Stage Is Now Set for Increased Production and Lower Costs in 2023
Welcoming Nuton & Stellantis as Shareholders of McEwen Copper
TORONTO, March 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- McEwen Mining Inc. (NYSE: MUX) (TSX: MUX) today reported fourth quarter and full year results for the period ended December 31, 2022.
“2022 was an important transition year for McEwen Mining. Our Fox operation in Timmins showed the largest improvement from 2021, with a 22% increase in gold production, 8% lower cash costs per ounce and steady all-in sustaining costs per ounce. Our operation in Nevada has now transitioned production to our Gold Bar South pit, a new mining contractor has been instated, and production is increasing,” commented Rob McEwen, Chairman and Chief Owner. “Our McEwen Copper subsidiary reached several milestones during 2022 and early 2023, including, building a seasoned Argentine management team, improving critical access to Los Azules with the completion of a second route to site, advancing technical studies, cementing our commitments to government and local stakeholders, and welcoming two strategic investors: Nuton (a Rio Tinto Venture and part of the world’s 2 nd largest mining company) and Stellantis, the world’s 4 th largest automobile manufacturer and mobility provider.”
For 2023, our production guidance is 150,000 to 170,000GEOs (see Table 1).
Subsequent to the year end, a subsidiary of Stellantis N.V. invested ARS$ 30 billion, and Nuton LLC, a Rio Tinto Venture, agreed to increase its investment by $30 million, to acquire shares of McEwen Copper. Subsequent to these transactions, each of Stellantis and Nuton own 14.2% of McEwen Copper, and McEwen Mining owns 52%. As a result, the implied valuation of McEwen Copper is now approximately $550 million on a 100% basis.
Looking at 2022
Our McEwen Copper subsidiary completed three tranches of financing during 2021-2022, raising a total of $81.9 million for Los Azules exploration and pre-development activities.
In 2022, production was 133,300 gold equivalent ounces (GEOs)(1), slightly below our revised guidance range of 134,600 to 141,600 GEOs due to lower than planned production at the Fox Complex during the final days of the year (see Table 2).
Our 100%-owned mines (Fox Complex and Gold Bar) generated a cash gross profit of $19.2 million(2) in 2022 and a gross loss of $0.5 million. Cash gross profit is calculated by adding back non-cash depletion and depreciation to gross profit (loss).
We incurred advanced project expenditures of $41.3 million at Los Azules net of foreign exchange gains, or, on a gross basis, a $61.1 million contribution to net loss. Under U.S. GAAP, we continue to expense our Los Azules project costs.
Our consolidated net loss in 2022 of $81.1 million, or $1.71 per share, relates primarily to investment of $81.7 million in advanced projects and exploration (including 100% of Los Azules expenses) offset by a gain of $19.8 million on foreign exchange transactions, general and administrative costs of $11.9 million, tax expenses of $5.8 million, and a gross loss of $0.5 million from our operations (see Table 4).
Cash and liquid assets(2) at December 31, 2022 were $46.2 million.
Production costs per ounce for 2022 were $1,276 for cash costs(2) per GEO sold from our 100%-owned mines, representing a decrease of 12% compared to 2021, and $1,688 for all-in sustaining costs (AISC)(2) per GEO sold, representing an increase of 3% compared to 2021 (see Table 3).
We continued to invest aggressively in exploration, completing 181,100 feet (55,200 meters) of drilling at the Fox Complex, 16,900 feet (5,200 meters) of drilling at the Gold Bar Mine, and 73,500 feet (22,400 meters) at the Los Azules project.
A webcast will be held on Tuesday, March 14th at 11:00 am EDT. Please see the details further below.
Table 1 below provides production and cost results for Q4 and the full year 2022, with comparative results from 2021 and our guidance range for 2023.
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