Lombardo Paredes reports
GRAN COLOMBIA REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR 2020 GOLD PRODUCTION; MEETS ANNUAL GUIDANCE FOR FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR
Gran Colombia Gold Corp. produced a total of 19,958 ounces of gold in December, 2020, bringing the total for the fourth quarter of 2020 to 57,265 ounces compared with 65,237 ounces in the fourth quarter of 2019. For the full year, the Company produced a total of 220,194 ounces of gold in 2020, which is within its annual guidance range of between 218,000 and 226,000 ounces. Two thousand twenty was the fifth consecutive year that the company has met or exceeded its annual production guidance. The company produced a total of 239,991 ounces of gold in 2019.
Lombardo Paredes, chief executive officer of Gran Colombia, commenting on the company's latest results, said: "Our Segovia operations had another steady quarter, finishing the year within guidance as expected. We have now produced a total of approximately 1.3 million ounces of gold from Segovia in the 10 years since we acquired the mining title and the head grade has averaged 13.8 g/t over that period of time, establishing Segovia as one of the highest-grade underground global gold mines, as further evidenced by the recently announced high-grade intercepts from our ongoing drilling program. In the fourth quarter of 2020, we continued the ongoing development of our mines at Segovia and in December, we commenced production activities at our fourth mine, Carla, which is expected to ramp up further during the first half of 2021. In the fourth quarter of 2020, we used our free cash flow to fund investments in private placements completed by Caldas Gold and ESV Resources in the amount of $17-million and $3-million, respectively, to fund the repurchases of 484,100 common shares for cancellation at a cost of approximately $2.9-million, to pay dividends totalling $1.9-million to our shareholders and to fund the principal and interest payments on our debt of approximately $5.5-million. At the end of December, 2020, Gran Colombia had a cash position of approximately $90-million (U.S.).
"The Marmato operations continued to gain momentum in the fourth quarter of 2020 with the implementation of the optimized mine plan in the existing upper mining operations and commencement of the planned plant expansion to be completed in the third quarter of 2021. Preparatory activities are under way related to the expansion of underground mining operations into the Marmato Deep zone (MDZ) as Caldas Gold awaits the extension of its Marmato mining title, expected to be completed later this month. Caldas Gold is also currently working closely with the management of Aris Gold to prepare for a smooth transition to the new board and management of Caldas Gold once the title extension is completed. At that time, Gran Colombia's interest in the new Aris Gold Corp. will be approximately 44.3 per cent on an undiluted basis."
The Segovia operations processed an average of 1,328 tonnes per day (tpd) in December, 2020, with an average head grade of 14.7 grams per tonne, resulting in gold production of 17,438 ounces in the month. This brought Segovia's total production for the fourth quarter of 2020 to 50,084 ounces compared with 58,180 ounces in the fourth quarter of 2019. For the full year, the Segovia operations produced a total of 196,362 ounces of gold in 2020, which is within its annual guidance range of between 195,000 and 200,000 ounces. Segovia produced 214,241 ounces of gold in 2019. Over all, the Segovia operations processed an average of 1,280 tpd in 2020 at an average head grade of 14.5 g/t compared with 1,237 tpd at an average head grade of 16.4 g/t last year. Gold production from the four company mines represented approximately 88 per cent of Segovia's total production in 2020. The other 12 per cent of Segovia's gold production in 2020 was sourced from the small mines operating in the regional area within the Segovia mining title under contract with the company as part of its ESG initiatives. The company currently has 55 small mines under contract and, in 2020, the company saw a 10-per-cent increase in material from the small mines. In addition, head grades in 2020 in the material from the small mines also improved to an average of 8.5 g/t, up from 6.8 g/t last year, reaching an average of 11.8 g/t in the fourth quarter of 2020, driven by material from a small mine operating near the Cristales vein, an area the company will commence drilling in February, 2021, as part of its regional drilling campaign, which delivered approximately 1,300 tonnes of material at an average head grade of 47 g/t.
At Caldas Gold's Marmato mine, the plant processed an average of 1,075 tpd in December at an average head grade of 2.7 g/t resulting in gold production of 2,520 ounces. This brought Marmato's total gold production for the fourth quarter of 2020 to 7,181 ounces compared with 7,057 ounces in the fourth quarter last year. For the full year, Marmato produced 23,832 ounces of gold in 2020, which is within its annual guidance range of between 23,000 and 26,000 ounces. The Marmato mine produced 25,750 ounces in 2019.
Gran Colombia expects to release its 2020 fourth quarter and annual financial results together with the updated mineral reserve and resource estimates for its Segovia operations on or about March 31, 2021. Webcast details will be announced in early March.
About Gran Colombia Gold Corp.
Gran Colombia is a Canada-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 owns approximately 53.5 per cent of Caldas Gold, a Canadian mining company currently advancing a major expansion and modernization of its underground mining operations at its Marmato project in Colombia. Gran Colombia's project pipeline includes its Zancudo project in Colombia, currently in the process of being spun out to ESV Resources Ltd., together with an approximately 18-per-cent equity interest in Gold X Mining Corp. and an approximately 26-per-cent equity interest in Western Atlas Resources Inc.
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