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Sierra Metals announces record first quarter 2013 production results

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TORONTO, April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Sierra Metals Inc. (TSX-V:SMT) (BVL:SMT) ("Sierra" or the "Company") is pleased to announce its production results for the first quarter of 2013.


Press Release Highlights:

  • Total tonnes processed of 317,637 in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 286,022 tonnes in the same period of 2012. An 11% increase year-over-year.
  • Total silver ("Ag") production of 610,407 ounces ("oz") in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 584,284 oz for the same period of 2012. A 4% increase year-over-year.
  • Total copper ("Cu") production of 4.1 million pounds ("lb") in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 3.9 million lb for the same period of 2012. A 5% increase year-over-year.
  • Total lead ("Pb") production of 8.6 million lb in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 7.9 million lb for the same period of 2012. An 8% increase year-over-year.
  • Total zinc ("Zn") production of 13.3 million lb in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 13.6 million lb for the same period of 2012. A 2% decrease year-over-year.
  • Total gold ("Au") production from the Yauricocha Mine was 1,598 ounces in the first quarter 2013 compared to 3,025 ounces for the same period of 2012. A 47% decrease year-over-year.

Daniel Tellechea, President and CEO of Sierra Metals, commented: "We are pleased with the production results from all operations during the first quarter of 2013 and they remain in line with Sierra's 2013 production guidance. The Company is focused on expanding throughput at its Bolivar and Cusi mines in the first half of this year and remains dedicated to increasing global reserves and resources while adding value through production growth. Sierra continues to strive towards its objective of becoming a premier, low-cost precious and base metals mining company in Latin America."

Mine Operations

Sierra Metals achieved strong production results in the first quarter of 2013. The main drivers of this year-over-year increase were 1) the realization of operating efficiencies at the Bolivar mine, and 2) the Cusi mine achieving commercial production as of January 1, 2013. Both of these achievements are part of the Company's growth strategy to expand production in Mexico during 2013.

During the first quarter of 2013, the Company achieved a total of 317,637 tonnes of ore processed (compared to 286,022 tonnes in 2012) from all operations, representing an 11% increase year-over-year. A summarized table of consolidated production results is presented below.

Consolidated Production  3 Months Ended
March 31, 2013 March 31, 2012 % Var.
       
Silver (oz) 610,407 584,284 4%
Copper (000 lb) 4,060 3,878 5%
Lead (000 lb) 8,528 7,930 8%
Zinc (000 lb) 13,304 13,622 -2%
Gold (oz) 1,598 3,025 -47%
       

Yauricocha Mine, Peru

The Yauricocha Mine continued to be the Company's largest producing mine with a total of 214,867 tonnes processed in the first quarter of 2013 (compared to 211,937 tonnes in 2012). Mineralization at the Yauricocha Mine is hosted in three different zones including the Copper, Lead-Oxide ("Oxides") and Polymetallic ore-bodies.

During the first quarter of 2013, aggregate production of these ore bodies was 474,601 oz of silver, 2.2 million lb of copper, 8.4 million lb of lead, 13.0 million lb of zinc and 1,598 oz of gold. A summary of production from the Yauricocha Mine for the first quarter of 2013 has been provided below.

Yauricocha Production1 3 Months Ended
March 31, 2013 March 31, 2012 % Var.
Silver (oz) 474,601 492,432 -4%
Copper (000 lb) 2,175 2,634 -17%
Lead (000 lb) 8,379 7,846 7%
Zinc (000 lb) 13,045 10,485 24%
Gold (oz) 1,598 3,025 -47%
       

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

In January 2013, the Company began the "Pique Yauricocha project". This project includes the construction of a new haulage tunnel at the 720 Level and the installation of a new internal shaft that will be sunk from the tunnel. This project will allow the Company to access deeper levels of the Central Mine Area and also eliminate operational bottlenecks enabling Yauricocha to increase production levels. The anticipated completion date of the Pique Yauricocha is the second half of 2015.

Bolivar Mine, Mexico

During the first quarter of 2013 total ore processed at the Bolivar Mine increased 20% with 74,455 tonnes compared to 61,949 tonnes in the first quarter of 2012. As a result, production of silver increased 22% year-over-year with a total of 54,062 oz (compared to 44,359 oz in 2012) and total copper production increased 52% year-over-year with 1.9 million lb produced (compared to 1.2 million lb in 2012). Despite the substantial increase in throughput during the first quarter of 2013, zinc production decreased 92% year-over-year to 0.3 million lb (compared to 3.1 million lb in 2012) as a result of a lower head grade of 0.6% Zn in 2013 (compared to 2.9% Zn in 2012). A summary of production from the Bolivar Mine for the first quarter of 2013 has been provided below.

 Bolivar Production1 3 Months Ended
March 31, 2013 March 31, 2012 % Var.
Copper production (000 lb) 1,885 1,244 52%
Zinc production (000 lb) 259 3,137 -92%
Silver production (oz) 54,062 44,359 22%
       

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

The Company is currently focused on expanding throughput at the Piedras Verdes Mill, located 6 km away from the Bolivar mine, from 1,000 tonnes per day ("tpd") to 2,000 tpd in the second quarter of 2013.

Cusi Mine, Mexico

On January 1, 2013 the Company announced that Cusi achieved commercial production and during the first quarter of 2013 processed 28,315 tonnes of ore (compared to 12,136 tonnes in 2012) representing a 133% increase year-over-year. During the first quarter of 2013 Cusi produced 81,744 oz of silver compared to 44,705 oz of silver in 2012. This substantial increase in tonnage processed was planned to offset projected decreases in head-grades for silver and lead. Head grades for silver and lead were 142 g/t Ag and 0.43% Pb during the first quarter of 2013, compared to 157 g/t Ag and 0.52% Pb for the same period in 2012. A summary of production from Cusi's mining operations for the first quarter of 2013 has been provided below.

Cusi Production1 3 Months Ended
March 31, 2013 March 31, 2012 % Var.
       
Silver (oz) 81,744 47,493 72%
  Flotation  81,744 44,705 83%
  Leaching 0 2,788 -100%
       
Lead (000 lb) 149 84 77%
       

 1For a detailed summary of production table for the Cusi Pilot-Mining operation 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 anticipates completing an updated NI 43-101 resource calculation on the property in the third quarter of 2013.

Quality Assurance

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 Senior Vice President, 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 and its Bolivar and Cusi mines 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 common shares trade on the Bolsa de Valores de Lima and the TSXV under the symbol "SMT".


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.

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.  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/2013/04/30/20130430_C9816_DOC_EN_26136.pdf

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/04/30/20130430_C9816_DOC_EN_26137.pdf

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/04/30/20130430_C9816_DOC_EN_26138.pdf



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