Sierra Metals announces production results for the third quarter of 2013

VANCOUVER, Oct. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Sierra Metals Inc. (TSX:SMT)(BVL:SMT) ("Sierra Metals" or the "Company") is pleased to announce its production results for the third quarter of 2013.

Press Release Highlights:

  • Total silver ("Ag") production of 626,735 ounces ("oz") in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 681,846 oz for the same period of 2012. An 8% decrease year-over-year. Total silver production of 1,906,763 oz in the first nine months of 2013 compared to 1,936,836 oz for the same period of 2012. In line with the previous period.
  • Total copper ("Cu") production of 3.3 million pounds ("lb") in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 3.5 million lb for the same period of 2012. A 7% decrease year-over-year. Total copper production of 11.1 million lb in the first nine months of 2013 compared to 11.5 million lb for the same period of 2012. A 4% decrease year-over-year.
  • Total lead ("Pb") production of 8.6 million lb in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 10.0 million lb for the same period of 2012. A 14% decrease year-over-year. Total lead production of 26.7 million lb in the first nine months of 2013 compared to 27.0 million lb for the same period of 2012. In line with the previous period.
  • Total zinc ("Zn") production of 12.3 million lb in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 15.4 million lb for the same period of 2012. A 20% decrease year-over-year. Total zinc production of 38.4 million lb in the first nine months of 2013 compared to 44.3 million lb for the same period of 2012. A 13% decrease year-over-year.
  • Total gold ("Au") production from the Yauricocha Mine was 1,673 oz in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 2,409 oz for the same period of 2012. A 31% decrease year-over-year. Total gold production was 5,071 oz in the first nine months of 2013 compared to 8,310 oz for the same period of 2012. A 39% decrease year-over-year.

Daniel Tellechea, President and CEO of Sierra Metals, commented: "Sierra's production during the third quarter has been lower than expected due to delays in the ramp up to 2,000 tonnes per day at Bolivar and higher dilution in head grades at Yauricocha. Consequently, we are revising our 2013 production guidance. However, we expect our fourth quarter production to improve given that we plan to achieve the production ramp up at Bolivar and we expect higher head grades at Yauricocha."

Revised Production Guidance

The Company has revised its production guidance for 2013 mainly as a result of 1) heavy rains and delays in the installation of the power substation needed to double production at Bolivar to 2,000 tonnes per day. Consequently, Sierra has ramped up production at Bolivar five months later than originally planned; and 2) higher dilution in head grades at Yauricocha resulting from unusual levels of water in mine production. The Company has engaged SRK Consulting to assist Yauricocha with this matter and expects to report improvements during the fourth quarter of 2013.

The New Guidance for the Company's metal production during 2013 is as follows:

Consolidated Production Year-to-Date New Guidance 2013 Old Guidance 2013
Sep 30, 2013 4th Quarter Full-Year Low High
Silver production (oz) 1,906,763 715,000 2,621,763 2,582,000 2,922,000
Copper production (000 lb)  11,086 5,600 16,686 20,400 23,100
Lead production (000 lb) 26,678 9,000 35,678 42,400 48,000
Zinc production (000 lb)  38,365 12,600 50,965 53,700 60,700
Gold Production (oz) 5,071 1,300 6,371 6,000 7,000


Mine Operations

During this period, the Company achieved a total of 290,296 tonnes of ore processed (compared to 317,356 tonnes in 2012) from all operations, representing a 9% decrease year-over-year. Total tonnes processed of 931,684 in the first nine months of 2013 compared to 936,844 tonnes in the same period of 2012.

The decrease in production at the Yauricocha Mine during the third quarter was partially offset by strong production results in: (1) higher ore processed at Cusi, which achieved commercial production in January 1, 2013, and (2) higher head grades and recoveries at Bolivar. Both of these achievements are part of the Company's growth strategy to expand production in Mexico during 2013. A summarized table of consolidated production results is presented below:

Consolidated Production  3 Months Ended 9 Months Ended
  Sep 30, 2013 Sep 30, 2012 % Var. Sep 30, 2013 Sep 30, 2012 % Var.
Silver production (oz) 626,735 681,846 -8% 1,906,763 1,936,836 -2%
Copper production (000 lb) 3,270 3,517 -7% 11,086 11,517 -4%
Lead production (000 lb) 8,591 10,009 -14% 26,678 27,024 -1%
Zinc production (000 lb) 12,284 15,402 -20% 38,365 44,306 -13%
Gold Production (oz) 1,673 2,409 -31% 5,071 8,310 -39%


Yauricocha Mine, Peru

The Yauricocha Mine continued to be the Company's largest producing mine with a total of 201,769 tonnes processed in the third quarter of 2013 representing a 9% decrease compared to 221,033 tonnes in 2012. Total tonnes processed of 623,043 in the first nine months of 2013 compared to 650,048 tonnes in the same period of 2012. A 4% decrease year-over-year. Mineralization at the Yauricocha Mine is hosted in two different zones including Lead-Oxide ("Oxides") and Polymetallic ore-bodies.

During the third quarter of 2013, aggregate production of these ore bodies was 447,145 oz of silver, a 20% decrease year-over year; 1.5 million lb of copper, a 29% decrease year-over-year; 8.3 million lb of lead, a 15% decrease year-over year; 12.3 million lb of zinc, a 13% decrease year-over year; and 1,673 oz of gold, a 31% decrease year-over-year. Lower metal production was driven by lower head grades in line with Yauricocha's mine plan and higher dilution due to unusual levels of water in mine production. A summary of production from the Yauricocha Mine for the third quarter of 2013 has been provided below:

Yauricocha Production1 3 Months Ended 9 Months Ended
  Sep 30, 2013 Sep 30, 2012 % Var. Sep 30, 2013 Sep 30, 2012 % Var.
Silver production (oz) 447,145 559,719 -20% 1,402,805 1,596,858 -12%
Copper production (000 lb) 1,458 2,043 -29% 5,347 6,889 -22%
Lead production (000 lb) 8,338 9,825 -15% 26,099 26,629 -2%
Zinc production (000 lb) 12,268 14,135 -13% 37,435 36,085 4%
Gold Production (oz) 1,673 2,409 -31% 5,071 8,310 -39%

1For a detailed summary of production table for the Yauricocha Mine please click here.


Bolivar Mine, México

During the third quarter of 2013, total ore processed at the Bolivar Mine decreased 13% with 62,329 tonnes processed compared to 71,239 tonnes in 2012. Total tonnes processed of 225,191 in the first nine months of 2013 compared to 219,249 tonnes in the same period of 2012. A 3% increase year-over-year. Copper production during the period increased 23% with a total of 1.8 million lb produced (compared to 1.5 million lb in 2012). Silver production at Bolivar increased 34% year over-year with a total of 52,498 oz produced (compared to 39,239 in 2012). This substantial increase in production was a result of higher grades and recovery rates year-over year. A summary of production for the Bolivar Mine for the third quarter of 2013 has been provided below:

Bolivar Production1 3 Months Ended 9 Months Ended
  Sep 30, 2013 Sep 30, 2012 % Var. Sep 30, 2013 Sep 30, 2012 % Var.
Copper production (000 lb) 1,812 1,473 23% 5,739 4,627 24%
Zinc production (000 lb) 16 1,267 -99% 930 8,221 -89%
Silver production (oz) 52,498 39,239 34% 180,597 136,142 33%

1For a detailed summary of production table for the Bolivar Mine please click here.


Cusi Mine, México

On January 1, 2013 the Company announced that the Cusi Mine achieved commercial production and during the third quarter of 2013 total ore processed increased 4% with a total of 26,198 tonnes of ore processed (compared to 25,084 tonnes in 2012). Total tonnes processed of 83,450 in the first nine months of 2013 compared to 67,547 tonnes in the same period of 2012. A 24% increase year-over-year. During the third quarter of 2013 production of silver at Cusi increased 53% with a total of 127,093 oz of silver (compared to 82,888 oz in 2012). This increase is mainly driven by higher head grades versus the third quarter of 2012 (197.3 g/t Ag vs 158.1 g/t Ag). A summary of production for the Cusi Mine for the third quarter of 2013 has been provided below:

Cusi Production1 3 Months Ended 9 Months Ended
  Sep 30, 2013 Sep 30, 2012 % Var. Sep 30, 2013 Sep 30, 2012 % Var.
Silver production (oz) 127,093 82,888 53% 323,362 203,836 59%
Lead production (000 lb) 253 185 37% 579 395 47%

1For a detailed summary of production table for the Cusi Mine please click here.


Currently, the Company is in the midst of a substantial exploration and development program at Cusi that will focus on expanding production from Promontorio and adding new production from the San Juan, Minerva and La India mines by the end of 2013. Additionally, the Company completed an updated NI 43-101 resource calculation on the property in the third quarter of 2013.

Quality Control

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.

About Sierra Metals

Sierra Metals Inc. is a Canadian mining company focused on production of precious and base metals from its Yauricocha Mine in Peru, its Bolivar Mine and Cusi Mine 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 the TSX under the symbol "SMT".

Forward-Looking Statements

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 and to continue to pay a quarterly dividend. 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.

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/10/11/20131011_C9283_DOC_EN_31976.pdf

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/10/11/20131011_C9283_DOC_EN_31977.pdf

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/10/11/20131011_C9283_DOC_EN_31978.pdf



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