New Pacific Metals Announces 2024 Plans for Operations in Bolivia

1 February 2024

New Pacific Metals Corp. is pleased to outline its 2024 plans for its operations in Bolivia.

Andrew Williams, President and CEO, states: "2024 is expected to be a pivotal year for New Pacific. At our Silver Sand project, we expect to deliver our Preliminary Feasibility Study by mid-year, enabling us to declare mineral reserves for the first time in our Company's history. Simultaneously, with several important initiatives underway, we continue our steady march towards submitting our Environmental Impact Assessment Study. At our Carangas project, we plan to build upon last year's inaugural mineral resource estimate, revealing conceptual economics through an anticipated mid-year release of a Preliminary Economic Assessment."

"In the past year at New Pacific, we have successfully added new project development capabilities while retaining our exploration capacity to strategically expand or reduce risk at our projects and capitalize on new opportunities as they arise. At our Silver Sand and Carangas projects we have made back-to-back greenfield silver discoveries in a country with a rich history of silver mining spanning 500 years. We have also curated a team of Bolivians who are energized to develop responsibly the country's next generation of great silver mines. With our balance sheet recently bolstered by a C$35 million financing, New Pacific has a strong growth foundation in a world with an increasing demand for silver."

Silver Sand Preliminary Feasibility Study

The Preliminary Feasibility Study (the "PFS") in respect of the Company's Silver Sand project is progressing as planned, with an expected delivery by mid-2024. Independent consultants AMC Mining Consultants (Canada) Ltd., NewFields Canada Mining & Environment ULC and Halyard Inc. are actively involved in completing the PFS. Significant milestones achieved include the completion of mine optimization, strategic phasing, processing flowsheet optimization, and tailings trade-off studies. Concurrently, ongoing efforts encompass strategic mine scheduling, tailings and site infrastructure design, and processing plant layout design. We expect the technical route to remain largely consistent with the Preliminary Economic Assessment in respect of the Silver Sand project (the "Silver Sand PEA Technical Report") published in January 2023.  Please see "Cautionary Note Regarding Results of Preliminary Economic Assessment".  For more details on the Silver Sand PEA Technical Report, please refer to the Company's news releases dated February 16, 2023 and January 9, 2023.

Silver Sand Permitting

In May 2023, the Silver Sand project obtained its environmental categorization as a proposed open pit operation from Bolivia's Ministry of Environment and Water, formally commencing the Environmental Impact Assessment Study ("EEIA") process. The Company continues to advance its socialization process with communities located within the Silver Sand project's area of influence and collect wet and dry season environmental baseline data. In addition, the Company is establishing a development fund for sustainable development projects in partnership with local communities, demonstrating its long-term commitment to the region.

After completion of the socialization process, the Company plans to achieve the following:

1)      obtain surface rights through long-term land lease agreements;
2)      finalize a resettlement and compensation plan for impacted families; and
3)      implement measures to safeguard cultural and historical heritage.

Integral to our pathway towards obtaining the EEIA, the Company is establishing a framework to coexist with artisanal and small-scale miners ("ASMs") in areas of the Silver Sand project that do not encroach on our mineral rights. New Pacific recognizes the importance of ASMs to the region's economic and political landscape and is committed to ensuring the shared benefits from a proposed modern mining operation, including access to milling capacity, technology, infrastructure, and capital, are realized. The Company is also undertaking measures, with the assistance of both local government authorities and external contractors, to address the presence of ASMs whose activities do not align with the development objectives of the Silver Sand project.

The Company is also pursuing compliance with the International Finance Corporation's eight performance standards for sustainable development, building on an assessment conducted with an independent consultant last year. This aligns with New Pacific's commitment to responsible mining while providing the ancillary benefit of positioning the project for development by the Company, or another party, upon successful completion of the EEIA process.

Silver Sand Mining Production Contract

The Company continues to engage with the Bolivia state mining corporation, Corporación Minera de Bolivia (the "COMIBOL"), to obtain the ratification and approval of the signed Mining Production Contract (the "MPC") at the Silver Sand project by the Plurinational Legislative Assembly of Bolivia. The Company and COMIBOL have refined the MPC to concentrate exclusively on claims immediately adjacent to the Silver Sand project boundary. This streamlined landholding, while maintaining the core value of the MPC to the Silver Sand project, is anticipated to facilitate progress towards ratification and approval of the MPC.

Carangas Preliminary Economic Assessment

The Preliminary Economic Assessment in respect of the Company's Carangas project (the "Carangas PEA") remains on schedule for completion by mid-2024. The Company and its independent consultants are currently undertaking trade-off studies based on the Mineral Resource Estimate in respect of the Carangas project (the "Carangas MRE").  For more details on the Carangas MRE, please refer to the Company's news releases dated September 5, 2023 and September 18, 2023. There are a variety of open pit mining options under review, all focusing on the higher-grade, near-surface starter pit at the Carangas project that can be mined at a lower strip ratio. Additionally, the Company is undertaking a metallurgical test program to enhance the processing flowsheet and gather valuable data to support the Carangas PEA.

Silverstrike Project

At the Company's Silverstrike project, exploration activities remain on standby as the Company focuses on the programs for the Silver Sand project and Carangas project, as outlined above.

Qualified Person

The scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Alex Zhang, P. Geo., Vice President of Exploration (the "Qualified Person"), who is a qualified person (as defined in National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101")) for the purposes of NI 43-101. The Qualified Person has verified the information disclosed herein using standard verification processes, including the sampling, preparation, security and analytical procedures underlying such information, and is not aware of any significant risks and uncertainties or any limitations on the verification process that could be expected to affect the reliability or confidence in the information discussed herein.