The company that owns the Troy Mine reported a record year of cash flow Monday and its sixth consecutive year of increased copper and silver production.
John Shanahan, president and CEO of Revett Minerals Inc., said net cash from mining operations before capital expenditures totaled $29.2 million, a 140 percent increase over the $12.2 million from operations in 2010.
The copper and silver mine also processed a record 1.4 million tons of ore, averaging 3,957 tons per day in 2011, compared with 3,807 tons per day in 2010.
That includes record silver production of 1.29 million ounces, an improvement of 28 percent compared to 2010, and record copper production of 10.65 million pounds of copper, an improvement of 21 percent.
The mine also continued to improve its safety record, which was marred by federal citations following a 2007 cave-in that killed a 55-year-old mechanic. Troy Mine operators ultimately agreed to pay $60,000 in fines and accepted a finding of negligence for maintaining inadequate underground supports.
Shanahan said that in the first nine months of 2011 the Mine Safety and Health Administration calculated the Troy Mine's incidence rate at 0.68, compared to the national underground mine average rate of 2.21. By the end of 2011, more than 10 months and 300,000 man hours were completed without a lost-time accident.
Shanahan also highlighted the continued exploration of the Troy Mine as a year-end success resulting in a mine development plan to access a new mineral bed, which is scheduled to commence in mid-2012.
The overall production increase for the year was a result of significant productivity improvements and grade control, he said.
Production improved during the year from 3,277 tons per day in the first quarter to 4,208 tons per day in the fourth quarter.
Production for 2012 is estimated to be 1.4 million ounces of silver and 11.5 million pounds of copper, with current metal prices listing silver at $20 per ounce and copper at $3.25 per pound.
Shanahan said 2011 "was a wonderful operating year based on all measurements. Although just fractionally short of our guidance, 2011 was a record year of production and cash flow which saw significant increases in silver and copper output."