Diversified portfolio pays off for Wheaton Precious Metals

8th February 2022

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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Having a diversified, high-quality portfolio of low-cost assets paid off for royalty firm Wheaton Precious Metals in 2021, with strong performances from some key mines more than offsetting challenges at others, CEO Randy Smallwood reported on Monday.

The company achieved its 2021 production guidance, with gold output of 342 546 oz, silver output of 25.80-million ounces, palladium production of 20 908 oz and cobalt output of 2.29-million pounds.

Gold-equivalent production of 750 220 oz exceeded the midpoint of the 735 000 oz to 765 000 oz guidance range, primarily as a result of stronger than expected output from Peñasquito, in Mexico, Antamina and Constancia, in Peru, as well as Voisey’s Bay, in Canada, partially offset by weaker production from Salobo, in Brazil, and Sudbury, in Canada.

At Salobo, lower throughput and grades were reported as a result of changes in maintenance routines restricting mine movement in the first half of 2021, coupled with the effect on production of a conveyor belt fire in October.

At Sudbury, a two-month labour dispute and the suspension of mining at the Totten mine as a result of a shaft incident impacted on production.

Wheaton forecast that its gold-equivalent production would remain comparatively unchanged in 2022. In the next five years, production would increase owing to continued production growth from Salobo, Stillwater, Constancia, Voisey’s Bay and Marmato, as well as incremental production ounces from Blackwater, Toroparu, Fenix, Marathon, Rosemont and Santo Domingo towards the latter end of the forecast period.

Average forecast production over the next ten years includes additional incremental production from the Kutcho project and the Victor mine in Sudbury. Vale has indicated the potential for an additional expansion after the completion of the current Salobo III expansion, which Wheaton did not include in its forecast. Pascua Lama, which Barrick owns, is also not included in the ten-year production guidance.

Wheaton is forecasting 20% long-term growth.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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