VANCOUVER, March 23 /PRNewswire/ - Silver Wheaton Corp. ("Silver Wheaton" or the "Company") (TSX, NYSE:SLW) is pleased to announce that attributable proven and probable reserves increased by over nine percent in 2010, as a result of an increase of 80 million ounces of silver and 23,000 ounces of gold, to a record 954 million silver equivalent ounces1. Over the same period, attributable measured and indicated resources increased by one percent, as a result of an increase of four million ounces of silver and 22,000 ounces of gold, to 377 million silver equivalent ounces. Attributable inferred resources increased by 22%, as a result of an increase of 89 million ounces of silver, to 497 million silver equivalent ounces.
Silver Wheaton's increase in 2010 attributable reserves was a combination of acquisition and organic growth. The Company acquired 100% of the life of mine silver and gold production from Augusta Resource Corporation's Rosemont Copper Project located in Arizona, which increased attributable reserves by approximately 7%. In addition, continued exploration success at the mines from which Silver Wheaton purchases its silver led to another year of strong organic reserve growth, more than replacing reserves mined during the year.
The table below summarizes the growth in attributable silver reserves year over year. Year end reserve and resource updates for the Cozamin, Campo Morado and Aljustrel mines are forthcoming and have not been included in this calculation.
|Proven and probable silver reserves as of Dec. 31, 2009||861.8Moz|
|Net acquisitions during 2010||62.9Moz|
|Mined ounces during 2010 (includes silver lost to process)||(50.6)Moz|
|Organic reserve growth during 2010||67.9Moz|
|Proven and probable silver reserves as of Dec. 31, 2010||942.0Moz|
|Proven and probable gold reserves as of Dec. 31, 2010||248koz|
|Total proven and probable silver eq. reserves as of Dec. 31, 20101||954.4Moz|
"We are very proud to announce our sixth consecutive year of strong attributable silver reserve and resource growth," said Peter Barnes, Chief Executive Officer of Silver Wheaton. "More importantly, on a per share basis, attributable silver reserves have increased in every year since the company's inception in 2004, growing at an annualized rate of 36%, and resulting in the creation of significant shareholder value."
"With silver stream agreements relating to 16 operating mines and three development stage assets around the globe, Silver Wheaton now has more silver reserves and resources than any other silver company in the world. In addition to completing accretive acquisitions, consistent strong organic reserve growth from the mines underlying our agreements has resulted in Silver Wheaton having one of the highest-quality reserve and resource bases in the precious metals industry. Our core assets continue to replace reserves mined each year, a testament to the very high-quality, long-term sustainability of these mines."
1 A gold/silver ratio of 50:1 was used to calculate silver equivalent ounces
Silver Wheaton's Attributable Reserves and Resources as of December 31, 2010
| ATTRIBUTABLE PROVEN AND PROBABLE RESERVES (1,2,3,8,15,16) AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2010 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED(6)
ATTRIBUTABLE MEASURED & INDICATED RESOURCES (1,2,3,4,5,9,15,16)
AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2010 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED(6)
|Measured||Indicated||Measured & Indicated|
|SILVER||Mt||g/t||M oz||Mt||g/t||M oz||Mt||g/t||M oz|
|Campo Morado (75%)||0.04||58.0||0.1||3.8||164.2||19.9||3.8||163.2||20.0|
|Loma de La Plata (12.5%)||-||-||-||3.6||169.0||19.8||3.6||169.0||19.8|
|Keno Hill (25%)|
ATTRIBUTABLE INFERRED RESOURCES (1,2,3,4,5,9,15,16)
AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2010 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED (6)
|Campo Morado (75%)||1.1||177.8||6.1|
|Loma de La Plata (12.5%)||0.2||76.0||0.4|
|Keno Hill (25%)|
|1.||All Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources have been calculated in accordance with the CIM Standards and NI 43-101, or the AusIMM JORC equivalent.|
|2.||Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources are reported above in millions of metric tonnes ("Mt"), grams per metric tonne ("g/t") and millions of ounces ("Moz").|
|3.||Individual qualified persons ("QPs"), as defined by the NI 43-101, for the Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource estimates are as follows:|
|a.||Peñasquito - Guillermo Pareja, Ph.D., P.Geo. (Manager, Mineral Resources), Peter Nahan, P.Eng. (Senior Evaluation Engineer), both employees of Goldcorp Inc.|
|b.||San Dimas -Velasquez Spring, P.Eng. (Senior Geologist, Watts, Griffis and McOuat Limited)|
|c.||Pascua-Lama - Dino Pilotto, P.Eng. (Principal Mining Consultant, SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc.); Bart A. Stryhas, Ph.D., CPG (Principal Resource Geologist, SRK Consulting (U.S.) Inc.)|
|d.||Yauliyacu - Neil Burns, M.Sc., P.Geo. (Director of Geology, Silver Wheaton); Samuel Mah, M.A.Sc., P.Eng. (Director of Engineering, Silver Wheaton), both employees of the Company (the "Company's QPs")|
|The Company's QPs are responsible for overall corporate review and all other operations and development projects.|
|4.||The Mineral Resources reported in the above tables are exclusive of Mineral Reserves. The Minto, Cozamin, Neves-Corvo, Zinkgruvan and Aljustrel mines report Mineral Resources inclusive of Mineral Reserves. The Company's QPs have made the exclusive Mineral Resource estimates for these mines based on average mine recoveries and dilution.|
|5.||Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.|
|6.||Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources are reported as of December 31, 2010, other than the following:|
|a.||Resources and Reserves for Yauliyacu are reported as of July 31, 2010.|
|b.||Resources and Reserves for Neves-Corvo and Zinkgruvan are reported as of June 30, 2010.|
|c.||Resources for Rosemont are reported as of October 22, 2008 and Reserves as of March 17, 2009.|
|d.||Resources for Mineral Park are reported as of December 29, 2006.|
|e.||Resources and Reserves for Aljustrel are reported as of December 31, 2007.|
|f.||Resources for Campo Morado's El Largo, El Rey, Naranjo and Reforma deposits are reported as of February 29, 2008, Reserves and Resources for the G-9 deposit as of December 31, 2009.|
|g.||Resources and Reserves for Stratoni are reported as of August 10, 2010.|
|h.||Resources and Reserves for Cozamin are reported as of December 31, 2009.|
|i.||Resources for Keno Hill are reported as of November 9, 2009 and April 22, 2010 for the Elsa Tailings.|
|7.||Process recoveries are the average percentage of silver in a saleable product (doré or concentrate) recovered from mined ore at the applicable site process plants as reported by the operators.|
|8.||Mineral Reserves are estimated using appropriate process recovery rates and commodity prices of $15.00 per ounce of silver, unless otherwise noted below:|
|a.||Pascua-Lama, Lagunas Norte, Veladero and Pierina - $16.00 per ounce.|
|b.||Yauliyacu - $18.50 per ounce.|
|c.||Neves-Corvo - 1.6% Cu cut-off for the copper Reserve and 4.3% Zn cut-off for the zinc Reserves above the 550 level and 6% Zn cut-off for zinc Reserves below the 550 level.|
|d.||Rosemont -$10.00 per ounce.|
|e.||Mineral Park - $7.50 per ounce.|
|f.||Zinkgruvan - 3.1% Zn equivalent cut-off for the zinc Reserve and 2.0% Cu cut-off for the copper Reserve|
|g.||Aljustrel - 1.5% Cu cut-off for all copper Reserves and zinc cut-offs of 4.5%, 4.0% and 4.0%, respectively, for the Feitais, Moinho and Estação zinc Reserves.|
|h.||Campo Morado - 3.0% Zn cut-off for the Abajo, West Extension and South East zones and 5% Zn cut-off for the North zone.|
|i.||Minto - $3.90 per ounce silver and $300 per ounce gold.|
|j.||Cozamin - $4.00 per ounce.|
|9.||Mineral Resources are estimated using appropriate recovery rates and commodity prices of $17.00 per ounce of silver, unless otherwise noted below:|
|a.||Yauliyacu - $18.50 per ounce.|
|b.||Neves-Corvo - 1.0% Cu cut-off for the copper Resource and 3.0% Zn cut-off for the zinc Resource.|
|c.||Rosemont - 0.2% Cu cut-off.|
|d.||Zinkgruvan - 3.1% Zn equivalent cut-off for the zinc Resource and 1.5% Cu cut-off for the copper Resource.|
|e.||Mineral Park - $7.50 per ounce.|
|f.||Aljustrel - 1.5% Cu cut-off for all copper Resources and zinc cut-offs of 4.5%, 4.0% and 4.0%, respectively, for the Feitais, Moinho and Estação zinc Resources.|
|g.||Campo Morado - 3.0% Zn only cut-off grade for the G-9 zones and 5% Zn cut-off for the South West zone and El Largo, El Rey, Naranjo and Reforma deposits.|
|h.||Loma de La Plata - $12.50 per ounce|
|i.||Minto - $12.00 per ounce silver and $900 per ounce gold.|
|j.||Cozamin - 1.15% Cu cut-off for San Roberto Area and 3.0% Zn cut-off for San Rafael Area.|
|k.||Keno Hill - $15.25 per ounce for the Southwest and 99 Zones, $14.50 per ounce for the East Zone and $17.00 per ounce for the Elsa Tailings.|
|10.||The San Dimas purchase agreement provides that from August 6, 2010 until August 5, 2014, Primero Mining Corp. ("Primero") will deliver to the Company a per annum amount equal to the first 3.5 million ounces of payable silver produced at San Dimas and 50% of any excess, plus the Company will receive an additional 1.5 million ounces of silver per annum to be delivered by Goldcorp. Beginning August 6, 2014, Primero will deliver to the Company a per annum amount equal to the first 6.0 million ounces of payable silver produced at San Dimas and 50% of any excess, for the life of the mine.|
|11.||The Company's attributable tonnage at Lagunas Norte, Pierina and Veladero was estimated by assuming 2010 production levels for the remaining three years. This tonnage was pro-rated between Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves according to the ratio of the December 31, 2010 Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves as published by Barrick Gold Corporation ("Barrick"), applying average reserve grades.|
|12.||The Company's Yauliyacu purchase agreement (March 2006) with Glencore International AG provides for the delivery of up to 4.75 million ounces of silver per year for 20 years. In the event that silver produced at Yauliyacu in any year totals less than 4.75 million ounces, the maximum amount to be sold to the Company in subsequent years will be increased to make up the shortfall, so long as production allows. Depending upon mine production levels, it is possible that these attributable Resources and Reserves may not be completely mined before the agreement expires.|
|13.||The Mineral Park and Rosemont Resources and Reserves do not include the SX/EW leach material since this process does not recover silver.|
|14.||Los Filos Resources and Reserves now include the Bermejal deposit.|
|15.||The Company has filed a technical report for each of its mineral projects considered to be material to the Company, being San Dimas, Yauliyacu, Peñasquito and Pascua-Lama, which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.|
|16.||Silver is produced as a by-product metal at all operations with the exception of Keno Hill and the Loma de La Plata project; therefore, the economic cut-off applied to the reporting of silver Resources and Reserves will be influenced by changes in the commodity prices of other metals at the time.|
CAUTIONARY LANGUAGE REGARDING RESERVES AND RESOURCES
For further information on Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources and on Silver Wheaton more generally, readers should refer to Silver Wheaton's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2009, and other continuous disclosure documents filed by Silver Wheaton since January 1, 2010, available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Silver Wheaton's Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources are subject to the qualifications and notes set forth therein. Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources: The information contained herein uses the terms "Measured", "Indicated" and "Inferred" Mineral Resources. United States investors are advised that while such terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission does not recognize them and expressly prohibits U.S. registered companies from including such terms in their filings with the SEC. "Inferred Mineral Resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of Inferred Mineral Resources may not form the basis of feasibility or other economic studies. United States investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of Measured or Indicated Mineral Resources will ever be converted into Mineral Reserves. United States investors are also cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable. United States investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in Silver Wheaton's Form 40-F, a copy of which may be obtained from Silver Wheaton or from http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.
Mr. Randy V.J. Smallwood, P.Eng., President of Silver Wheaton, is a "qualified person" as such term is defined under National Instrument 43-101, and has reviewed and approved the contents of this news release.
About Silver Wheaton
Silver Wheaton is the largest silver streaming company in the world. Based upon its current agreements, forecast 2011 attributable production is 27 to 28 million silver equivalent ounces, including 15,000 ounces of gold. By 2015, annual attributable production is anticipated to increase significantly to approximately 43 million silver equivalent ounces, including 35,000 ounces of gold. This growth is driven by the Company's portfolio of world-class assets, including silver streams on Goldcorp's Peñasquito mine and Barrick's Pascua-Lama project.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING-STATEMENTS
The information contained herein contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements, which are all statements other than statements of historical fact, include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the future price of silver and gold, the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, the realization of mineral reserve estimates, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, reserve determination, reserve conversion rates and statements as to any future dividends. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Silver Wheaton to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: fluctuations in the price of silver and gold; the absence of control over mining operations from which Silver Wheaton purchases silver or gold and risks related to these mining operations including risks related to fluctuations in the price of the primary commodities mined at such operations, actual results of mining and exploration activities, economic and political risks of the jurisdictions in which the mining operations are located and changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; and differences in the interpretation or application of tax laws and regulations; as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled "Description of the Business - Risk Factors" in Silver Wheaton's Annual Information Form available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and in Silver Wheaton's Form 40-F on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions management believes to be reasonable, including but not limited to: the continued operation of the mining operations from which Silver Wheaton purchases silver or gold, no material adverse change in the market price of commodities, that the mining operations will operate and the mining projects will be completed in accordance with their public statements and achieve their stated production outcomes, and such other assumptions and factors as set out herein. Although Silver Wheaton has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Silver Wheaton does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are included or incorporated by reference herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
SOURCE Silver Wheaton Corp.