Tahoe reports quarterly earnings after Escobal’s first production

Aerial view of Escobal silver project

Tahoe Resources (NYSE:TAHO) reported third-quarter earnings on Tuesday, showing a net loss of $15.5 million for the three months ending September 30, having just begun production on its flagship Escobal silver project in Guatemala.

In the previous quarter, Tahoe posted a $15.6 million net income loss.

Escobal just made it into this quarter’s financials after producing its first metals concentrates on September 30, followed by the first shipment in mid-October. Tahoe expects to ramp-up to full production of 3,500 tonnes per day by the first quarter of 2014.

“Throughput rates for the first 10 days of November have averaged 1655 tpd with plant utilization of 70% … To-date, 891 tonnes of precious metal concentrates have been shipped from the mine site.” the company noted in a statement.

To-date, Tahoe has spent $317 million of the planned $326 million on the Escobal mine. The firm has used an additional $35.8 million on expansion toward 4,500 tonnes per day – a level it expects to reach by 2016.

During the third quarter the company also dished out $1.2 million on exploration activities, compared with more than double that amount in the same quarter last year. In its 2014 budget, Tahoe has allocated between $5 and $10 million toward exploration.

Brining the silver mine to production hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Tahoe has faced a string of challenges including  a Guatemalan appeals court and a complaint filed with the Ontario Securities Commission related to a shooting in Guatemala.

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