Mr. Rodrigo Barbosa reports
AURA ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER 2022 PRODUCTION RESULTS
Aura Minerals Inc. has released production results from the company's three producing operations for the third quarter of 2022. Total production reached 58,175 gold equivalent ounces (GEO) during Q3 2022.
Total production in GEO increased by 5 per cent when calculated based on current prices and by 8 per cent at constant prices relative to Q2 2022.
- Aranzazu concentrate production increased 6 per cent relative to Q2 2022 as a result of consistently high production rates above 100,000 tons per month and achieving a quarterly record of 104,400 tons monthly average of material processed at the plant. Production on a GEO basis was impacted by lower copper prices in the quarter.
At EPP, the mine operation focused on phase II of the Ernesto pit, resulting in higher grades. The company expects that this will drive significantly higher production in Q4 2022. For Q3 2022, the company also focused on blending mid-/low-grade material in order to reduce inventory, thus optimizing cash flows. Production was slightly better than management's expectations, achieving close to 18,000 oz of gold; production ramped up in September, 2022, achieving 8,378 ounces. Aura expects EPP to deliver strong production in Q4 2022.
Production at San Andres was below management's expectations. In July of 2022, Aura engaged a new contractor for mine operations, which is expected to increase production levels and drive down cash costs in the coming quarters. During Q3 2022, heavy rains, above the historical average for the quarter, and lower productivity levels as result of the negotiations and transition to a new mine contractor, had a negative impact on production. Aura expects San Andres production levels to increase in Q4 2022.
Rodrigo Barbosa, the company's president and chief executive officer, noted: "Despite the weather, lower copper prices and lower productivity in Honduras, this quarter we increased our production by 5 per cent compared to Q2 2022. We look forward to strengthening our output across all three operations as we move into the fourth quarter, particularly at EPP with higher grades, and San Andres, where operational efficiencies are expected to take effect."
Preliminary GEO production volume for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2022, when compared with the previous quarter and the same period of 2021 is noted herein.
The last 12-month production (LTM) exceeded 250,000 GEO at the end of Q3 2022, when production from Gold Road, which had its operation suspended during Q4 2021, is excluded. LTM has remained stable at constant prices compared with the previous quarters.
A summary of the performance by each operating mine during the Q3 2022 is set out as follows.
EPP mines: Production was 18 per cent above the same quarter of 2021 and 43 per cent above Q2 2022. Grades reached 1.43 grams per tonne Au with the focus on phase II of the Ernesto deposit, which also provided a softer mineral and enabled an 18-per-cent increase in material processed compared with previous quarter.
San Andres: Production was 20 per cent below the same quarter of 2021 and 16 per cent below Q2 2022, mainly due to lower mine production as result of a new mine contractor and heavy rains. Material mined was 25 per cent less than Q2 2022. For Q4 2022, the company is focusing on the upper zone of Esperanza, which it expects will provide higher grades with oxidized material.
Aranzazu: Concentrate production was 9 per cent above the same quarter of 2021 and 6 per cent above Q2 2022, partially offsetting a reduction in copper sale price, which was 18 per cent below the same quarter of 2021 and also 18 per cent below the previous quarter. Copper production was 12 per cent above the same quarter of 2021 and 10 per cent above the previous quarter, as a result of higher head grade and better mine and plant performance.
Additionally, as a result of a 19-per-cent drop in the copper price during the period, the company anticipates earnings to be affected by provisional pricing adjustments in accordance with the offtake agreement between Aranzazu and Trafigura Mexico SA de CV. Aura will provide additional discussion and analysis regarding its Q3 2022 production and sales when the company reports its quarterly results on Nov. 8, 2022.
The attached table shows production by each type of metal at Aranzazu. Production increased for all types of metals during Q3 2022 compared with both Q2 2022 and Q3 2021.
About Aura Minerals Inc.
Aura is focused on mining in complete terms -- thinking holistically about how its business impacts and benefits every one of its stakeholders: its company, its shareholders, its employees, and the countries and communities it serves. Aura calls this 360-degree mining.
Aura is a mid-tier gold and copper production company focused on the development and operation of gold and base metal projects in the Americas. The company's producing assets include the San Andres gold mine in Honduras, the Ernesto/Pau-a-Pique gold mine in Brazil and the Aranzazu copper-gold-silver mine in Mexico. In addition, the company has four additional gold projects in Brazil: Almas, under construction; Borborema and Matupa, in development; and Sao Francisco, in care and maintenance; and one gold project in Colombia, Tolda Fria.
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