Sierra’s Peruvian subsidiary, Sociedad Minera Corona’s reports copper equivalent pounds production of 15.9mn lbs in Q1 2021 (January-March, down by 21pc from the prior-year quarter, while zinc equivalent pounds production fell by 9pc to 49.9mn lbs. Sierra Metals holds an 81.8pc interest in Minera Corona.
The company expects to receive the environmental permit (ITM) in the coming months allow the company to increase its throughput by 20pc and operate at an increased rate of 3,600mt/day, stated the company’s quarterly update. Corona will continue advancing its Preliminary feasibility study to raise the throughput to 5,500mt/day from the start of 2024.
In Q1, the company processed 326,211mt, up by 14pc from Q1 2020. Minera Corona’s net production revenue from ore milled rose by 8pc to $128.10/mt, while cash cost of copper equivalent payable pound rose by 26pc to $1.48/mt and cash cost for zinc equivalent payable pound rose by 9pc to $0.47/mt.
The Yauricocha Mine achieved a 14pc increase in ore throughput in Q1 compared to the prior-year quarter, despite COVID-19-related challenges. Metal production declined (except for zinc, silver) as ore grades lowered due to a fall in tonnage contributions from the high-grade Cuerpos Chicos zones. The Esperanza zone, which is rich in copper, had operational issues which were resolved in Q1.
In Q1, revenues rose to $41.9million, up by 24pc from Q1 2020 on higher realized metal prices. All-in sustaining cost (AISC) per pound for copper equivalent and zinc equivalent were higher due to a 21pc decline in the copper equivalent payable pounds and a 9pc decline in the zinc equivalent payable pounds compared to Q1 2020.
Sales volume declined due to lower production caused by lower head grades. Copper sales fell by 52pc, while zinc and lead sales rose by 10pc and 6pc, respectively. Net income rose to $5.2mn, up 148pc from $2.1mn in Q1 2020.