Amerigo Resources Ltd. [ARG-TSX; ARREF-OTCQX] reported production results for the quarter ended September 30, 2021 from the 100%-owned Minera Valle Central (MVC) operation located near Rancagua, Chile. Dollar amounts are in U.S. dollars.
In Q3-2021, MVC produced 16 million pounds of copper at a cash cost of $1.62 per pound and 0.3 M lbs of molybdenum.
Q3-2021 copper production was at 109% of guidance (YTD-2021: 101% of guidance), due to higher fresh tailings tonnage and grade. During the quarter, MVC also successfully completed a series of planned plant modifications which now allow it to process a higher throughput of fresh tailings without sacrificing recovery. Production from fresh tailings in Q3-2021 accounted for 54% of quarterly production.
Molybdenum production in Q3-2021 was at 100% of guidance2 (YTD-2021: 95% of guidance), marginally affected as more copper production comes from fresh tailings than from Cauquenes, as fresh tailings have lower molybdenum content.
“Amerigo completed Q3-2021 with very strong production results. The annual plant maintenance shutdown was completed successfully and on schedule, and full production operations resumed on October 2, 2021. A total of 1,390 maintenance tasks and projects were completed safely and on time by our team in Chile to ensure MVC’s plant continues to operate as expected,” said Aurora Davidson, Amerigo’s President and CEO.
Q3-2020 cash cost of $1.62/lb was 8% lower than the Q3 cash cost guidance of $1.76/lb3 due to higher than projected production and lower than anticipated power, steel and lime costs.
MVC’s average copper price in Q3-2021 was $4.23/lb, compared to $4.44/lb in Q2-2021.
On September 30, 2021, the company’s cash and restricted cash balance was $71 million (an increase of $18 million from June 30, 2021) and outstanding bank debt was $35 million (unchanged from June 30, 2021).
Amerigo produces copper concentrate and molybdenum concentrate as a by-product at the MVC operation in Chile by processing fresh and historic tailings from Codelco’s El Teniente mine, the world’s largest underground copper mine.