Orla ups 2023 gold production targets in Mexico

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Orla Mining Ltd. [TSX-OLA] has released its 2023 third quarter financial results and increased its full year production targets.

The company said it now expects to produce between 110,000 and 120,000 ounces of gold this year, up from an earlier target of between 100,000 and 110,000 ounces.

“The quarter was marked by continued operational outperformance at Camino Rojo [in Zacatecas, Mexico] and balance sheet strengthening,’’ said Orla President and CEO Jason Simpson. “We are pleased to have renewed the collective bargaining agreement with our employees at Camino Rojo. Our employees are critical to our collective success and we value this important partnership.’’

Orla shares eased 1.2% or $0.05 to $3.97 on volume of 206,400 are trading in a 52-week range of $6.89 and $3.95.

Orla has three key gold projects, including the producing Camino Rojo mine, the South Rail heap leach gold project in Nevada, and the Cerro Quema heap leach gold project in Panama. Cerro Quema also includes a copper-gold sulphide resource, and various exploration targes.

Camino Rojo consists of a near-surface oxide gold-silver deposit with a large deeper gold-silver-zinc-lead- sulphide zone. It reached the commercial production stage in April, 2022.

Orla has upped its production targets for 2023 after reporting gold production of 32,425 ounces in the third quarter of 2023, bringing year-to-date production to 87,393 ounces. All-in-sustaining costs (AISC) were pegged at US$743 per ounce of gold sold in the third quarter. Year to date AISC came in at US$712 an ounce.

The company said it remains on track to meet its revised full year AISC guidance for 2023 of US$700 to US$800 per ounce of gold sold. That’s down from the original guidance of US$750 to US$850 an ounce.

The reduced cost guidance was mainly driven by lower waste tonnes mined during the first half of 2023 which is expected to continue for the remainder of the year due to limited access to certain areas of the pit as the company awaits permits from the SEMARNAT.

Net income in the third quarter was $5.4 million or $0.02 per share.

Orla acquired the Camino Rojo from Newmont Corp., [TSX-NGT, NYSE-NEM] in November 2017 in return for the issuance of 32 million Orla shares, or 19.9% of the shares outstanding.

Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (TSX-AEM, NYSE-AEM) announced in May, 2023, that it partially exercised its top-up right and subscribed for 3.9 million Orla shares at $6.27 per share, generating gross proceeds of $25 million. The top up right gave Agnico-Eagle the right to increase its ownership to up to 15%. The investment increased Agnico’s ownership to 8.82% from 7.65%.

The company said it continues to monitor recent events in Panama. It said the impact of these events on the Cerro Quema project remains uncertain and rapidly changing. The company will make an informed assessment of its strategy once additional information is available.

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