Kuya launches production in Peru amid silver price surge

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Kuya Silver Corp. [KUYA-CSE, KUYAF-OTCQB, 6MR1-FSE] said it has commenced production from its past-producing Bethania Silver Mine in Peru.

The announcement comes as silver futures in Shanghai touched the highest level in more than a decade as investors bet on rising demand. Silver has soared this year, while gold has hit a series of highs in U.S. dollars on increased haven demand and buying from central banks and Chinese consumers.

Spot silver was trading Tuesday at US$31.65 an ounce, up from US$22.26 an ounce in early February, 2024.

Kuya Silver said mineralized material is being recovered from the Espanola vein system at the 640 level, hauled to surface using the pre-existing decline and a winch on surface.

The Bethania Silver project is located on the Cordillera Central in Central Peru, approximately 316 kilometres by road from Lima. It is a region that contains prolific and prospective base and precious metals belts.

The project consists of four concessions covering 1,750 hectares that are accessible year-round via a four-hour drive from the city of Huancayo.

The mine was previously in production until 2016, toll milling its ore at various concentrate plants in the region.

Prior to resuming production, Kuya recently announced details of a toll milling agreement and development plan for the Bethania project.

Kuya said Compania Minera San Valentin (CMSV) has pledged to process run-of-mine material at their plant located 20 kilometres by road from the Bethania project. “This same plant processed material from Bethania between 2013 and 2015, and has a nameplate capacity of 500 tonnes per day,’’ Kuya said.

Over the past few months, the company has focused on reconditioning of the western portion of the mine to allow for safe production from the initial stope. In the coming months, reconditioning of other areas will continue at the 640 and 670 levels, and production access for the 12 de Mayo  and Victoria vein systems are to be developed. Production is expected to ramp up progressively over the next year to an initial target of 350 tons per day.

The company said initial production is being stockpiled at the mine to be transported in larger batches for milling. It said production and stockpiling operations for the first processing batch may take a month or more, however as operations scale, the company anticipates transitioning t producing a processing batch every few days.

“Achieving first production from the Bethania mine is a monumental milestone for Kuya Silver and signifies the beginning of increased production in this rich silver district,’’ said Kuya Chief Operating Officer Christian Aramayo.

Kuya shares were unchanged Tuesday at 43,5 cents and currently trade in a 42-week range of 48 cents and 19.5 cents.

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