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Silver Standard provides Q1 2013 operational results

Silver Standard Resources Inc. provided a Q1 2013 operational update for its Pirquitas mine in Jujuy, Argentina and for other corporate activities.

First Quarter 2013 Highlights:

  • Delivered predictable production:  Produced 2.0 million ounces of silver, in line with plan for the quarter.

  • Completed Phase 1 of the San Miguel open pit:  Progressed mining operations in Phase 2 of the San Miguel open pit, positioning the Company to process higher grade material in the second half of 2013.

  • Delivered strong operating performance:  Milled 4,402 tonnes per day, on average, 10% above nominal design.  Recovered 76% of the silver processed. 

"In the first quarter of 2013, we delivered to plan as we did throughout 2012," said John Smith, President and CEO.  "At Pirquitas, we produced 2 million ounces of silver, a great result given that we are transitioning the pit to Phase 2.  We also took advantage of the strong debt markets and raised $265 million through a convertible bond, strengthening our balance sheet even after repaying the existing convertible note.  It was a successful quarter for Silver Standard."

Summary of Mine Operating Statistics

 

 

Q1 2013

Q4 2012

% Change

Total material mined

Kt

4,210

4,415

(4.6%)

Ore milled

Kt

396

417

(5.0%)

Silver mill feed grade

g/t

207

212

(2.4%)

Zinc mill feed grade

%

0.92

0.67

37.3%

Silver recovery

%

76.3

79.9

(4.5%)

Zinc recovery (zinc concentrate)

%

41

42

(2.4%)

Silver produced

'000 oz

2,017

2,268

(11.1%)

Zinc produced (zinc concentrate)

'000 lbs

3,323

2,615

27.1%

Silver sold

'000 oz

2,018

3,218

(37.3%)

Zinc sold

'000 lbs

2,147

2,731

(21.4%)

Note: Percent changes are calculated using the rounded numbers presented above.

Mine Operations

The Pirquitas mine produced 2.0 million ounces of silver during the first quarter of 2013, in line with guidance for the quarter but down from the 2.3 million ounces produced in the fourth quarter of 2012.  The sequential decline in silver production reflects lower tonnage through the mill and lower recoveries in the plant.  The mine also produced 3.3 million pounds of zinc in the first quarter, a 27.1% improvement, reflecting higher zinc grades as the Company mined more of the zinc-rich Potosi area of the San Miguel open pit.  The Company sold approximately 2.0 million ounces of silver during the quarter, in line with guidance.

Approximately 396,000 tonnes of ore was milled during the first quarter of 2013, down from 417,000 tonnes last quarter mostly due to fewer operating days in a shorter reporting period.  Ore was milled at an average rate of 4,402 tonnes per day during the first quarter, 10% above the plant's nominal design and in line with the production plan.  The average recovery rate for silver decreased to 76.3% from 79.9% last quarter, mainly due to more oxidized and transitional ore in the mill feed.  As Phase 2 of the San Miguel open pit deepens, the proportion of oxide and transitional ore in the mill feed is expected to decrease.

First Quarter Earnings Release:

The Company plans to issue its first quarter earnings release on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 after markets close.

 

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