Coeur Mining Posts Adjusted Loss In First Quarter
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(Kitco News) - Coeur Mining, Inc. (NYSE: CDE) late Wednesday reported an adjusted net loss during the first quarter as gold and silver output fell from a year ago, along with prices received for the metals.
The company listed a January-March adjusted loss of $23 million, or 11 cents per share. There was a small adjusted profit of $0.3 million, or zero cents per share, in the same period of 2018.
The first-quarter net loss was $24.9 million, or 12 cents a share, compared to a small profit of $0.7 million, or zero cents, a year ago.
First-quarter silver output fell to 2.5 million ounces from 3.2 million a year ago, while gold output slipped to 78,336 ounces from 85,383. The biggest drop was at the Palmarejo mine in Mexico, where output slid by 735,000 ounces year-over-year. The company said this was due to lower grades and recoveries due to mine sequencing. Coeur also mines base metals.
However, the company reaffirmed full-year 2019 production guidance of 334,000 to 372,000 ounces of gold, 12.2 million to 14.7 million ounces of silver, 25 million to 40 million pounds of zinc and 20 million to 35 million pounds of lead. Officials said financial and operational results should be stronger in the second half of the year due to the anticipated impact of high-pressure grinding roll technology at the Rochester mine, higher recovery rates and production levels at Palmarejo, and improved plant performance and higher grades at Silvertip.
Silvertip went into commercial production in September, and the company conceded that the ramp-up of output has been slower than expected. However, March was the strongest month since the acquisition of the mine, Coeur said.
“Although Silvertip’s ongoing ramp-up remains a near-term drag on our free cash flow and liquidity levels until it achieves steady-state, our balanced portfolio of operations are advancing several key initiatives that are expected to help us achieve our objective of returning to positive free cash flow in 2019,” said Mitchell J. Krebs, president and chief executive officer.
Silvertip produced 239,000 silver ounces in the first quarter, but the pace is expected to pick up, as the company lists full-year guidance for the mine of 1.5 million to 2.5 million ounces of the metal. Silvertip also produces zinc and lead.
Coeur received an average of $1,251 per gold ounce during the first quarter, down from $1,268 in the year-ago period. The average silver price fell to $15.22 from $16.70.