Sierra Metals Reports First Quarter 2015 Production Results with Record Output at its Three Mines

VANCOUVER, April 14, 2015 /CNW/ - Sierra Metals Inc. (TSX: SMT) (BVL: SMT) ("Sierra Metals" or "the Company") reports production for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 ("Q1 2015") from its three underground mines in Latin America, the Yauricocha polymetallic mine in Peru and the Bolivar copper and Cusi silver mines in Mexico.

First Quarter Production Highlights

  • Total tonnes processed of 472,407; a 13% increase over Q1 2014; a new Company record
  • Silver production of 899,691 ounces; a 24% increase over Q1 2014; a new Company record
  • Copper production of 6.5 million pounds; a 13% increase over Q1 2014
  • Lead production of 12.1 million pounds; consistent with Q1 2014
  • Zinc production of 10.5 million pounds; an 18% decrease from Q1 2014
  • Gold production of 2,661 ounces; a 7% increase over Q1 2014
  • Silver equivalent production of 3.1 million ounces; a 6% increase over Q1 2014; a new Company record

Ed Guimaraes, Chief Financial Officer of Sierra Metals, commented: "The Company delivered continued production growth during the first quarter, setting new records for total silver production of 899,691 ounces and ore throughput. The record silver production resulted from increases in silver head grades and recoveries and plant throughput at our Yauricocha Mine in Peru, combined with the increase in silver head grades and new plant throughput records at our Cusi and Bolivar mines in Mexico. The continued ramp-up at Bolivar, and the connection of the new power line on the 10th of March contributed to the highest quarterly metal production ever achieved at this mine. The quality of our assets will enable us to continue on path towards meeting or exceeding 2015 production guidance and plan for future brownfield expansions."

Consolidated Production Results:

Consolidated Production 

3 Months Ended


Mar 31, 2015

Mar 31, 2014

% Var.





Tonnes processed

472,407

416,565

13%


Daily throughput

5,399

4,761

13%





Silver ounces

899,691

728,211

24%

Copper pounds (000's)

6,484

5,730

13%

Lead pounds (000's)

12,115

12,180

-1%

Zinc pounds (000's)

10,461

12,732

-18%

Gold ounces

2,661

2,485

7%

Silver equivalent ounces(1)

3,050

2,865

6%





(1)Silver equivalent ounces were calculated using the following metal prices: $20/oz Ag, $3.00/lb Cu, $0.85/lb Pb, $0.95/lb Zn, $1,250/oz Au.

 

Yauricocha Mine, Peru

The Yauricocha Mine continued to be the Company's largest producing mine with a total of 219,969 tonnes processed in Q1 2015 representing a 2% increase compared to Q1 2014. Mineralization at the Yauricocha Mine is hosted in three different zones including Lead-Oxide, Copper-Oxide and Polymetallic ore-bodies. During Q1 2015, aggregate production of these ore bodies was 549,973 ounces of silver, an 11% increase year-over-year; 1.7 million pounds of copper, consistent year-over-year; 11.7 million pounds of lead, consistent year-over year; 10.5 million pounds of zinc, a decrease of 18% year-over-year; and 1,587 ounces of gold, an 8% increase year-over-year. Higher silver and gold production was driven by an increase in the lead-oxide throughput and higher recoveries of silver and gold from the lead-oxides; as well as higher silver head grade and silver and gold recoveries from the polymetallic concentrate. The decrease in zinc production was due to lower zinc head grades from the polymetallic concentrate which is in line with Yauricocha's mine plan.

A summary of production from the Yauricocha Mine for Q1 2015 has been provided below:

Yauricocha Production

3 Months Ended


Mar 31, 2015

Mar 31, 2014

% Var.





Tonnes processed

219,969

215,550

2%

Daily throughput

2,514

2,463

2%





Polymetalic

169,401

169,208

0%


Silver grade (g/t)

86.70

77.70

12%


Copper grade

0.67%

0.67%

0%


Lead grade

1.64%

1.63%

1%


Zinc grade

3.14%

3.81%

-18%


Gold Grade (g/t)

0.68

0.69

-2%






Silver recovery

78.37%

73.89%

6%


Copper recovery

68.72%

69.54%

-1%


Lead recovery

85.23%

82.80%

3%


Zinc recovery

89.13%

89.53%

0%


Gold Recovery

17.33%

14.14%

23%





Lead Oxides

50,568

46,343

9%


Silver grade (g/t)

210.91

253.49

-17%


Lead grade

8.54%

9.65%

-11%


Gold grade (g/t)

1.15

1.33

-13%






Ag recovery

52.47%

48.18%

9%


Pb recovery

68.37%

67.32%

2%


Gold Recovery

50.34%

47.44%

6%





Silver ounces

549,973

494,294

11%

Copper pounds (000's)

1,712

1,739

-2%

Lead pounds (000's)

11,738

11,683

0%

Zinc pounds (000's)

10,461

12,732

-18%

Gold ounces

1,587

1,474

8%

Silver equivalent ounces(1)

1,902

1,949

-2%





(1)Silver equivalent ounces were calculated using the following metal prices: $20/oz Ag, $3.00/lb Cu, $0.85/lb Pb, $0.95/lb Zn, $1,250/oz Au.

Bolivar Mine, México

During Q1 2015, total ore processed of 203,359 tonnes at the Bolivar Mine increased 21% year-over-year. Copper production of 4.8 million pounds increased 20% year-over-year. Silver production of 138,620 ounces increased 51% year-over-year. Gold production of 919 ounces increased 61% year-over-year. The increase in copper, silver and gold production was driven by higher plant throughput, and higher head grades for silver, copper and gold compared to Q1 2014.

A summary of production for the Bolivar Mine for Q1 2015 has been provided below:

Bolivar Production

3 Months Ended


Mar 31, 2015

Mar 31, 2014

% Var.





Tonnes processed (t)

203,359

168,190

21%


Daily throughput

2,324

1,922

21%






Copper grade

1.24%

1.22%

1%


Silver grade (g/t)

25.35

19.90

27%


Gold grade (g/t)

0.31

0.13

141%






Copper recovery

85.98%

88.21%

-3%


Silver recovery

83.64%

85.18%

-2%


Gold recovery

45.89%

83.26%

-45%





Copper pounds (000's)

4,772

3,991

20%

Silver ounces

138,620

91,660

51%

Gold ounces (000's)

919

572

61%

Silver equivalent ounces (000's)

912

726

26%





(1) Silver equivalent ounces were calculated using the following metal prices: $20/oz Ag, $3.00/lb Cu, $0.85/lb Pb, $0.95/lb Zn, $1,250/oz Au.

Cusi Mine, México

During Q1 2015, total ore processed of 49,079 tonnes increased 50% year-over-year. Silver production of 211,098 ounces increased 48% year-over-year while gold production of 155 ounces and lead production of 0.4 million pounds decreased by 65% and 24%, respectively, year-over-year. The increase in silver production during Q1 2015 was due to higher plant throughput and higher silver head grades.

A summary of production for the Cusi Mine for Q1 2015 has been provided below:

Cusi Production

3 Months Ended


Mar 31, 2015

Mar 31, 2014

% Var.





Tonnes processed (t)

49,079

32,825

50%


Daily throughput

561

375

50%






Silver grade (g/t)

173.47

169.16

3%


Gold grade (g/t)

0.20

0.71

-72%


Lead grade

0.46%

0.83%

-45%






Silver recovery

77.12%

79.58%

-3%


Gold recovery

49.87%

58.26%

-14%


Lead recovery

75.91%

83.00%

-9%





Silver ounces

211,098

142,258

48%

Gold ounces

155

439

-65%

Lead pounds (000's)

377

497

-24%

Silver equivalent ounces(1)

237

191

24%





(1) Silver equivalent ounces were calculated using the following metal prices: $20/oz Ag, $3.00/lb Cu, $0.85/lb Pb, $0.95/lb Zn, $1,250/oz Au.

 

Quality Control

All technical data contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Thomas L. Robyn, Ph.D., CPG, RPG, Senior Vice-President Exploration and a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

About Sierra Metals

Sierra Metals Inc. is a Canadian mining company focused on production of precious and base metals from its Yauricocha Mine in Peru, and its Bolivar Mine and Cusi Mine in Mexico. In addition, Sierra Metals is exploring several precious and base metals targets in Peru and Mexico. Projects in Peru include Adrico (gold), Victoria (copper-silver) and Ipillo (polymetallic) at the Yauricocha Property in the province of Yauyos and the San Miguelito gold properties in Northern Peru. Projects in Mexico include Bacerac (silver) in the state of Sonora and La Verde (gold) at the Batopilas Property in the state of Chihuahua.

The Company's shares trade on the Lima Stock Exchange (Bolsa de Valores de Lima) and on the TSX under the symbol "SMT".

Forward-Looking Statements

Except for statements of historical fact contained herein, the information in this press release may constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities law. Statements containing forward-looking information express, as at the date of this news release, the Company's plans, estimates, forecasts, projections, expectations or beliefs as to future events or results.  These statements reflect the Company's current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and contingencies. Actual results might differ materially from results suggested in any forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements unless required by securities laws applicable to the Company. Additional information identifying risks and uncertainties is contained in filings by the Company with the Canadian securities regulators, which filings are available at www.sedar.com.

SOURCE Sierra Metals Inc.

For further information: For further information regarding Sierra Metals, please visit www.sierrametals.com or contact: Ed Guimaraes, Chief Financial Officer, Sierra Metals Inc., 1 (866) 493-9646; Victoria Vargas, Vice President, Investor Relations, Sierra Metals Inc., 1 (866) 493-9646, info@sierrametals.com

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