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McEwen Mining: Q1 2021 Results

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McEwen Mining: Q1 2021 Results

 

 

 

 

 

McEwen Mining Inc. (NYSE: MUX) (TSX: MUX)  reported its first quarter (Q1) results for the period ended March 31st, 2021.

 

  • Production was 23,300 gold ounces and 493,200 silver ounces, or 30,600 gold equivalent ounces(1) (GEOs)(see Table 1), at the average gold:silver price ratio for the quarter of 68:1.
  • Cash and liquid assets(2) and positive working capital at March 31st, 2021, were $52.5 million and $35.3 million, respectively.
  • Two financings were completed for aggregate net proceeds of $42 million.
  • We invested $6.8 million on exploration and advanced projects, and reported a net loss of $12.5 million, or ($0.03) per share, compared to a net loss of $99.2 million, or ($0.25) per share, in Q1 2020.
  • We invested $5.0 million on exploration drilling and other exploration work, with the primary focus on growing the Fox Complex resource base.
  • All operations delivered production results in line with our expectations. Production is expected to increase throughout 2021 and end 20 to 40% higher than 2020.
  • We successfully reached the first development horizon at the new Froome deposit, part of the Fox Complex.
  • A Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) to expand the production from the Fox Complex is expected to be released at the end of Q2 2021.
  • Stephen McGibbon has joined as the Executive Vice President of Exploration, and Ruben Wallin has joined as the Vice President of Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability.

 

Operations Update

 

San José Mine, Argentina (49% Interest)

 

Our attributable production from San José in Q1 was 9,500 gold ounces and 492,300 silver ounces, for a total of 16,700 GEOs. For Q1, total cash costs(2) and all-in sustaining costs (AISC)(2) were $1,088 and $1,328 per GEO, respectively. This compares to 14,900 GEOs at total cash costs and AISC of $1,138 and $1,592 per GEO, respectively, in Q1 2020.

 

We received $5 million in dividends in Q1, compared to no dividends during the same period in 2020.

 

In 2021, the exploration budget is $10 million. Recent exploration results generated by our partner and mine operator have been encouraging, including an outstanding result from the Escondida vein:

 

62.5 g/t gold and 5,571 g/t silver over 2.0 meters – hole SJM-529

 

Gold Bar Mine, USA (100% Interest)

 

Gold Bar produced 7,400 GEOs in Q1 at total cash costs and AISC of $1,865 and $1,934 per GEO, respectively. This compares to 9,100 GEOs at total cash costs and AISC of $1,887 and $2,177 per GEO, respectively, in Q1 2020. Production for the remainder of the year is expected to increase, and correspondingly costs are expected to decrease. Updated resource and reserve estimates were completed. The exploration budget for 2021 is $5 million and is focusing on testing near-mine targets and further defining oxide resources on the neighboring Tonkin property.

 

Near-mine exploration during Q1 has delivered encouraging results from the North Ridge target, which will be provided in an upcoming exploration update.

 

Fox Complex, Canada (100% Interest)

 

Black Fox produced 5,200 GEOs in Q1 at total cash costs and AISC of $1,262 and $1,560 per GEO, respectively. This compares to 8,300 GEOs at total cash costs and AISC of $838 and $1,339 per GEO, respectively, in Q1 2020. Mining at Black Fox has begun transitioning to the Froome deposit, where a progressive ramp-up is planned through Q3, with commercial production expected in Q4. Costs are expected to fall considerably towards the latter half of the year as production rates increase to reach commercial production in Q4.

 

At the Stock property, surface exploration is underway with four drills at the Stock West target, and one drill at the historic Stock Mine. We spent $3.4 million in Q1 of the total $9 million exploration budget for 2021.

 

A Preliminary Economic Assessment to expand the production from the Fox Complex will be released late in Q2. We are targeting improved production and cost profiles at the Fox Complex leveraging the potential for operational synergies through shared resources and infrastructure, a longer life of mine, and expanded production scale for the combined projects.

 

El Gallo Project, Mexico (100% Interest)

 

In Q1, El Gallo produced 1,300 GEOs from residual leaching of the heap leach pad. Operations were disrupted for three weeks by a blockade of the mine entrance by members of the local community, which has been resolved. A new 10-year agreement was reached between the El Gallo operation and the neighboring communities.

 

Los Azules Copper Project, Argentina (100% Interest)

 

Work continued on engineering and developing cost estimates to advance the proposed low altitude all-year access route to the project. Work is also progressing on identifying opportunities to accelerate the development and improve the economics of Los Azules. Concurrently, two strategic alternatives are being aggressively evaluated to determine what we believe will be the optimal way to finance the rapid development of Los Azules to create the greatest long-term value from this large copper resource for Argentina, the nearby communities, our shareholders, and employees.

 

 

Table 1 below provides production and cost results for Q1 2021 and 2020.

 

  Q1
  2021 2020
Consolidated Production    
Gold (oz) 23,300 29,200
Silver (oz) 493,200 553,200
GEOs(1) 30,600 35,100
San José Mine, Argentina (49%)    
Gold production (oz)(3) 9,500 9,000
Silver production (oz)(3) 492,300 551,900
GEOs(1)(3) 16,700 14,900
Cash Costs ($/GEO)(1) 1,088 1,138
AISC ($/GEO)(1) 1,328 1,592
Gold Bar Mine, Nevada    
GEOs(1) 7,400 9,100
Cash Costs ($/GEO)(1) 1,865 1,887
AISC ($/GEO)(1) 1,934 2,177
Black Fox Mine, Canada    
GEOs(1) 5,200 8,300
Cash Costs ($/GEO)(1) 1,262 838
AISC ($/GEO)(1) 1,560 1,339
El Gallo Mine, Mexico    
GEOs(1) 1,300 2,700
Cash Costs ($/GEO)(1) (4) (4)
AISC ($/GEO)(1) (4) (4)

 

Notes:

 

  1. ‘Gold Equivalent Ounces’ are calculated based on a gold to silver price ratio of 68:1 for Q1 2021, 94:1 for Q1 2020, 86:1 for the FY 2020, and 75:1 for 2021 Production Guidance.
  2. Cash gross profit, cash costs per ounce, all-in sustaining costs per ounce, and liquid assets are non-GAAP financial performance measures with no standardized definition under U.S. GAAP. For a description of the non-GAAP measures see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section in this press release; for the reconciliation of the non-GAAP measures to the closest U.S. GAAP measures, see the Management Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31st, 2020 filed on Edgar and SEDAR.
  3. Represents the portion attributable to us from our 49% interest in the San José Mine.
  4. Both cash costs and AISC per GEO no longer represent key metrics used by management to evaluate residual leaching at the El Gallo Project. For this reason, the Company has ceased relying on, and disclosing, cash costs and all-in-sustaining costs per ounce as a key metric.

 

For the SEC Form 10-Q Financial Statements and MD&A refer to:

http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?action=getcompany&CIK=0000314203

 

COVID-19

 

All our operations have implemented rigorous health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic is not materially affecting our operations, or our future plans and objectives.

 

Reliability of Information Regarding San José

Minera Santa Cruz S.A., the owner of the San José Mine, is responsible for and has supplied to the Company all reported results from the San José Mine. McEwen Mining’s joint venture partner, a subsidiary of Hochschild Mining plc, and its affiliates other than MSC do not accept responsibility for the use of project data or the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

 

Technical Information

 

The technical contents of this news release have been reviewed and approved by G. Peter Mah, P.Eng., COO of McEwen Mining and a Qualified Person as defined by Canadian Securities Administrators National Instrument 43-101 “Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.”

 

ABOUT MCEWEN MINING

 

McEwen Mining is a diversified gold and silver producer and explorer focused in the Americas with operating mines in Nevada, Canada, Mexico and Argentina. It also owns a large copper deposit in Argentina.

 

Posted May 10, 2021

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