VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/10/13 -- Tahoe Resources Inc. (TSX: THO)(NYSE: TAHO) today reported financial results for the quarter ending March 31, 2013, and provided updates regarding its flagship Escobal silver project in Guatemala and the Company's Five Year Plan.
Financial Results for 1Q 2013
Highlights for the first quarter of 2013 include (stated in U.S. dollars):
-- Net earnings/(loss) for the quarter amounted to ($24.9 million) or ($0.17) per share.-- Cash outflow from operating activities amounted to $28.0 million.-- Corporate G&A expense amounted to $3.4 million, excluding non-cash share-based compensation of $1.3 million.-- Exploration expenses amounted to $1.3 million.-- A project-to-date total of $288.7 million of the $326.6 million budget has been spent towards construction of the 3,500 tonne per day (tpd) Escobal project.-- Cash and equivalents at quarter-end were $107.2 million.
Full financial results as well as the Company's MD&A and other filings will be filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and the Company's website (www.tahoeresourcesinc.com) later today.
Escobal Project Update
The construction and underground development of the Escobal project is continuing on-schedule and on budget. Engineering, procurement and construction management was at 79 percent completion and underground development necessary for commencement of production was at 90 percent completion as of March 31, 2013. The Company completed 1,937 metres of underground development during the first quarter and 7,144 metres to date.
Mill commissioning is projected to begin in the second half of 2013 with commercial production expected in early 2014. All major components are in place, and the focus has turned to piping and electrical systems in the mill, completion of steel erection, conveyor installation and civil engineering work at the tailings facility. Dry commissioning of the crusher and milling circuit is expected to take place in the second quarter.
Underground work has been expanded to primary stope development. Numerous vein cross-cuts on the 1290 and 1265 levels have been established, and drilling of the first slot raises and stope blastholes are underway. Rock conditions in the production areas are as projected in the model defined in the May, 2012 Preliminary Economic Analysis (PEA).
Pilot Plant & Metallurgical Testing
In late 2012, an eight tonne bulk sample of vein material representative of the first five years of production was extracted from underground. A metallurgical pilot plant test was commissioned in the first quarter of 2013 to validate the flotation process selected for the Escobal project, ensure that specific components of process plant equipment are sized properly, produce lead and zinc concentrate samples for customer analysis and provide further tailings samples for additional stope backfill testing.
The pilot plant test confirmed that the production of highly marketable metals concentrates can be expected from the Escobal project. Total metal recovery for silver and lead from the pilot plant was slightly higher than recoveries predicted by prior metallurgical test work. Gold and zinc recoveries were lower than those of the PEA as feed grade was lower than the average resource grade. Silver grade of the lead concentrate was nearly double that observed in previous metallurgical test work. Lead and zinc grades in the respective concentrates also exceeded predicted concentrate grades by several percentage points.