Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation

Published : August 05th, 2015

Edited Transcript of CDE earnings conference call or presentation 5-Aug-15 3:00pm GMT

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Edited Transcript of CDE earnings conference call or presentation 5-Aug-15 3:00pm GMT

COEUR D'ALENE Aug 5, 2015 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Coeur Mining Inc earnings conference call or presentation Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at 3:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Bridget Freas

Coeur Mining, Inc. - Director of IR

* Mitch Krebs

Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO

* Frank Hanagarne

Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & COO

* Peter Mitchell

Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & CFO

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Conference Call Participants

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* Chris Thompson

Raymond James & Associates, Inc. - Analyst

* Joseph Reagor

ROTH Capital Partners - Analyst

* Michael Dudas

Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. - Analyst

* Chris Terry

Deutsche Bank - Analyst

* Andrew Kaip

BMO Capital Markets - Analyst

* Arjun Chandar

JPMorgan - Analyst

* Craig Johnston

Scotiabank - Analyst

* Garrett Nelson

BB&T Capital Markets - Analyst

* Ben Shen

Symphony Asset Management - Analyst

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Good morning and welcome to the Coeur Mining second-quarter 2015 financial results conference call.

(Operator Instructions)

Please note this event is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Bridget Freas. Please go ahead.

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Bridget Freas, Coeur Mining, Inc. - Director of IR [2]

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Good morning. Welcome to our second-quarter 2015 earnings conference call. There are slides available on our website to accompany today's remarks.

Please review the cautionary statements and the risk factors in our latest 10-K and 10-Q for risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from any forward-looking statements made today. Mitch, please go ahead.

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [3]

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Thanks, Bridget. Good morning everyone and thanks for joining the call. I'd like to hit some of the second-quarter highlights, call your attention to a few of the slides that we posted and give you a quick update on our progress on the major priorities and how we see the business looking forward before we open up the call to questions.

The Company delivered some solid results in the second quarter. EBITDA was $35 million on revenue of $166 million. I think consensus EBITDA for the quarter was something like $22 million.

Operating cash flow of $37 million against CapEx of $24 million. Production was up 13% compared to the first quarter and all-in sustaining cost of $16.60 were down 6% after declining 8% in the first quarter of the year. Now that's on a silver equivalent basis using a constant 60 to 1 silver to gold ratio.

It's easy to get distracted in such a dismal market and with the disappointing share price. But we're staying focused on our strategy to keep reducing costs, improve the quality of the ounces we mine, capture the benefits of larger scale mining at certain of our operations and maintain our liquidity as we transition into expected positive free cash flow starting about 15 months from now.

I look back at our February and May conference calls this year with you all and it seems like everything we said we'd do we've either done or are on track to do. Our first-half performance was a very strong and has led us to bump up our full-year production guidance range a bit. Probably more importantly we've lowered our cost guidance range based on the reductions we realize during the first half of the year.

I'm very proud of the way our team is responding to the challenge of lower prices by meaningfully reducing cost at all of our mines. In fact, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find another mining company reducing costs more meaningfully than we are.

For our three silver mines as a group production costs were $12.56 per silver equivalent ounce which was down 8% from the first quarter and the first quarter was actually down 5% compared to the quarter before that. If you compare that $12.56 to last year's second quarter it was $14 an ounce a year ago.

Rochester's cost dropped 7% to $12.01 per silver equivalent ounce. Mining costs there actually declined about 9% during the quarter down to $1.39 a ton.

Palmarejo's Costa dropped 9% to $13.21 per silver equivalent ounce which I think is really impressive given all the changes taking place there this year. In fact, underground mining cost there dropped by over 30% from $64 a ton in the first quarter to $44 a ton in the second quarter. This year-to-date performance has prompted us to lower Palmarejo's cost guidance for 2015 by about 8%.

Kensington's cost declined 7% to $745 an ounce during the quarter. And we lowered its full-year cost guidance as well.

San Bartolome's costs decreased 8% and remain on track to hit the original guidance. We did lower San Bartolome's production guidance for the full year due to some local political demonstrations and disruptions that impacted our ability to mine and process ore for about three weeks in July. This decline in guidance was more than offset by the out-performance we're seeing at Kensington and Palmarejo which is a good example of the benefit of having a diverse portfolio of five operations.

A year ago our all-in sustaining costs were $19.10 per silver equivalent ounce which means we've reduced it by $2.50 an ounce or about 13%, definitely heading in the right direction but obviously still above where the price of silver is today which means costs need to keep coming down and that's exactly what we expect to happen here. As we all know there are limits to the amount of dollar spend that can be cut at any given operation. To keep reducing cost in a sustainable way better grades and efficiency gains are required to the extent an operation offers those opportunities.

And fortunately most of our mines do. And we believe we're about 15 months away from seeing our costs trend down another 10% to 15% from the levels seen in the second quarter into the 14%s on a silver equivalent basis.

At Palmarejo the transition to higher grade, lower cost underground mining remains on track. Mining rates at Guadalupe are now at 1,400 tons a day after only beginning production there last December.

The twin declines over to the high-grade Independencia deposit are scheduled to reach the ore body by year-end and mining there is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year. We still expect to complete open pit mining there at Palmarejo during the second half.

We're seeing fantastic drilling results to expand Guadalupe to the south and at depth and to find new high-grade resources on known structures located in the half-mile corridor between Guadalupe and Independencia. We'll provide a more fulsome exploration update on everything going on at Palmarejo later this year.

We plan to also file an updated 43-101 technical report later this year, most likely in November, that will incorporate a drilling results through midyear of this year. And it will lay out a mine plan for the 100% underground operation based on the combined Guadalupe and Independencia deposits.

At Rochester larger scale mining is driving double-digit production growth at considerably lower unit cost this year. Mining and crushing rates have increased about 20% over the past year and should increase more once we complete the expansion of a crusher unit later this year.

Permitting remains on track there for the next leach pad expansion and we still expect to have all the required permitting there completed early next year. And as we said in late June, we found a way to defer that $26 million capital project from 2016 into 2017 in order to improve our near-term cash flow and liquidity.

At Kensington, a combination of higher mining and milling rates and higher grades as we look into the second half have this operation on track for significant production gains at substantially lower cost this year and beyond. It's great to see Kensington's cost per ounce start with a 7, again now for the third consecutive quarter.

We've now started the decline into the high-grade Jualin deposit where grades are three times higher than the reserve grade at the main Kensington zone. We plan to start underground drilling there next year. In the meantime we're mining and milling at a rate of about 1,875 tons per day which is about 50% higher than the design capacity for that plant when it was started up in 2010.

In late June we announced a 39% increase in the gold reserves at Wharf which we acquired in February for $100 million. We just filed a technical report yesterday afternoon that shows an after-tax NPV of $138 million using a 10% discount rate based on reserves only and a flat gold price of $1275 an ounce.

So that TR is a huge win for us. The TR shows a mine plan with average annual production of about 90,000 ounces, an average annual operating cash flow of over $30 million and average annual CapEx of only about $2.5 million.

Now that all equates to an internal rate of return on that acquisition of well over 20%. And there's not a lot of acquisitions that you can point to in our industry with that kind of rate of return. And we think we can further extend Wharf's mine life based on some near-pit drilling currently taking place there.

Gold production at Wharf for 2015 is second-half weighted as we accelerate mining and crushing rates and as we mine some higher grades in an area called Golden Reward. Production for the 10 months we will have owned Wharf this year should be in the 75,000 ounce range with costs around $800 an ounce.

The Company's total reserves have increased 24% since the beginning of the year as a result of the two acquisitions we've completed, Wharf as I've mentioned and then Paramount Gold and Silver. Slide 4 in the slides we've posted highlights these changes since year-end. I think what's important for investors to know is that the reserves we've added as a result of these acquisitions represent immediate or near-term sources of production that we expect to boost overall margins and cash flow over the next several years.

I want to now switch gears to one of our other key strategic priorities I mentioned which is maintaining and managing our liquidity as these operational initiatives continue to take hold and drive down our unit costs. Slide 11 in the posted slides summarizes our balance sheet. Late in the second quarter we closed a five-year $100 million secured loan that matures in 2020 and we've repaid a $50 million bridge loan that was set to mature early next year.

We ended the quarter with a little over $200 million of cash and equivalents and what we consider to be a flexible patient capital structure with minimal restrictions and no significant maturities until mid-2020. Total debt at the end of the quarter was $548 million and net debt was about $342 million at the end of the second quarter. At current prices we forecast full-year 2015 EBITDA of around $115 million and expect that to increase in 2016 and 2017 as we've laid out in our three-year outlook.

Our near-term focus remains on maintaining liquidity and financial flexibility but we expect to be able to delever as our costs continue to decline, EBITDA and free cash flow climb and our cash balance begins to build which should be well in advance of the maturity dates on any of our debt. Sub-$15 silver and sub-$1,100 gold makes it an even more challenging environment for our industry and it certainly makes it even tougher on investors. But we see our Company is having a unique opportunity to create value for stockholders over the next several years even in a low price environment and our strategy is designed to deliver that value as quickly as we can.

So to wrap up, we feel we have a sound strategy in place, a strong team and organization that are doing a great job executing the strategy and a set of assets that are starting to deliver higher quality production and lower costs. Executing a strategy and managing our liquidity are the name of the game and we'll continue to stay focused on delivering the plan we've laid out.

So with that we'd now be happy to open it up for any questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) Chris Thompson, Raymond James.

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Chris Thompson, Raymond James & Associates, Inc. - Analyst [2]

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Good morning everybody. Congratulation, guys, on a good quarter.

Couple of quick questions here, just firstly starting off with Palmarejo, could you maybe expand on the mine plan for the second half of this year as far as obviously you are going to be wrapping up open pit and underground mining at Palmarejo. Are we looking at the Q3 or the Q4 there?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [3]

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Yes, we actually take bets on that very question around here because it keeps giving more than what we think which is overall a good thing. I think it's probably likely it will be fourth quarter. Frank, you're on that side of the bet as well.

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Frank Hanagarne, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & COO [4]

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Yes, that's where I'd place my bet.

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Chris Thompson, Raymond James & Associates, Inc. - Analyst [5]

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Would that be for the open pit and underground?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [6]

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No, that would be the open pit. I think the old underground will continue at least into early 2016.

We're having some great -- the guys are doing a great job there with some ground support that's allowing us to access some areas there, especially in the lower 76 Clavo that has some really nice grade. And without some of these ground support techniques that they're applying I don't think we'd ever be able to get in there. So that keeps it going along and giving us a nice extra boost to go along with everything that we have going on down at Guadalupe.

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Chris Thompson, Raymond James & Associates, Inc. - Analyst [7]

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Okay, great. What sort of runway should we be modeling I guess for the underground there as far as [competitor mill feed] do you think?

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Frank Hanagarne, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & COO [8]

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Chris, this is Frank.

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [9]

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Sorry Chris, did you mean at the old underground at Palmarejo or at Guadalupe?

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Chris Thompson, Raymond James & Associates, Inc. - Analyst [10]

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Yes, I'm just the underground Palmarejo, I'm just trying to figure out what to put in the model.

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [11]

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Sorry, go ahead Frank.

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Frank Hanagarne, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & COO [12]

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Yes, let me take that one. We are previously here we did some development work in an area of the Palmarejo underground called Rosario and the development's done and we're in there actively mining and seeing on average around 500 metric tons per day coming out of that zone.

And then we get remnants from Clavo 76 both upper and lower but those will be gone before too long. But it's Rosario that carries us through the end of this year and a little bit into 2016.

The grades have been very, very good though. Even though the tonnage has dropped off quite a bit the grade has been really nice ranging between 250, 350 grams per ton silver and some pretty decent gold values as well ranging between 3 and sometimes 4 grams per ton.

So it's a really nice shot still coming out of the old Palmarejo complex. Meanwhile in the open pit we're still mining somewhere in the vicinity of 3,000 tons per day on average and getting good grades for the open pit still.

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Chris Thompson, Raymond James & Associates, Inc. - Analyst [13]

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Great, thank you. Just moving on just to Rochester quickly, again looking at I guess obviously you're increasing the crushing capacity there. What should we model I guess as far as the crush rate in the second half of this year into next year?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [14]

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Well as we look at 2016 run rate I think it's around 16.5 million tons, and I think Frank that crusher expansion project should be done October, September?

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Frank Hanagarne, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & COO [15]

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Yes, we're looking at having the commissioning done either September or October and then starting to add the additional tons to be equivalent to a 16.5 million tons per year run rate.

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Chris Thompson, Raymond James & Associates, Inc. - Analyst [16]

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All right, perfect. And then just moving on to Kensington, it's nice to see the cost coming down there. What was the gain there? Was that a mining cost reduction or any relief on the processing cost there or the G&A, can you quantify that a little bit?

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Frank Hanagarne, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & COO [17]

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Yes, I'll take that one. The cost, the reductions are being seen in the mine predominantly. The process facilities run at a very flat rate in terms of cost per ton and G&A is relatively flat as well. But as far as the themes that are helping our cost there much this year with the beneficial fuel costs, we've had a very well balanced capital development program underground that we lean on to execute the delivery of ore to the surface.

It just really optimized that process so that we're not in these modes of trying to catch up on development at greater than normal expense or just developing too far ahead where the benefits aren't going to come until later. And we've got that all balanced out really well but it's really the fuel efficiency and if you looked at where we've been it's been mentioned for the last three quarters our costs there starting with a 7 we're very, very intent on maintaining that to the end of the year.

But you will note that we've got guidance that's just slightly higher. I always have to hedge, make sure I've got a reserve there in case there's anything that would go on with our generators in the way of maintenance that's going to be required because it can be quite expensive, the mill schedule mill maintenance things that have been deferred in the first half and we may not be able to defer for the entire year.

But our goal is to run where we're at and try to achieve by year-end as close to where we are at as we possibly can. And it's been fantastic to see this happening.

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Chris Thompson, Raymond James & Associates, Inc. - Analyst [18]

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Great, Frank, thanks. Thanks, Mitch. I will pass it over to somebody else. Thanks.

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Operator [19]

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Joseph Reagor, ROTH Capital Partners.

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Joseph Reagor, ROTH Capital Partners - Analyst [20]

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Good morning, guys and good work on all the cash costs during the quarter. So two questions. First one, on San Bartolome with the issue you had in the early part of the quarter, is this something that you think is fully resolved or something that could resurface later in the year? I know the political situation there has been a bit unstable.

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [21]

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Boy I wish I had complete clarity on the answer to that. I'd say the last time we saw a dust-up like this it was five years ago. As you know Bolivia is a complicated place.

You've got a lot of things at play there in terms of that region of Potosi really is suffering from the impact of lower commodity prices and unemployment rates. And they want the federal government to invest more in that region to try and spark some employment and economic activity. And you had the Pope coming through Bolivia and they took advantage of that to bring put a spotlight on their situation and their views and demands.

So you had a few things that came together there that created that set of disruptions. Just by the way it ran out of steam, people were ready to get back to work and I think that is how it will remain. I mean I can't predict that it's going to never flare up again but I think things are back to as normal as normal is and we'll just continue to run it as we have.

It wasn't like this disruption was due to anything that we caused or did. We got caught in the middle of an in-country dispute between the government and this civic committee there in Potosi that is called Comcipo. But I'm glad that we've done the things we've done to grow the business in places like the US and Mexico and Bolivia has become less and less of a significant component to our production and cash flow.

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Joseph Reagor, ROTH Capital Partners - Analyst [22]

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Okay, continuing kind of on that thought line then, is it possible that you guys might look to sell off the San Bartolome mine at some point?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [23]

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Well, we definitely are always looking at ways we can monetize or optimize our portfolio. A lot I think will depend for Bolivia on what this 2016 mine plan and budget look like in this kind of a price environment. We're not in the business of running money-losing mines, so to the extent that it's a meaningful cash flow contributor next year that will weigh on our decision making.

Obviously the market to sell assets right now is a bit depressed as well, so you got to weigh what you'd get versus what you'd give up in terms of cash flow. So that's not really a direct answer to your question but kind of how we think about it at least.

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Joseph Reagor, ROTH Capital Partners - Analyst [24]

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Okay, fair enough. And then on the cost side of Kensington, can you give us maybe a little bit more color of how you guys got such a significant drop in the underground mining constant?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [25]

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Frank, do you want to --

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Frank Hanagarne, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & COO [26]

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Yes I guess I'll just reiterate what I said before, we're benefiting tremendously from lower fuel prices. Just the efficiency of our mining, the quality of our mine plan that we're executing against this year and how well in sync it is with capital development spending, bringing under control a lot of other costs related to camp and various things there, it's just all adding up to the history of Kensington really in my view where we started with a mine that was four years ago, quite a bit more chaotic than it is today.

It's very orderly and very run very on a very sound and unchaotic way on a day-to-day basis right now. And I think we're just really starting to see the benefits of that being reaped. But a big driver are the lower fuel costs and then just the way that we're, the efficiency that we're seeing in executing the mine plan.

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Joseph Reagor, ROTH Capital Partners - Analyst [27]

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Could you guys maybe -- I'm sorry.

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [28]

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I would just add a couple of things to that. Maintenance costs have come down. That's been a real area of focus up there this year.

We also to Frank's point about the more orderly way we're running things there, we have gotten rid of so much equipment rental expense there that the site was sort of reliant on external sources for all kinds of things during what was a pretty rough start up. And now we've absorbed that in and are running things in a way that I think is reflective of the cost and consistency now that we're seeing there.

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Joseph Reagor, ROTH Capital Partners - Analyst [29]

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Well, could you maybe I guess maybe provide on a percentage basis of what fuel represents of total cost today?

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Peter Mitchell, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & CFO [30]

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Joe, it's Peter. 13% of our costs at Kensington is represented by diesel.

Just to put a little more perspective on that, we budgeted this year at $3.10 per gallon on that 13% cost and so far pricing has been around $2.21 per gallon. So it gives you a sense of the scale and savings associated with diesel.

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Joseph Reagor, ROTH Capital Partners - Analyst [31]

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Okay, thanks. I will turn it over.

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Operator [32]

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Michael Dudas, Sterne Agee.

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Michael Dudas, Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. - Analyst [33]

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Good morning, gentlemen, Bridget. Mitch, some pretty good news out of Wharf. Tell me what, without having to go through the report which I didn't get a chance to look at yet, some of the key drivers of how that report exceeded expectations and maybe some of the upside that we could see from that property going forward?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [34]

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Frank, do you want to take that?

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Frank Hanagarne, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & COO [35]

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Mike, what upside are you thinking about there?

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Michael Dudas, Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. - Analyst [36]

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I'm just thinking of you were talking with the extra added reserves and how much more drilling and how much more opportunity as you look out the next few years with the property?

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Frank Hanagarne, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & COO [37]

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Sure. During due diligence before acquisition and then certainly after we started our process of evaluating the resources there and we've just implemented our standard protocols for geologic structural mapping, geologic interpretation of the resources themselves and making sure that we're accounting for those resources in proper domains.

Then we've taken just look at how the drill results over -- we really went back. We did a very deep dive in terms of the history out there which is long and took into account all the drill hole results over a period of at least two, maybe three decades up to and including recent times and how did that all fit within that geologic structural domain concept. And then just applied our block modeling techniques and we were able to come up with a very nice uplift in the number of resources that we could find there.

The last step is having our mining engineering people apply a mine plan and determine which of these blocks would be economic that we would stake money on it that the prices that we used and it held pretty true. It held up and we feel that we'll not only be able to produce as we're predicting but within a 5% reconciliation as we go forward. So just a really good outcome but really nothing magical other than we just implemented the methodology that we usually use to evaluate resources.

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Michael Dudas, Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. - Analyst [38]

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That's encouraging. Thanks for that color, Frank.

And Mitch, I know 15 months can't come soon enough for you guys. As you and the Board look at where pricing is and where the Company is and you've done a terrific job getting the costs where they are, do you see a sense that you need to -- what's some of the levers that you can pull to get through maybe a more elongated price decline if it does occur in the second half of the year not to impede your targets for 2017?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [39]

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That's a really relevant question and one we are talking about every day and night. We have a lot of levers that we're always evaluating. Our liquidity at quarter end of couple hundred million dollars, we just got done a couple of weeks ago with a strategic planning process with our Board and in that exercise we were focusing in on a $15 and $1,100 set of price assumptions.

Under those set up prices cash doesn't move all that much between now and the end of the year. I think we do hit as I think we've said before trough cash for us is Q2 about this time next year before we start to see the trend really reverse itself. With what we have taken out of 2016 in terms of capital mostly at Rochester, a little bit at Kensington a little bit at Palmarejo, and then with some higher-grade material that we resequenced into 2016 out there at Rochester that makes a huge difference in terms of what that trough cash looks like.

Obviously if prices take another leg down from here that trough cash starts to get pretty uncomfortable. And then we need to start enacting some of the other, pushing on some of these other levers whether it's slowing down at Rochester and getting the kick of some residual leach benefit there.

The Jualin development up at Kensington, that's about $30 million over the next 18 months or so. That's really a capital project of our own timing and choosing. And with costs running at Kensington in the mid-700s the urgency to get that higher-grade ore out of Jualin into the mine plan is less urgent when that mine is kicking off free cash flow as is.

So you've got some wiggle room there. Obviously Joe asked earlier on the call about San Bartolome and a lower price environment from where we are now. That is something we need to take an honest look at under that assumption.

So I think the one thing that we won't do is change anything we're doing at Palmarejo. That to me is the highest priority, biggest impact capital deployment that we have. That's taking cost from an all-in basis of north of 18 down to close to 10 by the time we get to the other side of the tunnel and that's worthy of continuing. In fact, the faster we can get there the better we'll all be.

And then just even to your point, Mike, on Wharf, you look at the kind of cash flow that's going to be kicking off in 2016 and beyond, that has for us that's a significant improvement and moves the needle on the liquidity discussion as well. So we're thinking about all those things and we do every day.

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Peter Mitchell, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & CFO [40]

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One more quick thing to add to that. Mitch in his comments touched on our long-term debt and the patient capital structure and I would point out with that $100 million loan that we took on it's 1% annual mandatory amortization. There is an excess cash flow sweep, but just in terms of just underscoring that patient capital the fact that we don't have mandatory amortization associated with that.

So our ability with the exception of that 1% which is $1 million a year. So that positions us well to withstand in terms of calls on our cash flow as well.

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Michael Dudas, Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. - Analyst [41]

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So Peter, I appreciate it. I think you did an excellent job of positioning the Company and Mitch thank you for your candor on those comments. I think you guys are doing the right job and keep the faith.

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Operator [42]

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Chris Terry, Deutsche Bank.

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Chris Terry, Deutsche Bank - Analyst [43]

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Hi guys. Good quarter. I just have a couple of questions on behalf of Jorge.

I know you've gone on a bit the costs already quite a bit, but just to complete the picture is there anything specific around consumables or reset of contracts on the mining side that's coming up in the near-term? I guess you focused a lot on what has happened on the cost side and how you've had all the wins, just trying to see how far you can squeeze the lemon from here. And then just around the currency do you have an approximate number that you win on the currency generally given the South American assets?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [44]

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Yes, we'll take the second one first. Peter, Mexican peso.

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Peter Mitchell, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & CFO [45]

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Really, the exposure there it's obviously worked very much in our favor. Since the beginning of the year we budgeted it MXN13.25 and the current level is around MXN16. So for us about half of our costs at Palmarejo are denominated in pesos.

So the way we think about it is there's about a $4 million pickup per MXN1 change, so that our cost position is improving significantly as a result of that weakening peso. And we've done nothing to hedge that or anything at this point. Obviously we're beneficiaries of just riding with that currency level.

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [46]

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And to your first question I'll take a stab and then Frank can of course chime in or Peter or if anybody else has any thoughts on consumables. Obviously we talked about diesel.

Cyanide is a big component of our costs there. That's driven to a large extent by energy prices. And if we see what some people are predicting there in terms of lower oil prices that could have a tailwind effect on cyanide.

As we've seen some of the overall production levels globally for silver and gold decline refining treatment smelting charges we've done I think a good job there of trying to ratchet those down as much as possible. Things like tires, I'm trying to think of other consumables, we've seen some benefit as well there. Frank, what else do you see on the consumables front that I didn't that I'm forgetting?

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Frank Hanagarne, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & COO [47]

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You caught the high points. I think balls is another, grinding balls are another big consumable and we've been able to either hold good pricing flat or in the short term gain pricing advantages. And other than that just across the whole theme of commodities we're very opportunistic we're looking on our opportunities to do forward purchase agreements to secure the lowest prices we possibly can on everything looking ahead, not too far out in the future but trying to keep those prices of the commodities down.

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [48]

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Does that help, Chris?

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Chris Terry, Deutsche Bank - Analyst [49]

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Yes, thanks for the color. I appreciate it.

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Operator [50]

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Andrew Kaip, BMO Capital Markets.

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Andrew Kaip, BMO Capital Markets - Analyst [51]

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Good morning Mitch. Look I've got just one question. I know we've had a fairly healthy discussion on costs but I'm wondering about wage inflation or lack thereof or the capacity to actually move wages down.

My sense is that you've still got improvements on cost from a consumable and from an operating standpoint from optimizing operations. But I'm just wondering whether you're now thinking of wages coming down over the next couple of years given where metal prices are?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [52]

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Great question. We just went through in Bolivia earlier this year the one mine where we do have a union and I think there was a government-mandated increase there of, what was it 11%, is that what we ended up with about? Which just to put that in context I think the average wage we're paying there for a worker is something like $1,100 a month US.

You contrast that then with Kensington, for example, that's our highest cost labor pool where the average wage we're paying is probably a factor of eight times that. A lot of that labor pool up in Alaska I can't remember, Keagan, is it like almost half comes from the lower 48 fly in, fly out. And I do think that there is an opportunity there, to your point Andrew, on wages.

Nevada we're seeing probably supply and demand of the labor pool, we're seeing more supply. The impact of things like Hycroft down just down the interstate from Rochester has created a lot of inflow as far as people looking for work where. We are seeing some impact to the good is on benefits, compensation programs, to the extent that we can do more with less and take advantage of what is a little bit of a larger platform that we have now, so we're able as we look into 2016 we just went through the renewal programs for 2016 benefits and we found some real opportunities there.

But we've come so far over the last few years as a company the talent that we've been able to attract and really want to keep it in the continuity is really important, especially from the management ranks, that's each mine up that retaining talent and putting in place good incentive programs that encourage the things that are most important in terms of health and safety, environment and costs, cash flow focus.

Those are some thoughts, at least. I don't know if that gives you anything, Andrew, to work with.

Frank are you seeing anything that from your perspective that I missed? Frank's gone. That's all we've got, Andrew.

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Andrew Kaip, BMO Capital Markets - Analyst [53]

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So I mean at this point in time I guess the answer is not yet. But that is something, that's a lever that could potentially come into play longer term if we continue to see low metal prices?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [54]

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Yes, without a doubt. And look at Palmarejo, right, that was over a 900-person operation a year or two ago when it was cranking out as many as it could. And as we transition to more, well, to underground mining, that pool is going to shrink down to I think 700 or so.

And there is a lot of availability of talent and the labor force down there is much more heavy on the supply side than the demand side. So we could start to see some wage relief I think as we move forward.

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Andrew Kaip, BMO Capital Markets - Analyst [55]

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All right. Thank you very much for your time.

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Frank Hanagarne, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & COO [56]

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This is Frank. Can I add one more comment to that?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [57]

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Yes.

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Frank Hanagarne, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & COO [58]

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Sorry, I found my phone was on mute before. But Andrew, a year ago we were looking at building and ramping up one mine in Mexico, Palmarejo, and that was Guadalupe while the other declined.

And we're building two now. And net-net think back of the level of workers that we've had at that site over the years it's going to come down substantially. But it will still take quite a few people to operate two very large mines ultimately.

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [59]

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Thanks, Frank.

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Operator [60]

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Arjun Chandar, JPMorgan.

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Arjun Chandar, JPMorgan - Analyst [61]

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Hi, good morning, thank you. Just a couple of questions from our side.

I guess first you mentioned in your prepared remarks a forecasted return to free cash flow positive in 15 months. You've obviously done a lot on the cost side to bring costs down but what commodity price assumptions are you incorporating in that forecast? Are you running current spot levels or are you incorporating a bit of a recovery in gold and silver prices?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [62]

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That's kind of at or close to spot. In my mind I'm thinking about that case that we just were working through with the Board last month where it was $15 and $1,100 which is a few dollars and a few pennies I guess above where we are now.

But obviously getting our costs all-in down into the low 14%s is great and represents a huge stepdown from where this Company has been historically. But we need to do more and if there is one thing that I've seen over what's been I guess now 20 years with this Company is the planning and the scenario planning and the optimization of mine plans that never stops. And as prices should they continue to grind down we'll continue to try and offset that through better mine planning and obviously targeting our drilling as we have on higher-quality, higher-grade material.

Keep in mind here we go into the second half of the year again already and as we start working on well I guess the work has already started on our year-end reserves we've got 150,000 meters of drilling from the last 12 months that will go into year-end reserves. And a lot of that is very successful and very focused on grade and quality. And getting all that in to the drill databases and into the resource models and into the mine planning will give us a much clearer picture to as far as how we reposition and keep improving on those costs and trying to work against what's been kind of a falling knife in terms of prices.

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Arjun Chandar, JPMorgan - Analyst [63]

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Thank you. And with regards to minimum liquidity I think you've mentioned historically $150 million to run the business and I know earlier during the Q&A session you mentioned cash troughing in Q2 of 2016 based on your current forecasts. Do you still think that that's a necessary minimum liquidity number or do you think you can run the business a little bit leaner than that?

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Peter Mitchell, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & CFO [64]

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Arjun, it's Peter Mitchell. I quoted that number on the last conference call and it was really in the context of certainly the macro price environment we are in as well as the CapEx plans that we had in front of us at that point. As Mitch has mentioned with the deferral at Rochester about $26 million in managing our CapEx as well as being pretty significantly advanced on Palmarejo at this point we can definitely dial that number back.

And there was no special magic in that number when I quoted it before, it was just in light of the environment we're in with our CapEx that buffer needed to be more significant. But we can dial it back and I almost hesitate to quote a number but if I were to quote a number now I'd probably be sort of in the $100 million range. But the reality is we will manage around that number tactically as the environment dictates as well.

But we're comfortable with a slightly lower number than that Given where we are right now and where we're managing. So we've got plenty of headroom from a liquidity standpoint at this point.

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Arjun Chandar, JPMorgan - Analyst [65]

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Got you. And is there anything in either the credit agreement or the indenture for your senior notes that restrict you from entering into any streaming agreements?

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Peter Mitchell, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & CFO [66]

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That would be a subordinated-type arrangement, so I don't think it would be a restriction. But we would have to obviously see the specifics of the agreement itself.

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Arjun Chandar, JPMorgan - Analyst [67]

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And then finally can you talk about your latest thoughts around potential asset sales including potentially core capital?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [68]

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Yes, it's Mitch. We always will continue to always look at ways we can potentially monetize really anything that we have if the price is attractive enough. In this climate prices typically aren't attractive enough, especially when you're giving up current cash flow.

And you mentioned core capital. That's a $9 million or $10 million a year contributor to EBITDA for us, so to give that up it would have to be obviously for the right economics. But we are always looking at those things and that's one of the levers that you always have to be looking at is where can you free up some cash from monetizing something that makes you better off than continuing to own it yourself.

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Arjun Chandar, JPMorgan - Analyst [69]

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Great. I appreciate the color, guys. Thank you.

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Operator [70]

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Craig Johnston, Scotiabank.

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Craig Johnston, Scotiabank - Analyst [71]

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Hi guys, just more probably a question for Peter, just Peter wondering if you could walk us through the accounting around the Paramount acquisition? And just I noted the increase in deferred taxes on the balance sheet and just wondering if you could walk us through how that worked? And then just on that note looking at the payment of taxes in Mexico going forward, when you think you'd be paying taxes as well as where you see it going forward in terms of tax payments?

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Peter Mitchell, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & CFO [72]

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Sure. Paramount even though we acquired a public entity with stock we accounted for it as an asset acquisition and really that's just the GAAP definition that it falls into given that it's not an entity with inputs and outputs. It's a development stage property, so we accounted for it as an asset acquisition.

In terms of the deferred income taxes, it's really the deferred tax liability as a result of the acquisition of those mineral interests and the deferred tax obligation that that creates in the acquisition itself. From a taxability standpoint in Mexico we are not taxable currently.

Modeling out we're probably going to see a need, see a lift in commodity prices to elevate us into a significantly taxable position. So it's hard for me to give dates as to when we become a cash tax payer in Mexico.

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Craig Johnston, Scotiabank - Analyst [73]

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Okay, thanks Peter. And then just on Wharf in terms of the mining cost I saw they are relatively high on a per ton basis, but more related to you're in an unloading phase. Thinking in terms of the cycle of that, is it fair to assume you'd be into an unloading phase again maybe come Q1 next year and you'd see mining costs increase around then in a similar fashion?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [74]

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Yes, Frank, we just talked about that. Do you want to cover that?

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Frank Hanagarne, Coeur Mining, Inc. - SVP & COO [75]

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Yes, sure. We've just completed an unload of Stage V out there, Craig, and have started the process and installed a new liner and we're now reloading that pad. It's really the driver for the operating plan for the rest of the year what we're going to go over and campaign mine in the Golden Reward area taking advantage of some very good high-grade material which will all go in that Stage V.

But I've looked at the breakdown of mining costs and because we do have this pad loading and unloading function you don't really have the opportunity to see the breakouts of what that cost per ton is. I could give you a couple of metrics to perhaps help you out there. Mining costs at least through this recent period were like $2.27 a ton.

So that's your cost to mine ore and waste and get it either hauled off to a waste dump or sent to a crusher to add for a leach pad. We add to that pad loading cost, unloading cost, I am sorry, that will happen at the end of the leach cycle. That is $0.97, so you've got to add the $2.27 and $0.97 and then you do end up with a number north of $3 which looks kind of odd but if you back out the unloading cost it's pretty reasonable, it is pretty typical with most open pit operations.

Now the other side of the coin is that the pad unloading that is $0.66 a ton and that gets charged to the process cost which just contains the normal things of crushing, getting the ore out onto the pad, pit loading and contouring, maintaining elevations and everything and all the costs of the reagents and to leach the ore. There is that $0.66 a ton, so that is where you come in at $4.50 odd per ton for processing.

And then it's something just a little bit above $2 per ton for G&A. So that's pad loading and unloading, so we're always in some sort of a sequence of either loading or we're unloading.

And it's over roughly a 8- to 12-month cycle. So I don't know, I haven't looked at the timing, I'm not sure if it will be happening that way in the first quarter next year but certainly in the first half. And I'd be happy to take a look at that timing, would if you need to know that for that would be a useful thing to know for your (technical difficulty)

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Craig Johnston, Scotiabank - Analyst [76]

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Okay, thanks Frank. I appreciate that color. And yes, thanks guys.

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Operator [77]

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Garrett Nelson, BB&T Capital Markets.

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Garrett Nelson, BB&T Capital Markets - Analyst [78]

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Hi, good morning everyone. A couple of follow-up questions on CapEx.

Could you provide the CapEx assumptions that are embedded in the three-year outlook? And looking out to 2016, 2017, it sounds like you're saying that you're going to be reflexible with spending plans depending on the price environment. And also what is Coeur's company-wide maintenance CapEx at this juncture?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [79]

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Yes, I'll start and you guys fill in what I miss. But just to take your second question first, maintenance sustaining kind of $50 million to $60 million annually is a good number to use.

And as far as CapEx goes in the three-year guidance that we are the three-year outlook that we put out in late June, I think what it showed is in 2016 it was about $100 million and then in 2017 since we're pushing some of that Rochester leach pad out of 2016 into 2017 I think the total number is around $120 million. And I think our guidance for this year is right at $100 million. So $100 million, $100 million, then a $120 million with about roughly half of that each year being that maintenance figure.

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Garrett Nelson, BB&T Capital Markets - Analyst [80]

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Okay. And those are the CapEx plans based on those precious metals price assumptions, correct?

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [81]

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That's right. So in 2016 sitting on top of that maintenance number is expansion capital related to Kensington and Jualin, expansion capital related to Independencia and to a lesser extent Guadalupe. And then in 2017 we've got a little more Jualin, you've got the big nut there at Rochester.

Those are the big chunks unless I'm forgetting something. But that gives you a sense for what makes up those CapEx numbers and timing.

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Garrett Nelson, BB&T Capital Markets - Analyst [82]

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Yes, it does. Thanks.

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Operator [83]

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Ben Shen, Symphony Asset Management.

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Ben Shen, Symphony Asset Management - Analyst [84]

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Hi, thanks for taking the question. I just wanted to confirm when you gave your cash, the free cash flow guidance in late June I think I noted that it didn't include the annual interest payments.

So first of all can you confirm whether that's correct? And then when you say you expect to return to free cash flow positive in around 15 months, is it also ex- the annual interest payment of around I think I calculated $45 million or is it inclusive? Thank you very much.

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [85]

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Hey, Ben, thanks for the question. Those free cash flow numbers do include interest.

That's sort of a fully baked number, everything. So when I say 15 months from now that's after interest, any royalty payments and anything else. But it's in both of those numbers.

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Ben Shen, Symphony Asset Management - Analyst [86]

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Okay, got it. Thank you.

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Operator [87]

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This concludes our question-and-answer session. I would now like to turn the conference back over to Mitch Krebs for any closing remarks.

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Mitch Krebs, Coeur Mining, Inc. - President & CEO [88]

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Okay, well thanks everybody. We appreciate your interest and your time and your questions.

Just a quick note, this is 20 years ago this month I joined this Company which sounds kind of bizarre. Just trivia, the average price for silver that month, August 1995, was $5.38 and the average price for gold in August 1995 was $383 an ounce. So just to give you a perspective of how things change.

Anyway thanks again for your time today. We look forward to speaking with you again in November. Thanks.

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Operator [89]

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The conference is now concluded. Thank you for attending today's presentation. You may now disconnect.

Read the rest of the article at finance.yahoo.com
Data and Statistics for these countries : Bolivia | Mexico | All
Gold and Silver Prices for these countries : Bolivia | Mexico | All

Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation

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CODE : CDE
ISIN : US1921085049
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Coeur d'Alène is a producing silver and gold company based in United states of america.

Coeur d'Alène produces silver, gold, copper, lead and zinc in Argentina, in Australia, in Bolivia, in Mexico and in USA, develops gold and silver in Argentina and in Bolivia, and holds various exploration projects in Mexico.

Its main assets in production are ROCHESTER MINE - NEVADA PACKARD in USA, ENDEAVOR and BROKEN HILL in Australia, PALMAREJO in Mexico, MARTHA MINE in Argentina and SAN BARTOLOME in Bolivia, its main assets in development are ROCHESTER and KENSINGTON in Bolivia and JOAQUIN in Argentina and its main exploration properties are KENSINGTON/JUALIN in Argentina, LAKE VICTORIA GOLD BELT in Tanzania and EL REALITO, GUADALUPE and LA PATRIA in Mexico.

Coeur d'Alène is listed in Canada, in Germany and in United States of America. Its market capitalisation is US$ 908.7 millions as of today (€ 823.5 millions).

Its stock quote reached its highest recent level on November 21, 1997 at US$ 99.38, and its lowest recent point on January 22, 2016 at US$ 1.62.

Coeur d'Alène has 185 442 526 shares outstanding.

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12/28/2007Completion of Acquisition
12/21/2007Completes Acquisitions of Bolnisi and Palmarejo
12/8/2007 SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE $1.1 BILLION MERGER WITH BOLNISI GOLD ...
12/5/2007Additional proxy soliciting materials - definitive
12/4/2007 ADJOURNS SPECIAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS TO FRIDAY, DECEMBE...
10/8/2005Follow up N° 5
5/12/2005Peter Zihlman special report
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NYSE (CDE)FRANKFURT (CDM.F)
4.90-1.21%1.00+0.00%
NYSE
US$ 4.90
09/18 16:10 -0.060
-1.21%
Prev close Open
4.96 4.96
Low High
4.72 4.99
Year l/h YTD var.
2.82 -  5.71 9.62%
52 week l/h 52 week var.
2.82 -  5.83 -14.34%
Volume 1 month var.
6,884,580 -0.810%
24hGold TrendPower© : -3
Produces Copper - Gold - Lead - Silver - Zinc
Develops Gold - Silver
Explores for Gold - Silver
 
 
 
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DateVariationHighLow
201910.86%4.984.41
2018-41.07%8.943.80
2017-17.49%9.9810.12
2016266.53%9.981.62
2015-53.03%7.452.34
 
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