NICOSIA, CYPRUS / ACCESSWIRE / January 13, 2022 / Atalaya Mining Plc. (“Atalaya” or the “Company”) (AIM:ATYM)(TSX:AYM) is pleased to announce its operations update for the fourth quarter of 2021 (“Q4 2021” or the “Period”) and to provide production guidance for 2022.
- Consistent performance in Q4 2021 with production exceeding expectations at 13,885 tonnes of copper due to better metallurgical recoveries which offset the slightly lower head grade.
- A new annual production record of 56,139 tonnes of copper was achieved in 2021, exceeding Atalaya’s increased guidance despite operational challenges and risks related to COVID-19 restrictions throughout the year.
- In Q4 2021, 3.8 million tonnes of ore were milled with a copper recovery of 87.16%.
- On-site concentrate inventories at the end of Q4 2021 were approximately 5,254 tonnes. All concentrate in stock at the beginning of the Period and produced during the Period was delivered to the port at Huelva.
- Copper prices increased during Q4 2021 compared with Q4 2020 and Q3 2021, with an average realised price per pound of copper payable, including the QPs closed in the Period, of $4.36/lb compared with $4.31/lb in the previous quarter. The average copper spot price during the quarter was $4.40/lb. The realised price during Q4 2021 excluding QPs was approximately $4.40/lb.
- All-in Sustaining Costs (“AISC”) for 2021 are expected to be slightly below the lower end of the revised 2021 cost guidance due mainly to the U.S. dollar strengthening against the Euro and higher copper tonnes produced. Further details on costs will be provided with the 2021 Financial Statements to be reported in March 2022.
2022 Production Guidance
- Atalaya’s operating budget for 2022 was set in early December 2021 based on certain economic assumptions of expected inflation, particularly with respect to energy costs.
- On this basis, full year 2022 copper production is estimated to be in the range of 54,000 to 56,000 tonnes.
- Grade mined during 2022 is expected to be slightly higher than in 2021 owing to pit sequencing. In addition, the plant optimisation initiatives mentioned below are expected to further support copper production.
- During December 2021 and the early days of January 2022, energy prices in Spain have increased significantly due to the sharp increase in wholesale European gas prices. Should the volatility and current energy prices persist for a sustained period, Atalaya expects that its operating budget and production guidance for 2022 may need to be revised.
- The Company is actively monitoring energy prices on a daily basis and is identifying potential measures that could be implemented in response. In the event that energy prices remain at elevated levels for a sustained period, possible measures could include temporary modifications to the mine plan, curtailment of throughput during periods of peak energy prices or reductions in discretionary expenditures.
- Initiatives to address and resolve the historic water issues relating to the old mine have been approved for execution and are currently under construction.
- The Company continues to be confident that its approach to Proyecto Touro is in line with international best practice and has been engaging in recent months with local and regional stakeholders ahead of the public consultation period that will commence once the Environmental Impact Evaluation is submitted for the new project.
Proyecto Masa Valverde
- As announced on 6 October 2021, exploration work is ongoing at Proyecto Masa Valverde, which includes the Masa Valverde polymetallic deposit, the Majadales discovery and the unexplored Campanario-Descamisada area.
- Positive drilling results previously announced include high grade intercepts within broad intervals of massive and stockwork type polymetallic sulphide mineralisation at both Masa Valverde and Majadales.
- Further drilling results will be released in due course and will be incorporated into the NI 43-101 compliant report for Proyecto Masa Valverde that is currently being prepared by CSA Global and expected during Q1 2022.
SOURCE: ATALYA MINING PLC
DATE: January 13, 2022