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More Than 15,500 Gold, Silver Coins Recovered As Odyssey Marine Wraps Up Summer Salvage

By Kitco News
Tuesday November 11, 2014 10:47 AM

(Kitco News) - According to Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc.’s (Nasdaq: OMEX) third quarter results, its recovery and salvage of the SS Central America was a success this summer.

After wrapping up its 2014 salvage operation, the company said that since April they have recovered more than 15,500 silver and gold coins, 45 gold ingots, gold dust, nuggets jewelry and other artifacts.

"While the exact value of the recovered Central America cargo will not be known until it is monetized, we know it is valued in the tens of millions of dollars and well in excess of the project costs,” said Mark Gordon, Odyssey's chief executive officer, in the company’s third quarter press release.

Images courtesy of Odyssey Marine Exploration: These five gold bars totalling 1,000 ounces were recovered by Odyssey Marine Exploration during its initial reconnaissance dive in early April.

Most of the sunken treasure, from the 1857 shipwreck, was actually collected during the early part of the summer; in July, the company reported that it recovered more than 13,500 gold and silver coins.

The coins that were discovered during the salvage operation included $20 double eagle coins and other coins, ranging in denomination. In July, the company said the coins collected were “a time capsule of virtually all the coins that were used in 1857."

It is unclear if the company will resume its recovery efforts in 2015. In its third quarter report, Odyssey said, during the final summer months, they conducted additional surveys of the shipwreck and surrounding area and with “Ira Owen Kane, the court-appointed Receiver for Recovery Limited Partnership (RLP), will evaluate information and data gathered from the 2014 operations, including these new surveys, to determine future plans.”

The salvage of the SS Central America has been a complicated process and has spanned more than 26 years. The shipwreck was first discovered in 1988, at a depth of 7,200 feet, and recovery operations were conducted until 1991; according to media reports, the initial recovery operations were halted as the discovery became mired in legal disputes; 39 insurance companies filed claims for the recovered gold.

On March 6, Odyssey, a pioneer in deep-ocean exploration, was awarded the exclusive contract for the recovery operation with Recovery Limited Partnership. The company recorded operational and research expenses of $5.1 million for the third quarter of 2014, up from $4.2 million recorded in the third quarter of 2013.

The company said that costs were higher in 2014 partly because crews worked 24-hour shifts during the salvage of the SS Central America.

According to historical records, the SS Central America was caught in a hurricane on Sept. 12, 1857 and sank 160 miles off the coast of South Carolina. The ship was carrying 425 passengers along with a large consignment of gold from ingots to freshly minted coins.

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By Neils Christensen of Kitco News; nchristensen@kitco.com



Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.
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