TORONTO, ON, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Sierra Metals Inc. (TSXV: SMT) (BVL: SMT) ("Sierra" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that the Company has completed its first quarterly cash dividend payment of $2.5 million, or $.016 per common share ("Common Share"), to shareholders on April 30, 2013. The Company announced its inaugural $10.0 million cash dividend policy on February 12, 2013 (see press release dated February 12, 2013 here) as a result of substantial production increases and significant cash flows from operations realized in 2012.
Press Release Highlights:
Daniel Tellechea, President and CEO of Sierra Metals, commented "Sierra Metals is very pleased to announce its first cash dividend payment to shareholders of $2.5 million. The acquisition of the Yauricocha mine and announcement of commercial production at the Bolivar mine have resulted in record production for the Company during 2012. Additionally, these low-cost, highly profitable mines have also resulted in strong cash flows allowing Sierra to lower its net-debt and enact the new 2013 $10.0 million cash dividend policy."
During 2012, Sierra Metals focused on maximizing operational efficiencies at the Yauricocha mine in Peru and the Bolivar mine in Mexico with 2012 marking the first full year of production at both operations. This resulted in the Company achieving record production with revenues of $179.7 million, earnings (EBITDA) of $83.8 million and cash flow from operations of $60.5 million. Among other things, these strong cash flows were used to pay down working capital loans in Mexico, complete the acquisition of Plexmar and pay the Company's first inaugural cash dividend. At the end of 2012, the Company had a cash balance of $79.8 million and net-debt of $9.0 million.
The Company is committed to a fiscally responsible growth strategy of increasing near mine reserves and resources while adding value through production growth at all three producing mines. In June 2012, the Company completed a $44.4 million private placement (see press release dated June 7, 2012) with proceeds dedicated to increasing the production profile of the Company by:
|1)||Accelerating mine development at the Cusi Mine, which announced commercial production of 200 ("tpd") tpd on January 1, 2013;|
|2)||Doubling throughput capacity at the Piedras Verdes mill (located 6 km from the Bolivar mine) from 1,000 tonnes per day to 2,000 tpd, with an anticipated completion date in the second quarter of 2013; and,|
|3)||Developing a new internal shaft and haulage drift in the Central Mine area of the Yauricocha property to access deeper levels of the mine and increase production capacity, anticipated to be completed in late 2015.|
Sierra Metals anticipates the announcement of its second quarter cash dividend will take place on or after June 30, 2013.
The technical content of this news release has been approved by Thomas L. Robyn, Ph.D., CPG, RPG, a Qualified Person as defined in NI 43-101 and Head of Exploration for Sierra Metals Inc.
About Sierra Metals
Sierra Metals Inc. is a Canadian mining company focused on precious and base metals from its Yauricocha mine in Peru, its Bolivar mine and Cusi in Mexico. In addition, Sierra Metals is exploring several precious and base metal targets in Peru and Mexico. Projects in Peru include Adrico (gold), Victoria (copper-silver) and Ipillo (polymetallic) at the Yauricocha Property in the province of Yauyos and the San Miguelito gold properties in Northern Peru. Projects in Mexico include Bacerac (silver) in the state of Sonora, La Verde (gold) at the Batopilas Property in the state of Chihuahua, and Las Coloradas (silver) at the Melchor Ocampo Property in the state of Zacatecas.
The Company's shares trade on the Bolsa de Valores de Lima and TSXV under the symbol "SMT".
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy the securities in the United States or any other jurisdiction. The Common Shares will not be and have not been registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements.
Neither the TSXV nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Except for statements of historical fact contained herein, the information in this press release may constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities law. Other than statements of historical fact, all statements are "forward-looking statements", which involve various known and unknown risk and uncertainties and other factors, including market conditions that may affect the Company's ability to execute its current business plan. Actual results might differ materially from results suggested in any forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements unless and until required by securities laws applicable to the Company. Additional information identifying risks and uncertainties is contained in filings by the Company with the Canadian securities regulators, which filings are available at www.sedar.com.
SOURCE Sierra Metals Inc.