UPDATE 1-Coeur d'Alene looking at options for Argentina mine

June 25 Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:57am EDT

June 25 (Reuters) - Precious metals producer Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp said it would evaluate strategic options for a silver and gold mine in Argentina due to high operating costs, and will recognize a charge in the second quarter.

The charge "may result in future cash expenditures and may be significant to the company's quarterly and annual results," Coeur d'Alene said in a regulatory filing.

The Martha mine in Argentina's Santa Cruz province, which began operations in June 2002, produced 1.6 million ounces of silver or about 10 percent of the company's total silver output, and 1 percent of its total gold production in 2010.

The mine has a short remaining expected life, Coeur d'Alene said.

Coeur d'Alene said it will cut operating costs and process more above-ground stockpile material during the remainder of the year to maximize cash flows from the mine.

The mine's cash operating costs for gold soared to $13.16 per ounce in 2010 from $6.19 per ounce a year earlier. Total cash costs for silver were $14.14 in 2010, compared with $6.68 in 2009.

The company, whose shares also trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange, operates mines in Nevada and Alaska in the United States, Mexico and Bolivia.

Shares of the company closed at $17.51 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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