Mr. Rodrigo Barbosa reports
AURA ANNOUNCES FOURTH QUARTER 2022 PRODUCTION RESULTS
Aura Minerals Inc. has released preliminary production results from the company's three operating mines for the fourth quarter of 2022. Total production reached 67,663 gold equivalent ounces (GEO) during Q4 2022. Excluding Gold Road, it was the second-highest production achieved in a single quarter, behind its Q4 2021 production. Total production for 2022 reached 242,524 GEO at current prices -- also the second-highest production in a single year in the history of the company.
Gold equivalent ounces are calculated by converting the production of silver, copper and gold into gold using a ratio of the prices of these metals to that of gold. The prices used to determine the gold equivalent ounces are based on the weighted average price of gold, silver and copper realized from sales at the Aranzazu complex during the relevant period.
Total production in GEO increased 16 per cent in Q4 2022 compared with Q3 2022, when calculated based on current prices. Based on constant prices, production in Q4 2022 was 5 per cent lower than in Q4 2021, when Aura recorded its highest quarterly production in its history.
- At EPP, production in GEO increased by 50 per cent compared with Q3 2022, and by 56 per cent compared with Q4 2021 as operations accessed phase 2 of the Ernesto pit, resulting in higher grades. This was the highest quarterly production at EPP in the history of the company.
- At Aranzazu, production in GEO increased by 9 per cent relative to Q3 2022 as a result of high tonnage processed (more than 99,000 tons per month), and increase in gold and copper grades due to mine sequencing.
- At San Andres, production in GEO was 13 per cent lower than in the previous quarter. Lower production in Q4 2022 was due to longer than expected leaching cycle during the quarter; however, ore mined increased 44 per cent compared with the previous quarter.
- Due to the leaching cycle, an estimated additional 1,600 oz were produced and not sold during the quarter, and are in the circuit by year-end and expected to be recovered and sold in early 2023. Therefore, production at San Andres is expected to increase in Q1 2023 once the leaching process of the ore fed during Q4 2022 is completed and gold is recovered at the mill.
Rodrigo Barbosa, the company's president and chief executive officer, comments: "Last quarter we had the second-highest production in Aura's history, which demonstrates consistency in our growth plans. In addition, during the quarter we advanced Almas's construction, finishing the year with 87 per cent of the construction completed and on track to deliver the project early this year. The end of 2022 was an important quarter as we made progress on our understanding of the Borborema project, and updated our guidance to achieve 400,000 GEO (annualized) in 2024 and 450,000 GEO in 2025, while paying $20-million (U.S.) in dividends and $10-million (U.S.) in share buybacks, resulting in total yield of about 6 per cent in 2022 only. We are now set up for an even stronger 2023, with a continued focus on growth while returning capital to our shareholders."
Preliminary GEO production volume for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2022, when compared with the previous quarter and the same period of 2021, is shown in the associated table.
Production for the last 12 months (LTM) exceeded 242,000 GEO at the end of Q4 2022. When measured at constant prices, LTM production has remained between 240,000 GEO and 260,000 GEO since Q3 2021. Aura expects production to increase after Almas enters production by Q2 2023.
The associated table shows production by each type of metal at Aranzazu. Production increased for all three metals during Q4 2022 compared with Q3 2022.
Tiaozito V. Cardoso, FAusIMM, technical services director for Aura Minerals, has reviewed and confirmed the scientific and technical information contained within this news release, and serves as the qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101 -- Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
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: the 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 EPP gold mine in Brazil and the Aranzazu copper-gold-silver mine in Mexico. In addition, the company has the Tolda Fria gold project in Colombia and four gold projects in Brazil, namely Almas, which is under construction, Borborema and Matupa, which are in development, and Sao Francisco, which is on care and maintenance.
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