$ 334 million Rochester mine expansion project on track in rural northern Nevada

The Rochester de Coeur open pit mine is located 25 miles northeast of Lovelock in Pershing County. Photo: Rochester Heart


The US 95 I-80 Futures conference on October 28 featured presentations from several Pershing County business leaders, including Frankie Graham, Senior Community Relations Advisor for Coeur Rochester.

Graham briefed the crowd of over 200 on new mine construction and jobs with the county’s largest private employer.

The Rochester Company’s surface mine, located 25 miles northeast of Lovelock, currently produces silver with gold as a heap-leached byproduct of the Rochester deposit and, in the future, the deposit adjacent Nevada Packard.

In 2018, Coeur acquired the Lincoln Hill, Gold Ridge and Independence Hill mining areas and plans to conduct exploratory drilling in these areas immediately west of the Rochester mine.


“Last year we produced 3.2 million ounces of silver and 27,000 ounces of gold,” Graham said.


The mine currently employs around 325 people, but the workforce could grow to nearly 350 by the end of the year, she said.


“That’s this year’s total for our direct employees,” Graham said. “In 2022, we plan to add just over 20 employees to our workforce. Of course, everyone knows that these numbers can change depending on the business and the way things are going. In 2023, we will add the same amount to our total once we are fully operational on our current expansion. “

RELATED: Business leaders highlight economic growth in rural northern Nevada



Coeur is investing $ 334 million in the current mine expansion known as Plan of Operations Amendment 11, which is expected to extend the life of the mine until 2033, Graham said.

The the company website explains the project includes a new leach pad, a crushing plant equipped with two high pressure crushing units, a Merrill Crowe processing plant and “associated infrastructure”.

POA 11 was about 30% complete by mid-2021 with a workforce of around 250 contractors, but those teams will “peak” at around 350 workers in the first quarter of 2022, according to the company. The expansion is expected to be almost complete by the end of 2022.


After the expansion, Rochester is expected to produce more than 8 million ounces of silver and about 80,000 ounces of gold per year for the first 10 years, according to the company.


Graham said about 75 percent of the miners are from Pershing and Humboldt counties – 48 percent from Pershing and 28 percent from Humboldt. The mine indirectly supports about 650 other jobs in northern Nevada. Long-term mining jobs are available now at
coeur.com.

“We’re looking for lab technicians, engineers, equipment operators, mechanics,” Graham said. “There is always something in there. We would be delighted to have you on our team.


Benefits for workers now include transportation to and from the mine site to reduce traffic, fuel consumption and greenhouse gases, Graham said.


For years, the mining company has demonstrated that it knows the value of good community relations, Graham told the crowd. Heart donated income, volunteers and equipment for projects such as this year’s Main Street Fire debris cleanup and recently donated a Packard Flat forge to the Marzen House Museum in Lovelock.


“Heart Rochester has been a community partner for over 30 years,” Graham said. “We believe in the idea that we don’t work here, we live here. We care about the issues that matter to these communities. We will continue to invest in education, term employment and contribute to the long term success of the community through partnership opportunities.


In
its third quarter 2021 report, Heart confirmed to investors the importance of Rochester.

“Our main short-term catalyst remains the expansion of Amendment 11 of the plan of operations in Rochester, northern Nevada, where we continue to generate and apply key lessons from the existing operation to better position the operation expanded for long-term success once construction is complete, “according to the report. “Despite the current inflationary environment, we believe Rochester remains a transformative and well-funded source of growth on which we remain laser focused.”


In a technical report released late last year, Coeur outlined his plans for the Packard repository.


“Nevada Packard’s development is expected to lead the way in 2029 and includes plans for a ne
w leachate buffer, crushing plant, Merrill Crowe processing plant, mobile equipment and supporting infrastructure, which are expected to cost around $ 49 million in construction capital, ”according to the company. “Production from Nevada Packard is expected to begin in 2030, which will result in the placement of approximately 32 million tonnes over the mine’s expected six-year life. “

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