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Pan American Silver loss widens on charge, lower prices

TORONTO, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Pan American Silver Corp reported a much bigger fourth-quarter loss on Thursday because of a sharp drop in metal prices and a charge to write down the value of its Dolores mine.

The Vancouver-based company took a $218.1 million noncash, after-tax impairment charge on the mine, which is located in Mexico, due to a decline in prices and higher taxes.

The miner's average silver price dropped to $20.28 per ounce from $33.41.

However, Pan American's all-in sustaining cost of silver fell 33 percent to $17.03 per ounce sold.

Excluding the impairment charge and other items, the company posted a loss of $84.3 million, compared with a year-earlier profit of $55.1 million.

The net loss widened to $293.1 million, or $1.94 a share, from $31.5 million, or 18 cents a share.

Revenue fell 22 percent to $192.4 million.