Serabi Gold plc (AIM: SRB, TSX: SBI), the Brazilian-focused gold mining and development company, is pleased to provide the results and a review of its first quarter operational and development activities in the Tapajos region of Para State, Northern Brazil.
OPERATIONAL and DEVELOPMENT HIGHLIGHTS
First quarter gold production of 8,087 ounces, respectively a 19% and 11% improvement on gold production for Q3 and Q4 of 2020 and 16% ahead of budget driven by improving grades.
Total ore mined during the quarter of 40,371 tonnes at 6.27 grams per tonne ('g/t') of gold, a 20% improvement in grade compared with the previous quarter.
41,462 tonnes of run of mine ('ROM') ore were processed through the plant from the combined Palito and Sao Chico orebodies, with an average grade of 6.27 g/t of gold.
3,573 metres of horizontal development completed during the quarter, the highest development rate since current operations commenced.
Mike Hodgson, CEO, commented: 'It has been a very encouraging start to 2021 from an operational perspective, with over 8,000 ounces of gold produced, comfortably exceeding our internal forecast. After the challenges of 2020, this first quarter was expected to deliver the lowest level of gold production for 2021 so achieving a 16 per cent improvement on our internal budget represents an excellent result. Last year we experienced a reduction in average mined grades as a consequence of being somewhat restricted in mining areas available following labour reductions, so achieving a 20 per cent improvement in the mined and milled grades compared to the fourth quarter of 2020 is very pleasing. With a total of 3,573 horizontal metres achieved in the quarter, the Company also improved on the previous best level of quarterly development metres which had been set in the preceding quarter. This bodes well for the rest of the year as we continue to accelerate development and recover the metres that were unavoidably delayed in 2020 due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
'On that note, Brazil is experiencing an aggressive second wave, bringing significant challenges to the country. Several mining operations across the country are being impacted, but I am pleased to say that at the current time we are not amongst them. Serabi's combination of location and being a live-in-camp operation, has so far allowed us to maintain a controlled environment and we have kept COVID 19 infections out of the site, and able to protect the health of the on-site personnel. Our preventative actions have been critical and, going into 2021, allowed the Company to restore the on-site personnel numbers to pre-pandemic levels, which is reflected in the first quarter results.
In the Palito orebody, the Ipe and Mogno veins are bringing some excellent returns in both development and stoping. These veins are relatively young in the history of Palito and are therefore still only being developed and mined at relatively high elevations, allowing use of the existing mine infrastructure to gain access, rather than having to develop older veins at depth. The Pipocas vein continues to contribute much of the remaining run of mine ('ROM'). At the Sao Chico orebody, the deepest level being advanced is currently at -63mRL, approximately 300 metres below surface, with the intention to continue to develop the main ramp to the -78mRL. In the western part of the orebody increased production and development of the Julia vein is ongoing. Levels 116mRL, 128mRL, 139mRL, 156mRL and 170mRL have been or are in development on the Julia vein, and as this zone is relatively distant from the main central ramp, an additional western ramp extension is being developed. This western ramp will over time be extended from the 116mRL to the 0mRL. At the end of the first quarter the ramp had reached the 100mRL.
'Quarterly plant and processing performance was good, averaging over 450 tonnes per day of hard rock ore throughput.
'There was a welcome return of exploration activities during the fourth quarter of 2020 and this activity has continued into the first quarter. There are currently three surface drill rigs in operation, one at Palito, another at Sao Chico and the third at our recently acquired Sao Domingos prospect.
'Drilling results to date over the Sao Domingos prospect located only five kilometres to the west of Sao Chico have been very encouraging. It is a prospect rich in artisanal workings, past and present and where some exceptionally high-grade ore has been mined. We have identified five key prospects, but to date, the focus has centred upon the Toucano prospect.
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Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements in this announcement are, or may be deemed to be, forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as ''believe'', ''could'', 'should' ''envisage'', ''estimate'', ''intend'', ''may'', ''plan'', ''will'' or the negative of those, variations, or comparable expressions, including references to assumptions. These forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts but rather on the Directors' current expectations and assumptions regarding the Company's future growth, results of operations, performance, future capital and other expenditures (including the amount, nature and sources of funding thereof), competitive advantages, business prospects and opportunities. Such forward looking statements reect the Directors' current beliefs and assumptions and are based on information currently available to the Directors. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements including risks associated with vulnerability to general economic and business conditions, competition, environmental and other regulatory changes, actions by governmental authorities, the availability of capital markets, reliance on key personnel, uninsured and underinsured losses and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Although any forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are based upon what the Directors believe to be reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with such forward looking statements.