Sierra Metals Reports Q4 2023 Production, Meeting 2023 Guidance and Provides 2024 Production Guidance

2 February 2024

Sierra Metals Inc. reports fourth quarter and full year 2023 production results from its two underground mines in Latin America: The Yauricocha polymetallic mine in Peru and the copper-producing Bolivar mine in Mexico.

Ernesto Balarezo, CEO of Sierra Metals, commented, “2023 was a pivotal turnaround year for the Company as we successfully fulfilled our commitment of achieving stability and maintained focus on optimizing all facets of the business, particularly in the production from our core mines, while prioritizing the safety aspects of our operations.

The team at Yauricocha responded positively to our efforts towards recovery to full production capacity. The increase of 2% in Q4 2023 throughput over Q3 2023 may be marginal but marks an important sequential increase for the fourth consecutive quarter.

Our Bolivar mine achieved an average production of 4,686 tonnes per day throughput in Q4 2023, which is near capacity and close to the production levels not seen since Q3 2020. We have been successful in reducing the backlog in drilling and mine development, and this is reflected in our Q4 2023 and full year 2023 production performance.

Mr. Balarezo concluded, “The momentum we built from 2023 will provide the foundation for the future years, as we continue to operate at the highest safety levels while optimizing production and improving our balance sheet.”

Consolidated throughput during Q4 2023 was 673,846 tonnes, an 8% increase when compared to Q3 2023, as throughput from both the mines increased quarter over quarter. Grades for all metals at the Bolivar mine and copper grades at the Yauricocha mine also increased quarter over quarter. The Company achieved a consolidated production of 21.1 million copper equivalent pounds, indicating a 14% increase compared to Q3 2023.

When compared to Q4 2022, consolidated throughput increased 59% for Q4 2023. Higher throughputs for both the mines were further supported by higher copper and gold grades at Yauricocha, resulting in a 78% increase in copper equivalent produced pounds in Q4 2023 as compared to the same quarter of 2022.

For 2023, the increase in throughput and grades resulted in higher production for all metals. Consolidated copper equivalent production was 76.7 million pounds, a 37% increase over the full year 2022 consolidated copper equivalent production.

Yauricocha Mine, Peru

The Yauricocha mine continued its momentum of steady increase in throughput in Q4 2023. Throughput during Q4 2023 was 263,851 tonnes, a 2% increase when compared to Q3 2023, but a 73% increase over the same quarter of 2022.

As compared to Q3 2023, copper grades increased in Q4 2023, due to the mining in the copper-rich Esperanza and Fortuna zones. Grades for lead, silver and zinc declined in Q4 2023 when compared to Q3 2023, due to the lower contribution in Q4 2023 from the Esparanza North zone and other small ore bodies.

In comparison with the same quarter of last year, Q4 2023 grades for lead and zinc were lower while copper, gold and silver grades were higher than Q4 2022.

Copper equivalent production of 10.9 million for Q4 2023 was a 100% increase over Q4 2022. Despite a continuous quarter over quarter increase in throughput during 2023, annual throughput for Yauricocha was 6% below the throughput achieved in 2022. Annual copper equivalent production of 40.1 million pounds was in line with the 2023 production guidance, and represented a 2% increase when compared to 2022.

Bolivar Mine, Mexico

The Bolivar Mine processed 409,995 tonnes during Q4 2023. Throughput for Q4 2023 was 13% higher than Q3 2023 as a result of higher availability of stopes driven by improved drilling and blasting, and better equipment performance. The incorporation of the Dulce ore body in the production schedule drove a quarter over quarter improvement in head grades. Higher throughput and grades resulted in increased production for all metals and consequent 26% increase in copper equivalent pounds production.

Throughput for Q4 2023 was 52% higher than the same quarter of 2022, as improved drilling performance allowed for better approach to the mineable zones. Enhanced ore definition enabled the mine to produce better copper and silver grades during Q4 2023. The resultant copper equivalent pounds production for Q4 2023 was 58% higher than Q4 2022.

During 2023, production for all metals increased at Bolivar due to the higher throughput and grades as compared to the full year 2022, resulting in 36.6 million copper equivalent pounds produced, an increase of 116%. Bolivar’s annual copper equivalent pound production was within the annual guidance range for 2023.    

2024 Production Guidance

The Company expects 2024 to be a year of stable operations while it positions its core mines for long term growth. The Company is in the final stage of a very comprehensive and thorough process to obtain the permit to operate below the 1120 level at the Yauricocha Mine and anticipates receipt of this permit by the end of Q1 2024. Thereafter the Company expects that it will take between six and nine months during 2024 to reach full production below 1120, providing access to a large ore body that should allow the mine to increase production and lower costs in subsequent years. At Bolivar, plans are underway to enhance the capacity of the tailings dam which will enable the plant to increase production levels.

About Sierra Metals

Sierra Metals is a Canadian mining company focused on copper production with additional base and precious metals by-product credits at its Yauricocha Mine in Peru and Bolivar Mine in Mexico. The Company is intent on safely increasing production volume and growing mineral resources. Sierra Metals has recently had several new key discoveries and still has many more exciting brownfield exploration opportunities in Peru and Mexico that are within close proximity to the existing mines. Additionally, the Company has large land packages at each of its mines with several prospective regional targets providing longer-term exploration upside and mineral resource growth potential.

Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information relates to future events or the anticipated performance of Sierra Metals and reflects management's expectations or beliefs regarding such future events and anticipated performance based on an assumed set of economic conditions and courses of action including the accuracy of the Company's current mineral resource estimates, that the Company's activities will be conducted in accordance with the Company's public statements and stated goals, and that there will be no material adverse change affecting the Company, its properties or its production estimates, the expected trends in mineral prices, inflation and currency exchange rates, that all required approvals will be obtained for the Company's business operations on acceptable terms, and that there will be no significant disruptions affecting the Company's operations. In certain cases, statements that contain forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", "believes" or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", “should”, "would", "might", or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" or the negative of these words or comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements include statements with respect to the timing of the receipt of the permit for Yauricocha to operate below the 1120 level, timing of the development below the 1120 level and to increase production, and the timing of expansion of the tailings dam at Bolivar. By its very nature forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual performance of Sierra Metals to be materially different from any anticipated performance expressed or implied by such forward-looking information.

Forward-looking information is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual events or results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking information, including, without limitation, the risks described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's annual information form dated March 28, 2023 for its fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 and other risks identified in the Company's filings with Canadian securities regulators, which filings are available at www.sedarplus.ca.

The risk factors referred to above are not an exhaustive list of the factors that may affect any of the Company's forward-looking information. Forward-looking information includes statements about the future and is inherently uncertain, and the Company's actual achievements or other future events or conditions may differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking information due to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors. The Company's statements containing forward-looking information are based on the beliefs, expectations, and opinions of management on the date the statements are made, and the Company does not assume any obligation to update such forward-looking information if circumstances or management's beliefs, expectations or opinions should change, other than as required by applicable law. For the reasons set forth above, one should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.

Contacts
For further information regarding Sierra Metals, please visit www.sierrametals.com or contact:

Investor Relations
Sierra Metals Inc.
Tel: +1 (866) 721-7437
Email: [email protected]

 

Source:businesswire.com