Sunshine Suffers Loss For 1997

Increased production could not prevent a loss for Sunshine Mining and Refining Co. in 1997.

The operator of the Sunshine Mine in the Silver Valley reported Monday a net loss for the fourth quarter of $3.1 million, or 1 cent per share, an improvement over 1996’s loss of $7.1 million, or 3 cents per share.

For the year, the net loss in 1997 reached $19.3 million, or 8 cents per share, compared with a loss of $25.9 million in 1996.

But earnings per share for the prior year were 5 cents because of gains the company recorded on a May 1996 exchange of preferred stock for common stock worth $40.1 million less.

A company statement said silver output jumped 65 percent in 1997 while net production costs dropped 26 percent.

Although silver prices increased substantially in the fourth quarter compared with a year ago - $5.45 per ounce vs. $4.85 - the average for 1997 was $5.02, or 9 cents per ounce below the average for 1996.

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