Rodrigo Barbosa reports
AURA ANNOUNCES Q1 2023 FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL RESULTS
Aura Minerals Inc. has filed its unaudited consolidated financial statements, and management discussion and analysis for the period ended March 31, 2023. The full version of the financial and operational results can be viewed on the company's website or on SEDAR. All amounts are in U.S. dollars unless stated otherwise.
Rodrigo Barbosa, President and CEO of Aura, commented: "Despite lower production in Q1 2023 compared to Q4 2022, due to mine sequencing at EPP and Aranzazu, higher metal prices and control of our costs resulted in an EBITDA in line with Q4 2022. Looking ahead, second quarter should also reflect lower grades while we expect improved operating results across all our producing mines during the second half of the year. We remain on track to achieve our 2023 production guidance of between 254,000 and 292,000 GEO at our All-In Sustaining Costs ("AISC") guidance of between $1,037 and $1,193/GEO."
Mr. Barbosa continued: "Importantly, following the end of the quarter, we brought our first greenfield project online in 16 months with almost no deviation from the budget, demonstrating our ability to execute. Almas is on track to achieve commercial production in Q3. We remain focused on adding ounces to our production while we prepare for construction plans at Borborema."
Q1 2023 Financial and Operational Highlights:
Total production was 53,265 GEO1 and decreased by 9% in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022, when calculated based on constant2 prices.
- At Aranzazu, the operation was stable. Based on constant prices, production in GEO decreased by 5% compared to Q1 2022 and by 9% compared to Q4 2022 as a result of slightly lower gold and copper grades mined, in line with expectations.
- At EPP, production in GEO increased by 4% compared to Q1 2022. Compared to Q4 2022, production decreased 53% as result of mine sequencing and depletion of high-grade ore from the Ernesto pit. The Company expects production from EPP to increase during the second half of the year with improved mine sequencing and return to average grades.
- At San Andres production was 16% higher than Q4 2022, gradually increasing when compared with the previous quarter. Production was 23% lower than Q1 2022, due to the challenges faces during H2 2022. Production is expected to continue to improve over the next quarters.
- Realized metal prices in Q1 2023 moved favorably when compared to Q4 2022, with appreciation for gold, reaching an average of $1,888/oz (+9% vs. Q4 2022) and copper, which reached an average of $4.11/lb (+12% vs. Q4 2022). When compared to the same period in 2022, there was a 4% increase in realized gold price and a 10% decrease in realized copper price.
Adjusted EBITDA was $36,605 thousand in Q1 2023, compared to $36,584 thousand in Q4 2022, as result of higher sales prices despite lower sales volume and positive price adjustments at Aranzazu.
- During Q1 2023, AISC was $1,156/GEO, representing an increase of $151/GEO when compared to Q4 2022 ($1,005/GEO) mainly due to lower production related to mine sequencing in Aranzazu and EPP.
- At the end of Q1 2023, the Company's Net Debt position achieved $88,854 thousand, an increase vs. $77,422 thousand recorded at the end of Q4 2022, primarily due to expansion capex (approximately $22,000 thousand) and annual tax payment in Aranzazu (approximately $10,000 thousand).
1 Gold equivalent ounces, or GEO, is 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.
2 Considers metal sale prices in Aranzazu realized on Q1 2023 to the previous quarters in all operations, being: Copper price = $4.11/lb; Gold Price = $1,907.73/oz; Silver Price = $22.39/oz.
The Company announced in April the start-up of the Almas project, on time and with no significant deviations from its budget. The Almas project is currently in its ramp-up phase and is expected to reach commercial production by Q3 2023.
- The Company is completing a NI 43-101 Feasibility Study (the "Borborema Techincal Report"), which is expected to be released by Q3 2023.
Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources:
In 2022, Aura invested approximately $22 million in exploration with the initial goal of increasing mineral resources, which was expected to be followed by an increase in mineral reserves in the following stage.
- A total of 865 kGEO of Measured and Indicated ("M&I") Mineral Resources were added (before depletion/conversion) and 592 kGEO of Inferred Mineral Resources. This addition does not consider ounces for the Borborema Project.
- Proven and Probable ("P&P") Mineral Reserves additions totaled 742 kGEO (before depletion). At the three operating mines, an increase of 433 kGEO (before depletion). Additionally, 309 kGEO were added at Matupa following the previously reported feasibility study in November 2022
- In 2023, Aura plans to invest another $22 million to $26 million, of which the main investments in Exploration in 2023 are expected to happen at the Matupa project, Aranzazu mine, EPP mines and in the newly acquired mineral rights at Carajas (Serra da Estrela project).
The Company's future profitability, operating cash flows, and financial position will be closely related to the prevailing prices of gold and copper. Key factors influencing the price of gold and copper include, but are not limited to, the supply of and demand for gold and copper, the relative strength of currencies (particularly the United States dollar), and macroeconomic factors such as current and future expectations for inflation and interest rates. Management believes that the short-to-medium term economic environment is likely to remain relatively supportive for commodity prices but with continued volatility.
To decrease risks associated with commodity prices and currency volatility, the Company will continue to evaluate and potentially implement available protection programs. For further information, please see Company's Annual Information Form for year the ended December 31, 2022 ("AIF"), available on SEDAR and the Company's website.
Other key factors influencing profitability and operating cash flows are production levels (impacted by grades, ore quantities, process recoveries, labor, country stability, plant, and equipment availabilities), production and processing costs (impacted by production levels, prices, and usage of key consumables, labor, inflation, and exchange rates), among other factors.
Tiaozito V. Cardoso, FAusIMM, Technical Services Director for the Company has reviewed and approved 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 360degree Mining
Aura is focused on mining in complete terms - thinking holistically about how its business impacts and benefits every one of our stakeholders: our company, our shareholders, our employees, and the countries and communities we serve. We call this 360degree 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 four producing assets include the San Andres gold mine in Honduras, the EPP and the Almas gold mines 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 projects in Brazil, of which three gold projects: Borborema and Matupa, which are in development; and Sao Francisco, which is on care and maintenance. The Company also owns the Serra da Estrela copper project in Brazil, Carajas region, under exploration stage.
We seek Safe Harbor.
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