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Santacruz Silver Produces 22,641,051 Silver Equivalent Ounces in 2023

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Santacruz Silver Produces 22,641,051 Silver Equivalent Ounces in 2023

 

 

 

 

 

Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. (TSX-V: SCZ) reports its Q4 and annual 2023 production results from its Bolivar mine , Porco mine, Caballo Blanco Group of mines and the San Lucas feed sourcing business, all located in Bolivia, and the Zimapan mine located in Mexico.

 

Highlights:

  • Q4 2023 metals production included:
    • 1,719,737 ounces of silver;
    • 23,777 tonnes of zinc;
    • 3,129 tonnes of lead;
    • 290 tonnes of copper;
    • For silver equivalent production of 5,757,228 ounces.
  • 2023 annual metals production included:
    • 7,004,582 ounces of silver;
    • 91,616 tonnes of zinc;
    • 2,366 tonnes of lead;
    • 1,254 tonnes of copper;
    • For silver equivalent production of 22,641,051 ounces.
  • Zimapan mine continued to implement operational improvements and processed 204,507 tonnes of material in Q4 2023, a 6% increase from the previous quarter and the most on a quarterly basis this year.

 

Arturo Préstamo, Executive Chairman and Interim CEO of Santacruz, commented, “Our team’s dedication enabled us to achieve steady quarterly operations, which resulted in 5.7 million silver equivalent ounces produced in the fourth quarter, and 22.6 million silver equivalent ounces produced in 2023. The improved production results in the fourth quarter at the Zimapan mine are a direct result of the comprehensive management and operational restructuring carried out in September and October. The objective of this restructuring process was to enhance production tonnage and operational efficiency across both mines and the mill. Further efficiencies are expected to be captured in Q1 2024.”

 

Mr. Préstamo continued, “Complementing our successes in Mexico, in Bolivia, the Caballo Blanco Group of mines just achieved a significant milestone with the completion of the integration ramp connecting the Tres Amigos and Colquechaquita mines on time and on budget. The 1,177-meter ramp was designed to facilitate increased productivity and safety at both the Colquechaquita and Tres Amigos mines, and is expected to contribute to overall production improvements at Caballo Blanco.”

 

Mr. Préstamo concluded, “I would like to commend the dedicated and professional management teams in Mexico and Bolivia for their instrumental role in achieving these significant milestones.”

 

Santacruz processed 489,417 tonnes of material in Q4 2023, a 5% increase from the previous quarter. Silver equivalent ounce production increased 2% to 5,757,228 including 1,719,737 ounces of silver, 23,777 tonnes of zinc, 3,129 tonnes of lead, and 290 tonnes of copper. While average throughputs, head grades and recoveries varied slightly across all operations, the increase in material processed at Zimapan, and increases in mineralized material purchased by San Lucas drove consistent metal production quarter-on-quarter.

 

At Zimapan major maintenance to the grinding circuit allowed for increased plant throughput. In addition, two new underground loaders arrived at the mine in September, which enabled more efficient mining operations. As a result, the mine processed 204,507 tonnes of material, a 6% increase when compared to the previous quarter.

 

In mid-October, the SAG mill motor at Porco was removed to be rebuilt. A 25-day period of approximately 50% grinding capacity followed as the Company was able to feed the ball mills directly with fine material until the rebuilt motor was reinstalled and full production was attained on November 14, 2023. While the Company expected production at Porco to be reduced during the quarter, increased throughput in December was able to significantly offset the reductions experienced in October and November as result of the SAG mill maintenance.

 

When compared to Q4 2022 material processed was in line with the previous year. This resulted in silver equivalent ounce and all metal production being in line quarter-over-quarter, with the exception of copper. Average copper head grades in Q4 2023 were 25% lower and as a result copper production decreased.

 

Annual 2023 production results benefitted from a full Q1 2023 production from the Bolivian operations. Annual 2022 figures are affected by the partial quarter of Bolivian production in Q1 2022. On March 18, 2022, the Company closed the acquisition of the Bolivian assets from Glencore and the results of the operations of the Bolivian assets are included from that date.

 

The Company continues to progress the National Instrument 43-101 technical reports for all its assets, and they are expected to be completed by the end of Q1 2024.

 

Fourth Quarter 2023 Production Summary – Consolidated

 

2023-Q4 2023-Q3 Change

Q4 vs Q3
(%)

2022-Q4 Change

Q4 vs Q4

(%)

2023 YTD 2022
YTD(1)(2)
Change

’23 vs ’22

(%)

Material Processed (tonnes milled) 489,417 467,563 5 482,626 1 1,883,446 1,646,271 14
Silver Equivalent Produced (AgEq ounces) (3) 5,757,228 5,669,905 2 5,744,128 22,641,051 18,112,725 25
Silver Ounces Produced 1,719,737 1,728,863 (1) 1,793,936 (4) 7,004,582 5,599,223 25
Zinc Tonnes Produced 23,777 23,095 3 23,111 3 91,616 72,533 26
Lead Tonnes Produced 3,129 3,370 (7) 2,900 8 12,366 10,065 23
Copper Tonnes Produced 290 252 15 386 (25) 1,254 1,287 (31)
Development Metres 10,573 10,838 (3) 10,653 (1) 42,906 34,455 25

 

Fourth Quarter 2023 Production Summary – By Mine

 

 

Bolivar (4) Porco (4) Caballo
Blanco
Group(5)
San Lucas
Feed
Sourcing(6)
Zimapan
Material Processed (tonnes milled) 74,742 47,057 79,768 83,343 204,507
Silver Equivalent Produced (AgEq ounces) (3) 1,239,099 565,611 1,193,534 1,596,427 1,162,558
Silver Ounces Produced 490,269 142,625 350,050 350,770 386,023
Zinc Tonnes Produced 4,673 2,667 5,095 7,801 3,540
Lead Tonnes Produced 357 157 685 548 1,383
Copper Tonnes Produced N/A N/A N/A N/A 290
Average head grades per mine:
    Silver (g/t) 223 112 149 157 79
    Zinc (%) 6.86 6.01 6.87 10.16 2.29
    Lead (%) 0.67 0.46 1.11 0.99 0.83
    Copper (%) N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.30
Metal recovery per mine:
    Silver (%) 92 84 92 83 74
    Zinc (%) 91 94 93 92 75
    Lead (%) 72 73 77 66 82
    Copper (%) N/A N/A N/A N/A 47
Development Metres 2,784 1,795 3,744 N/A 2,250

 

(1) On March 18, 2022 the Company closed the acquisition of all Bolivian assets from Glencore and the results of the Bolivian Operations are included in the consolidated results of the Company from that date.
(2) Bolivian production from March 18, 2022 to December 31, 2022.
(3) Silver Equivalent Produced (ounces) have been calculated using prices of $21.86/oz, $1.52/lb, $0.91/lb and $3.67/lb for silver, zinc, lead and copper respectively applied to the metal production divided by the silver price.
(4) Bolivar and Porco are presented at 100% production, whereas the Company records 45% of revenues and expenses in its consolidated financial statements.
(5) The Caballo Blanco Group consists of the Colquechaquita, Tres Amigos and Reserva mines.
(6) San Lucas sources mineralized material from regional suppliers and utilizes processing capacity at the Bolivar, Porco and Don Diego plants.

 

Qualified Person

Wayne Corso, a consultant to the Company, is a qualified person under NI 43-101 and has approved the scientific and technical information related to operational matters contained in this news release.

 

About Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd.

Santacruz Silver is engaged in the operation, acquisition, exploration, and development of mineral properties in Latin America. The Bolivian operations are comprised of the Bolivar, Porco and the Caballo Blanco Group, which consists of the Tres Amigos, Reserva and Colquechaquita mines. The Soracaya exploration project and San Lucas feed sourcing business are also in Bolivia. The Zimapan mine is located in Mexico.

 

Supplemental Table: Full Year Quarterly Production Results 

 

2023-Q4 2023-Q3 2023-Q2 2023-Q1 2023
Material Processed (tonnes milled)
Bolivar (2) 74,742 77,298 66,689 74,353 293,082
Porco (2) 47,057 47,786 46,085 49,909 190,837
Caballo Blanco Group 79,768 76,864 74,268 85,817 316,718
San Lucas 83,343 73,456 85,258 71,448 313,506
Zimapan 204,507 192,158 171,668 200,970 769,303
Consolidated 489,417 467,563 443,969 482,497 1,883,447
Silver Equivalent Produced (ounces) (1)
Bolivar (2) 1,239,099 1,343,000 961,580 1,249,153 4,792,833
Porco (2) 565,611 625,401 689,902 679,144 2,560,057
Caballo Blanco Group 1,193,534 1,118,711 1,211,475 1,436,322 4,960,043
San Lucas 1,596,427 1,399,187 1,827,724 1,195,164 6,018,502
Zimapan 1,162,558 1,183,606 878,854 1,084,600 4,309,618
Consolidated 5,757,228 5,669,905 5,569,535 5,644,383 22,641,051
Silver Ounces Produced
Bolivar (2) 490,269 502,931 424,664 555,914 1,973,779
Porco (2)) 142,625 165,066 195,509 162,015 665,216
Caballo Blanco Group 350,050 319,674 399,811 475,026 1,544,561
San Lucas 350,770 362,443 495,344 255,623 1,464,180
Zimapan 386,023 378,748 271,133 320,942 1,356,846
Consolidated 1,719,737 1,728,863 1,786,461 1,769,520 7,004,582
Zinc Tonnes Produced
Bolivar (2) 4,673 5,214 3,323 4,313 17,523
Porco (2) 2,667 2,891 3,098 3,245 11,901
Caballo Blanco Group 5,095 4,805 4,804 5,650 20,355
San Lucas 7,801 6,454 8,315 5,848 28,418
Zimapan 3,540 3,731 2,741 3,407 13,419
Consolidated 23,777 23,095 22,281 22,463 91,616
Lead Tonnes Produced
Bolivar (2) 357 449 302 353 1,461
Porco (2) 157 190 214 217 777
Caballo Blanco Group 685 684 825 1,043 3,237
San Lucas 548 522 635 473 2,177
Zimapan 1,383 1,526 849 957 4,714
Consolidated 3,129 3,370 2,824 3,043 12,366
Average Silver head grade per mine (g/t)
Bolivar (2) 223 221 217 250 228
Porco (2) 112 119 154 122 128
Caballo Blanco Group 149 144 182 187 167
San Lucas 157 183 216 125 171
Zimapan 79 80 69 70 75
Average Zinc head grade per mine (%)
Bolivar (2) 6.86 7.41 5.57 6.40 6.64
Porco (2) 6.01 6.40 7.15 6.89 6.65
Caballo Blanco Group 6.87 6.80 6.98 7.01 6.92
San Lucas 10.16 9.55 10.69 8.90 9.82
Zimapan 2.29 2.49 2.25 2.20 2.31
Average Lead head grade per mine (%)
Bolivar (2) 0.67 0.79 0.62 0.65 0.69
Porco (2) 0.46 0.52 0.58 0.58 0.54
Caballo Blanco Group 1.11 1.22 1.44 1.50 1.33
San Lucas 0.99 1.06 1.21 0.94 1.05
Zimapan 0.83 0.97 0.67 0.63 0.78
Average Silver recovery per mine (%)
Bolivar (2) 92 92 91 93 92
Porco (2) 84 90 86 83 86
Caballo Blanco Group 92 90 92 92 91
San Lucas 83 84 84 89 85
Zimapan 74 76 71 71 73
Average Zinc recovery per mine (%)
Bolivar (2) 91 91 90 91 91
Porco (2) 94 95 94 94 94
Caballo Blanco Group 93 92 93 94 93
San Lucas 92 92 91 92 92
Zimapan 75 78 71 77 76
Average Lead recovery per mine (%)
Bolivar (2) 72 74 74 73 73
Porco (2) 73 76 80 75 76
Caballo Blanco Group 77 73 77 81 77
San Lucas 66 67 62 70 66
Zimapan 82 82 74 76 79

 

(1) Silver Equivalent Produced (ounces) have been calculated using prices of $21.86/oz, $1.52/lb, $0.91/lb and $3.67/lb for silver, zinc, lead and copper respectively applied to the metal production divided by the silver price.
(2) Bolivar and Porco are presented at 100% whereas the Company records 45% of revenues and expenses in its consolidated financial statements.

 

Posted January 23, 2024

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