TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Silver Wheaton has adjusted its 2011 attributable silver production to reflect a lower expected contribution from Goldcorp's Penasquito mine in Mexico, the company said on Thursday.
Silver Wheaton pays producers upfront to buy silver output on a long-term basis, at a fixed price, and then sells the silver at the current spot price.
The company has an agreement to buy 25% of all the silver produced from Penasquito, over its entire mine life.
Silver Wheaton now expects production this year of between 25-million and 26-million silver-equivalent ounces, compared with an earlier forecast of 27-million to 28-million ounces.
The group still expects to reach 43-million ounces by 2015.
Goldcorp said on Wednesday it now expects to produce between 2.5-million and 2.55-million ounces of gold this year, compared with a previous forecast range of 2.65-million to 2.75-million ounces.
The company has lowered its 2011 estimate for the Penasquito mine in Mexico by 100 000 oz, citing lower processing rates, slower-than-expected progress on the raising of the tailings dam embankment and restricted cyanide supplies.
Penasquito is now forecast to produce 250 000 oz of gold in 2011, down from an earlier 350 000 oz estimate.
The company expects all the issues at the new gold/silver operation should be resolved by the end of 2011, "and Penasquito production in 2012 and beyond is not expected to be impacted by these issues," CEO Chuck Jeannes said.