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Gold Mine In South Dakota Reports Record Quarter

Gold Mine
A backfilled pit at the Wharf Mine near Lead.

The state’s only active and large-scale gold mine reported record quarterly performance recently.

The Wharf Mine is near Terry Peak and the city of Lead. The mine is owned by Coeur Mining in Chicago. The publicly traded company owns mines throughout North America.

The Wharf Mine is the star of the company’s third-quarter report. The mine produced 33,440 ounces of gold and $38.6 million in free cash flow, which is a measure of profitability. Both numbers are quarterly records for the mine, said President and CEO Mitchell Krebs.

“We bought that for 99 and a half million dollars, so for it to throw off nearly 40 million just this quarter really kind of highlights just how great that thing has been for us,” Krebs said.

He was addressing investors recently on a quarterly earnings call.

Coeur acquired the Wharf mine five years ago. Since then, the mine has generated a total of $232.4 million of free cash flow.

Krebs said the company is drilling to find more gold near the mine.

“Wharf is one of these assets that has been around for 30-plus years, but it seems like we never run out of potential and opportunities to keep extending,” he said.

The company received an average of $1,872 per ounce for Wharf gold during the last several months. The gold price has stayed historically high after topping $2,000 an ounce for the first time in August.

-Seth Tupper is SDPB’s business and economic development reporter.