Tahoe Resources announced today that it has started shipping silver-bearing metals concentrates to smelters from its Guatemala-based Escobal mine.
When Silver Investing News caught up with Tahoe Resources (TSX:THO,NYSE:TAHO) in July, Kevin McArthur, the company’s president, CEO and director, said, “we expect to be in production — at least early production — in the fourth quarter of this year, with revenues exceeding costs by next year.”
This week, Tahoe achieved the first part of that goal, announcing this morning that it has started shipping silver-bearing metals concentrates to smelters from its Guatemala-based Escobal mine. The first container of bagged concentrate was placed on a ship yesterday.
The milestone is impressive given the fact that the current pricing environment has forced many companies out of the race to production. McArthur, however, makes his company’s accomplishment sound fairly straightforward. He noted in July that Tahoe’s biggest challenge was getting permits on timely basis, but ultimately the company received them all “and established all of [its] derisking milestones according to the schedule … posted in 2010.”
In today’s press release, McArthur again emphasized his company’s timeliness, commenting, “[t]he Guatemalan team is delivering on the promises made in 2010 to responsibly construct and operate a world-scale silver mine within three years of design, permitting and financing.” Tahoe’s next goal, he said, is to achieve “stakeholder returns through Guatemala federal taxes, a strong community-based royalty and dividends to our shareholders.”
Tahoe expects Escobal to produce 20 million ounces of silver in its first full year of production, and has agreed to commercial terms with several smelters. Though the terms are currently confidential, the smelters are all interested in long-term contracts, as per Tahoe. As a whole, the project is on schedule and on budget.
Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.