Mr. N. Eric Fier reports
SILVERCREST REPORTS 2022 ANNUAL FINANCIAL RESULTS
Silvercrest Metals Inc. has released its audited financial results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2022. The audited consolidated financial statements and management's discussion and analysis for 2022 are available under the company's SEDAR and EDGAR profiles, and on Silvercrest's website. All amounts herein are presented in United States dollars unless otherwise stated. Certain amounts shown in this news release may not total to exact amounts due to rounding differences.
N. Eric Fier, chief executive officer, commented: "We are very pleased with the operating and financial performance of the Las Chispas mine since achieving commercial production in Q4, 2022. During ramp-up, we exceeded many of the 2021 feasibility study targets, including process plant recoveries, plant availability and the target date to declare commercial production, which led to an outperformance of recovered ounces in 2022. This successful ramp-up of the operation generated $28.4-million of mine operating income in 2022, which, when combined with our strong financial position, allowed for the reduction of our debt outstanding by $40-million. Subsequent to the end of 2022 and based on continued strong cash flow generation, we prepaid a further $15-million of debt in March, 2023, reducing our outstanding term loan to $35-million. We remain focused on continuing to optimize the operation and deliver an updated technical report in Q2 2023, which will form the basis for updated cost and production guidance."
Two thousand twenty-two financial highlights:
Completed Las Chispas mine construction at the end of May, 2022, for $133-million, $4.7-million below the 2021 feasibility study;
In Q3 2022, the first revenue from the sale of precious metals was recorded. During 2022, revenue of $43.5-million (2021 -- nil) from the sale of 11,400 ounces of gold and 1.1 million ounces of silver was recorded. At the end of December, 2022, there were also 3,600 ounces of gold and 320,000 ounces of silver as finish goods inventory in process to be refined;
During 2022, generated mine operating income of $28.4-million (2021 -- nil) after recording cost of sales of $15.1-million (2021 -- nil). Two thousand twenty-two income of $31.3-million (2021 -- loss of $22.8-million) resulted in basic earnings on a per share basis of 21 cents (2021 -- loss of 16 cents). Ended the year with $50.8-million (2021 -- $176.5-million) of cash and cash equivalents and $16-million (2021 -- $10.2-million) of value added tax refund that the company expects to receive in 2023;
Completed a corporate debt refinancing in November, 2022, at a significantly lower interest rate than the project facility and reduced debt outstanding by $40-million to exit 2022 with a debt balance of $50-million (2021 -- $90-million).
Two thousand twenty-two operating highlights:
Completed construction of the processing plant and related infrastructure slightly ahead of the 2021 feasibility study schedule. In November, 2022, Comision Federal de Electricidad completed its 26-kilometre portion of the power line to connect with the 55-kilometre power line that Silvercrest completed in April, 2022, allowing for full connection to the national power grid;
Declared commercial production effective November 1, 2022 after commissioning the Las Chispas processing plant for five months, faster than anticipated in the 2021 feasibility study;
Processing plant operating metrics exceeded the 2021 feasibility study for tonnage milled, plant availability and metallurgical recoveries with Q4 2022 average throughput of 1,135 tonnes per day (tpd);
Recovered 17,800 ounces of gold (96.5 per cent recovery) and 1.7-million ounces of silver (92.5 per cent recovery), or 3.3-million silver equivalent2 ounces (94.4 per cent recovery), above the 2021 Feasibility Study estimates of 12,249 ounces of gold (90.1 per cent recovery) and 1.18-million ounces of silver (87 per cent recovery) or 2.25 million silver equivalent ounces (88.5 per cent recovery);
Underground mining rates averaged 700 tpd during Q4 2022, which was below the 2021 feasibility study forecast of 750 tpd, but in line with the revised forecast of 600 to 700 tpd. The ramp-up of the underground mine is expected to continue through 20251;
At the end of 2022, the ore stockpiles were estimated at 261 kilotonnes (kt). Higher processing rates than planned in 2022 contributed to increased production, which when combined with a slight reduction in mining rates, resulted in the stockpile ending 2022 below the 2021 feasibility study estimate of 311 kt;
Stockpiles built prior to the construction decision being made at the end of 2021 were previously expensed and, as a result, the stockpiles carry a lower operating cost. It is expected that stockpiles will continue to represent a notable component of process plant feed through 2024, which will support financial derisking;
Notable improvement in the company's 2022 lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) to 0.42 from 0.63 in 2021 and its total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR) to 3.58 from 4.11 in 2021;
Completed and released its task force on climate-related financial disclosure (TCFD) and water stewardship reports with inaugural environmental, social and governance (ESG) sustainability report to follow in 2023. Completed the first year of the company's five-year water related infrastructure plan aimed at increasing the availability of water locally to improve the lives of those in the company's community.
At Feb. 28, 2023, the company's cash balance was $71.2-million, up from $50.8-million at the end of 2022. With this strong financial position, the company prepaid $15-million of its term facility in early March, 2023, reducing the debt outstanding to $35-million. This marks a 60-per-cent reduction in debt within the four months of declaring commercial production. A revolving facility of $70-million remains undrawn and available to the company until Nov. 27, 2026.
Since 2022 was a construction and ramp year, with commercial production declared part way through Q4 2022, operating and all-in sustaining costs will be first presented with the Q1 2023 financial statements in May, 2023.
The qualified person under National Instrument 43-101 -- Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects for this news release is Mr. Fier, CPG, PEng, chief executive officer for Silvercrest; he has reviewed and approved its contents.
About Silvercrest Metals Inc.
Silvercrest is a Canadian precious metals producer headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., with a continuing initiative to increase its asset base by expanding current resources and reserves, acquiring, discovering and developing high value precious metals projects and ultimately operating multiple silver-gold mines in the Americas. The company is led by a proven management team in all aspects of the precious metal mining sector, including taking projects through discovery, finance, on time and on budget construction, and production.
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