Sierra Metals announces that it has restarted operations and production at its Cusi Silver Mine in Mexico. The Company has implemented a process at the mine to mitigate COVID-19 risk to employees at the site, and the surrounding communities, through a testing and quarantine methodology similar to the Company’s other operations.

Luis Marchese, CEO of Sierra Metals, commented: “I am very pleased that we are restarting operations and production at Cusi. The improved silver metal price provides for greater cash flow potential from Cusi, contributing to revenue for the Company. The management team expects to continue ramping ore throughput up to the targeted rate of 1,200 tonnes per day by the end of the year, and we have plans to update studies in the second half of the year for the next phase of Cusi.”

He added, “Mine development work in the past month has prepared zones for production, including part of the high-grade Northeast-Southwest silver discovery, announced recently in our press release of June 18, 2020. The higher grades and wider zones of these structures are a source of further value creation for the company”.

The Cusi Mine had remained in care and maintenance since April 1, 2020, due to the government-mandated shutdown to contain the advancement of COVID-19. This care and maintenance period allowed the management team to complete an optimized review of the entire mine operation. These changes have included an updated interpretation of the geological system at the Santa Rosa de Lima structure from a stockwork tonnage system to a vein model system. This change is expected to better control and improve head grades and reduce dilution. Mine development to bypass the previously announced area of subsidence and provide access to economic ore to provide feed for the mill has been advanced during this period.

The Company is currently drilling from the surface targeting its recently announced discovery of a new high-grade silver zone in an area called Northeast – Southwest System of Epithermal Veins adjacent to the Santa Rosa de Lima zone, as mentioned in the press release dated June 18, 2020. Plans to drill an additional 1,000 meters to understand better the mineralization of the new zone are underway.

As of its last National Instrument 43-101 published report in Dec 2017, Cusi has over four million tonnes of mineral resources in the Measured and Indicated category, with an average silver grade of 224 grams per tonne providing for contained metal of 59 million silver ounces. Management expects to update the mineral resource estimates which will include the latest available drilling information.

Silver production at Sierra Metals

Management expects that silver will become a significant contributor to the Company’s revenue mix with the restart of the Cusi Silver Mine when combined with the silver by-product credits from the Company’s Yauricocha and Bolivar Mines and the recent marked improvement in the silver metal price.

In 2019, Sierra Metals produced a total consolidated output of 3.4 million ounces of silver derived from its three mines. The Yauricocha mine in Peru was the largest contributor to the silver production with 1.8 million ounces, followed by Cusi with a production of 936,000 ounces, and Bolivar in Mexico with 640,000 ounces.

Copper is the most significant contributor to the Company’s consolidated sales revenues, followed by precious metals then zinc and lead.