FREE ARTICLE PREVIEW: You are enjoying a free sample of exclusive
subscriber content. There is a limit of three free articles per week.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Jul 7 - 13, 2014 Volume 100 Number 21 - 0 comments

Coeur rejigs stream agreement with Franco-Nevada

TEXT SIZE bigger text smaller text

An amended royalty agreement with Franco-Nevada (TSX: FNV; NYSE: FNV) has given Coeur Mining (NYSE: CDE) the breathing room it needs to consider com­plet­ing the Guadalupe underground mine at its Palmarejo silver–gold complex in Mexico’s Chihuahua state, with initial production set for early 2015.

The amendment calls for the termination of  a royalty on half of the gold produced from the open-pit and underground operation at Palmarejo after Coeur has completed its initial 400,000 oz. gold obligation, ex­pected by September 2016.

Once fulfilled the agree­ment would kick in with  Coeur delivering half of the life-of-mine gold production from Palmarejo to Franco-Nevada, but receiving US$800 per oz., com­pared to US$408 per oz. previously.

Raymond James analyst Chris Thompson estimates this would save Coeur US$20 million a year in royalty payments.

Along with that, Franco-Nevada would contribute US$22 million to develop Guadalupe versus no contribution under the old agree­ment, which Coeur will pay US$2 million to cancel. Franco-Nevada would pay the US$22 million in five quarterly installments starting in the first quarter of 2015.

Coeur has pegged Guadalupe’s pre-production costs at US$19 million, and total capital ex­pendi­tures at US$85 million. 

“The revised royalty agreement with FNV provides CDE the financial flexibility to develop the Guadalupe deposit (and prolong the mine life at Palmarejo), which in our view would have not been developed without such an agreement,” Thompson said in a note. He has an “outperform rating” and a US$13.50 target on Coeur.

BMO analyst Andrew Kaip agrees, noting the new agreement “reduces the effective production costs at Palmarejo, bolsters cash-flow generation and provides a strong incentive for CDE to develop the Guadalupe deposit that hosts the majority of [Palmarejo’s] under­ground reserves and re­sources.” Kaip has upgraded Coeur to “market perform” from “under­perform,” and his target price to US$9.50 from US$7.

Late last year, Coeur stopped construction at Guadalupe when it realized the original plan would have not generated decent returns at then-current metal prices. In its updated mine plan Coeur intends to selectively mine higher-grade sections of the Guadalupe orebody earlier in the mine life to reduce underground development by 40%, compared to the old mine plan.

The new preliminary plan assumes recovering 2.5 million tons grading 4.7 oz. per ton (134 grams per tonne) silver and 0.08 oz. (2.27 grams) gold, with first production expected in early 2015. The mining rate should average 1,300 tons per day in 2015 and 1,500 tons per day from 2016 to 2018.

Guadalupe contains underground reserves of 5.4 million tons grading 4.32 oz. (122.5 grams) silver and 0.052 oz. (1.76 grams) gold, which make up 72% of Palmarejo’s under­ground reserve tons. Guadalupe also hosts 37% and 99% of Palmarejo’s underground measured and indicated tons and inferred tons.

Guadalupe’s inferred resource grades 5.26 oz. silver and 1.12 oz. gold, which is markedly higher than its reserve grades. The company intends to focus its 2014 and 2015 exploration efforts on bringing these ounces into the mine plan.

“We expect to provide additional details on Guadalupe as part of an updated mine plan for the Palmarejo operation within the next month, further demonstrating the improved production and cash-flow profile of this flagship mine,” Mitchell Krebs, the company’s CEO, said in a statement.

Cowen and Co. analyst Adam Graf estimates Palmarejo will transition to an underground-only operation by 2019. He has bumped his target to US$10.49 from US$9.42 on the new streaming deal.

Coeur also operates the San Bartolome silver mine in Bolivia, the Rochester silver–gold mine in Nevada and the Kensington gold mine in Alaska. On June 24 — the day after the revised royalty agree­ment — shares were off 1% at US$8.68.

© 1915 - 2016 The Northern Miner. All Rights Reserved.

Related News
TSX ends mixed, Feb. 1-5
Wall Street stocks down sharply, Jan. 4-8
TSX drops, Jan 4-8
Related Press Releases
Franco-Nevada To Release Full Year 2015 Results
Franco-Nevada Reports Q3 2015 Results and Declares Quarterly Dividend
Franco-Nevada To Release Third Quarter 2015 Results


Coeur Mining's Palmarejo silver-gold operation, located in Chihuahua, Mexico. Credit: Coeur Mining
Coeur Mining's Palmarejo silver-gold operation, located...

Companies in This Story

Franco-Nevada Corporation

Monitor These Topics
More Topics »

Horizontal ruler
Horizontal Ruler

Post A Comment

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that Northern Miner has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published and those that are published will not be edited. However, all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Your Name (this will appear with your post) *

Email Address (will not be published) *

Comments *

* mandatory fields