Silver Wheaton first quarter net earnings almost triple, compared to 2009

    
    TSX: SLW
    NYSE:   SLW
    

VANCOUVER, May 12 /CNW/ - Silver Wheaton Corp. ("Silver Wheaton" or the "Company") (TSX, NYSE: SLW) is pleased to announce its unaudited results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010.

    
    FIRST QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -   Net earnings almost tripled to US$44.6 million (US$0.13 per share),
        compared to US$15.1 million (US$0.06 per share) in 2009.

    -   Operating cash flows increased 149% to US$57.6 million (US$0.17 per
        share)(1), compared with US$23.1 million (US$0.09 per share)(1) in
        2009.

    -   Attributable silver equivalent production of 5.5 million ounces (4.9
        million ounces of silver and 7,700 ounces of gold), representing an
        increase of 68% over the comparable period in 2009.

    -   Silver equivalent sales of 5.0 million ounces (4.4 million ounces of
        silver and 8,600 ounces of gold), representing an increase of 58%
        over the comparable period in 2009.

    -   Total cash costs(1) of US$4.04 per silver equivalent ounce compared
        to US$3.97 per ounce in 2009.

    -   Cash operating margin(1) increased by 66% to US$13.16 per silver
        equivalent ounce, compared to US$7.93 per ounce in 2009.

    -   Recorded first silver sales attributable to the sulphide process line
        at Goldcorp's Penasquito mine in Mexico. Silver production at
        Penasquito met expectations during the quarter and is anticipated to
        ramp up as the year progresses. Annual production attributable to
        Silver Wheaton from the mine is expected to average approximately 7
        million ounces of silver over the estimated 22 year mine life.

    -   Acquired an amount equal to 100% of the life of mine silver and gold
        production from Augusta Resource Corporation's ("Augusta") Rosemont
        Copper project ("Rosemont") in the United States. Once production
        commences, Rosemont is forecast to increase Silver Wheaton's
        long-term annual production by approximately 2.4 million ounces of
        silver, plus any gold production, estimated by Augusta to average up
        to 15,000 ounces of gold per annum.

    -   Converted the debenture with Pan American Silver Corp. ("Pan
        American") into an agreement to acquire an amount equal to 12.5% of
        the life of mine silver production from the Loma de La Plata zone of
        the Navidad project located in Argentina. Navidad is forecast to
        increase Silver Wheaton's long-term annual silver production by
        approximately 2 million ounces.

    -   Announced that attributable proven and probable reserves more than
        doubled in 2009, including an increase of 431 million ounces of
        silver and 220,000 ounces of gold, to a record 875 million silver
        equivalent ounces. In addition, attributable measured and indicated
        resources increased by 72%, including an increase of 141 million
        ounces of silver and 180,000 ounces of gold, to a record 366 million
        silver equivalent ounces. Attributable inferred resources increased
        by 4%, including an increase of 12 million ounces of silver and
        50,000 ounces of gold, to a record 408 million silver equivalent
        ounces.

    ------------------------------------
    (1) Refer to discussion on non-GAAP measures at the end of this press
        release.
    

"The first quarter represented a solid start to the year for us," said Peter Barnes, Chief Executive Officer of Silver Wheaton. "Production was in line with our forecasts and, with a 45% increase in our average realized silver price compared to the first quarter of 2009, our cash margin per ounce increased by 66%, demonstrating our ability to provide significant silver price leverage for shareholders. Penasquito continued its smooth production ramp-up, meeting or exceeding design operating parameters, which should result in a year of significant production growth for Silver Wheaton. We continue to forecast 2010 attributable silver equivalent production of 23.5 million ounces, a greater than 35% increase compared to 2009 levels."

"In February, two new precious metal streams were acquired, further strengthening our industry-leading production growth profile. We completed a transaction allowing us to purchase an amount equal to 100% of the life of mine silver and gold production from the Rosemont project in Arizona, and converted a debenture allowing us to acquire an amount equal to 12.5% of the life of mine silver production from a portion of the Navidad project in Argentina. These are both very high-quality advanced-stage development projects that are forecast to increase our silver equivalent production by approximately five million ounces per annum, once in production."

This earnings release should be read in conjunction with Silver Wheaton's unaudited MD&A and Financial Statements, which are available on the Company's website at www.silverwheaton.com and have been posted on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

A conference call will be held Thursday, May 13, 2010, starting at 11:00 am (Eastern Time) to discuss these results. To participate in the live call use one of the following methods:

    
    Dial toll free from Canada or the US: 1-888-231-8191
    Dial from outside Canada or the US: 1-647-427-7450
    Pass code: 68638151
    Live audio webcast: www.silverwheaton.com

    Participants should dial in five to ten minutes before the call.

    The conference call will be recorded and you can listen to an archive of
    the call by one of the following methods:

    Dial toll free from Canada or the US: 1-800-642-1687
    Dial from outside Canada or the US: 1-416-849-0833
    Pass code: 68638151
    Archived audio webcast: www.silverwheaton.com
    

ABOUT SILVER WHEATON

Silver Wheaton is the largest silver streaming company in the world. Forecast 2010 production, based upon its current agreements, is 22.2 million ounces of silver and 20,000 ounces of gold, for total production of 23.5 million silver equivalent ounces. By 2013, annual production is anticipated to increase significantly to approximately 38 million ounces of silver and 59,000 ounces of gold, for total production of over 40 million silver equivalent ounces. This growth is driven by the Company's portfolio of world-class assets, including silver streams on Goldcorp's Penasquito mine and Barrick's Pascua-Lama project.

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING-STATEMENTS

The information contained herein contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements, which are all statements other than statements of historical fact, include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the future price of silver and gold, the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, the realization of mineral reserve estimates, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, reserve determination and reserve conversion rates. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Silver Wheaton to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: fluctuations in the price of silver and gold; the absence of control over mining operations from which Silver Wheaton purchases silver or gold and risks related to these mining operations including risks related to fluctuations in the price of the primary commodities mined at such operations, actual results of mining and exploration activities, economic and political risks of the jurisdictions in which the mining operations are located and changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; and differences in the interpretation or application of tax laws and regulations; as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled "Description of the Business - Risk Factors" in Silver Wheaton's Annual Information Form available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and in Silver Wheaton's Form 40-F on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions management believes to be reasonable, including but not limited to: the continued operation of the mining operations from which Silver Wheaton purchases silver or gold, no material adverse change in the market price of commodities, that the mining operations will operate and the mining projects will be completed in accordance with their public statements and achieve their stated production outcomes, and such other assumptions and factors as set out herein. Although Silver Wheaton has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Silver Wheaton does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are included or incorporated by reference herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

    
    Consolidated Statement of Operations (unaudited)

                                                  Three Months Ended March 31
    (US dollars and shares in thousands,
     except per share amounts - unaudited)               2010        2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sales                                             $   85,938  $   37,572
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Cost of sales                                         20,167      12,540
    Depletion                                             13,551       6,587
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          33,718      19,127
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Earnings from operations                              52,220      18,445
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Expenses and other income
      General and administrative(1)                        7,195       4,578
      Loss (gain) on mark-to-market of
       warrants held                                         164          (3)
      Other                                                  231      (1,241)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           7,590       3,334
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Net earnings                                      $   44,630  $   15,111
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basic earnings per share                          $     0.13  $     0.06
    Diluted earnings per share                        $     0.13  $     0.06
    Weighted average number of shares outstanding
      Basic                                              342,334     270,284
      Diluted                                            346,457     272,767
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1)  Stock based compensation (a non-cash item)
        included in general and administrative        $    3,108  $    1,859



    Consolidated Balance Sheets (unaudited)

                                                       March 31  December 31
    (US dollars in thousands - unaudited)                2010        2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Assets
    Current
      Cash and cash equivalents                       $  279,658  $  227,566
      Accounts receivable                                  5,364       4,881
      Other                                                  751       1,027
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         285,773     233,474

    Long-term investments                                 77,358      73,747
    Silver and gold interests                          1,921,542   1,928,476
    Other                                                  1,427       1,527
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      $2,286,100  $2,237,224
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Liabilities
    Current
      Accounts payable                                $    2,126  $    5,397
      Accrued liabilities                                  3,844       4,578
      Current portion of bank debt                        28,560      28,560
      Current portion of silver interest payments due    132,988     130,788
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         167,518     169,323

    Long-term portion of bank debt                       100,040     107,180
    Long-term portion of silver interest payments due    240,779     236,796
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         508,337     513,299
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Shareholders' Equity
    Issued capital and contributed surplus             1,339,760   1,333,191
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Retained earnings                                    388,464     343,834
    Accumulated other comprehensive income                49,539      46,900
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         438,003     390,734
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       1,777,763   1,723,925
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      $2,286,100  $2,237,224
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows (unaudited)

                                                 Three Months Ended March 31
    (US dollars in thousands - unaudited)                2010        2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Operating Activities
    Net earnings                                      $   44,630  $   15,111
    Items not affecting cash
      Depreciation and depletion                          13,616       6,648
      Stock based compensation                             3,108       1,859
      Loss (gain) on mark-to-market of warrants held         164          (3)
      Other                                                  127         515
    Change in non-cash operating working capital          (4,045)     (1,010)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash generated by operating activities                57,600      23,120
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Financing Activities
    Bank debt repaid                                      (7,140)   (220,640)
    Shares issued                                              -     230,424
    Share issue costs                                        (85)     (9,548)
    Share purchase warrants exercised                        167          86
    Share purchase options exercised                       3,294          87
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash (applied to) generated by financing activities   (3,764)        409
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Investing Activities
    Silver and gold interests                               (517)     (3,371)
    Long-term investments                                 (1,135)        138
    Other                                                   (212)        (50)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash applied to investing activities                  (1,864)     (3,283)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash
     equivalents                                             120        (612)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Increase in cash and cash equivalents                 52,092      19,634
    Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period       227,566       7,110
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash and cash equivalents, end of period          $  279,658  $   26,744
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Results of Operations (unaudited)

                                           Three Months Ended March 31, 2010
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Average
                                                                    realized
                                                                       price
                               Ounces       Ounces        Sales   (US$'s per
                           produced(3)        sold       (US$'s)       ounce)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Silver
      Luismin                   1,270        1,287  $    22,239  $     17.28
      Zinkgruvan                  387          498        8,557        17.19
      Yauliyacu                   737          581       10,135        17.44
      Penasquito                  520          424        7,375        17.40
      Minto                        62           47          789        16.61
      Cozamin                     401          281        4,813        17.13
      Barrick(5)                  778          783       13,498        17.24
      Other(6)                    791          526        9,056        17.23
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                4,946        4,427  $    76,462  $     17.27
    Gold

      Minto                     7,651        8,611  $     9,476  $     1,100
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Silver Equivalent(7)        5,453        4,998  $    85,938  $     17.20
    Corporate
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                5,453        4,998  $    85,938  $     17.20
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                           Three Months Ended March 31, 2010
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Cash flow
                                Total        Total          Net         from
                            cash cost    depletion     earnings     (used in)
                           (US$'s per   (US$'s per        (loss)  operations
                             ounce)(4)       ounce)      (US$'s)      (US$'s)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Silver
      Luismin             $      4.04  $      0.79  $    16,028  $    17,039
      Zinkgruvan                 4.04         1.72        5,692        5,704
      Yauliyacu                  3.97         3.47        5,809        7,849
      Penasquito                 3.90         2.54        4,644        5,722
      Minto                      3.90         3.69          429          408
      Cozamin                    4.00         4.62        2,391        4,035
      Barrick(5)                 3.90         3.50        7,705        8,410
      Other(6)                   3.90         4.51        4,637        7,515
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          $      3.97  $      2.61  $    47,335  $    56,682
    Gold

      Minto               $       300  $       233  $     4,885  $     5,752
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Silver Equivalent(7)  $      4.04         2.71  $    52,220  $    62,434
    Corporate                                            (7,590)      (4,834)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          $      4.04  $      2.71  $    44,630  $    57,600
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1)  All figures in thousands except gold ounces produced and sold and per
        ounce amounts.
    2)  Ounces produced represent the quantity of silver and gold contained
        in concentrate or doré prior to smelting or refining deductions.
    3)  Certain production figures are based on management estimates.
    4)  Refer to discussion on non-GAAP measures at the end of this press
        release.
    5)  Comprised of the Lagunas Norte, Pierina and Veladero mines.
    6)  Comprised of the La Negra, Mineral Park, Stratoni, Campo Morado and
        Neves-Corvo mines.
    7)  Gold ounces produced and sold are converted to a silver equivalent
        basis on the ratio of the average silver price received to the
        average gold price received during the period. The conversion ratio
        for the three months ended March 31, 2010 was 66.26.



                                           Three Months Ended March 31, 2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Average
                                                                    realized
                                                                       price
                               Ounces       Ounces        Sales   (US$'s per
                             produced        sold       (US$'s)       ounce)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Silver
      Luismin                   1,375        1,403  $    17,174  $     12.24
      Zinkgruvan                  461          451        5,416        12.01
      Yauliyacu                   739          743        8,689        11.69
      Penasquito                  160          135        1,562        11.55
      Other(4)                    507          426        4,731        11.11
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                3,242        3,158  $    37,572  $     11.90
    Corporate
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                3,242        3,158  $    37,572  $     11.90
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                           Three Months Ended March 31, 2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Cash flow
                                Total        Total          Net         from
                            cash cost    depletion     earnings     (used in)
                           (US$'s per   (US$'s per        (loss)  operations
                             ounce)(3)       ounce)      (US$'s)      (US$'s)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Silver
      Luismin             $      4.02  $      0.82  $    10,376  $    11,532
      Zinkgruvan                 4.02         1.78        2,800        3,220
      Yauliyacu                  3.90         3.47        3,213        5,791
      Penasquito                 3.90         2.35          717        1,034
      Other(4)                   3.90         4.07        1,339        3,503
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          $      3.97  $      2.09  $    18,445  $    25,080
    Corporate                                            (3,334)      (1,960)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          $      3.97  $      2.09  $    15,111  $    23,120
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1)  All figures in thousands except per ounce amounts.
    2)  Ounces produced represent the quantity of silver contained in
        concentrate or doré prior to smelting or refining deductions.
    3)  Refer to discussion on non-GAAP measures at the end of this press
        release.
    4)  Comprised of the La Negra, Campo Morado and Stratoni mines.
    

Non-GAAP Measures

Silver Wheaton has included, throughout this document, certain non-GAAP performance measures, including total cash costs of silver and gold on a sales basis, as well as operating cash flows per share and cash operating margin. These non-GAAP measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP, nor are they necessarily comparable with similar measures presented by other companies. Cash costs are presented as they represent an industry standard method of comparing certain costs on a per unit basis. Cash operating margin is defined as the realized selling price less total cash cost per silver equivalent ounce. The Company believes that certain investors use this information to evaluate the Company's performance. The data is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. During the three months ended March 31, 2010, the Company's total cash costs, which were equivalent to the Company's cost of sales in accordance with GAAP, were US$3.97 per ounce of silver and US$300 per ounce of gold (three months ended March 31, 2009 - US$3.97 per ounce of silver).

SOURCE Silver Wheaton Corp.

For further information: For further information: Brad Kopp, Vice President, Investor Relations, Silver Wheaton Corp., Tel: 1-800-380-8687, Email: info@silverwheaton.com, Website: www.silverwheaton.com


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