AURCANA SILVER CORPORATION (TSX-V: AUN) provides the following update with respect to its wholly owned Revenue-Virginius Mine located in Ouray, Colorado, USA.
Updated Feasibility Study for the RV Mine Confirming NPV5 US$109 Million
Aurcana is pleased to announce that it has completed an updated feasibility study prepared by SRK Consulting (US) with an effective date of December 31, 2021 and in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. The Updated Feasibility Study re-affirms the substantial value of the RV Mine with an after-tax net present value 5% (NPV) of US$108.8 million¹. As part of preparation of the Updated Feasibility Study, SRK conducted site visits, reviewed the current status of the RV Mine, and completed a detailed review of all geologic and operational data. The Updated Feasibility Study contemplates total production at the RV Mine of approximately 17.7 million payable silver equivalent ounces (including approximately 13 million payable ounces of silver) over the approximately 6.25 year life for the current mineral reserve base at an “All In Sustaining Cost” (AISC) net of by-product credits equal to US$12.55 per ounce over the life of mine². The Updated Feasibility Study assumes five months of operations to complete the #1 Alimak Hoist to be followed by finalization of development of four full mining faces, and then ramping up production thereafter. The Updated Feasibility Study contemplates total costs to cash flow positive of approximately US$20 million, with the significant majority being pre-production operating costs associated with completing the underground development. Aurcana continues to review opportunities to reduce the required funding through improved productivity, as well all other options for sourcing the required funds to achieve sustainable production at the RV Mine.
1 The following commodity prices were used in the NPV calculation: Ag $23.84, Au $1,720, Pb $0.98 and Zn $1.34.
2 AISC or All In Sustaining Costs is a non-IFRS and Non-GAAP measure; AISC includes all production costs related to extraction and processing as well as costs associated with transportation, treatment, refining and other selling costs plus capital costs; by-product pricing included in the ‘after byproduct credit’ calculation is the same as for the NPV calculation.
The full Updated Feasibility Study will be published on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and the Company’s website within 45 days of this announcement.
Mercuria Loan Standstill and Restructuring
As previously announced on December 9, 2020, in order to fund the restart of the RV Mine a subsidiary of Aurcana entered into a 5-year, $28 million term loan and an associated hedging package with indirect, wholly owned subsidiaries of Mercuria Energy Group – https://www.mercuria.com. Aurcana is a guarantor under the Facilities. The Facilities contained customary covenants, with an initial principal payment under the Term Loan due in early-March 2022.
In recognition of Aurcana’s previously announced efforts to reset operations toward full production at the RV Mine and in order to provide Aurcana with increased financial flexibility in the medium-term while the operational work is completed, Aurcana and Mercuria have agreed to certain standstill and restructuring agreements with effect as of March 8, 2022.
The Restructuring Agreements demonstrate Mercuria’s ongoing support for the Revenue-Virginius Mine and provide Aurcana several key benefits including:
Aurcana’s CEO Kevin Drover states, “Given the robustness of the economics outlined in the updated feasibility study along with the inquiries we have received from financial entities who could provide the funding needed, we feel very confident we can meet the timeline and raise the funding to meet the requirements established by Mercuria. The restructuring by Mercuria and the additional funding will allow us to finish our underground development and return to production later this year. The updated feasibility study demonstrates the tremendous value to be unlocked in the Revenue Virginius mine. The task in front of us is to execute the plan to unlock that value by completing the underground infrastructure that will assure our go forward efficiencies and productivities. We currently have ongoing discussions with brokers and funds, and there are several tools at our disposal to try to minimize dilution. This is expected to be a strong market for silver, and being unhedged right now creates a lot of opportunity for Aurcana as a Company and its existing and potential new investors alike.”
The Restructuring Agreements include the following terms and conditions:
Qualified Person Statement
The scientific and technical content of this news release was reviewed and approved by Michael Gross, P. Geo, a “qualified person” within the meaning of NI 43-101.
In connection with the preparation of the Updated Feasibility Study, SRK verified sampling, analytical, and test data underlying the information or opinions contained in the Updated Feasibility Study. In particular, SRK reviewed 10% of the database of both historical and new data against assay certificates and found less than 2% error in the database. No major changes were made to the assay database except where Aurcana geologists averaged samples that had multiple assays. SRK also completed a detailed review of the historical logging to gain more geological information and a statistical review of the channel and drilling database which supports the use of both the chip and drilling samples. SRK is of the opinion that no material bias is being introduced by using the database as presented by Aurcana and that it is adequate for use in the geological modelling and mineral resource estimation. Additional information concerning data verification will be contained in the Updated Feasibility Study and is also available in Aurcana’s existing technical report in respect of the RV Mine available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
ABOUT AURCANA SILVER CORPORATION
Aurcana Silver Corporation owns the Revenue-Virginius Mine, in Colorado, and the Shafter-Presidio Silver Project in Texas, US. The primary resource at Shafter and Revenue-Virginius is silver. Both are fully permitted for production.
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