Trevali reports 8 miners missing in Burkina Faso

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Trevali Mining Corp. (TV-TSX, TREVF-OTCQX, 4T1-Frankfurt, TV-LMA) has suspended operations at its underground Perkoa zinc mine in Burkina Faso, West Africa as a result of a flooding event related to heavy rainfall.

The company said the immediate focus is on rescue efforts as eight underground workers are currently missing and unaccounted for. Trevali said rescue efforts were ongoing as of Saturday (April 16, 2022). At the same time, the company is working to determine the cause of the severe flooding event.

Trevali shares tumbled on the news, falling 22.7% or 43 cents to $1.46 on volume of 1.53 million. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $2.75 and $1.13.

“We are deeply saddened by this unexpected event,’’ said Trevali President and CEO Ricus Grimbeek. “Our immediate focus is on search and rescue. We will provide further updates as the situation unfolds and we determine the cause of the flooding event,” he said.

“Our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues that have been impacted.’’

Trevali is a Vancouver-based mining company. The bulk of its revenue is generated from base metals mining at four operations. They are the 90%-owned Perkoa Mine in Burkina Faso, the 90%-owned Rosh Pinah Mine, the wholly-owned Caribou zinc-lead-silver Mine in New Brunswick, and the wholly-owned Santander Mine in Peru.

The company has positioned itself to be a 400-million-pound annual zinc producer with a reduced cost profile until 2022. However, the company said it achieved 2021 payable zinc production of 322 million pounds, slightly below adjusted guidance of 325-350 million pounds.

Perkoa delivered annual production of 161 million pounds of zinc in 2021, a number that was at the lower end of the annual revised guidance range of 160-170 million pounds.

Consolidated production guidance for 2022 is estimated at between 247 – 280 million pounds of payable zinc, 36-41 million pounds of payable lead, and 688-778,000 ounces of payable silver.

Perkoa is expected to yield 72,000 tonnes (128-145 million pounds) of contained zinc this year, representing 52% of the company’s total output of 0.5% of global mine supply. The mine was expected to generate $81 million or 80% of the company’s asset level cash flow this year.

However, current reserves only support another four years of mine-life.

Trevali recently released positive results from a feasibility study that contemplates an expansion of the company’s Rosh Pinah zinc-lead-silver mine in Namibia.

If the project proceeds, 30% of the required power would come from solar power, under a 15-year purchase agreement with EMESCO, a South Africa-based clean energy provider.

“The proposed expansion (dubbed RP2.0) will modernize and expand the 50-year-old mine, increasing throughput by 86% and enabling the operation to increase production at a significantly lower operating cost,’’ said Grimbeek.

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