Fortuna reports strong gold equivalent production of 112,543 ounces in the first quarter of 2024

April 8, 2024
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Fortuna Silver Mines Inc.

NYSE: FSM | TSX: FVI

Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. reports strong gold and gold equivalent production for the first quarter of 2024 from its five operating mines in West Africa and Latin America. Gold and silver production for the quarter was 89,678 ounces and 1.1 million ounces, respectively, or 112,543 gold equivalent ounces1, including lead and zinc by-products.

Fortuna reiterates its 2024 annual production guidance range of 343 to 385 thousand ounces of gold and 4.0 to 4.7 million ounces of silver or between 457 and 497 thousand ounces of gold equivalent ounces2, including lead and zinc by-products (refer to Fortuna news release dated January 18, 2024). All amounts expressed in this news release are in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Q1 2024 highlights

  • $40 million was repaid on the Company’s credit facility in Q1 2024, resulting in a total of
    $121 million paid since Q3 2023.
  • 1,030,375 shares were repurchased under its normal course issuer bid program at an average price of $3.42 per share totaling $3.52 million.
  • On April 1, the Company exercised its right to acquire 50 percent of the 1.2 percent net smelter return (NSR) at the Séguéla Mine for AUD$10 million as per a royalty agreement with Franco Nevada Corp. dated March 30, 2021.
  • Gold equivalent production of 112,543 ounces; a 20 percent increase compared to Q1 2023 (94,110 oz Au Eq)4 and a 17 percent decrease compared to Q4 2023 (136,154 oz Au Eq)3.
  • Gold production of 89,678 ounces; a 49 percent increase compared to Q1 2023 (60,092 oz Au)4.  and a decrease of 16 percent compared to Q4 2023 (107,376 oz Au)3.
  • Silver production of 1,074,571 ounces; a 32 percent decrease compared to Q1 2023 (1,586,378 oz Ag) and a decrease of 21 percent compared to Q4 2023 (1,354,003 oz Ag)3.
  • Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) of 3.10 compared to 1.39 in Q1 2023.

Notes:

  1. Au Eq includes gold, silver, lead, and zinc and is calculated using the following metal prices: $2,087/oz Au, $23.43/oz Ag, $2,084/t Pb and $2,450/t Zn or Au:Ag = 1:89.08, Au:Pb = 1:1.00, Au:Zn = 1:0.85
  2. Au Eq includes gold, silver, lead and zinc and is calculated using the following metal prices: $1,800/oz Au, $22/oz Ag, $2,000/t Pb and $2,500/t Zn or Au:Ag = 1:81.82, Au:Pb = 1:0.90, Au:Zn = 1:0.72
  3. Refer to Fortuna news release dated January 18, 2024, “Fortuna reports record 2023 production of 452 koz Au Eq and 2024 annual guidance of 457 to 497 koz Au Eq
  4. Refer to Fortuna news release dated April 12, 2023, “Fortuna reports production of 94,110 gold equivalent ounces for the first quarter of 2023

Q1 2024 Consolidated Gold and Silver Production

Q1 2024 Consolidated Gold and Silver Production

 Gold Production
(oz)
Silver Production
(oz)
Q1
2024
Q1
2023
2024 Annual Guidance
(koz)
Q1
2024
Q1
2023
2024 Annual Guidance
(Moz)
Séguéla, Côte d’Ivoire34,556126 – 138
Yaramoko, Burkina Faso27,17726,437105 – 119
Lindero, Argentina23,26225,25893 – 105
San Jose, Mexico4,5338,23119 – 23759,1111,303,3123.1 – 3.6
Caylloma, Peru150166315,460283,0660.9 – 1.1
Total89,67860,092343 – 3851,074,5711,586,3784.0 – 4.7

West Africa Region

Séguéla Mine, Côte d’Ivoire: Solid production with mill throughput above design capacity

 Q1 2024Q4 2023
Tonnes milled394,837387,624
Average tpd milled4,3394,123
Gold grade (g/t)2.793.62
Gold recovery (%)94.494.9
Gold production1 (oz)34,55643,096

Note:

  1. Production includes doré only

Mining

In the first quarter of 2024, mine production totaled 420,538 tonnes of ore, averaging 2.23 g/t Au, and containing an estimated 30,192 ounces of gold from the Antenna and Ancien pits. Movement of waste during the quarter totaled 2,538,067 tonnes, for a strip ratio of 6:1.

Production was mainly focused on the Antenna pit which produced 401,109 tonnes of ore, the remainder being mined at the Ancien pit. A total of 700,229 tonnes of waste was also mined at Ancien. Waste mining commenced at Koula during the quarter with 18,063 tonnes of waste being mined.

Processing

At the processing plant, 394,837 tonnes of ore were treated at an average grade of 2.79 g/t Au, producing 34,556 ounces of gold.

Throughput for the quarter averaged 195 tonnes per hour (t/hr), versus name plate design capacity of 154. Mill constraints continued to be tested with throughputs of up to 220 t/hr being recorded over a seven-day period. This was achieved with a 60/20/20 blend of fresh, transitional and oxide ore respectively. The Life of Mine (LOM) blend consists of 85 percent fresh rock. A relining of the mill is planned in April, and further tests will then be conducted with a blend more representative of the LOM blend. Mine design and scheduling continues with the focus being on the requirements to sustainably meet the expected higher throughput rates.

Yaramoko Mine, Burkina Faso: Continues to meet targets

 Q1 2024Q4 2023
Tonnes milled107,719110,445
Average tpd milled1,4561,200
Gold grade (g/t)8.797.16
Gold recovery (%)98.298.3
Gold production (oz)27,17728,235

Note:

  1. Production includes doré only

In the first quarter of 2024, Yaramoko produced 27,177 ounces of gold at an average head grade of 8.79 g/t Au, a 4 percent decrease and 23 percent increase, respectively, compared to the fourth quarter in 2023. A planned shutdown reduced throughput in Q4 2023 and Q1 2024. During the quarter, the Company identified further extensions to the mineralization in the western and eastern extremities of the 55 Zone.

Drilling focused on infill grade control and exploring for extensions beyond the mineralized resource envelope in the deeper eastern and western portions of the 55 Zone.

Stoping operations at the QVP orebody accelerated with batch mill tests confirming grade expectations.

In total 123,877 tonnes of ore were mined from underground at a grade of 8.30 g/t Au containing an estimated 33,053 ounces of gold.

Latin America Region

Lindero Mine, Argentina: Steady gold production, on track to meet annual guidance

 Q1 2024Q4 2023
Ore placed on pad (t)1,547,3231,556,000
Gold grade (g/t)0.600.63
Gold production (oz)123,26229,591

Note:

  1. Production includes doré, gold in carbon, and gold in copper concentrate

During the first quarter of 2024, ore mined was 2 million tonnes, with a stripping ratio of 0.54:1. A total of 1.55 million tonnes of ore were placed on the leach pad at an average gold grade of 0.60 g/t, containing an estimated 29,670 ounces.

Lindero’s gold production in the quarter was 23,262 ounces, comprised of 20,423 ounces in doré bars, 2,814 ounces of gold contained in fine carbon, and 25 ounces contained in copper concentrate. This is
21 percent lower compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, explained by the lower head grade of ore placed on the leach pad and a reduction in the gold-rich carbon inventory. Gold production is aligned with the mining sequence and the Mineral Reserves estimates.

As of March 31, 2024, the $41 million leach pad expansion project is approximately 35 percent complete. The construction package of the project commenced in January 2024, and is 18 percent complete, with contractors on site undertaking earthworks and construction of the impulsion line. The procurement and construction management (PCM) service was awarded to Knight Piésold consultants, with the PCM project offices installed and personnel onsite as of the third quarter of 2023. Procurement is 92 percent complete, with critical path items onsite. The final shipments of geomembrane and geosynthetic clay liner are currently in transit, and the pump manufacturing for the new impulsion line are all on schedule. In addition to the current works, liner installation and major mechanical works are expected to commence in the second quarter of 2024. The project is scheduled to be practically complete in the fourth quarter of 2024, with operations beginning ore placement by the end of 2024 according to the stacking plan for the year.

San Jose Mine, Mexico: Production in line with mine plan

 Q1 2024Q4 2023
Tonnes milled181,103241,035
Average tpd milled2,1822,678
Silver grade (g/t)147145
Silver recovery (%)88.7390.78
Silver production (oz)759,1111,023,525
Gold grade (g/t)0.900.91
Gold recovery (%)86.7689.64
Gold production (oz)4,5336,345

The San Jose Mine produced 759,111 ounces of silver at an average head grade of 147 g/t Ag and
4,533 ounces of gold at an average head grade of 0.90 g/t Au. The decrease in silver and gold production for the first quarter of 2024 when compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, is explained by lower tonnage extracted, which is consistent with the annual plan and guidance. The processing plant milled 181,103 tonnes at an average of 2,182 tonnes per day, in line with the plan for the period.

The San Jose Mine has less operational flexibility in 2024 compared to 2023 due to the reduced and more dispersed Mineral Reserves associated with the Trinidad deposit. Production areas contain lower head grades and a higher presence of ferrous oxides in the upper levels, which impacted recoveries by approximately 2 percent in the quarter. The operation is experiencing cost pressures, mainly driven by a continued appreciation of the Mexican peso. The Company conducts regular assessments and trade-offs between maintaining operations and a care and maintenance option.

Caylloma Mine, Peru: Consistent performer

 Q1 2024Q4 2023
Tonnes milled137,096140,800
Average tpd milled1,5401,564
Silver grade (g/t)8788
Silver recovery (%)82.0883.40
Silver production (oz)315,460330,478
Lead grade (%)3.483.84
Lead recovery (%)90.5590.58
Lead production (lbs)9,530,58410,798,242
Zinc grade (%)4.465.00
Zinc recovery (%)90.3289.86
Zinc production (lbs)12,182,74513,933,215

Note:

  1. Metallurgical recovery for silver is calculated based on silver content in lead concentrate

In the first quarter 2024, the Caylloma Mine produced 315,460 ounces of silver, 5 percent lower compared to the fourth quarter 2023, at an average head grade of 87 g/t Ag.

Zinc and lead production was 12.2 and 9.5 million pounds, respectively, which represents a 13 and 12 percent decrease from the fourth quarter 2023, respectively. Zinc and lead average head grades were 4.46 % and 3.48 %, an 11 and 9 percent decrease, respectively, against the fourth quarter of 2023.

Lower metal production compared to the previous quarter was due to lower grades, which are in line with the Mineral Reserves estimates and production guidance for the year.

Qualified Person

Eric Chapman, Senior Vice President of Technical Services of Fortuna, is a Professional Geoscientist registered with Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia (Registration Number 36328) and a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
Mr. Chapman has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this news release and has verified the underlying data.

About Fortuna Silver Mines Inc.

Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. is a Canadian precious metals mining company with five operating mines in Argentina, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mexico, and Peru. Sustainability is integral to all our operations and relationships. We produce gold and silver and generate shared value over the long-term for our stakeholders through efficient production, environmental protection, and social responsibility. For more information, please visit our website.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD

Jorge A. Ganoza
President, CEO, and Director
Fortuna Silver Mines Inc.

Investor Relations:
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