Press release: Stockholm, April 29, 2021 08.45 CET
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FIRST QUARTER 2021
Comparative figures refer to the corresponding period of the previous year.
CEO ERKKI KURONEN
Late last year we stated P700-project as one of the cornerstones of our development. P700 core drilling program of almost 5 000 meters was completed during the reporting period. The results will be used to update the geology and grade model for mine planning and mineral resource and ore reserve estimation. We have also strengthened our geology team.
Everyday life at the Silver Mine is about production. Our new Chief Operating Officer Mikko Jalasto started at the beginning of the year. He has taken a swift start and has initiated several workstreams to improve procedures to ensure seamless co-operation between the different functions of the company and ensure the efficient use of existing data to manage and steer daily production. I look forward to the outcome of the projects which will bring the performance of the Company to the next level.
Another key project has been preconcentrating, or in other words, ore sorting, project which we have advanced. Pilot testing of the ore sorting has progressed, and we are moving to the phase where engineering and design for full scale production can be started. We have now tested ore sorter both in summer and harsh winter weather conditions and gained valuable experience. Tests have included also longer runs where material has been processed for days to stock and we have been able to run sorted material through the mill. We have achieved targeted tons per hour through-put. Several tests have been performed to determine right parameters for sorting and to optimise metal recovery and capacity of the machine.
Our revenue reached 95 MSEK which was better than comparison period Q1/2020 and significantly better than Q4/2020. We faced high variance of metal grades which effected negatively to produced metal ounces and tons. Silver production during the Q1 was on the low end of the long-term range. High variance is part of the nature, but I am confident that the team has also taken it as an opportunity to learn and improve, the final target being better predictability and consequently, better profitability. I wish for all sunny spring and summer.
The Company operates the Silver Mine in Sotkamo, Finland. The production was started in March 2019 and the mine produces silver, gold, zinc, and lead in concentrates which are sold to a smelter. In addition, the Company holds mining and exploration rights to mineral deposits nearby current operations in Sotkamo region in Finland.
Net sales were 95 MSEK compared to the previous year 91 MSEK due to the lower metal grades in production which was compensated by higher silver price.
Milled ore tons and online time of the mills were at the budgeted level. The average silver grade in the mill feed was lower than during the comparison period. The mining schedule and strong variation between the stopes have an impact to quarterly production which effectively smoothens in longer period.
|Key figures, group||Q1 2021||Q1 2020||FY 2020|
|Net sales MSEK||95||91||366|
|Equity ratio (%)||36||31||32|
|Cash liquidity (%)||85||31||69|
|Personnel at end of period||51||44||50|
|Milled tonnes approx.||139 000||129 000||546 000|
|Average Silver grade g/tonne||91||110||104|
Other income and expenses includes -2 MSEK (0) estimated unrealised final sales price adjustment for the period due to the slightly decreased metal prices after the period. The final sales price for silver and gold is based on monthly average market price two months after the delivery, deducted by the customer’s smelter charges.
The financial income at the comparison period Q1 2020 was significantly higher due to unrealised FX gain of intra-group capital loans. The Company has classified the intra-group capital loans as net investment loans in Q4 2020 and since then FX currency rate change impact of intra-group capital loans have been booked directly to equity and it will not impact financial income and expenses.
Investments in the underground mine and in the concentrating plant together with the sorter development and environmental investments amounted to 8 MSEK (9) in Q1. P700 project’s core drilling costs are included in the investments of the period.
In the first quarter, 139 000 (129 000) tonnes of ore were milled. In Q1 the Company produced about 344 000 (391 000) ounces silver, 707 (998) ounces gold, 309 (462) tonnes lead and 664 (958) tonnes zinc in concentrates. As mentioned earlier, the head grades of the mill feed were lower than in the reference period resulting lower metal production in the concentrates.
The Company restates the annual production guidance for 2021 as 1.45 - 1.75 million ounces of silver.
EVENTS AFTER THE REPORTING PERIOD
On April 23, 2021, the Company made a press release to inform that the silver production since the start of the production has exceeded 3 million ounces. Simultaneously the produced silver ounces during Q1 were disclosed and annual production guidance was restated. Silver production during the first three weeks of April has been 97 000 ounces.
The company has arranged a guarantee for the 5,9 MEUR pledge required for the updated environment permit.
This report has not been subject to a financial review by the company's auditors.
The reports are available at the Company webpage: www.silver.fi/en/investors
Should there be any differences, the Swedish version takes precedence.
About Sotkamo Silver AB
Sotkamo Silver´s business concept is to develop mineral deposits in the Nordic countries with regards to human society and environment. Sotkamo Silver owns through its subsidiary the Silver Mine in Sotkamo which started production in March 2019 and has reached full production capacity. In addition, the Company holds exploration rights to precious and base metal deposits in Finland, Sweden and Norway.
Sotkamo Silver applies SveMin's & FinnMin's own rules of reporting for public mining & exploration companies. Sotkamo Silver has chosen to publish mineral resources and ore reserves according to the internationally accepted JORC or NI 43-101 code. The company applies International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as approved by the European Union.
The ticker symbol is SOSI in NGM Equity in Stockholm and SOSI1 in NASDAQ Helsinki.
ISIN-code for Sotkamo Silver shares is SE0001057910.
Legal Entity Identifier (LEI): 213800R2TQW1OZGYDX93
Read more about Sotkamo Silver on www.silver.fi
The Company's press releases, and financial reports are distributed via Cision Sverige and are available on www.silver.fi