Ero Copper procures operational licence for Tucuma mine, Brazil

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Ero Copper Corp. [TSX-ERO] has received the operational licence for the Tucuma project – the last remaining permitting milestone for commercial operation. With physical completion at approximately 99%, commissioning well advanced and over 90% of the operational staff hired and trained, first concentrate continues to be expected early in the third quarter of 2024. The total direct capital cost estimate for project completion remains unchanged at approximately $310 million. All amounts are in United States dollars, unless otherwise noted,

Highlights – Permitting: Project awarded Operational License by the Para State environmental agency, Secretaria de Estado de Meio Ambiente e Sustentabilidade (SEMAS).

Construction: Physical construction of the project has reached approximately 99% completion. All mechanical equipment and electrical installations complete, ball mill successfully handed over to operations. Pre-stripping activities completed ahead of schedule, and full mining operations have commenced.

To date, approximately 110,000 tonnes of ore have been placed on the run-of-mine stockpile with an additional 55,000 tonnes of ore drilled and ready to be blasted in the mine. Process control room, on-site process laboratory, and administrative offices complete. Remaining piping, electric cabling and instrumentation installations on track to complete construction by the end of Q2 2024.

Commissioning plan: Commissioning activities continue to progress on site. First ore through primary and secondary crushers as well as screening and conveyance systems completed with approximately 10,000 tonnes of ore placed on the crushed ore stockpile to date.

Mechanical completion and sub-component commissioning (lubrication, hydraulic, electrical, instrumentation and automation systems) completed. First charge through the milling circuit completed, flotation and filtration commissioning nearing completion — Project remains on track to achieve first production and initiate Project ramp-up in early Q3 2024.

People and safety: To date, there have been no lost-time injuries on the Project, with over six million hours of work completed since 2022. Additionally, all site-based management positions have been filled and over 90% of the operational staff required for full-scale operations have been hired and fully trained.

Project capital estimate: Direct Project capital expenditure for completion remains unchanged at approximately $310 million.

“I am thrilled to announce that we have received our operational license from SEMAS – the last regulatory approval required for commercial operations to commence at Tucuma. Across our operations and throughout the project development, Brazil has continued to demonstrate its commitment to advancing strategic critical mineral projects, and the success of the Tucuma Project is a testament to this effort,” said David Strang, CEO.

Mr. Strang added: “With the commissioning of our Tucuma Project progressing well and first concentrate production set to commence next month, I want to highlight the outstanding performance demonstrated by our entire site-based construction, commissioning, and operational teams, who recently achieved over six million hours of work without a lost time injury on the Project. The Company is rapidly approaching a major inflection point, which we believe will benefit all of our stakeholders for years to come.”

Ero is a high-margin, high-growth, low carbon-intensity copper producer with operations in Brazil and corporate headquarters in Vancouver, B.C. The company’s primary asset is a 99.6% interest in the Brazilian copper mining company, Mineracao Caraiba S.A. (MCSA), 100% owner of the company’s Caraiba Operations (formerly known as the MCSA Mining Complex) located in the Curaca Valley, Bahia State, Brazil and include the Pilar and Vermelhos underground mines and the Surubim open pit mine, and the Tucuma Project (formerly known as Boa Esperanca), an IOCG-type copper project located in Para, Brazil. The company also owns 97.6% of NX Gold S.A. which owns the Xavantina Operations (formerly known as the NX Gold Mine), comprised of an operating gold and silver mine located in Mato Grosso, Brazil.

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