Orla Mining Ltd. (TSX: OLA) (NYSE: ORLA) is pleased to provide an operational update for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2022. This news release also includes the Company’s 2023 annual guidance which contains the outlook for production, operating and capital costs, and exploration spending across the Company’s portfolio.
(All amounts are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated)
2022 Camino Rojo Oxide Mine Operational Update
The Camino Rojo Oxide Mine produced 32,017 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter of 2022, for a total of 109,596 ounces of gold for the full year 2022, achieving the high end of the increased production guidance range of 100,000 to 110,000 ounces. Orla’s initial production guidance for 2022 was 90,000 to 100,000 ounces of gold and was increased at the end of the third quarter to a range of 100,000 to 110,000 ounces of gold. Additional operational details for the fourth quarter are found near the end of this news release. All-in Sustaining Costs (“AISC”)1,2 guidance for the year 2022 has been maintained at $600 to $700 per ounce of gold sold and financial results will be released in advance of the Fourth Quarter and Year End 2022 Conference Call.
Orla ended the year with a cash position of $96.6 million at December 31, 2022, a net increase of $7.5 million during the fourth quarter. During the fourth quarter, the Company made the third of four payments to Fresnillo plc (“Fresnillo”), for the amount of $15 million, related to the Layback Agreement (see news release dated March 23, 2020), and also made the first quarterly principal repayment of $5.6 million on its credit facility.
2023 Guidance Summary
|Gold Production||oz||100,000 – 110,000|
|All-in Sustaining Costs (“AISC”)1,2||$/oz Au sold||$750 – $850|
|Sustaining Capital Expenditures 1||$m||$6|
|Non-Sustaining Capital Expenditures 1||$m||$4|
|Site Admin & Permitting Expenses (Nevada/Panama)||$m||$11|
|1.||AISC, sustaining capital and non-sustaining capital are non-GAAP measures. See the “Non-GAAP Measures” section of this news release for additional information.|
|2.||Exchange rates used to forecast cost metrics include MXN/USD of 20.0 and CAD/USD of 1.28|
“2022 was a defining year for Orla as we made the successful transition from developer to producer,” said Jason Simpson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orla. “In 2023, cash generation from the high-margin Camino Rojo Mine will be invested into our prospective growth pipeline, the local communities, paying taxes, and strengthening our balance sheet to the benefit of all our stakeholders.”
Production and Cost Outlook
Gold production from the Camino Rojo Oxide Mine is expected to be 100,000 to 110,000 ounces in 2023. The Company’s cumulative gold production from 2022 and 2023 are expected to be in line with the cumulative gold production from year 1 and 2 of the 2021 Camino Rojo Feasibility Study. Average daily mine production at the Camino Rojo Oxide Mine is expected to be above 40,000 tonnes per day while average daily ore processing throughput is expected to be above the design capacity of 18,000 tonnes per day.
Camino Rojo’s operating costs are expected to total approximately $65 million in 2023, including royalties and net of change in inventory, while sustaining capital expenditures1 are expected to total $6 million, which includes $2 million for the construction of an ore stockpile dome cover for dust mitigation, $2 million for several small operational improvement items, and $2 million for capitalized exploration on the Camino Rojo layback area. The $4 million in non-sustaining capital1 relates to land acquisition at the Company’s South Railroad project in Nevada.
In 2023, Orla expects to make approximately $22 million in debt repayments on its credit facility split evenly across quarters, and $23 million as a final payment relating to the Fresnillo Layback Agreement to be paid in December 2023.
Income taxes accrued during 2022, including Mexican Special Mining Duty, totalling approximately $35 million, will be paid in a lump sum in March 2023. Thereafter, Orla expects to pay income tax instalments monthly, beginning in May 2023.
Approximately $11 million is expected to be spent in 2023 related to site administration, permitting, and pre-engineering expenses for the Company’s projects in the US and Panama.
|1.||Sustaining capital and non-sustaining capital are non-GAAP measures. See the “Non-GAAP Measures” section of this news release for additional information.|
With the Camino Rojo Oxide Mine generating robust cash flows, the Company is increasing investment in its large and prospective exploration portfolio. The total expected exploration spend in 2023 is $35 million, with approximately $22 million to be spent at Camino Rojo in Mexico. Exploration at Camino Rojo will focus on confirmation drilling of the oxide pit layback, resource and reserve conversion, additional Camino Rojo sulphide drilling to support development planning, and drill testing of regional targets. The exploration program in Mexico will start in early 2023 and extend until year end. In Nevada, USA, exploration activities at the South Railroad Project, located on the Carlin Trend, will focus on upgrading and increasing oxide resources at satellite deposits and drill testing multiple exploration targets. Exploration activities in Nevada will be weighted to the second half of 2023. In Panama, drilling at Cerro Quema will focus on regional exploration in the first quarter of 2023, to take advantage of the dry season. Most of the exploration costs in 2023 will be expensed, as per Orla’s accounting policy. Additional exploration details related to 2022 results and 2023 plans on individual country exploration programs will be provided in the first quarter 2023.
2022 Camino Rojo Oxide Mine Operational Detail
|Mining and Processing Totals||Q4 2022||FY 2022|
|Ore – processed||tonnes||1,777,118||6,579,070|
|Low Grade Ore – stockpiled||tonnes||450,493||1,720,551|
|Total Ore Mined Gold Grade||g/t||0.69||0.71|
|Ore – processed||g/t||0.78||0.82|
|Low Grade Ore – stockpiled||g/t||0.30||0.33|
|Stacked Ore Gold Grade||g/t||0.79||0.82|
|Daily Stacked Throughput Rate – Average*||tpd||19,591||18,251|
|Daily Stacked Throughput / Nameplate Capacity||%||108.84 %||101.39 %|
|Total Crushed Ore Stockpile||tonnes||166,695|
|Total Crushed Ore Stockpile Au Grade||g/t||0.86|
|Total ROM Ore Stockpile**||tonnes||2,120,642|
|Total ROM Ore Stockpile Grade||g/t||0.34|
|*Average stacking rate calculation excludes truck-stacked overliner material (0 tonnes for Q4 2022 and 220,432 tonnes for FY 2022).|
|**ROM ore stockpile includes mined ore but yet crushed, and low-grade stockpiles.|
Qualified Persons Statement
The scientific and technical information in this news release was reviewed and approved by Mr. J. Andrew Cormier, P. Eng., Chief Operating Officer of the Company, who is the Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101 standards.
About Orla Mining Ltd.
Orla is operating the Camino Rojo Oxide Gold Mine, a gold and silver open-pit and heap leach mine, located in Zacatecas State, Mexico. The property is 100% owned by Orla and covers over 160,000 hectares. The technical report for the 2021 Feasibility Study on the Camino Rojo oxide gold project entitled “Unconstrained Feasibility Study NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Camino Rojo Gold Project – Municipality of Mazapil, Zacatecas, Mexico” dated January 11, 2021 (the “2021 Camino Rojo Feasibility Study”), is available on SEDAR and EDGAR under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov, respectively. Orla also owns 100% of Cerro Quema located in Panama which includes a gold production scenario and various exploration targets. Cerro Quema is a proposed open pit mine and gold heap leach operation. The technical report for the Pre-Feasibility Study on the Cerro Quema oxide gold project entitled “Project Pre-Feasibility Updated NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Cerro Quema Project, Province of Los Santos, Panama” dated January 18, 2022, is available on SEDAR and EDGAR under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov, respectively. Orla also owns 100% of the South Railroad Project, a feasibility-stage, open pit, heap leach project located on the Carlin trend in Nevada. The technical report for the 2022 Feasibility Study entitled “South Railroad Project, Form 43-101F1 Technical Report Feasibility Study, Elko County, Nevada” dated March 23, 2022, is available on SEDAR and EDGAR under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov, respectively. The technical reports are available on Orla’s website at www.orlamining.com.
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