations and would require permits to be updated to reflect changes in claim ownership.

There may be challenges to the title of any of the claims comprising the Company’s mines that, if successful, could impair development and operations. A defect could result in the Company losing all or a portion of its right, title, estate and interest in and to the properties to which the title defect relates.

The Company has the ability to issue additional equity securities, which would lead to dilution of its issued and outstanding common stock and may materially and adversely affect the price of its common stock.

The issuance of additional equity securities or securities convertible into equity securities would result in dilution of the Company’s existing shareholders’ equity ownership. The Company is authorized to issue, without shareholder approval, 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more series, to establish the number of shares to be included in each series and to fix the designation, powers, preferences and relative participating, optional, conversion and other special rights of the shares of each series as well as the qualification, limitations or restrictions on each series. Any series of preferred stock could contain dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, terms of redemption, redemption prices, liquidation preferences or other rights superior to the rights of holders of the Company’s common stock. Coeur’s Board of Directors has no present intention of issuing any preferred stock, but reserves the right to do so in the future and has reserved for issuance a series of preferred stock in connection with its shareholder rights plan. If the Company issues additional equity securities, the price of its common stock may be materially and adversely affected.

 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None

 

Item 2. Properties-

SILVER AND GOLD MINING PROPERTIES

The Company’s operating segments include Palmarejo (Mexico), San Bartolomé (Bolivia), Kensington (Alaska, USA), Rochester (Nevada, USA), Martha (Argentina), and Endeavor (New South Wales, Australia). See “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” related to Coeur’s operations in Bolivia and Note 20 — Segment Reporting, for information relating to its business segments and its domestic and export sales.

 

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Mexico — Palmarejo

The Palmarejo surface and underground silver and gold mine, and associated milling operation, owned and operated by Coeur Mexicana, is located in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. Access to the property is provided by air, rail, and all-weather paved and gravel roads from the state capitol of Chihuahua.

For the full year ended 2011, Palmarejo produced 9.0 million ounces of silver and 125,071 ounces of gold, compared to 5.9 million ounces of silver and 102,440 ounces of gold in 2010. Cash operating costs per ounce and total cash costs per ounce of silver for 2011 were both $(0.97). See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Costs to GAAP Production Costs.” Metal sales in 2011 from Palmarejo totaled $513.1 million, or 50% of the Company’s total metal sales, compared with $230.0 million, or 45% of the Company’s total metal sales in 2010. Sales of gold totaled $197.8 million and sales from silver were $315.3 million. Production costs in 2011 totaled $186.2 million while depreciation and depletion expense was $159.3 million. Total capital expenditures in 2011 were $37.0 million.

The Company’s property position at Palmarejo is large, consisting of contiguous mining concessions totaling 30,277 acres (12,158 hectares or 47.3 square miles) in size. Of the total concessions, 29 concessions consisting of 46.75 square miles (12,109 hectares) are owned 100% by Coeur Mexicana, formerly Planet Gold S.A. de C.V. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company), and the remaining three concessions, representing 0.19 square miles (48.77 hectares) are partially owned (50 to 60%) by Coeur Mexicana. All of the Company’s ore reserves are located on concessions owned 100% by Coeur Mexicana. All concessions owned by Coeur Mexicana are valid until at least 2029. In addition to Palmarejo, the Company also controls 21,016 acres (8,505 hectares) of concessions at the Yécora exploration-stage property located in Sonora, on the border with the state of Chihuahua, and 17,717 acres (7,170 hectares) of concessions at the La Guitarra exploration-stage property in Chihuahua, south-east of Palmarejo.

All property and equipment are in good operating condition with no major maintenance expected. Power is supplied to the property by the local power utility as well as by generators. Water is supplied to the property by pipeline from the Chinipas River and also from recycled process water collected at site.

Commercial production commenced in April 2009. Recovery of gold has been consistent with the initial metallurgical testwork and feasibility study estimates and averaged 92.2% during 2011, up from 91.1% in 2010. The recovery of silver averaged 76.4% during 2011, which was below feasibility study estimates, but up from 69.8% in 2010. Although the Company will continue pursuing adjustments to the plant to increase silver recovery rates, as of December 31, 2011, it expects silver recoveries to average 78% for 2012. We hope to achieve further improvements going forward.

The Palmarejo mine is located on the western flank of the Sierra Madre Occidental, a mountain range that comprises the central spine of northern Mexico. The north-northwest-trending Sierra Madre Occidental is composed of a relatively flat-lying sequence of Tertiary volcanic rocks that forms a volcanic plateau, cut by numerous igneous intrusive rocks. This volcanic plateau is deeply incised in the Palmarejo mine area, locally forming steep-walled canyons. The Sierra Madre Occidental gives way to the west to an extensional terrain that represents the southward continuation of the Basin and Range Province of the western United States, and then to the coastal plain of western Mexico.

The gold and silver deposits at the Palmarejo mine, typical of many of the other silver and gold deposits in the Sierra Madre, are classified as epithermal deposits and are hosted in multiple veins, breccias and fractures. These geologic structures trend generally northwest to southeast and dip either southwest or northeast. The dip on the structures ranges from about 45 degrees to 70 degrees. In the mineralized portions of the structures gold and silver are zoned from top to bottom with higher silver values occurring in the upper parts of the deposit and higher gold values in the lower parts, sometimes accompanied by base metal mineralization, though local variations are common. The Palmarejo property contains a number of mineralized zones or areas of interest. The most important of these to date is the Palmarejo zone in the north of the concessions which covers the old Palmarejo gold-silver mine formed at the intersection of the northwest-southeast trending La Prieta and La Blanca gold-and-silver bearing structures. In addition to Palmarejo, other mineralized vein and alteration

 

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systems in the district area have been identified all roughly sub-parallel to the Palmarejo zone. The most significant of these additional targets are the Guadalupe (including Animas) and La Patria vein systems in the southern part of the property which are currently under exploration by the Company.

The Company spent $13.2 million in the Palmarejo district in 2011 to discover new silver and gold mineralization and define new ore reserves. This program consisted of drilling 263,189 feet (80,220 meters) of core. The exploration budget for Palmarejo for 2012 is $16.6 million.

Year-end Proven and Probable Ore Reserves — Palmarejo Mine

 

     2011      2010      2009  
     (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)                

Proven

        

Short tons (000’s)

     4,916         4,649         7,277   

Ounces of silver per ton

     5.31         7.12         5.05   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     26,091         33,096         37,121   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.07         0.09         0.06   

Contained ounces of gold

     329,950         436,600         442,000   

Probable

        

Short tons (000’s)

     7,581         9,019         10,623   

Ounces of silver per ton

     4.05         4.29         5.03   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     30,727         38,662         53,400   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.05         0.05         0.06   

Contained ounces of gold

     358,170         433,600         660,000   

Proven and Probable

        

Short tons (000’s)

     12,497         13,668         17,900   

Ounces of silver per ton

     4.55         5.25         5.06   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     56,818         71,758         90,521   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.06         0.06         0.06   

Contained ounces of gold

     688,120         870,200         1,102,000   

Year-end Mineralized Material — Palmarejo Mine

 

     2011         2010         2009   

Short tons (000’s)

     5,062         4,503         4,493   

Ounces of silver per ton

     3.36         3.70         3.48   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.04         0.04         0.05   

 

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Operating Data

 

      2011     2010      2009  

Production

       

Ore tons milled

     1,723,056        1,835,408         1,065,508   

Ore grade silver (oz./ton)

     6.87        4.60         4.31   

Ore grade gold (oz./ton)

     0.08        0.06         0.06   

Recovery silver(%)

     76.4        69.8         66.3   

Recovery gold(%)

     92.2        91.1         88.2   

Silver produced (oz.)

     9,041,488        5,887,576         3,047,843   

Gold produced (oz.)

     125,071        102,440         54,740   

Cost per Ounce

       

Cash operating costs

   $ (0.97   $ 4.10       $ 9.80   

Other cash costs(6)

     —          —           —     
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Cash costs(7)

     (0.97     4.10         9.80   

Non-cash costs

     17.77        15.56         17.00   
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total production costs

   $ 16.80      $ 19.66       $ 26.80   
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1)

Current ore reserves are effective as of December 31, 2011. Metal prices used in calculating proven and probable reserves were $23.00 per ounce of silver and $1,220 per ounce of gold.

 

(2)

The ore reserves are underground and open pit minable and include an allowance for mining dilution and recovery. For the underground-minable reserves, the dilution and mining recovery is incorporated into the detailed design of each stope for the Palmarejo mine; a 10% dilution at a grade of 0.62 g/t Au and 54 g/t Ag and 100% mining recovery was used for the Guadalupe deposit. For the open pit-minable reserves, the mining dilution and mining recovery was incorporated into a block diluted model for the Palmarejo mine. No open pit reserves are included for the Guadalupe deposit at this time.

 

(3)

Metallurgical recovery factors of 93% for gold and 63% to 80% for silver were used in estimations for ore reserves for Palmarejo and should be applied to the contained reserve ounces.

 

(4)

The ore reserves were prepared by W. Orr (Manager of Corporate Technical Services) and the Company’s technical staff with the assistance of an independent consulting firm.

 

(5)

For the Palmarejo mine the proven and probable reserves are defined as mineralized material above an economic cut-off grade demonstrating grade continuity delineated by exploration and definition drill holes with a nominal grid spacing of 15m to 45m, depending on resource area. Proven reserves is material at a distance of less than or equal to 15m from the nearest composite sample with a minimum of two drill holes used in the grade estimate. Probable reserves are defined by distance to the nearest composite sample of between 15m and 45m and a minimum of two drill holes used in the grade estimate. For the Guadalupe deposit the proven and probable reserves are defined as mineralized material above an economic cut-off grade demonstrating grade continuity delineated by at least two exploration drill holes within less than 65m of each other. Proven reserves were selected from resource areas with average drill hole spacing of 20m to less than 35m and a minimum of two drill holes used in the grade estimate. The current proven reserve blocks are at an average distance of 12m from the nearest composite sample (45 m maximum), have an average of 4 octants informed for the estimates and were informed by an average of 8 drill holes. Probable reserves were selected from resource areas with average drill hole spacing of 35m to less than 80m. Probable reserves were further defined by distance to the nearest composite sample of less than approximately 65m and a minimum of two drill holes used in the grade estimate. The current probable reserve blocks are at an average of 18m from the nearest drill hole (102 m maximum), have an average of 4 octants informed for the estimates and were informed by an average of 8 drill holes.

 

(6)

Includes production taxes and royalties, if applicable.

 

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(7)

Cash costs per ounce of silver or gold represent a non-U.S. GAAP measurement that management uses to monitor and evaluate the performance of its mining operations. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Costs to GAAP Production Costs.”

Bolivia — San Bartolomé

The San Bartolomé open pit silver mine, and associated milling operation, operated by Empresa Minera Manquiri SA (“Manquiri”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, is located on the flanks of the Cerro Rico Mountain bordering the town of Potosí, Bolivia. Access to the property and the Company’s processing facilities is by paved and all-weather gravel roads leading south-southwest from Potosí.

Silver production for 2011 was 7.5 million ounces compared to 6.7 million ounces in 2010. Cash operating costs per ounce for 2011 were $9.10 per ounce compared to $7.87 per ounce in 2010. Total cash costs per ounce (which includes production taxes and royalties) for 2011 were $10.64 per ounce compared to $8.67 per ounce in 2010. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations —Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Costs to GAAP Production Costs.” Metal sales in 2011 were $267.5 million, representing 26% of the Company’s total metal sales. One hundred percent of these sales were derived from silver. Production costs in 2011 totaled $79.7 million and depreciation and depletion expense was $22.4 million. Total capital expenditures in 2011 were $17.7 million.

Coeur acquired 100% of the equity in Manquiri from Asarco Incorporated (“ASARCO”) on September 9, 1999. Commercial construction activities commenced in 2004. Manquiri’s principal asset is the mining rights to the San Bartolomé mine. Silver was first discovered in the area around 1545. Mining of silver and lesser amounts of tin and base metals has been conducted nearly continuously since that time from multiple underground mines driven into Cerro Rico. The prior owner did not conduct any mining or processing of the surface ores at San Bartolomé.

The Company completed feasibility studies in 2000 and 2004, which concluded that an open pit mine was potentially capable of producing approximately six million ounces of silver annually.

The property, plant and equipment are maintained in good working condition through a regular preventative maintenance program with periodic improvements as required. Power is supplied to the property by the local power utility. Water is supplied to the property by a public water source.

The Bolivian tax rate on most mining companies is 37.5%. However, mining companies that produce a doré product, as the San Bartolomé mine does, will receive a 5% credit based upon their specific operation. Thus, the tax rate for San Bartolomé is 32.5%.

The Company obtained political risk insurance policies from the Overseas Private Insurance Corporation (“OPIC”) and another private insurer and is self-insured for $23.3 million. The combined policies are in the amount of $155.0 million and cover Coeur up to the lesser of $131.8 million or 85.0% of any loss arising from expropriation, political violence or currency inconvertibility. The policy costs were capitalized during the development and construction phases and are now included as a cost of inventory produced over the term of the policies which expire in 2019 and 2024.

The silver mineralization at San Bartolomé is hosted in unconsolidated sediments (pallacos) and reworked sediments (sucus and troceras) and oxide stockpiles and dumps (desmontes) from past mining that occurred on the flanks of Cerro Rico. Cerro Rico is a prominent mountain in the region that reaches an elevation of over 15,400 feet (over 4,700 meters). It is composed of Tertiary-aged volcanic and intrusive rocks that were emplaced into and over older sedimentary, and volcanic, basement rocks. Silver, along with tin and base metals, is located in multiple veins and vein swarms and stockworks that occur in a northeast trending belt which transects Cerro Rico. The upper parts of the Cerro Rico mineralized system were subsequently eroded and re-deposited into the flanking gravel deposits. Silver is hosted in all portions of the pallacos, sucus, and troceras with the best grades segregated to the coarser-grained silicified fragments. These deposits lend themselves to simple, free digging surface mining techniques and can be extracted without drilling and blasting. Of the several pallaco deposits which are controlled by Coeur and surround Cerro Rico, three are of primary importance and are known as Huacajchi, Diablo and Santa Rita.

 

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The mineral rights for the San Bartolomé mine are held through joint venture and long-term lease agreements with several independent mining cooperatives and the Bolivian state-owned mining organization COMIBOL. Manquiri controls 47.93 square kilometers (11,578 acres) of land at San Bartolomé around Cerro Rico under contracts and concessions and approximately 37.45 square kilometers (8.95 acres) of concessions at the Rio Blanco property, a gold exploration target south of Potosí. The San Bartolomé lease agreements expire between 2021 and 2028 and are generally subject to a production royalty payable partially to the cooperatives and partially to COMIBOL. The royalty rate is 3% at silver prices below $4 per ounce and 6% at prices above $8 per ounce. The rate is a factor of 75% of the silver price between $4 and $8. The Company has additional mining rights known as the Plahipo project which include the mining rights to oxide dumps adjacent to the original property package. The oxide dumps included in the Plahipo project are subject to a sliding scale royalty payable to COMIBOL that is a function of silver price. The Company incurred royalty payment obligations to COMIBOL and the Cooperatives for these mining rights totaling $11.6 million and $5.4 million for the years ended 2011 and 2010, respectively.

On October 14, 2009, COMIBOL announced by resolution that it was temporarily suspending mining activities above the elevation of 4,400 meters above sea level while stability studies of Cerro Rico mountain are undertaken. The Company holds rights to mine above this elevation under valid contracts backed by Supreme Decree with COMIBOL as well as contracts with local mining cooperatives who hold their rights through COMIBOL. The Company adjusted its mine plan to confine mining activities to the ore deposits below 4,400 meters above sea level and timely notified COMIBOL of the need to lift the restriction. The Company’s mine plan was adjusted and mining continued on the remainder of the property. In March 2010, the San Bartolomé mine began mining operations above the 4,400 meter level in high grade material located in the Huacajchi deposit , which was confirmed to be excluded from the October 2009 resolution, under an agreement with the Cooperative Reserva Fiscal. In December 2011, a further area in the deposit known as Huacajchi Sur was further confirmed to be open for mining as well. Other mining areas above the 4,400 meter level continue to be suspended. Access to the Huacajchi deposit and its higher grade material is having beneficial effect on production and cost at the mine. The Company does not use explosives in its surface-only mining activities and is sensitive to the preservation of the mountain under its contracts with the state-owned mining entity and the local cooperatives.

In 2011, a new program of exploration trenching and sampling was performed at San Bartolomé. The trenches were dug to obtain samples to expand the ore reserves. This program, the first such exploration sampling since prior to commencement of production, cost an estimated $0.2 million. A similar program is planned for 2012 at an estimated cost of $0.4 million.

Year-end Proven and Probable Ore Reserves — San Bartolomé Mine

 

     2011      2010      2009  
     (1, 2, 3, 4)                

Proven

        

Short tons (000’s)

     959         476         131   

Ounces of silver per ton

     3.01         3.62         3.29   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     2,888         1,723         430   

Probable

        

Short tons (000’s)

     43,556         27,602         31,241   

Ounces of silver per ton

     2.64         3.81         3.83   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     115,192         105,295         119,603   

Proven and Probable

        

Short tons (000’s)

     44,515         28,078         31,372   

Ounces of silver per ton

     2.65         3.81         3.83   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     118,080         107,018         120,033   

 

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Year-end Mineralized Material — San Bartolomé Mine

 

     2011      2010      2009  

Short tons (000’s)

     21,264         36,953         37,087   

Ounces of silver per ton

     2.59         1.75         1.75   

Operating Data

 

      2011      2010      2009  

Production

        

Tons ore milled

     1,567,269         1,504,779         1,518,671   

Ore grade silver (oz./ton)

     5.38         5.03         5.49   

Recovery silver(%)

     88.9         88.6         89.6   

Silver produced (oz.)

     7,501,367         6,708,775         7,469,222   

Cost per Ounce of Silver

        

Cash operating costs

   $ 9.10       $ 7.87       $ 7.80   

Other cash costs(5)

     1.54         0.80         2.68   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Cash costs(6)

     10.64         8.67         10.48   

Non-cash costs

     3.11         3.05         2.48   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total production costs

   $ 13.75       $ 11.72       $ 12.96   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 
(1)

Current ore reserves are effective as of December 31, 2011. The metal price used for current ore reserves was $23.00 per ounce of silver.

 

(2)

Ore reserves are open pit-minable and include a mining recovery such that 15 cm buffer of ore material above the bedrock was excluded from the reserve; this equates to a mining recovery of 99.0% Metallurgical recovery factors of 77% to 86% were used in estimations for ore reserves for San Bartolomé and should be applied to the contained reserve ounces.

 

(3)

Ore reserves were prepared by W. Orr (Manager of Corporate Technical Services) and the Company’s technical staff with the assistance of an independent consulting firm.

 

(4)

Proven and probable ore reserves are defined by surface drill holes, trenches, and pits (pozos) with an average spacing of no more than 230 feet (70 meters). Proven reserves are those reserves in stockpile as of December 31, 2011. The grade of ore reserve block is determined by the grade of proximal drill hole and/or pit composites and three-dimensional models of geologic controls. A minimum of 8 and maximum of 20 composite were used to classify proven and probable ore reserves and variable geostatistical estimation variances. Mineralized material is similarly classified.

 

(5)

Includes production taxes and royalties, if applicable.

 

(6)

Costs per ounce of silver represent a non-U.S. GAAP measurement that management uses to monitor and evaluate the performance of its mining operations. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Costs to GAAP Production Costs.”

USA — Alaska-Kensington Mine

The Kensington underground gold mine and associated milling facilities are located on the east side of the Lynn Canal about 45 miles north-northwest of Juneau, Alaska. The Kensington mine commenced commercial production on July 3, 2010. The mine is accessed by a horizontal tunnel and utilizes conventional and mechanized underground mining methods. Ore is processed in a flotation mill that produces a concentrate which is sold to third party smelters. Waste material is deposited in an impoundment facility on the property. Power is supplied to the site by on-site diesel generators. Access to the project is by either a combination of road vehicles, boat, helicopter, float plane, or by boat direct from Juneau.

 

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Production during the mine’s first full year of operation in 2011 was 88,420 ounces of gold. Metal sales in 2011 at Kensington were $151.2 million, or 15% of total sales. Production costs were $101.7 million and depreciation and depletion expense was $35.8 million. The Company’s capital expenditures at the Kensington mine totaled approximately $34.0 million in 2011.

In December of 2011, Kensington entered a six month period where processing levels will be reduced by 50% to approximately 700 tons per day. This is intended to allow the mine to implement and complete several key initiatives, including:

 

   

Accelerated underground development, resulting in more working faces and greater operational flexibility

 

   

Aggressive in-fill drilling program to better define the high-grade ore zones and convert existing resources into proven and probable reserves

 

   

Completion and commissioning of the underground paste backfill plant and related distribution system, providing access to stopes located in previously mined areas

 

   

Upgrading and completing construction of several underground and surface facilites

 

   

Improving overall safety of the operation

Coeur Alaska, Inc., (“Coeur Alaska”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, controls two contiguous land groups: the Kensington and Jualin properties. The Kensington property consists of 51 private patented lode and mill-site claims covering approximately 766 acres, 294 federal unpatented lode claims covering approximately 3,127 acres, and eight State of Alaska mining claims covering approximately 95 acres. The Company controls the Jualin Property, under a lease agreement with Hyak Mining Company, through the cessation of mining, so long as the Company makes timely payments pursuant to the lease agreement. The Jualin Property consists of 23 patented lode and mill-site claims covering approximately 383.6 acres, 438 federal unpatented lode claims and one unpatented mill-site claim covering approximately 7,911 acres, and 17 State of Alaska mining claims covering approximately 110 acres. The federal and state claims, as well as the private patented lode and mill-site claims, provide Coeur with the necessary rights to mine and process ore from Kensington. All of the Company’s Alaska ore reserves are located within the patented claims. The unpatented claims and mill site are maintained via annual filings and fees to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which acts as administrator of the claims. State claims are maintained via filings and fees to Alaska Department of Natural Resources — Juneau Recorder’s Office. Real property taxes to the State of Alaska are paid yearly for the patented claims. Lease payments are paid annually and all leases are in good standing.

Coeur Alaska is obligated to pay a scaled net smelter return royalty on 1.0 million ounces of future gold production after Coeur Alaska recoups the $32.5 million purchase price and its construction and development expenditures incurred after July 7, 1995 in connection with placing the property into commercial production. The royalty ranges from 1% at $400 per ounce gold prices to a maximum of 2.5% at gold prices above $475 per ounce, with the royalty to be capped at 1.0 million ounces of production.

On June 22, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that had invalidated the previously issued Section 404 Permit for the tailings facility for the Kensington gold mine. On August 14, 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers re-activated the Company’s 404 permit, clearing the way for construction at the tailing facility to continue. Production started on July 3, 2010.

The Kensington ore deposit consists of multiple gold bearing mesothermal, quartz, carbonate and pyrite vein swarms and discrete quartz-pyrite veins hosted in Cretaceous-aged Jualin diorite. Gold occurs as native grains in quartz veins and is associated with pyrite and various gold-telluride-minerals associated with the pyrite mineralization.

The Company spent $1.4 million on exploration at Kensington in 2011, completing 20,127 feet (6,135 meters) of core drilling during the year and plans to spend $4.3 million on exploration in 2012.

 

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Table of Contents

Year-end Proven and Probable Ore Reserves — Kensington Mine

 

     2011      2009      2008  
     (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)                

Proven

        

Short tons (000’s)

     1,164         319         199   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.28         0.45         0.38   

Contained ounces of gold (000’s)

     326         145         76   

Probable

        

Short tons (000’s)

     4,842         5,618         5,301   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.21         0.23         0.26   

Contained ounces of gold (000’s)

     1,014         1,265         1,402   

Proven and Probable

        

Short tons (000’s)

     6,006         5,937         5,500   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.22         0.24         0.27   

Contained ounces of gold (000’s)

     1,340         1,410         1,478   

Year-end Mineralized Material — Kensington Mine

 

     2011      2010      2009  

Short tons (000’s)

     3,039         2,504         2,724   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.19         0.19         0.18   

Operating Data

 

      2011      2010      2009  

Production

        

Ore tons milled

     415,340         174,028           

Ore grade gold (oz./ton)

     0.23         0.28           

Recovery gold(%)

     92.7         89.9           

Gold produced (oz.)

     88,420         43,143           

Cost per Ounce

        

Cash operating costs

   $ 1,088.37       $ 988.63       $   

Other cash costs(6)

                       
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Cash costs(7)

     1,088.37         988.63           

Non-cash costs

     405.54         405.32           
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total production costs

   $ 1,493.91       $ 1,393.95       $   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1)

Current ore reserves are effective as of December 31, 2011. Metal price used in calculating proven and probable reserves was $1,220 per ounce of gold.

 

(2)

The ore reserves are underground minable and include factors for mining dilution and recovery. A factor of approximately 10% additional tonnage at 0.063 ounces per ton of dilution was included. An average 94% mining recovery was included.

 

(3)

Metallurgical recovery factor of 92.8% should be applied to the contained gold reserve ounces.

 

(4)

The ore reserves were estimated by J. Barry (Mine Engineer) of the Company’s technical staff with the assistance of an independent consultant. Independent consultant groups have performed independent reviews of the Company’s resource estimate model used to prepare the ore reserve estimates.

 

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(5)

Proven and probable reserves are defined underground drilling and underground workings. In practice, reserve blocks are defined by the number of proximal composites and three-dimensional geologic controls. Proven ore reserves include stockpiled ore. Ore reserve must be defined by at least 10 drill samples from at least 2 drill holes spaced not more than 60 feet from the block center. Mineralized material is similarly classified.

 

(6)

Includes production taxes and royalties, if applicable.

 

(7)

Cash costs per ounce of silver or gold represent a non-U.S. GAAP measurement that management uses to monitor and evaluate the performance of its mining operations. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Costs to GAAP Production Costs.”

USA — Nevada-Rochester Mine

The Rochester mine and associated heap leach facilities, is an open pit silver and gold mine, located in Pershing County, Nevada, which is located approximately 25 miles of paved and all-weather gravel road northeast of the town of Lovelock. The Company owns 100% of the Rochester Mine through the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Coeur Rochester, Inc. (“Coeur Rochester”). The mine consists of the main Rochester deposit and the adjacent Nevada Packard deposit, due south of Rochester.

Production at the Rochester mine in 2011 was approximately 1.4 million ounces of silver and 6,276 ounces of gold, compared to approximately 2.0 million ounces of silver and 9,641 ounces of gold in 2010. Production was lower due to decreased ounces recovered from the ore on the previously existing leach pad. Cash operating costs per ounce of silver increased to $22.97 per ounce in 2011, compared to $2.93 per ounce in 2010. Total cash costs per ounce of silver (which includes production taxes and royalties) were $24.82 per ounce in 2011 compared to $3.78 per ounce in 2010. This increase was primarily due to the decrease in ore produced from the current leach pad, combined with the expensing of a significant portion of the costs associated with the construction of a new leach pad, which was completed in November of 2011. Rochester’s total metal sales in 2011 totaled $57.3 million, or approximately 6% of the Company’s total metal sales. Approximately 84% of Rochester’s metal sales were derived from silver, while 16% were derived from gold. Production costs totaled $28.3 million in 2011 and depreciation and depletion expenses were $0.5 million, compared to $24.8 million and $1.9 million in 2010. The Company’s capital expenditures at the Rochester mine totaled approximately $27.2 million in 2011 and $2.3 million in 2010. The Company plans capital expenditures at the Rochester mine of $9.5 million in 2012, primarily for infrastructure.

Coeur Rochester held 541 U.S. Federal unpatented claims, of which 53 were under lease agreements, and 23 patented claims, totaling approximately 8,600 acres up through August of 2011. On September 1, 2011, the Company inadvertently missed a claims fee payment to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and as a result the prior unpatented mining claims were forfeited. The Company re-staked the claims in early December 2011 and filed notices with Pershing County, Nevada and the BLM. The new claims total 479 and cover the majority of the prior unpatented claim area. However, a substantial portion of these claims are the subject of a legal dispute stemming from competing asserted interests in the claims. A third party asserts that it also staked and filed notices on the Company’s original unpatented mining claims. The Company believes it holds a superior property interest to the adverse staking party and filed a lawsuit to quiet title in the claims. The mine operates under an approved BLM plan of operations and has continued normal operations while the legal action is pending. The Company believes there would be no impact to the current silver and gold reserves at Coeur Rochester assuming an adverse outcome. However, the Company does believe an adverse outcome would cause it to modify existing plans to further expand future mining operations and would require permits to be updated to reflect changes in claim ownership arising from an adverse outcome. See Note 21 — Litigation and Other Events for information relating to the unpatented mining claims dispute at Rochester.

The Company acquired the Rochester property from ASARCO in 1983 and commenced mining in 1986. No mining or processing was conducted at Rochester by the prior owner. The Company acquired its initial interest in the adjacent Nevada Packard property in 1996, completed the full purchase in 1999 and commenced mining in 2003. Very limited mining and processing was conducted at Nevada Packard by the prior owner. Collectively, the Rochester and Nevada Packard properties comprise the Company’s Rochester silver and gold mining and processing operation.

 

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Table of Contents

The Rochester mine is fully supported with electricity, supplied by a local power company on their public grid, telephone and radio communications, production water wells, and processing, maintenance, warehouse, and office facilities. All of these facilities are in good operating condition with no major maintenance expected. The mine utilizes the heap leaching process to extract both silver and gold from ore mined using conventional open pit methods.

Gold and silver are recovered by heap leaching of crushed open-pit ore placed on pads located east of the Rochester mining area. Based upon actual operating experience and metallurgical testing, the Company estimates ultimate recovery rates from the crushed ore of between 59.0% and 63.0% for silver, depending on the ore being leached, and 93.0% for gold. See Note 3 — Summary of Significant Accounting Policies to our financial statements included herein, for further discussion.

The Company commenced studies to investigate the potential to recommence mining and leaching of new material in 2008 and completed feasibility studies in 2009 and 2010 demonstrating the viability of an expansion of mining and leaching operations at its Rochester mine through 2017. The Company prepared an Amended Plan of Operations for resumption of mining within the existing and permitted Rochester pit and construction of an additional heap leach pad, all within the currently permitted mine boundary. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) deemed this plan complete in August 2009 under federal regulations and initiated the National Environmental Policy Act process. The BLM issued a positive Decision Record (DR) for the mine to extend silver and gold mining operations by several years with new production ounces being recovered in the fourth quarter of 2011.

At Rochester, silver and gold mineralization is hosted in folded and faulted volcanic rocks of the Rochester Formation and overlying Weaver Formation. Silver and gold, consisting of silver sulfosalt minerals, argentite, silver-bearing tetrahedrite and minor native gold, are contained in zones of multiple quartz veins and veinlets (vein and vein swarms and stockworks) with variable amounts of pyrite.

The Company is obligated to pay a net smelter royalty interest to ASARCO, the prior owner, when the average quarterly market price of silver equals or exceeds $23.02 per ounce indexed for inflation up to a maximum rate of 5%. Royalty expense was $2.2 million, $0.2 and nil for the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

In 2011, exploration expenditures of $2.2 million funded 74,215 feet (22,621 meters) of angled reverse circulation and core drilling. The 2012 budget for exploration is $4.4 million.

Year-end Proven and Probable Ore Reserves — Rochester Mine

 

     2011      2010      2009  
     (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)                

Proven

        

Short tons (000’s)

     31,532         35,959         31,821   

Ounces of silver per ton

     0.59         0.54         0.58   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     18,681         19,499         18,361   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.006         0.005         0.006   

Contained ounces of gold

     178,800         196,100         185,000   

Probable

        

Short tons (000’s)

     15,747         12,312         10,596   

Ounces of silver per ton

     0.69         0.65         0.71   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     10,892         8,057         7,523   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.004         0.004         0.005   

Contained ounces of gold

     68,200         51,300         48,000   

Proven and Probable

        

Short tons (000’s)

     47,279         48,271         42,417   

Ounces of silver per ton

     0.63         0.57         0.61   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     29,573         27,556         25,884   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.005         0.005         0.005   

Contained ounces of gold

     247,000         247,400         233,000   

 

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Table of Contents

Year-end Mineralized Material — Rochester Mine

 

     2011      2010      2009  

Short tons (000’s)

     251,472         215,603         104,783   

Ounces of silver per ton

     0.45         0.44         0.52   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.003         0.003         0.004   

Operating Data

 

     2011      2010      2009  

Production

        

Tons ore mined

     2,028,889         —           —     

Tons ore crushed

     1,782,971         —           —     

Ore grade silver (oz./ton)

     0.47         —           —     

Ore grade gold (oz./ton)

     0.005         —           —     

Recovery/Ag oz(%)

     165.1         —           —     

Recovery/Au oz(%)

     75.6         —           —     

Silver produced (oz.)

     1,392,433         2,023,423         2,181,788   

Gold produced (oz.)

     6,276         9,641         12,663   

Cost per Ounce

        

Operating cash costs

   $ 22.97       $ 2.93       $ 1.95   

Other cash costs(7)

     1.85         0.85         0.63   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Cash costs(8)

     24.82         3.78         2.58   

Non-cash costs

     2.39         1.04         0.93   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total production costs

   $ 27.21       $ 4.82       $ 3.51   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1)

Current ore reserves are open-pit minable effective as of December 31, 2011. Metal prices used in calculating proven and probable reserves were $23.00 per ounce of silver and $1,220 per ounce of gold.

 

(2)

No factors for mining dilution or recovery are applied to open-pit ore reserves.

 

(3)

Metallurgical recovery for oxide ore were 61% for silver and 92% for gold. Approximately .08 million tons (3.8%) of sulfide bearing ore is included in the total ore reserves at lower metallurgical recovery rates. However, ultimate recoveries will not be known until leaching operations cease. Current recovery may vary significantly from ultimate recovery, calculated based on the ounces recovered as a percent of the ounces placed on the pad. The ore reserves were estimated by C. Kiel (Superintendent of Rochester Technical Services) and the Company’s technical staff. An independent consulting group reviewed engineering studies and a consulting firm modeled results from drilling and updated estimates of mineralized material.

 

(4)

Ore reserves are defined by drilling on a grid of 100 feet by 200 feet, or closer, and include open pit mine production sampling to assist with determination of gold and silver grades. The grade is defined by the number of proximal drill-hole composited assay values and three-dimensional geologic controls. The number of drill samples used in estimation of grades must be at least 4 with a maximum search distance of 150 feet at Rochester and 120 feet at Nevada Packard. Mineralized material is similarly classified.

 

(5)

Mining and crushing operations temporarily terminated in August 2007 and resumed in 2011.

 

(6)

Includes production taxes and royalties, if applicable.

 

(7)

Cash costs per ounce of silver or gold represent a non-U.S. GAAP measurement that management uses to monitor and evaluate the performance of its mining operations. See “Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Costs to GAAP Production Costs.”

 

(8)

Current ore reserves were calculated entirely within Coeur Rochester’s patented and undisputed claims. The Company believes there would be no impact to current silver and gold reserves at Coeur Rochester assuming an adverse legal outcome to the ongoing claim dispute.

 

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Table of Contents
(9)

Current mineralized material estimates were calculated from within both disputed and undisputed claims. While the Company believes it holds a superior position in the ongoing claim dispute, the Company believes an adverse legal outcome would cause it to modify mineralized material estimates.

Argentina — Martha Mine

The Martha underground silver and gold mine, and associated milling operation, owned and operated by Coeur Argentina S.R.L., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, is located in the Santa Cruz Province of southern Argentina. Access to the property is provided by all-weather gravel roads leading 30 miles northeast of the town of Gobernador Gregores.

Production at the Martha mine in 2011 was approximately 0.5 million ounces of silver and 615 ounces of gold compared to 1.6 million ounces of silver and 1,838 ounces of gold in 2010. The 66.4% decrease in silver production was primarily due to a decrease in ore grade in 2011. Cash operating costs per ounce for 2011 were $32.79 per ounce compared to $13.16 per ounce in 2010. Total cash costs per ounce of silver (which includes production taxes and royalties) were $34.08 in 2011 compared to $14.14 in 2010. The increase in total cash costs per ounce was attributed to the decrease in silver production as compared to 2010. Metal sales in 2011 totaled $13.3 million at Martha. Approximately 95% of these metal sales were derived from silver, with the balance coming from gold. Production costs totaled $15.5 million and depreciation and depletion expenses were $0.6 million, compared with $27.0 million and $8.5 million in 2010. Total capital expenditures at the Martha mine in 2011 were $3.4 million.

The mineral rights for the Martha property are fully-owned by Coeur Argentina S.R.L. Mineral rights owned by Coeur Argentina S.R.L. in the Santa Cruz Province (excluding Joaquin) total 166 square miles (43,214 hectares) of exploration concessions (“cateos”), 275 square miles (71,281 hectares) of discovery concessions (“manifestaciones de descubrimiento”), and 3.0 square miles (774 hectares) of exploitation concessions (“concesiones de exploitacion”). Martha is centered on the exploitation concessions, which fully cover the area of the mine infrastructure and the ore reserves reported herein. Concessions do not have an expiration date, subject only to required annual fees. Surface rights covering the Martha deposit are controlled by the 137.8 square mile (35,705-hectare) Cerro Primero de Abril Estancia which is owned by Coeur Argentina S.R.L. Included on the estancia is a 60-person camp, mine and exploration offices, and assay laboratory.

The Company acquired the property in 2002 and is obligated to pay a 2.0% net smelter royalty on silver and gold production to Royal Gold Corporation. In addition, the Company is subject to a 3.0% net proceeds royalty payable to the Province of Santa Cruz. The Company incurred royalty expense totaling $0.7 million, $1.5 million and $1.8 million for the years ended 2011, 2010, and 2009, respectively.

The Company operates a 240 tonne per day flotation mill at the site, which produces a flotation concentrate that is shipped to a third-party smelter located in Mexico. The property and equipment are maintained in good working condition through a regular preventive maintenance program with periodic improvements as required. Power is provided by Company-owned diesel generators.

At Martha, silver and gold mineralization is hosted in epithermal quartz veins and veinlets within generally sub-horizontal volcanic rocks of the Jurassic-aged Chon Aike Formation. The veins and veinlets occur as sub-parallel clusters largely trending west-northwest and dipping steeply to the southwest. The main ore minerals of silver and gold are silver sulfosalt minerals, argentite, electrum (a naturally-occurring gold and silver alloy) and native silver.

During 2011, the Company spent $0.3 million to test extensions of the Martha, Marthe Norte, Betty, and Wendy ore-bearing structures with drilling of 12,605 feet (3,824 meters) of new core drilling. The 2012 budget for exploration at Martha is $0.5 million.

 

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Table of Contents

Year-end Proven and Probable Ore Reserves — Martha Mine

 

     2011      2010      2009  
     (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)                

Proven

        

Short tons (000’s)

                       

Ounces of silver per ton

                       

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

                       

Ounces of gold per ton

                       

Contained ounces of gold

                       

Probable

        

Short tons (000’s)

     53         45         38   

Ounces of silver per ton

     12.79         18.61         33.14   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     671         828         1,249   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.01         0.02         0.04   

Contained ounces of gold

     580         1,089         1,400   

Proven and Probable

        

Short tons (000’s)

     53         45         38   

Ounces of silver per ton

     12.79         18.61         33.14   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     671         828         1,249   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.01         0.02         0.04   

Contained ounces of gold

     580         1,089         1,400   

Year-end Mineralized Material — Martha Mine

 

     2011      2010      2009  

Short tons (000’s)

     35         39         29   

Ounces of silver per ton

     12.15         14.02         59.54   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.01         0.01         0.05   

Operating Data

 

     2011      2010      2009  

Production

        

Tons ore milled

     101,167         56,401         109,974   

Ore grade silver (oz./ton)

     6.29         31.63         36.03   

Ore grade gold (oz./ton)

     0.01         0.04         0.05   

Recovery silver (%)

     83.2         88.3         93.6   

Recovery gold (%)

     74.0         84.1         87.6   

Silver produced (oz.)

     529,602         1,575,827         3,707,544   

Gold produced (oz.)

     615         1,838         4,709   

Cost per Ounce

        

Cash operating costs

   $ 32.79       $ 13.16       $ 6.19   

Other cash costs(6)

     1.29         0.98         0.49   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Cash costs(7)

     34.08         14.14         6.68   

Non-cash costs

     2.11         5.88         1.94   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total production costs

   $ 36.19       $ 20.02       $ 8.62   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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Table of Contents
(1)

Current ore reserves are effective as of December 31, 2011. Metal prices used for current ore reserves were $24.00 per ounce of silver and $1,250 per ounce of gold.

 

(2)

Ore reserves are mostly underground minable with minor additions from small open pits. Underground reserves include a variable dilution, at zero grade, added to vein true widths. Underground mining recovery is 70-95%. Open pit reserves have variable dilution ranging from 16% to 20% at zero grade and a mining recovery of 85%.

 

(3)

Metallurgical recovery factors of 85% for silver and 88% for gold should be applied to the contained silver and gold reserve ounces.

 

(4)

Ore reserves were prepared by O. Orosco (Mine Manager for the Martha mine) and the Company’s technical staff.

 

(5)

Ore reserves are defined with polygonal estimation using underground channels and drill hole samples. For probable reserves: An area demonstrating grade continuity with channel sample or drill hole spacing less than 25 meters. Mineralized material is similarly classified.

 

(6)

Includes production taxes and royalties, if applicable.

 

(7)

Cash costs per ounce of silver or gold represent a non-U.S. GAAP measurement that management uses to monitor and evaluate the performance of its mining operations. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Costs to GAAP Production Costs.”

Australia — New South Wales — Endeavor Mine

The Endeavor mine, is an underground silver and base metal operation, and associated mill facility, located in north-central New South Wales, Australia, about 447 miles (720 kilometers) from Sydney. Access to the mine is by paved roads 30 miles (18 kilometers) to the northwest from the community of Cobar.

Production at the Endeavor mine in 2011 was 613,361 ounces of silver compared to 566,134 ounces of silver in 2010. The increase in silver production was due to a 13.8% increase in tons milled and was partially offset by a 6.7% decrease in ore grades as compared to 2010. Cash operating costs and total cash costs per ounce of silver produced were $18.87 in 2011 compared to $10.15 in 2010. This increase was due primarily to the price participation component of the transaction and increased refining costs due to silver deduction retained by the refiner.

Metal sales at the Endeavor mine in 2011 were $18.7 million, all of which was derived from silver. Production costs totaled $8.6 million and depreciation and depletion costs were $3.1 million. The Company incurred no capital expenditures at the Endeavor mine in 2011.

The ore reserves at Endeavor are covered by five consolidated mining leases issued by the state of New South Wales to Cobar Operations Pty. Limited (“Cobar”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBH Resources Ltd. (“CBH”), which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toho Zinc Co. Ltd., a company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The leases form a contiguous block of 10,121 acres in size and expire between 2019 and 2027.

The Endeavor mine has been in production since 1983 and is owned and operated by CBH. On May 23, 2005, CDE Australia Pty. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coeur (“CDE Australia”), acquired all of the silver production and reserves, up to a maximum 17.7 million payable ounces, contained at the Endeavor Mine, which is owned and operated by CBH, for $44.0 million including transaction fees. Under the terms of the original agreement, CDE Australia paid Cobar $15.4 million of cash at the closing. In addition, CDE Australia agreed to pay Cobar approximately $26.5 million upon the receipt of a report confirming that the reserves at the Endeavor mine are equal to or greater than the reported ore reserves for 2004. In addition, CDE Australia originally committed to pay Cobar an operating cost contribution of $1.00 for each ounce of payable silver plus a further increment when the silver price exceeds $5.23 per ounce. This further increment was to have begun on the second anniversary of this agreement and is 50% of the amount by which the silver price exceeds $5.23 per ounce. A cost contribution of $0.25 per ounce is also payable by CDE Australia in respect of new ounces of

 

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Table of Contents

proven and probable silver reserves as they are discovered. During the first quarter of 2007, $2.1 million was paid for additional ounces of proven and probable silver reserves under the terms of the contract. This amount was capitalized as a cost of the mineral interests acquired and is being amortized using the units of production method. The Company is not required to contribute to ongoing capital costs at the mine.

On March 28, 2006, CDE Australia reached an agreement with CBH to modify the terms of the original silver purchase agreement. Under the modified terms, CDE Australia owns all silver production and reserves up to a total of 20.0 million payable ounces, up from 17.7 million payable ounces in the original agreement. The silver price-sharing provision was deferred until such time as CDE Australia had received approximately two million cumulative ounces of silver from the mine or June 2007, whichever was later. In addition, the silver price-sharing threshold increased to $7.00 per ounce, from the previous level of $5.23 per ounce. The conditions relating to the second payment were also modified and tied to certain paste fill plant performance criteria and mill throughput tests. In January 2008, the mine met the criteria for payment of the additional $26.2 million. This amount was paid on April 1, 2008, plus accrued interest at the rate of 7.5% per annum from January 24, 2008. Expansion of the ore reserve will be required to achieve the maximum payable ounces of silver production as set forth in the modified contract. It is expected that future expansion to the ore reserve will occur as a result of the conversion of portions of the property’s existing inventory of mineralized material and future exploration discoveries near the mine.

The mine employs bulk mining methods and utilizes a conventional flotation mill to produce a concentrate that is sold to a third-party smelter. Silver recovery averaged approximately 45.0% in 2011 and 44.3% in 2010. Power to the mine and processing facilities is provided by the grid servicing the local communities. The property and equipment are maintained in good working condition by CBH through a regular preventive maintenance program with periodic improvements as required.

At Endeavor, silver, lead, zinc and lesser amounts of copper mineralization are contained within sulfide lenses hosted in fine-grained sedimentary rocks of the Paleozoic-aged Amphitheatre Group. Sulfide lenses are elliptically-shaped, steeply-dipping to the southwest and strike to the northwest. Principal ore minerals are galena, sphalerite and chalcopyrite. Silver occurs with both lead- and zinc-rich sulfide zones.

CBH conducts exploration to define new reserves at the mine from both underground and surface core drilling platforms. For fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, which is the fiscal year used by the operator (CBH), the exploration expenditure at the mine was $0.5 million (0.5 AUD). Budgeted exploration for 2012 is approximately $3.4 million (3.2 AUD).

Year-end Proven and Probable Ore Reserves — Endeavor Mine

 

     2011      2010      2009  
     (1, 2, 3, 4)                

Proven

        

Short tons (000’s)

     2,635         3,472         1,984   

Ounces of silver per ton

     1.39         1.87         1.93   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     3,674         6,482         3,820   

Probable

        

Short tons (000’s)

     2,998         3,605         6,393   

Ounces of silver per ton

     2.50         3.73         3.15   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     7,501         13,457         20,139   

Proven and Probable

        

Short tons (000’s)

     5,633         7,077         8,377   

Ounces of silver per ton

     1.98         2.82         2.86   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     11,175         19,939         23,959   

 

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Year-end Mineralized Material — Endeavor Mine

 

     2011      2010      2009  

Short tons (000’s)

     11,047         16,535         20,205   

Ounces of silver per ton

     2.64         1.82         1.77   

Operating Data (Coeur’s Share)

 

      2011      2010      2009  

Production

        

Tons ore milled

     743,936         653,550         552,799   

Ore grade silver (oz./ton)

     1.83         1.96         1.67   

Recovery silver(%)

     45.0         44.3         49.9   

Silver produced (oz.)

     613,361         566,134         461,800   

Cost per Ounce of Silver

        

Operating cash costs

   $ 18.87       $ 10.15       $ 6.80   

Other cash costs(5)

                       
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Cash costs(6)

     18.87         10.15         6.80   

Non-cash costs

     5.13         3.51         2.75   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total production costs

   $ 24.00       $ 13.66       $ 9.55   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1)

Ore reserves are effective as of June 30, 2011, which is the end of the most recent fiscal year of the operator, CBH Resources Ltd. These totals do not include additions or depletions through December 31, 2011. Ore reserves were estimated with a cutoff grade of 7.0% combined lead and zinc. Metal prices used were $2,200 per metric ton of zinc, $2,200 per metric ton of lead, and $25.00 per ounce of silver.

 

(2)

The ore reserves are underground and open pit minable. Dilution factors, ranging from 5% to 25%, and mining recovery factors, ranging from 40% to 95%, were applied to in-situ reserves depending on the type of planned mining extraction.

 

(3)

Metallurgical recovery factor of 45% should be applied to the silver reserve ounces.

 

(4)

The ore reserves were prepared by the staff of the mine operator and reviewed by the staff of the Company’s Technical Services Department. Classification of reserves is based on spacing from drill hole composites to reserve block centers. For proven reserves the maximum distance is 25 meters and for probable reserves it is 40 meters. A minimum of 5 drill hole samples from at least 2 drill holes are used in estimation of ore reserve grades. Mineralized material is similarly classified.

 

(5)

Includes production taxes and royalties, if applicable.

 

(6)

Cash costs per ounce of silver represent a non U.S. GAAP measurement that management uses to monitor and evaluate the performance of its mining operations. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations; Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Costs to GAAP Production Costs.”

Discontinued Operations

Australia — New South Wales — Broken Hill Mine

Effective July 1, 2009, the Company sold to Perilya Broken Hill Ltd. its 100% interest in silver contained at the Broken Hill mine for $55.0 million in cash. As a result of this transaction, the Company realized a gain on the sale in the third quarter of 2009 of approximately $25.5 million, net of income taxes. Coeur originally purchased this interest from Perilya Broken Hill Ltd. in September 2005 for $36.9 million. This transaction closed on July 30, 2009. Results for the Broken Hill mine are included in Note 6 — Discontinued Operations.

 

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Table of Contents

Operating Data (Coeur’s share)

 

     2009(3)  

Production

  

Tons ore milled

     827,766   

Ore grade silver (oz./ton)

     1.44   

Recovery(%)

     70.6   

Silver produced (oz.)

     842,751   

Cost per Ounce of Silver

  

Operating cash costs

   $ 3.40   

Other cash costs(1)

       
  

 

 

 

Cash costs(2)

     3.40   

Non-cash costs

     1.86   
  

 

 

 

Total production costs

   $ 5.26   
  

 

 

 

 

(1)

Includes production taxes.

 

(2)

Cash costs per ounce of silver represent a non-U.S. GAAP measurement that management uses to monitor and evaluate the performance of its mining operations. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations; Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Costs to GAAP Production Costs.”

 

(3)

Broken Hill was sold in July 2009 therefore production totals represent a partial year.

Chile — Cerro Bayo Mine

In August 2010, the Company sold its subsidiary Compañía Minera Cerro Bayo Ltda. (“Minera Cerro Bayo”), which controlled the Cerro Bayo mine in southern Chile, to Mandalay Resources Corporation (“Mandalay”). Under the terms of the agreement, the Company received the following from Mandalay in exchange for all of the outstanding shares of Minera Cerro Bayo: (i) $6.0 million in cash; (ii) 17,857,143 common shares of Mandalay; (iii) 125,000 ounces of silver to be delivered in six equal quarterly installments commencing in the third quarter of 2011, which had an estimated fair value of $2.3 million; (iv) a 2.0% Net Smelter Royalty (NSR) on production from Minera Cerro Bayo in excess of a cumulative 50,000 ounces of gold and 5,000,000 ounces of silver, which had an estimated fair value of $5.4 million; and (v) existing value-added taxes collected from the Chilean government in excess of $3.5 million. As part of the transaction, Mandalay agreed to pay the next $6.0 million of reclamation costs associated with Minera Cerro Bayo’s nearby Furioso property. Any reclamation costs above that amount will be shared equally by Mandalay and the Company. The Company realized a loss on the sale of approximately $2.1 million, net of income taxes. Results for the Cerro Bayo mine are included in Note 6 — Discontinued Operations.

 

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Table of Contents

Year-end Proven and Probable Ore Reserves — Cerro Bayo Mine

 

     2009  
     (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)  

Proven

  

Short tons (000’s)

     41   

Ounces of silver per ton

     8.32   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     345   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.05   

Contained ounces of gold

     2,000   

Probable

  

Short tons (000’s)

     734   

Ounces of silver per ton

     9.86   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     7,242   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.08   

Contained ounces of gold

     55,000   

Proven and Probable

  

Short tons (000’s)

     775   

Ounces of silver per ton

     9.78   

Contained ounces of silver (000’s)

     7,587   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.07   

Contained ounces of gold

     57,000   

Year-end Mineralized Material — Cerro Bayo Mine

 

     2009  

Short tons (000’s)

     769   

Ounces of silver per ton

     10.36   

Ounces of gold per ton

     0.15   

 

(1)

Ore reserves are effective as of December 31, 2009. Metal prices used to calculate proven and probable reserves were $14.50 per ounce of silver and $850 per ounce of gold.

 

(2)

Ore reserves are minable reserves within underground mine designs and include factors for mining dilution and recovery. Veins are diluted to a minimum mining width of 2.4 meters at zero grade. Mining recovery is 90%.

 

(3)

Metallurgical recoveries of 93.4% and 90.5% should be applied to the contained silver and gold ounces, respectively.

 

(4)

Ore reserve estimates were prepared by J. Sims (Geologist), and D. Duffy (Mining Engineer) of the Company’s technical staff.

 

(5)

Proven and probable reserves are defined by geostatistical methods within manual boundaries based on grade thickness contouring. For proven reserves: An area demonstrating grade continuity defined by two or more bounding horizontal levels of drill holes or channel samples spaced vertically no more than about 12.5 meters containing horizontally spaced samples less than 5 meters apart — the key feature being confirmation on two levels. For probable reserves: An area demonstrating grade continuity with channel sample or drill hole spacing less than about 35 meters. Mineralized material is similarly classified.

 

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Table of Contents

Condition of Physical Assets and Insurance

The Company business is capital intensive, requiring ongoing capital investment for the replacement, modernization, or expansion of equipment and facilities. For more information, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” below.

The Company maintains insurance policies against property loss and business interruption and insures against risks that are typical in the operation of its business, in amounts the Company believes to be reasonable . Such insurance, however, contains exclusions and limitations on coverage, particularly with respect to environmental liability and political risk. There can be no assurance that claims would be paid under such insurance policies in connection with connection with a particular event. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors.”

NON PRODUCING AND DEVELOPMENT PROPERTIES

Joaquin Project — Argentina: The Joaquin silver and gold development project is located in the Santa Cruz province of southern Argentina approximately 43 miles (70kms) north of the Company’s Martha mine. The property is accessed by all weather dirt roads, leading north-northeast from the town of Gobernador Gregores.

The Joaquin property encompasses over 70,819 acres (28,459 hectares) of exploration concessions. 46,114 acres (18,460 hectares) are held by Mirasol Resources Ltd., the Company’s joint venture partner, and 24,705 acres (9,999 hectares) are held by Coeur Argentina.

In November 2006, the Company entered into an exploration and joint venture agreement with Mirasol Resources Ltd., for two properties termed Joaquin and Sascha (under terms of the agreement, the Company terminated its option interest in Sascha). In November 2007, the Company commenced exploration on the Joaquin property. Since that time the Company has defined silver and gold mineralization in two deposits at Joaquin — La Negra and La Morocha — and has recently commenced work on detailed drilling and other technical, economic and environmental programs which it expects will lead to completion of a feasibility study. The Company currently has a 51% participating and managing equity interest in the Joaquin property based on the agreement. Upon completion of a feasibility study, the Company will have earned an additional 10% participating and management interest in the property, bringing its total to 61%. The Company has further rights to increase its participating interest in the property to 71% subject to other conditions in the agreement.

The geology of the Joaquin property consists dominantly of various volcanic rocks of the Jurassic-aged Chon Aike Formation, the host to most of the precious metal deposits discovered to-date in the Santa Cruz province, with lesser amounts of intrusive rocks associated with the Chon Aike Formation. Collectively, the volcanic and intrusive rock units form a prominent geologic domain in the province termed the Deseado Massif. Silver and Gold mineralization at Joaquin occurs in epithermal veins, breccia, stockwork veinlets and mantos within the favorable units of the Chon Aike Formation. Occurrences of lead and zinc mineralization have also been discovered. Locally, the rocks of the Deseado Massif are covered by Tertiary-aged basalt and younger unconsolidated sediments, that post-date silver and gold mineralization.

 

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Table of Contents

Year-end Mineralized Material — Joaquin Development Property

 

     2011      2010      2009  
     (1,2,3,4)                

Short tons (000’s)

     4,050                   

Ounces of silver per ton

     2.48                   

 

(1)

Mineralized material is effective as of May 2011. Metal prices used to calculate mineralized material were $1,300 per ounce of gold and $20.00 per ounce of silver. Tons are shown reflecting the Company’s current 51% managing equity interest in the Joaquin property.

 

(2)

Mineralized material was estimated with surface mine parameters and initial metallurgical test results.

 

(3)

Mineralized material estimates were prepared by a consulting engineering group from Santiago, Chile and supervised by A. Cruzat and C. Romo of the Company’s exploration staff.

 

(4)

Mineralized material was estimated using 3-dimensional geologic modeling and geostatistical evaluation of the exploration drill data. Blocks must be influenced by at least two different drill holes within a distance corresponding to 100% of the variogram range of each deposit.

EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY

Exploration and reserve development expenditures of $26.3 million, $18.0 million and $15.8 million were incurred by the Company in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

The main components of the 2011 program included:

 

   

Surface drilling to extend the strike length, and define the Guadalupe and La Patria deposits in the Palmarejo district and initial testing of several new targets in the district.

 

   

Drilling to define and expand known mineralized zones in and around the current Palmarejo surface and underground mine. The program was focused on the Tucson-Chapotillo zones with surface drilling and on the Rosario and 76 zones with underground drilling.

 

   

Surface drilling to expand the La Negra and La Morocha deposits in the Santa Cruz province of southern Argentina and exploration on the Joaquin property. Exploration drilling at the Martha mine and on the Satélite and Tornado in Argentina was also conducted.

 

   

Underground drilling to expand and define mineralization in the Raven Vein at Kensington.

 

   

Surface drilling to test extensions of the main north-northeast mineralized trends from Nevada Packard and Packard deposits within the greater Rochester property.

 

   

New surface trenching and sampling at San Bartolomé in Bolivia designed to expand and increase the confidence in ore reserves and mineralized material; the first systematic new sampling to be conducted since 2004.

Coeur plans to spend $39.9 million in exploration during 2012 with approximately 84% of the budget earmarked for expansion of ore reserves and mineralized material at or near its existing operations at San Bartolomé (Bolivia), Martha (Argentina), Palmarejo (Mexico), Kensington (Alaska), Rochester (Nevada), and on its large exploration land holdings in Santa Cruz, Argentina, which include the Joaquin property.

Mexico

Exploration in Mexico was focused primarily in the Palmarejo district in the state of Chihuahua. A total of $13.2 million was spent in 2011 on mapping, sampling, drill target generation and drilling to find and define new silver and gold mineralization. A total of 263,189 feet (80,220 meters) was completed in the large Palmarejo district, the majority of which consisted of 141,598 feet (43,159 meters) of surface and underground drilling completed around the current Palmarejo surface and underground mine. The remainder was devoted to the Guadalupe and La Patria deposit areas and other new targets in the Palmarejo district. The budget for 2012 for exploration in Mexico is similar to 2011 at $16.6 million of which over 95% is to be allocated to the Palmarejo

 

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Table of Contents

district. A new program of exploration is planned to identify and acquire prospective new properties in other parts of Mexico.

In 2010 the company agreed to sell its interest in 8 mining concessions at the El Realito property, which is located about 30 kilometers south of the Palmarejo mill facilities, for a total of $0.5 million and a graduated net smelter return royalty. Periodic payments totaling $0.2 million, have been made through December 31, 2011. In 2011, the Company acquired from Azteca Gold Corporation the Guerra al Tirano concessions, located in the south-southeast portion of the Palmarejo District, for a total cash cost of $1.2 million. The seller retains a 2% net smelter return royalty of which 1.5% (75%) can be purchased by the Company. Guerra al Tirano occurs on one of the many regional-scale northwest-trending mineralized structures that transect the Palmarejo district.

USA — Kensington

Exploration in 2011 consisted of drilling 20,127 feet (6,135 meters), at Kensington. The majority of this work was devoted to the Raven vein, with other drilling conducted on the Kimberly, Comet, and Kensington South targets. Raven is a shear-hosted , gold -in-quartz vein zone, which is parallel to and approximately 2,000 feet (600 meters) west of the main Kensington mine area. The Company plans for an additional drilling program in 2012 on Raven and other targets with a budget of $4.3 million.

USA — Rochester

The Company conducted a drilling program at the Nevada Packard and Rochester areas in 2011. This program, amounting to 74,215 feet (22,621 meters) of angled, reverse circulation and core drill holes, was focused on testing northern extensions of the main mineralized trends in the Nevada Packard and Rochester deposits. The Company has allocated $4.4 million for exploration in 2012 at the greater Rochester property.

Chile — Other Properties

The 2012 exploration budget for Chile is expected to be $1.1 million, consisting of identification and evaluation of potential new mining properties, supervision of exploration within Argentina and Chile, and the first phase of exploration on the Company’s various exploration-stage properties in Chile.

In 2010 the Company agreed to sell its wholly-owned Puchuldiza gold property in northern Chile for a total of $1.5 million cash, 500,000 shares of Southern Legacy Inc., and a 1.5% net smelter return royalty on future mineral production with a cap of $5.0 million. As of December 31, 2011, all cash payments had been made to the Company.

Argentina — Martha Mine

In 2011, the Company’s exploration efforts at the Martha Mine consisted of 17,598 feet (5,364 meters) of core drilling in several locations around the mine and at the Company’s Wendy target east-south of the mine.

Argentina — Other Properties

The Company also continued exploration in other parts of the Santa Cruz Province. Activities focused on the Joaquin, Tornado and Satélite properties. A total of 37,237 feet of drilling (11,350 meters) was completed on these three areas.

Drilling at Joaquin during 2011 continued to return encouraging results on two targets: La Negra and La Morocha. Joaquin is located about 43 miles (70 kilometers) north of the Martha mine. Additional exploratory and definition drilling will continue in 2012 on this property. In 2010, the Company met its obligations, under its agreement with Mirasol Resources Ltd., to earn an initial 51% participating and managing equity interest in the 70,323 acre (109 square miles or 28,459 hectare) property. In 2011, the Company elected to proceed to increase its participating and managing equity interest to 61% by completing, at its sole cost, a feasibility study and the Company has a further option to increase its participating and managing equity interest to 71% subject to certain terms in its joint venture agreement with Mirasol.

The Company has budgeted $9.6 million for exploration during 2012 in Argentina, $5.8 million is devoted to Joaquin.

 

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Table of Contents

Bolivia — San Bartolomé

The Company has budgeted $0.4 million for follow-up trenching and sampling around San Bartolomé and for land holding costs. Samples from the planned program will be analyzed for both silver and tin.

Africa, Tanzania

During 2011 the company continued to wind-down its activities in Tanzania.

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

For a discussion of legal proceedings, see Note 21 — Litigation and Other Events to our financial statements included herein.

PART II

 

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosure

Information pertaining to mine safety matters is reported in accordance with Section 1503(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in Exhibit 95.1 attached to this Form 10-K.

 

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

Period

   Total Number of
Shares  (or Units)
Sold
     Average Price
Received  per Share
(or Unit)
     Total Number
Shares (or
Sold as
Part of Publicly
Announced
or Programs
     Maximum Number
(or Approximate
Dollar Value) of
Shares (or Units)
That May Yet be
Sold Under the
Plans or Programs
 

1/1/2011 - 1/31/11 (1)

     3,830         10.00                   

2/1/2011 - 2/28/11 (1)

     2,389         14.80                   

3/1/2011 - 3/31/11 (1)

     9,864         10.00                   

4/1/2011 - 4/30/11 (1)

                               

5/1/2011 - 5/31/11 (1)

     5,814         8.00                   

6/1/2011 - 6/30/11 (1)

                               

7/1/2011 - 7/31/11 (1)

     107,425         11.67                   

8/1/2011 - 8/31/11 (1)

                               

9/1/2011 - 9/31/11 (1)

                               

10/1/2011 - 10/31/11 (1)

     463         20.80                   

11/1/2011 - 11/30/11

                               

12/1/2011 - 12/31/11

                               

Total

     129,785         11.42                   

 

 

(1)

Exercise of Employee Options.

 

 

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Table of Contents

The Company’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”). The Company voluntarily ceased to list its common stock on the Australian Stock Exchange (“ASX”) effective December 14, 2010. The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the high and low closing sales prices of the common stock as reported by the NYSE:

 

     2011      2010  
     High      Low      High      Low  

First Quarter

   $ 36.07       $ 22.10       $ 20.39       $ 13.41   

Second Quarter

   $ 37.59       $ 22.41       $ 19.14       $ 13.96   

Third Quarter

   $ 30.99       $ 21.35       $ 20.17       $ 14.02   

Fourth Quarter

   $ 29.85       $ 19.30       $ 28.20       $ 19.11   

2011

           

First Quarter through February 22, 2012

   $ 29.49       $ 24.80         

The Company has not paid per share cash distributions or dividends on its common stock since 1996. Future distributions or dividends on the common stock, if any, will be determined by the Company’s Board of Directors and will depend upon the Company’s results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements and other factors.

On February 22, 2011, there were outstanding 89,896,158 shares of the Company’s common stock which were held by approximately 2,797 stockholders of record.

 

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Table of Contents

STOCK PERFORMANCE CHART

COMPARISON OF 5 YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN*

AMONG COEUR D’ALENE MINES CORPORATION,

S&P 500 INDEX AND PEER GROUP INDEX

The following performance graph compares the performance of the Company’s common stock during the period beginning December 31, 2006 and ending December 31, 2011 to the S&P 500 and a Peer Group Index consisting of the following companies: Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited, Goldcorp, Hecla Mining Company, IAMGold Corporation, Kinross Gold Corporation, Northgate Minerals Corporation, Pan American Silver Corporation, Centerra Gold Inc., and Stillwater Mining Company for the same period. The graph assumes a $100 investment in the Company’s common stock and in each of the indexes at the beginning of the period, and a reinvestment of dividends paid on such investments throughout the period.

 

LOGO

 

     

Dec.

2006

    

Dec.

2007

    

Dec.

2008

    

Dec.

2009

    

Dec.

2010

    

Dec.

2011

 

Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation

     100         99.78         17.78         36.49         55.19         48.75   

S&P 500 Index

     100         105.5         66.45         84.03         96.68         98.72   

Peer Group Only

     100         120.99         103.31         129.53         157.73         124.15   

This stock performance information is “furnished” and shall not be deemed to be “soliciting material” or subject to Rule 14A, shall not be deemed “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act or otherwise subject to the liabilities of that section, and shall not be deemed incorporated by reference in any filing under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Exchange Act, whether made before or after the date of this report and irrespective of any general incorporation by reference language in any such filing, except to the extent that it specifically incorporates the information by reference.

 

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Table of Contents
Item 6. Selected Financial Data

The following table summarizes certain selected consolidated financial data with respect to the Company and should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto appearing elsewhere in this report.

 

Income Statement Data:

  2011     2010     2009     2008     2007  

Sales of metal

  $ 1,021,200      $ 515,457      $ 300,361      $ 129,285      $ 146,923   

Production costs applicable to sales

    (419,956     (257,636     (191,311     (78,652     (78,139

Depreciation and depletion

    (224,500     (141,619     (81,376     (16,499     (11,669
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross profit

    376,744        116,202        27,674        34,134        57,115   

Costs and expenses

         

Administrative and general

    31,379        24,176        22,070        25,825        22,822   

Exploration

    19,128        14,249        13,056        17,838        9,034   

Pre-development, care, maintenance and other

    19,441        2,877        1,468        17,074        939   

Litigation settlement

                                507   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total costs and expenses

    69,948        41,302        36,594        60,737        33,302   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Operating income (loss)

    306,796        74,900        (8,920     (26,603     23,813   

Other income (expense)

         

Gains (loss) on debt extinguishments

    (5,526     (20,300     31,528                 

Fair value adjustments, net

    (52,050     (117,094     (82,227     1,756          

Interest and other income

    (6,610     771        1,648        4,023        16,605   

Interest expense, net of capitalized interest

    (34,774     (30,942     (18,102     (4,726     (342
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total other income (expense)

    (98,960     (167,565     (67,153     1,053        16,263   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes

    207,836        (92,665     (76,073     (25,550     40,076   

Income tax benefit (provision)

    (114,337     9,481        33,071        17,387        (8,988
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations

    93,499        (83,184     (43,002     (8,163     31,088   

Income (loss) from discontinued operations

           (6,029     (9,601     7,536        12,803   

Gain (loss) on sale of net assets of discontinued operation

           (2,095     25,537                 
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income (loss)

  $ 93,499      $ (91,308   $ (27,066   $ (627   $ 43,891   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Other comprehensive income (loss)

    (4,975     (5            (634     86   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)

  $ 88,524      $ (91,313   $ (27,066   $ (1,261   $ 43,977   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Basic and Diluted Income (Loss) Per Share

         

Basic income (loss) per share:

         

Income (loss) from continuing operations

  $ 1.05      $ (0.95   $ (0.60   $ (0.15   $ 1.09   

Income (loss) from discontinued operations

           (0.10     0.22        0.14        0.44   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income (loss)

  $ 1.05      $ (1.05   $ (0.38   $ (0.01   $ 1.53   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Diluted income (loss) per share:

         

Income (loss) from continuing operations(3),(4)

  $ 1.04      $ (0.95   $ (0.60   $ (0.15   $ 1.00   

Income (loss) from discontinued operations(3),(4)

           (0.10     0.22        0.14        0.41   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income (loss)

  $ 1.04      $ (1.05   $ (0.38   $ (0.01   $ 1.41   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Weighted average number of shares of common stock(1)

         

Basic

    89,383        87,185        71,565        55,073        28,597   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Diluted

    89,725        87,185        71,565        55,073        31,052   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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Balance Sheet Data:(2)

   2011      2010      2009      2008      2007  

Total assets

   $ 3,264,441       $ 3,157,527       $ 3,054,035       $ 2,928,121       $ 2,651,694   

Working capital

   $ 212,861       $ (4,506    $ (2,572    $ (8,533    $ 152,390   

Long-term liabilities

   $ 875,638       $ 846,043       $ 867,381       $ 981,225       $ 812,650   

Shareholders’ equity

   $ 2,136,721       $ 2,040,767       $ 1,998,046       $ 1,785,912       $ 1,727,367   

 

(1)

In May 2009, Coeur’s Board of Directors authorized a 1-for-10 reverse stock split which became effective on May 26, 2009. Consequently, previously reported amounts for weighted average number of shares of common stock have been adjusted to reflect the 1-for-10 reverse stock split.

 

(2)

On December 21, 2007, the Company completed its acquisition of all the shares of Bolnisi Gold NL and Palmarejo Silver and Gold Corporation in exchange for a total of approximately 272 million shares of Coeur common stock and a total cash payment of approximately $1.1 million. The value of the total consideration paid amounted to $1.1 billion and the total liabilities assumed were $0.7 billion.

 

(3)

Effective July 1, 2009, the Company sold to Perilya Broken Hill Ltd. its 100% interest in the silver contained at the Broken Hill mine for $55.0 million in cash. Coeur originally purchased this interest from Perilya Broken Hill, Ltd. in September 2005 for $36.9 million. As a result of this transaction, the Company realized a gain on the sale of approximately $25.5 million, net of income taxes, in 2009.

 

(4)

In August 2010, the Company sold its 100% interest in subsidiary Compañía Minera Cerro Bayo (“Minera Cerro Bayo”) to Mandalay Resources Corporation (“Mandalay”). Under the terms of the agree: (i) $6.0 million in cash; (ii) 17,857,143 common shares of Mandalay; (iii) 125,000 ounces of silver to be delivered in six equal quarterly installments commencing in the third quarter of 2011, which had an estimated fair value of $2.3 million; (iv) a 2.0% Net Smelter Royalty (NSR) on production from Minera Cerro Bayo in excess of a cumulative 50,000 ounces of gold and 5,000,000 ounces of silver, which had an estimated fair value of $5.4 million; and (v) existing value added taxes collected from the Chilean government in excess of $3.5 million. As part of the transaction, Mandalay agreed to pay the next $6.0 million of reclamation costs associated with Minera Cerro Bayo’s nearby Furioso property. Any reclamation costs above that amount will be shared equally by Mandalay and Coeur. The Company realized a loss on the sale of approximately $2.1 million, net of income taxes.

 

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion provides information that management believes is relevant to an assessment and understanding of the consolidated financial condition and results of operations of Coeur and its subsidiaries for the three years ended December 31, 2011. It consists of the following subsections:

 

   

“Overview” which provides a brief summary of the Company’s financial position and the primary factors affecting those results.

 

   

“Critical Accounting Policies” which provides a discussion of the accounting policies Coeur considers critical because of their effect on the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, income and/or expenses in the Company’s consolidated financial statements and/or because they require different objectives or complex judgments by management.

 

   

“Operating statistics and ore reserve estimates” which provides a summary of the consolidated production results for the three years ended December 31, 2011 and discussion of Coeur’s reported ore reserves.

 

   

“Results of operations” which sets forth an analysis of the operating results for the last three years.

 

   

“Liquidity and capital resources” which contains a discussion of the Company’s cash flows and liquidity, investing activities and financing activities, contractual obligations and environmental compliance expenditures.

 

   

“Recently issued accounting pronouncements,” which summarizes recently published authoritative accounting guidance, how it might apply to Coeur, and how it might affect the Company’s future results.

 

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Overview

The Company is a large primary silver producer with growing gold production and has assets located in the United States, Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina and Australia. The Palmarejo mine, San Bartolomé mine, Kensington mine, Rochester mine, and Martha mine, each of which is operated by the Company, and the Endeavor mine, which is operated by a non-affiliated party, constituted the Company’s principal sources of mining revenues during 2011. Coeur is an Idaho corporation incorporated in 1928.

The Company’s business strategy is to discover, acquire, develop and operate low-cost silver and gold operations that will produce long-term cash flow, provide opportunities for growth through continued exploration, and generate superior and sustainable returns for shareholders. The Company’s management focuses on maximizing cash flow from its existing operations, the main elements of which are silver and gold prices, cash costs of production and capital expenditures. The Company also focuses on reducing its non-operating costs in order to maximize cashflow.

The results of the Company’s operations are significantly affected by fluctuation in prices of silver and gold, which may fluctuate widely and are affected by numerous factors beyond its control, including interest rates, expectations regarding inflation, currency values, governmental decisions regarding the disposal of precious metals stockpiles, global and regional political and economic conditions and other factors. In addition, The Company faces challenges including raising capital, increasing production and managing social, political and environmental issues. Operating costs at the Company’s mines are subject to variation due to a number of factors such as changing commodity prices, ore grades, metallurgy, revisions to mine plans and changes in accounting principles. At foreign locations, operating costs are also influenced by currency fluctuations that may affect its U.S. dollar costs.

Highlights during 2011:

 

   

Silver and gold prices averaged $35.34 per ounce and $1,572 per ounce in 2011, respectively. Silver reached a high of $48.55 per ounce on April 29, 2011 and a low of $26.77 per ounce on January 25, 2011. Gold reached a high of $1,895 per ounce on September 6, 2011 and a low of $1,319 per ounce on January 28, 2011.

 

   

The Company produced a total of 19.1 million ounces of silver during 2011, which was a 14% increase from 2010. The Company produced 220,382 ounces of gold during 2011, which was a 40% increase over 2010.

 

   

The Company experienced a 98% increase in metal sales to $1,021.2 million.

 

   

Net cash provided by operating activities in 2011 was $416.2 million, compared to $165.6 million in 2010.

 

   

The Company spent $120.0 million in capital expenditures, which represents a 23% decrease from 2010.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

The information provided in this Form 10-K is based on the Company’s consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The preparation of these statements requires that the Company make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of its financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. The Company bases these estimates on historical experience and on assumptions that it considers reasonable under the circumstances; however, reported results could differ from those based on the current estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

Management considers the policies discussed below to be most critical in understanding the judgments that are involved in preparing the Company’s consolidated financial statements and the uncertainties that could affect its results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows. The effects and associated risks of these policies on its business operations are discussed throughout this discussion and analysis. The areas requiring the use of management’s estimates and assumptions relate to recoverable ounces from proven and probable reserves that are the basis of future cash flow estimates and units-of-production depreciation and amortization

 

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calculations; useful lives utilized for depreciation, depletion, and long lived assets; estimates of recoverable gold and silver ounces in ore on leach pad; reclamation and remediation costs; valuation allowance for deferred tax assets; and post-employment and other employee benefit liabilities. For a detailed discussion on the application of these and other accounting policies, see Note 3 — Summary of Significant Accounting Policies to our financial statements included herein.

Revenue Recognition.    Revenue includes sales value received for the Company’s principal product, silver, and associated by-product revenues from the sale of by-product metals by our silver producing properties, consisting primarily of gold. Revenue is recognized when title to silver and gold passes to the buyer and when collectability is reasonably assured. Title passes to the buyer based on terms of the sales contract. Product pricing is determined at the point revenue is recognized by reference to active and freely traded commodity markets, for example, the London Bullion Market for both gold and silver, in an identical form to the product sold.

Under the Company’s concentrate sales contracts with third-party smelters, final gold and silver prices are set on a specified future quotational period, typically one to three months, after the shipment date based on market metal prices. Revenues are recorded under these contracts at the time title passes to the buyer based on the forward price for the expected settlement period. The contracts, in general, provide for provisional payment based upon provisional assays and quoted metal prices. Final settlement is based on the average applicable price for the specified future quotational period and generally occurs from three to six months after shipment. Final sales are settled using smelter weights and settlement assays (average of assays exchanged and/or umpire assay results) and are priced as specified in the smelter contract. The Company’s provisionally priced sales contain an embedded derivative that is required to be separated from the host contract for accounting purposes. The host contract is the receivable from the sale of concentrates at the forward price at the time of sale. The embedded derivative does not qualify for hedge accounting. The embedded derivative is recorded as a derivative asset in prepaid expenses and other assets or as a derivative liability in accrued liabilities and other on the balance sheet and is adjusted to fair value through revenue each period until the date of final gold and silver settlement. The form of the material being sold, after deduction for smelting and refining, is in an identical form to that sold on the London Bullion Market. The form of the product is metal in flotation concentrate, which is the final process for which the Company is responsible.

The effects of forward sales contracts are reflected in revenue at the date the related precious metals are delivered. Third-party smelting and refining costs are recorded as a reduction of revenue.

At December 31, 2011, the Company had outstanding provisionally priced sales of $22.5 million consisting of 0.2 million ounces of silver and 9,701 ounces of gold, which had a fair value of approximately $21.7 million including the embedded derivative. For each one cent per ounce change in realized silver price, revenue would vary (plus or minus) approximately $2,000 and for each one dollar per ounce change in realized gold price, revenue would vary (plus or minus) approximately $9,700. At December 31, 2010, the Company had outstanding provisionally priced sales of $35.7 million consisting of 0.6 million ounces of silver and 12,758 ounces of gold, which had a fair value of approximately $37.4 million including the embedded derivative. For each one cent per ounce change in realized silver price, revenue would vary (plus or minus) approximately $6,000 and for each one dollar per ounce change in realized gold price, revenue would vary (plus or minus) approximately $12,800.

Reserve Estimates.    The preparation of the Company’s consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amount of assets and liabilities, disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of its financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. There can be no assurance that actual results will not differ from those estimates. The most critical accounting principles upon which the Company’s financial status depends are those requiring estimates of recoverable ounces from proven and probable reserves and/or assumptions of future commodity prices. There are a number of uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities of reserves, including many factors beyond the Company’s control. Ore reserve estimates are based upon engineering evaluations of samplings of drill holes and other openings. These estimates involve assumptions regarding future silver and gold prices, the geology of its mines, the mining methods it uses and the related costs it incurs to develop and mine its reserves. Changes in these assumptions could result in material adjustments to the Company’s reserve estimates. The Company uses reserve estimates in determining the units-of-production depreciation and amortization expense, as well as in evaluating mine asset impairments.

 

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Impairments.    The Company reviews and evaluates its long-lived assets for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the related carrying amounts may not be recoverable. An impairment is considered to exist if total estimated future cash flows or probability-weighted cash flows on an undiscounted basis are less than the carrying amount of the assets, including property, plant and equipment, mineral property, development property, and any deferred costs. The accounting estimates related to impairment are critical accounting estimates because the future cash flows used to determine whether an impairment exists is dependent on reserve estimates and other assumptions, including silver and gold prices, production levels, and capital and reclamation costs, all of which are based on detailed engineering life-of-mine plans.

Depreciation and Amortization.    The Company depreciates its property, plant and equipment, mining properties and mine development using the units-of-production method over the estimated life of the ore body based on its proven and probable recoverable reserves or on a straight-line basis over the useful life, whichever is shorter. The accounting estimates related to depreciation and amortization are critical accounting estimates because 1) the determination of reserves involves uncertainties with respect to the ultimate geology of its reserves and the assumptions used in determining the economic feasibility of mining those reserves and 2) changes in estimated proven and probable reserves and useful asset lives can have a material impact on net income.

Ore on leach pad.    The heap leach process is a process of extracting silver and gold by placing ore on an impermeable pad and applying a diluted cyanide solution that dissolves a portion of the contained silver and gold, which are then recovered in metallurgical processes.

The Company uses several integrated steps to scientifically measure the metal content of ore placed on the leach pads. As the ore body is drilled in preparation for the blasting process, samples are taken of the drill residue which were assayed to determine estimated quantities of contained metal. The Company estimates the quantity of ore by utilizing global positioning satellite survey techniques. The Company then processes the ore through crushing facilities where the output is again weighed and sampled for assaying. A metallurgical reconciliation with the data collected from the mining operation is completed with appropriate adjustments made to previous estimates. The crushed ore is then transported to the leach pad for application of the leaching solution. As the leach solution is collected from the leach pads, it is continuously sampled for assaying. The quantity of leach solution is measured by flow meters throughout the leaching and precipitation process. After precipitation, the product is converted to doré, which is the final product produced by the mine. The inventory is stated at lower of cost or market, with cost being determined using a weighted average cost method.

The Company reported ore on leach pad of $33.9 million as of December 31, 2011. Of this amount, $27.2 million is reported as a current asset and $6.7 million is reported as a non-current asset. The distinction between current and non-current is based upon the expected length of time necessary for the leaching process to remove the metals from the broken ore. The historical cost of the metal that is expected to be extracted within twelve months is classified as current and the historical cost of metals contained within the broken ore that will be extracted beyond twelve months is classified as non-current. Inventories of ore on leach pad are valued based on actual production costs incurred to produce and place ore on the leach pad, adjusted for effects on monthly production of costs of abnormal production levels, less costs allocated to minerals recovered through the leach process. The costs consist of those production activities occurring at the mine site and include the costs, including depreciation, associated with mining, crushing and precipitation circuits. In addition, refining is provided by a third-party refiner to place the metal extracted from the leach pad in a saleable form. These additional costs are considered in the valuation of inventory.

The estimate of both the ultimate recovery expected over time and the quantity of metal that may be extracted relative to the time the leach process occurs requires the use of estimates which are inherently inaccurate since they rely upon laboratory testwork. Testwork consists of 60 day leach columns from which the Company projects metal recoveries up to five years in the future. The quantities of metal contained in the ore are estimated based upon actual weights and assay analysis. The rate at which the leach process extracts gold and silver from the crushed ore is based upon laboratory column tests and actual experience occurring over more than twenty years of leach pad operations at the Rochester mine. The assumptions used by the Company to measure metal content during each stage of the inventory conversion process includes estimated recovery rates based on laboratory testing and assaying. The Company periodically reviews its estimates compared to actual experience

 

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and revises its estimates when appropriate. The Company believes its current residual heap leach activities are expected to continue through 2014. The ultimate recovery will not be known until leaching operations cease. The Company has estimated the number of ounces that are recoverable from the stage IV leach pad at December 31, 2011. If its estimate of ultimate recovery requires adjustment, the impact upon its valuation and upon its income statement would be as follows:

 

    Positive/Negative
Change in  Recoverable
Silver Ounces
    Positive/Negative
Change in  Recoverable
Gold Ounces
 
    5%     10%     15%     5%     10%     15%  

Quantity of recoverable ounces

    69,040        138,081        207,121        236        473        709   

Positive impact on future cost of production per silver equivalent ounce for increases in recoverable metal

  $ 0.38      $ 0.72      $ 1.05      $ 0.07      $ 0.14      $ 0.22   

Negative impact on future cost of production per silver equivalent ounce for decreases in recoverable metal

  $ (0.41   $ (0.86   $ (1.35   $ (0.07   $ (0.15   $ (0.23

Reclamation and remediation costs.    The Company recognizes obligations associated with the retirement of tangible long-lived assets and the associated asset retirement costs. These legal obligations are associated with the retirement of long-lived assets that result from the acquisition, construction, development and normal use of the asset. The fair value of a liability for an asset retirement obligation will be recognized in the period in which it is incurred if a reasonable estimate of fair value can be made. The fair value of the liability is added to the carrying amount of the associated asset and this additional carrying amount is depreciated over the life of the asset. An accretion cost, representing the increase over time in the present value of the liability, is recorded each period in depreciation, depletion and amortization expense. As reclamation work is performed or liabilities are otherwise settled, the recorded amount of the liability is reduced.

Future remediation costs for inactive mines are accrued based on management’s best estimate at the end of each period of the undiscounted costs expected to be incurred at the site. Such cost estimates include, where applicable, ongoing care and maintenance and monitoring costs. Changes in estimates are reflected in earnings in the period an estimate is revised.

Derivatives accounting.    The Company recognizes all derivatives as either assets or liabilities on the balance sheet and measures those instruments at fair value. Changes in the value of derivative instruments are recorded each period in fair value adjustments, net.

Income taxes.    The Company computes income taxes using an asset and liability approach which results in the recognition of deferred tax liabilities and assets for the expected future tax consequences or benefits of temporary differences between the financial reporting bases and the tax bases of assets and liabilities, as well as operating loss and tax credit carryforwards, using enacted tax rates in effect in the years in which the differences are expected to reverse.

In assessing the realizability of deferred tax assets, management considers whether it is more likely than not that some portion or all of its deferred tax assets will not be realized. Management considers the scheduled reversal of deferred tax liabilities, projected future taxable income and tax planning strategies in making this assessment. A valuation allowance has been provided for the portion of the Company’s net deferred tax assets for which it is more likely than not that they will not be realized.

The Company and its subsidiaries are subject to U.S. federal income tax as well as income tax of multiple state and foreign jurisdictions. The Company has substantially concluded all U.S. federal income tax matters for years through 1999. Federal income tax returns for 2000 through 2010 are subject to examination. The Company’s practice is to recognize interest and/or penalties related to income tax matters in income tax expense. The Company had accrued $1.6 million in interest and penalties at December 31, 2011, related to an item under audit review in Bolivia.

 

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Operating Statistics and Ore Reserve Estimates

The Company’s total production, excluding discontinued operations in 2011 was 19.1 million ounces of silver and 220,382 ounces of gold, compared to 16.8 million ounces of silver and 157,062 ounces of gold in 2010. Total estimated proven and probable reserves at December 31, 2011 were approximately 216.3 million ounces of silver and 2.3 million ounces of gold, compared to silver and gold ore reserves at December 31, 2010 of approximately 227.1 million ounces and 2.5 million ounces, respectively.

The following table shows the estimated amounts of proven and probable ore reserves and mineralized material at the following Company locations at year-end 2011:

 

    Proven and Probable Ore Reserves     Mineralized Material  
    (000’s)
Tons
    Grade
Ag oz/t
    Grade
Au oz/t
    (000’s)
Ounces  Ag
    (000’s)
Ounces  Au
    (000’s)
Tons
    Grade
Ag oz/t
    Grade
Au oz/t
 

Palmarejo

    12,497        4.55        0.06        56,818        688        5,062        3.36        0.04   

San Bartolomé

    44,515        2.65               118,080               21,264        2.59          

Kensington

    6,006               0.22               1,340        3,039               0.19   

Rochester

    47,279        0.63        0.01        29,573        247        251,472        0.45        0.00   

Mina Martha

    53        12.79        0.01        671        1        35        12.15        0.01   

Endeavor

    5,633        1.98               11,175               11,047        2.64          

Joaquin Development Property(1)

                                       4,050        2.48        0.01   
 

 

 

       

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

     

Total

    115,983            216,317        2,276        295,969       
 

 

 

       

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

     
    Total tons
(000’s)
    Ag oz/t
(Wt.  Avg.)
    Au oz/t
(Wt.  Avg.)
                Total tons
(000’s)
    Ag oz/t
(Wt.  Avg.)
    Au oz/t
(Wt.  Avg.)
 

Summary by metal:

               

Silver

    109,977        1.97              292,930        0.76     

Gold

    65,836          0.04            263,658          0.01   

 

(1)

Tons are shown reflecting the Company’s current 51% managing equity interest in the Joaquin property.

 

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The following table presents production information by mine and consolidated sales information for the years ended December 31:

 

     2011     2010     2009  

PRIMARY SILVER OPERATIONS:

      

Palmarejo(1)

      

Tons milled

     1,723,056        1,835,408        1,065,508   

Ore grade/Ag oz

     6.87        4.6        4.31   

Ore grade/Au oz

     0.08        0.06        0.06   

Recovery/Ag oz (1)

     76.4     69.8     66.3

Recovery/Au oz (1)

     92.2     91.1     88.2

Silver production ounces(3)

     9,041,488        5,887,576        3,047,843   

Gold production ounces(3)

     125,071        102,440        54,740   

Cash operating costs/oz (4)

   $ (0.97   $ 4.10      $ 9.80   

Cash cost/oz (4)

   $ (0.97   $ 4.10      $ 9.80   

Total production cost/oz

   $ 16.80      $ 19.66      $ 26.8   

San Bartolomé

      

Tons milled

     1,567,269        1,504,779        1,518,671   

Ore grade/Ag oz

     5.38        5.03        5.49   

Recovery/Ag oz

     88.9     88.6     89.6

Silver production ounces(3)

     7,501,367        6,708,775        7,469,222   

Cash operating costs/oz (4)

   $ 9.10      $ 7.87      $ 7.80   

Cash cost/oz (4)

   $ 10.64      $ 8.67      $ 10.48   

Total production cost/oz

   $ 13.75      $ 11.72      $ 12.96   

Rochester(2)

      

Tons Mined

     2,028,889                 

Ore grade/Ag oz

     0.47                 

Ore grade/Au oz

     0.005                 

Recovery/Ag oz(2)

     165.1              

Recovery/Au oz(2)

     75.6              

Silver production ounces(3)

     1,392,433        2,023,423        2,181,788   

Gold production ounces(3)

     6,276        9,641        12,663   

Cash operating costs/oz (4)

   $ 22.97      $ 2.93      $ 1.95   

Cash cost/oz (4)

   $ 24.82      $ 3.78      $ 2.58   

Total production cost/oz

   $ 27.21      $ 4.82      $ 3.51   

Martha

      

Tons milled

     101,167        56,401        109,974   

Ore grade/Ag oz

     6.29        31.63        36.03   

Ore grade/Au oz

     0.01        0.04        0.05   

Recovery/Ag oz

     83.2     88.3     93.6

Recovery/Au oz

     74.0     84.1     87.6

Silver production ounces

     529,602        1,575,827        3,707,544   

Gold production ounces

     615        1,838        4,709   

Cash operating costs/oz(4)

   $ 32.79      $ 13.16      $ 6.19   

Cash cost/oz(4)

   $ 34.08      $ 14.14      $ 6.68   

Total production cost/oz

   $ 36.19      $ 20.02      $ 8.62   

 

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Table of Contents
     2011     2010     2009  

Endeavor

      

Tons milled

     743,936        653,550        552,799   

Ore grade/Ag oz

     1.83        1.96        1.67   

Recovery/Ag oz

     45.0     44.3     49.9

Silver production ounces

     613,361        566,134        461,800   

Cash operating costs/oz(4)

   $ 18.87      $ 10.15      $ 6.80   

Cash cost/oz(4)

   $ 18.87      $ 10.15      $ 6.80   

Total production cost/oz

   $ 24.00      $ 13.66      $ 9.55   

GOLD OPERATIONS:

      

Kensington

      

Tons milled

     415,340        174,028          

Ore grade/Au oz

     0.23        0.28          

Recovery/Au oz

     92.7     89.9    

Gold production ounces(3)

     88,420        43,143          

Cash operating costs/oz (4)

   $ 1,088.37      $ 988.63      $   

Cash cost/oz (4)

   $ 1,088.37      $ 988.63      $   

Total production cost/oz

   $ 1,493.91      $ 1,393.95      $   

CONSOLIDATED PRODUCTION TOTALS

      

Silver ounces(3)

     19,078,251        16,761,735        16,868,197   

Gold ounces(3)

     220,382        157,062        72,112   

Cash operating costs/oz(4)

   $ 6.31      $ 6.53      $ 7.03   

Cash cost per oz/silver(4)

   $ 7.09      $ 7.05      $ 8.40   

Total production cost/oz

   $ 17.14      $ 14.52      $ 13.19   

CONSOLIDATED SALES TOTALS

      

Silver ounces sold(3)

     19,057,503        17,221,335        16,310,225   

Gold ounces sold(3)

     238,551        130,142        65,607   

Realized price per silver ounce

   $ 35.15      $ 20.99      $ 14.83   

Realized price per gold ounce

   $ 1,558      $ 1,237      $ 1,003   

 

 

 

(1)

Palmarejo commenced commercial production on April 20, 2009. Mine statistics do not represent normal operating results

 

(2)

The leach cycle at Rochester requires 5 to 10 years to recover gold and silver contained in the ore. The Company estimates the metallurgical recovery to be approximately 61% for silver and 92% for gold. Current recovery may vary significantly from ultimate recovery. See Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates — Ore on Leach Pad.

 

(3)

Current production ounces and recoveries reflect final metal settlements of previously reported production ounces.

 

(4)

See “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Costs to GAAP Production Costs.”

 

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Table of Contents

Operating Statistics From Discontinued Operations

The following table presents information for Broken Hill which was discontinued July 30, 2009 and Cerro Bayo which was discontinued August 9, 2010:

 

         2011             2010             2009      

Broken Hill

      

Tons milled

                   827,766   

Ore grade/Silver oz

                   1.44   

Recovery/Silver oz

             70.6

Silver production ounces

                   842,751   

Cash operating cost/oz(1)

   $      $      $ 3.40   

Cash cost/oz(1)

   $      $      $ 3.40   

Total cost/oz

   $      $      $ 5.26   

Cerro Bayo

      

Tons milled

                     

Ore grade/Ag oz

                     

Ore grade/Au oz

                     

Recovery/Ag oz

            

Recovery/Au oz

            

Silver production ounces

                     

Gold production ounces

                     

Cash operating costs/oz(1)

   $      $      $   

Cash cost/oz(1)

   $      $      $   

Total production cost/oz

   $      $      $   

 

(1)

See “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Costs to GAAP Production Costs.”

Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Costs to GAAP Production Costs

In this Form 10-K, the Company has disclosed certain non-U.S. GAAP measures, such as “cash costs”, “cash operating costs” and related per ounce measures. These measures are used in the mining industry and by the Company’s management to measure, across periods, the net cash flow generated by mining operations. The Company cannot assure investors that other mining companies will calculate these measures in the same manner that the Company does.

Production costs is the closest comparable U.S. GAAP measure for these measures. Accordingly, we have provided in the tables below a reconciliation of cash costs and cash operating costs to production costs. The corresponding per ounce measures can be calculated by dividing cash costs or cash operating costs, as applicable, by the number of ounces of silver or gold produced at the business unit.

Cash costs reflect the direct and overhead cash costs arising from the physical activities involved in producing metal. These costs include the cost of mining, processing and other plant costs, third-party refining [and smelting costs], marketing expenses, on-site general and administrative royalties and mining production taxes, but net of by-product revenues earned from selling metals other than the primary metal produced by the business unit. Cash costs exclude certain amounts required to be included in production costs (which amounts can be substantial), including [third-party smelting costs, by-product credits, inventory adjustments and other non-cash charges].

Cash operating costs are calculated as cash costs less royalties and production taxes.

 

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Table of Contents

Reconciliation of Non-U.S. GAAP Cash Costs to U.S. GAAP Production Costs

Year Ended December 31, 2011

 

(In thousands except ounces and per ounce costs)   Palmarejo     San
Bartolomé
    Kensington     Rochester     Martha     Endeavor    

Total

 

Total Cash Operating Cost (Non-U.S. GAAP)

  $ (8,743   $ 68,277      $ 96,234      $ 31,978      $ 17,367      $ 11,573      $ 216,686   

Royalties

           11,561               2,177        685               14,423   

Production taxes

                         409                      409   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total Cash Costs (Non-U.S. GAAP)

  $ (8,743   $ 79,838      $ 96,234      $ 34,564      $ 18,052      $ 11,573      $ 231,518   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Add/Subtract:

             

Third party smelting costs

                  (11,003            (2,882     (2,872     (16,757

By-product credit

    197,342                      9,898        949               208,189   

Other adjustments

    1,441        906        19        522        559               3,447   

Change in inventory

    (3,839     (1,065     16,422        (16,727     (1,165     (67     (6,441

Depreciation, depletion and amortization

    159,231        22,408        35,839        2,807        554        3,148        (223,987
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Production costs applicable to sales, including depreciation, depletion and amortization
(U.S. GAAP)

  $ 345,432      $ 102,087      $ 137,511      $ 31,064      $ 16,067      $ 11,782      $ 643,943   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Production of silver (ounces)

    9,041,488        7,501,367               1,392,433        529,602        613,361        19,078,251   

Cash operating cost per silver ounce

  $ (0.97   $ 9.10      $      $ 22.97      $ 32.79      $ 18.87      $ 6.31   

Cash costs per silver ounce

  $ (0.97   $ 10.64      $      $ 24.82      $ 34.08      $ 18.87      $ 7.09   

Production of gold (ounces)

                  88,420                             88,420   

Cash operating cost per gold ounce

  $      $      $ 1,088.37      $      $      $      $ 1,088.37   

Cash cost per gold ounce

  $      $      $ 1,088.37      $      $      $      $ 1,088.37   

Year Ended December 31, 2010

 

(In thousands except ounces and per ounce costs)

  Palmarejo     San
Bartolomé
    Kensington     Rochester     Martha     Endeavor     Total  

Total Cash Operating Cost (Non-U.S. GAAP)

  $ 24,164      $ 52,810      $ 42,652      $ 5,932      $ 20,730      $ 5,747      $ 152,035   

Royalties

           5,384               174        1,548               7,106   

Production taxes

                         1,540                      1,540   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total Cash Costs (Non-U.S. GAAP)

  $ 24,164      $ 58,194      $ 42,652      $ 7,646      $ 22,278      $ 5,747      $ 160,681   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Add/Subtract:

             

Third party smelting costs

                  (4,599            (3,299     (1,544     (9,442

By-product credit

    126,588                      11,756        2,192               140,536   

Other adjustments

    131        806               211        1,422               2,570   

Change in inventory

    (23,224     1,022        (24,011     5,148        4,446        (90     (36,709

Depreciation, depletion and amortization

    91,457        19,650        17,487        1,890        7,848        1,989        140,321   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Production costs applicable to sales, including depreciation, depletion and amortization
(U.S. GAAP)

  $ 219,116      $ 79,672      $ 31,529      $ 26,651      $ 34,887      $ 6,102      $ 397,957   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Production of silver (ounces)

    5,887,576        6,708,775               2,023,423        1,575,827        566,134        16,761,735   

Cash operating cost per silver ounce

  $ 4.10      $ 7.87      $      $ 2.93      $ 13.16      $ 10.15      $ 6.53   

Cash costs per silver ounce

  $ 4.10      $ 8.67      $      $ 3.78      $ 14.14      $ 10.15      $ 7.05   

Production of gold (ounces)

                  43,143                             43,143   

Cash operating cost per gold ounce

  $      $      $ 988.63      $      $      $      $ 988.63   

Cash cost per gold ounce

  $      $      $ 988.63      $      $      $      $ 988.63   

 

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Table of Contents

Reconciliation of Non-U.S. GAAP Cash Costs to U.S. GAAP Production Costs

Year Ended December 31, 2009

 

(In thousands except ounces and per ounce costs)

  Palmarejo(1)     San
Bartolomé
    Kensington     Rochester     Martha     Endeavor     Total  

Total Cash Operating Cost (Non-U.S. GAAP)

  $ 29,883      $ 58,293      $      $ 4,236      $ 22,963      $ 3,142      $ 118,517   

Royalties

           19,988                      1,815               21,803   

Production taxes

                         1,401                      1,401   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total Cash Costs (Non-U.S. GAAP)

  $ 29,883      $ 78,281             $ 5,637      $ 24,778      $ 3,142      $ 141,721   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Add/Subtract:

             

Third party smelting costs

 </