Mr. Mike Davies reports
GRAN COLOMBIA REPORTS FIRST QUARTER 2021 GOLD PRODUCTION
Gran Colombia Gold Corp. has produced a total of 18,643 ounces of gold at its Segovia operations in March, 2021, bringing the total gold production for the first quarter of 2021 to 49,058 ounces, compared with 50,346 ounces in the first quarter of 2020. The company also produced 57,315 ounces of silver in the first quarter of 2021, up from 45,918 ounces of silver in the first quarter last year.
Lombardo Paredes, chief executive officer of Gran Colombia, commenting on the company's latest results, said: "We had a solid month in March, our second consecutive month above the 1,500-tonne-per-day level at our Maria Dama processing plant at our Segovia operations. Based on our plan for the balance of the year, we remain on track to meet our production guidance for the full year of 200,000 to 220,000 ounces of gold. The expansion of Maria Dama to 2,000 tonnes per day is proceeding well. This expansion includes a new blending yard and crushing system, a new Merrill Crowe system, additional thickeners, and a second filter press at the El Chocho tailings storage facility, all of which are being added to the operation in stages over the balance of the year. In addition, the construction of the new polymetallic plant for recovery of zinc, lead, gold and silver from the tailings into concentrate at Segovia should be completed by midyear and we expect to commence commissioning shortly thereafter.
"In the first quarter of 2021, we used a portion of our free cash flow to fund the $7-million upfront cost related to the construction of the polymetallic plant at Segovia and another $10-million to maintain our equity interest in Denarius Silver Corp. at approximately 27 per cent by participating in Denarius's private placement to finance its acquisition and exploration of the Lomero project in Spain. We also used approximately $4-million to fund the repurchases of 702,000 common shares under our NCIB in March for cancellation and a total of $2.8-million to pay our continuing monthly dividends to our shareholders. In the first quarter of 2021, we made the first of our income tax instalments in Colombia in the amount of approximately $8-million and we used approximately $5-million (U.S.) toward our debt service on the gold notes and convertible debentures. At the end of March, 2021, we had a cash position of approximately $73.6-million (U.S.) and the aggregate principal amounts of our gold notes and convertible debentures outstanding were $32.6-million (U.S.) and $20-million (U.S.), respectively."
The Segovia operations processed an average of 1,565 tonnes per day (tpd) in March, 2021, with an average head grade of 13.32 grams per tonne (g/t). This brought the average for the first quarter of 2021 to 1,470 tpd of material processed at an average head grade of 12.83 g/t, compared with 1,284 tpd at an average head grade of 14.87 g/t in the first quarter last year. Continuing development activities within the company's four operating mines increased tonnes processed to an average of 1,200 tpd in the first quarter of 2021, up from 1,051 tpd in the first quarter last year. In addition, the company processed 270 tpd of material in the first quarter of 2021 from the small mines operating under contract with the company in the brownfield areas within the Segovia mining title, up from 233 tpd in the first quarter last year. The company currently has 56 small mines under contract as part of its environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives.
Gran Colombia expects to release its first quarter 2021 financial results on or about May 13, 2021. Webcast details will be announced in early May.
About Gran Colombia Gold Corp.
Gran Colombia is a Canadian-based mid-tier gold producer with its primary focus in Colombia, where it is currently the largest underground gold and silver producer, with several mines in operation at its high-grade Segovia operations. Gran Colombia's portfolio includes equity positions in several listed companies advancing gold and silver projects, including: a 44.3-per-cent equity interest in Aris Gold Corp. (Colombia -- Marmato; Canada -- Juby); an 18.2-per-cent equity interest in Gold X Mining Corp. (Guyana -- Toroparu); a 27.3-per-cent equity interest in Denarius Silver Corp. (Colombia -- Guia Antigua and Zancudo); and a 25.8-per-cent equity interest in Western Atlas Resources Inc. (Nunavut -- Meadowbank).
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