Endeavour Silver Corp. (TSX: EDR) (NYSE: EXK) reports its highest quarterly production in the last two years from its three high grade, underground, silver-gold mines in Mexico; Guanacevi in Durango state, Bolañitos in Guanajuato state and El Compas in Zacatecas state. Fourth Quarter, 2020 production was 1,117,289 silver ounces (oz) and 12,568 gold oz for 2.1 million oz silver equivalent at an 80:1 silver:gold ratio.
The Company’s 2020 full year production met its original guidance notwithstanding the government mandated two-month suspension of operations due to the pandemic. In fiscal 2020, silver production totaled 3,513,767 oz and gold production totaled 37,139 oz for 6.5 million oz AgEq. The Company withdrew its 2020 production guidance in early April due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the temporary shutdown mandated by the Mexican government and chose not to issue revised guidance when production was resumed at the end of May due to continued uncertainty caused by the ongoing pandemic.
Bradford Cooke, Endeavour CEO, commented, “Endeavour enjoyed its strongest operational performance in two years thanks to the measures we initiated in 2019 to return the Guanacevi and Bolañitos mines to profitability. I would like to commend our operations team for their hard work, commitment and resilience during the global pandemic to meet our safety and production goals last year.”
“So long as the pandemic is still with us, we will remain diligent with our heightened health and safety protocols, and we continue to make safety our first priority. Our entire workforce was flexible, innovative and responsible during 2020 which allowed us to deliver exceptional results given the circumstances.”
“Subject to our pending feasibility study, appropriate financing and board approval, we plan to turn our attention this year to developing our next core asset, the Terronera project in Jalisco state. This year should prove to be very rewarding for our staff, communities and stakeholders.”
Silver and gold production were higher in Q4, 2020 compared to Q4, 2019 due to the continued operational improvements at the Guanacevi and Bolañitos mines. At Guanacevi, Q4, 2020 throughput increased 15%, with a 31% increase in silver equivalent grades processed compared to Q4, 2019. At Bolañitos, Q4 2020, throughput increased 31%, with an 8% increase in silver equivalent grades compared to Q4, 2019.
Despite the temporary shutdown in Q2, 2020, annual silver production exceeded the high range of original guidance by 1%, gold production missed the low range by 2% and silver equivalent production achieved the mid-point of the original 2020 production guidance.
2020 Fourth Quarter Highlights
2020 Fourth Quarter Mining Operations
Consolidated silver, gold and silver equivalent production were all higher in Q4, 2020 compared to Q4, 2019 due mainly to higher silver and gold grades, higher gold recoveries and lower silver recoveries. Throughputs were higher at each of the three mines but comparable Y-o-Y due to the November 2019 suspension of the El Cubo operation.
Guanacevi throughput, silver and gold grades were each significantly higher than Q4, 2019 and well above plan, partly offset by lower silver recoveries. Mining the new, higher grade El Curso, Milache and SCS orebodies has led to significantly improved ore grades and plant throughputs, which at 1,157 tonnes per day approached plant capacity in Q4, 2020, the highest throughput since 2015.
Bolañitos throughput, gold grades and silver and gold recoveries were higher than Q4, 2019, partly offset by lower silver grades. Mine output approached plan and plant throughput exceeded plan in Q4, 2020 and both are expected to be sustainable going forward. Silver grades remain lower than plan due to lower mine output from the San Miguel vein which has higher silver and gold grades than other working areas.
El Compas throughput and gold recoveries were above plan, partly offset by lower silver grades, however dilution remains a continuing focus of the mine. The current resource is sufficient to support mining until mid-2021, and brownfields exploration has returned encouraging results on the Calicanto property. Management is reviewing alternative plans to ensure positive free cash flow in 2021.
Production Highlights for Three Months and Year Ended December 31, 2020.
|Three Months Ended December 31||Q4 2020 Highlights||Year Ended December 31|
|2020||2019||% Change||2020||2019||% Change|
|1,117,289||939,511||19%||Silver ounces produced||3,513,767||4,018,735||(13%)|
|12,586||9,578||31%||Gold ounces produced||37,139||38,907||(5%)|
|1,108,848||923,540||20%||Payable silver ounces produced||3,482,094||3,951,923||(12%)|
|12,314||9,397||31%||Payable gold ounces produced||36,392||38,003||(4%)|
|2,124,169||1,705,751||25%||Silver equivalent ounces produced(1)||6,484,887||7,131,295||(9%)|
|1,419,037||1,050,157||35%||Silver ounces sold||3,460,638||4,054,652||(15%)|
|13,850||10,803||28%||Gold ounces sold||35,519||39,151||(9%)|
|(1) Silver equivalent ounces calculated using 80:1 ratio.|
|Production Tables for Fourth Quarter, 2020 by Mine (2)|
|by mine||Produced||per day||Ag gpt(1)||Au gpt(1)||Ag %||Au %||Oz||Oz|
|(1) gpt = grams per tonne|
Production Tables for Year Ended December 31, 2020 by Mine (2)
|by mine||Produced||per day (2)||Ag gpt(1)||Au gpt(1)||Ag %||Au %||Oz||Oz|
|(1) gpt = grams per tonne|
|(2) results for the year to date represent a partial period of production, as operations were suspended for more than half the second quarter, as mandated by the Mexican Government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic|
Sustainability Highlights for 2020
About Endeavour Silver
Endeavour Silver Corp. is a mid-tier precious metals mining company that owns and operates three 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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