Fortuna Silver produces 103,098 oz AuEq in Q1, 2022

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Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. [FVI-TSX; FSM-NYSE; F4S-FSE] reported production results for the first quarter of 2022 from its four operating mines in the Americas and West Africa.

Gold production was 66,800 ounces, a 93% increase over Q1 2021. Silver production was 1,670,128 ounces, a 13% decrease over Q1 2021. These figures represent a gold equivalent production of 103,098 ounces.

The company delivered a strong operating performance in the first quarter of 2022 with all mines on target to achieve annual guidance for silver and gold. The gold production of 66,800 ounces was driven by contributions of 30,068 ounces from the Lindero Mine and 28,235 ounces from the Yaramoko Mine, acquired on July 2021.

Silver production of 1.6 million ounces, a 13% decrease over the comparable period in 2021, was primarily driven by a 14% decrease in head grade at the San Jose Mine, which is in line with the Mineral Reserve average grade. By-product base metal production amounted to 9.1 million pounds of lead and 10.8 million pounds of zinc.

Fortuna reiterates its annual production guidance range of 6.2 to 6.9 million ounces of silver and between 244 to 280 thousand ounces of gold or between 369,000 to 420,000 ounces gold equivalent2 in 2022, including lead and zinc by products (refer to Fortuna news release dated January 18, 2022).

Fortuna’s three mines in Latin America delivered a solid first quarter to start 2022. At the 100%-owned Lindero Mine in Argentina, gold production exceeded 30,000 ounces for the second consecutive quarter. At the 100% indirectly-owned San Jose mine in Mexico and the 100%-owned Caylloma mine in Peru, silver production is on target to achieve the upper range of annual guidance.

Gold production was 30,068 ounces, representing a 35% increase year-over-year. Higher gold production is explained by an increase in performance of the three-stage crushing and stacking circuits to design parameters, which delivered 100% of the 1.3 million tonnes of ore placed on the pad in the quarter, compared to 19% or 0.4 million tonnes of the 2.1 million tonnes placed in the comparable quarter a year ago. Mine production was 2.4 million tonnes of mineralized material with a strip ratio of 0.54:1.

In Q1 2022, a total of 1.3 million tonnes of ore were placed on the leach pad, averaging 0.88 g/t gold and containing 36,568 ounces of gold. The operation lost man-hours in January as a result of the surge in COVID-19 cases causing a 14% shortfall in ore placed on the pad, compared to plan for the quarter. The company is executing a recovery plan for Q2 and Q3 of the year and does not anticipate any impact on achieving annual production guidance.

The San Jose Mine produced 1,358,189 ounces of silver and 8,239 ounces of gold, both on target to meet the annual guidance. Measured against the comparable quarter, silver and gold production was 18% and 20% lower, respectively. The driver for the decrease in production was primarily lower average head grades of 15% and 17% for silver and gold, respectively, in line with reserve estimates.

The Caylloma Mine produced 311,939 ounces of silver and is on target to meet the upper range of annual guidance. Silver production was 17% higher than the comparable period, driven by a 15% increase in average head grade from the contribution of newly scheduled higher-grade production stopes located in level 16 of the Animas vein. Zinc and lead production of 10,826,902 pounds and 9,133,752 pounds are in line to meet annual guidance.

In Q1 2022, the West African region performed strongly. Following the January military coup in Burkina Faso, business returned quickly to normal and operations in the country were never disrupted. Gold production at the 90%-owned Yaramoko Mine is in line to meet the annual guidance.

At the Seguela gold Project in Cote d’Ivoire, construction activities are progressing on-time and on-budget with delivery of key supply packages such as the SAG mill and high voltage transformers on schedule. Overall construction is 48% complete as of the end of March 2022.

The Yaramoko Mine produced 28,235 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2022 with an average gold head grade of 7.50 g/t.


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