Endeavour Silver aims for higher 2020 production

Endeavour Silver’s Guanacevi Mine located 260 km northwest of Durango City, Durango State, Mexico. Source: Endeavour Silver Corp.

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Endeavour Silver Corp. [EDR-TSX; EXLLF-OTC] on Friday January 10 said its full-year production of both gold and silver in 2019 was down 27% from the previous year.

Endeavour is a mid-tier precious metals mining company. It is the owner and operator of three underground silver-gold mines in Mexico. The mines that are currently in production are the Guanacevi mining complex in Durango State, the Bolanitos in Guanajuato state and El Compas Mine in Zacatecas. The company suspended operations at the El Cubo Mine on November 30, 2019 as reserves were exhausted. The mine, plant and tailings facilities are on short term care and maintenance, while management conducts an evaluation of the alternatives, including final closure.

The company is currently advancing the Terronera Mine Project in the State of Jalisco, towards a development decision and exploring a portfolio of exploration and development projects in Mexico and Chile. They include the Parral Project  located in Hidalgo Parral, Chihuahua, a historic silver mining district in Mexico. Parral is a former producer that closed in 1990.

Endeavour produced 4.0 million ounces of silver and 38,907 ounces of gold in 2019. “The company’s performance last year was negatively impacted by operating issues at all four mines,” said Endeavour CEO Bradford Cooke.

“We made sweeping changes to the mining operations in Q2 and Q3 and a result, we are finally seeing production turning around, led by Guanacevi,” Cooke said. “Endeavour expects higher production at each of its three mines in 2020,” he said.

Endeavour shares were unchanged at $2.81 on Friday. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $2.22 and $4.27.

The Terronera Project is awaiting final permits and a production decision to become Endeavour’s fifth producing mine.

Cooke said the company has continued to advance the Terronera and Parral projects, with additional engineering trade-off studies completed for Terronera and continued exploration drilling at Parral during the fourth quarter. A final updated pre-feasibility study for Terronera is being completed this month and an initial Preliminary Economic Assessment at Parral is expected in the first quarter of 2020, the company said.

At Terronera, the plan is to start at a rate of 750 tonnes per day and ramp up to 1,500 tonnes per day by year three.

The company said its objective at the Parral Project this year is to complete a stage one Preliminary Economic Assessment to evaluate small scale 200 tonne-per-day mining and toll mining to generate early cash flow needed to develop a larger scale operation. Parral was a four million ounce per year silver producer until 1990.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, Endeavour produced 939,511 ounces of silver, a decrease of 32% from year ago levels. Gold production was down 27% to 9,578 ounces.

Silver and gold production was lower in Q4, 2019, compared with year ago levels due to the suspension of mining operations at the El Cubo Mine during the quarter and lower throughput and grades at Bolanitos, partly offset by higher production at Guanacevi, and new production at El Compas.

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