Endeavour Silver Corp. (TSX: EDR) (NYSE: EXK) reports its production results for the First Quarter, 2019 from the Company’s four silver-gold mines in Mexico: the Guanaceví mine in Durango state, the Bolañitos and El Cubo mines in Guanajuato state and the El Compas mine in Zacatecas state.
Silver production in the First Quarter, 2019 was 1,071,355 ounces (oz) and gold production was 10,055 oz, resulting in silver equivalent production of 1.9 million oz at an 80:1 silver-gold ratio. The 21% lower silver production and 24% lower gold production compared to Q1, 2018 were due to the planned reduction of mine output at El Cubo, lower than planned throughput at Bolanitos and lower silver grades at Guanacevi.
Bradford Cooke, Endeavour CEO, commented, “All four mines typically start slowly each year as we commence our annual capital investments, then production improves as the mines work toward achieving their annual mine plans. At Guanacevi, the new Milache orebody is now producing 250 tonnes per day (tpd) of development ore, on its way to 400 tpd by the third quarter, and the new SCS orebody is being developed for production in H2, 2019.
“At Bolanitos, planning is underway to boost throughput in the second half. El Cubo is ahead of its plan for the year, with a focus on extending the mine life. The El Compas mine achieved commercial production in mid-March but only contributed two weeks of production during the first quarter, so it should help boost consolidated production in the coming quarters. Optimization studies are underway at El Compas to increase throughput, grades and recoveries closer to their design capacities.
“With El Compas now commercial, management is fully focused on receiving the final government permit, arranging debt financing, continuing to optimize the pre-feasibility study released last year, and seeking board approval to commence construction of our fifth mine at Terronera. A preliminary economic assessment and mine permitting are both underway for the Parral project, which will be the Company’s largest exploration project in 2019.”
Production Highlights for First Quarter, 2019 (Compared to First Quarter, 2018)
Operations Summary for First Quarter, 2019
At Guanacevi, production rates at the Milache and SCS orebodies are expected to increase each quarter to their respective capacities by the third quarter, first to fill the plant to its 1,200 tpd capacity and then to steadily displace the higher cost production at Porvenir Norte and Santa Cruz. Throughput was 95% of plan, while silver grades were lower than plan, due to a higher proportion of lower grade ore still being mined from Santa Cruz rather than higher grade ore scheduled to come from Milache. Silver grades are expected to improve in the second half of the year.
At Bolañitos, mine output was lower due to higher than expected arsenic content (still low in the ore but high enough to penalize the concentrate net returns) at a certain elevation in the orebodies, which required the mine plan to be re-sequenced to allow for blending with low arsenic ore. Management expects the mining rates should revert to plan by mid-year.
At El Cubo, mine output decreased as planned, silver grades and gold grades were all higher in Q1, 2019 compared to Q1, 2018, which offset the sharp decrease in production in Q1, 2019 compared to Q1, 2018. Throughput was higher than plan, offset by lower gold grades than plan. The lower production rate will result in higher operating costs compared to 2018. Accordingly, the Company has laid off staff to reflect the lower production rate in 2019.
At El Compas, the plant re-commenced operations mid-February and processed a total 11,200 tonnes from February 11th to quarter end. Higher mine dilution than plan has impacted processed grades which resulted in replacement of the mining contractor. Management expects the throughput to meet plan capacity in Q2, 2019 and grades to improve.
Production Tables for First Quarter, 2019
|by mine||Produced||per day||Ag gpt(1)||Au gpt(1)||Ag %||Au %||Oz||Oz|
(1) gpt = grams per tonne
(2) Results are as of commercial production achieved March 16, 2019
|Q1 2019 Highlights||Three Months Ended March 31|
|Silver ounces produced||1,071,355||1,350,840||(21||%)|
|Gold ounces produced||10,055||13,208||(24||%)|
|Payable silver ounces produced||1,050,215||1,324,856||(21||%)|
|Payable gold ounces produced||9,809||12,944||(24||%)|
|Silver equivalent ounces produced(1)||1,875,755||2,407,480||(22||%)|
|Silver ounces sold||1,069,385||1,406,143||(24||%)|
|Gold ounces sold||9,559||12,674||(25||%)|
(1) Silver equivalent ounces calculated using 80:1 ratio.
About Endeavour Silver
Endeavour Silver Corp. is a mid-tier precious metals mining company that owns and operates four high-grade, underground, silver-gold mines in Mexico. Endeavour is currently advancing the Terronera mine project towards a development decision and exploring its portfolio of exploration and development projects in Mexico and Chile to facilitate its goal to become a premier senior silver producer. Our philosophy of corporate social integrity creates value for all stakeholders.
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