Press release: Stockholm, April 26, 2022, 08.45 CETHIGHLIGHTS OF THE FIRST QUARTER 2022
- Net sales was 114 MSEK compared to the previous year 95 MSEK. Major positive contributors were favourable development of zinc price and produced amount of gold and zinc
- EBITDA was 38 MSEK (14)
- EBIT was 15 MSEK (-6)
- Cash and cash equivalents were 44 MSEK (26)
- Investments were 13 MSEK (8)
- The production was about 336 000 (344 000) ounces of silver, 870 (707) ounces of gold, 465 (309) tonnes of lead, and 990 (664) tonnes of zinc in concentrates
- The Refinancing Project was successfully completed.
- P700 project has been advanced: decline has reached 400-level and underground drilling was started in February.
- The production was about 1.38 million (1.58 million) ounces of silver, 3 403 (3 965) ounces of gold, 1 494 (1 532) tonnes of lead, and 3 373 (3 254) tonnes of zinc in concentrates
Comparative figures refer to the corresponding period of the previous year.
Russia's invasion to Ukraine and subsequent brutal war have resulted in an enormous humanitarian crisis and our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people who are suffering the most. After two years of Covid-19, we have faced an incomprehensive evil in the middle of Europe and the future is more than uncertain. In the middle of these hard times, we have to continue our lives and keep the faith. By doing this, we show our strength and tribute to those who have to sacrifice themselves.
The refinancing project was successfully completed. The long maturity, achieved savings in the interest expenses and generally more favourable terms support our goals to improve operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness and to achieve the strategic targets. Simultaneously, we evaluate the options to advance the P700-project and ensure the long-term return of the investment and adapt in short- to medium-term to the unpredictability of the metal prices, costs of supplies, and energy.
I am very proud that we were able to incorporate Sustainability Criteria into our New Senior Loan. There is a monetary carrot potentially impacting the margin of the loan once the criteria are met. However, more important is the message we are giving to our lenders, owners, and other stakeholders: Sotkamo Silver is committed to Sustainability. The criteria, reduction of nitrogen load on water, increase of the share of renewable electricity, and increasing of recycling, are such, that they guide and support us in our daily work.
Another milestone was our first Sustainability Report, which was released as a part of the Annual Report. The Board of Directors and the Management also had a half-day seminar on the topic in March. Our target is a culture where sustainability and responsibility are natural and an obvious part of our behaviour. I am confident that we are on the right track to achieving this.
The revenue of the quarter, 114 MSEK, was the second-best in our history. The profit and operative cash flow were over 10 MSEK and cash 44 MSEK at the end of the reporting period. This is a good achievement given the low silver production and increased energy costs.
Summer is approaching and I wish all readers a sunny and relaxing season. Take care of yourself, your closest ones and live.
The Company operates the silver mine in Sotkamo, Finland. The production was started in March 2019 and the mine produces silver, gold, zinc, and lead in concentrates which are sold to a smelter. In addition, the Company holds mining and exploration rights to mineral deposits nearby current operations in the Sotkamo region in Finland.
Net sales was 114 MSEK compared to the previous year 95 MSEK. Major positive contributors were favourable development of zinc price and produced amount of gold and zinc Head grades of silver and other metals were impacted by the use of marginal ore. Milled ore tons were 174 000 tonnes, ca. 25 % higher than during the first quarter of 2021. Compared to the previous quarter (Q4/2021), we produced an equal volume of silver, and other metals, even though the ore volume was ca. 5 % less.
Other income of 6 MSEK (-2) included 5 MSEK (-2) estimated unrealized final sales price adjustment due to the price difference between provisional and final invoices for the period. Net sales included -1 MSEK estimated final metal content adjustment due to metal content difference between provisional and final invoices for the period. The final sales price for silver and gold is based on the monthly average market price two months after the delivery, deducted by the customer's smelter charges.
Investments in the underground mine and environmental investments amounted to 13 MSEK (8) in Q1. Environmental investments included tailings pond dam raise amounting to 2 MSEK. P700 project's exploration continued in Q1 which costs were included in the investments of the period.
Key figures, group Q1 2022 Q1 2021 FY 2021
Net sales MSEK 114 95 387
EBITDA MSEK 38 14 92
EBIT MSEK 15 -6 7
Equity ratio (%) 30 36 38
Cash liquidity (%) 107 85 27
Personnel at end of the period 49 51 49
Mill feed (kt) 174 139 624
Average silver grade g/tonne 71 91 79
PRODUCTION AND GUIDANCE
In the first quarter, we milled 174 000 (139 000) tonnes of ore, and produced about 336 000 (344 000) ounces silver, 870 (707) ounces gold, 465 (309) tonnes lead, and 990 (664) tonnes zinc in concentrates. The head grades of the mill feed were lower than in the reference period, but this was compensated by the higher mill feed tonnes.
During the winter we have been mining primarily between 260- and 200-levels in the underground mine and in the open pit. Open-pit mining must be halted for the summer. Our focus will be between 260- and 200-levels until the autumn.
Based on the drilling results and updated resource model, we have decided to extend the development to the 420-level before commencing the stope mining.
The decline will reach the 420-level in early summer and the mining of the horizontal tunnels, drifts, continues to access and follow the ore zones. The stope mining must be started from the deepest and farthest part of the ore body once all the drifts have been prepared. Mining of the stopes retreats horizontally and continues upwards after the backfilling of the open spaces.
The adopted mine plan will delay the start of the stope mining of 420-level from previously indicated. However, the management believes that this gives the best return as the recovery of the ore can be optimised and the approach maximises the yield.
The annual production guidance for 2022 is ca. 1.5 million ounces of silver in 2022. We expect the silver production to remain in the current level until the autumn when the mining will commence from 420-level upwards. Our primary target is to maximize the revenue and operative cash flow. To achieve this, the Company adjusts the mix of metals in the ore feed which might have an impact on the produced silver ounces.
EVENTS AFTER THE REPORTING PERIOD
The Company used its right for early redemption and redeem the senior secured fixed rate notes at an amount per note equal to 100 percent of the nominal amount, together with accrued but unpaid interest on 1 April 2022.
Allocated new convertibles were registered with the Swedish Companies Registration Office on April 4, 2022.
The proceeds from the convertible issue were used to finance the redemption of the Company's outstanding convertibles of series 2018/2022, including payment of accrued interest.
With the new senior loan of MEUR 14,6 and the new convertibles of MEUR 6,4, Company successfully completed the refinancing of its financial instruments maturing in 2022.FINANCIAL CALENDAR
- AGM27 April 2022
- Q229 July 2022
- Q321 October 2022
- Q4 17 February 2023
Erkki Kuronen, CEO of Sotkamo Silver AB, tel. +358 50 599 3539
This information that Sotkamo Silver AB is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out above on April 26, 2022, at 08:45 CET.
The official Stock Exchange Releases are given in Swedish and there may be differences in the translated versions. Should there be any differences, the Swedish version takes precedence.
About Sotkamo Silver AB
Sotkamo Silver's business concept is to develop mineral deposits in the Nordic countries with regards to human society and environment. Sotkamo Silver owns through its subsidiary the Silver Mine in Sotkamo which started production in March 2019 and has reached full production capacity. In addition, the Company holds exploration rights to precious and base metal deposits in Finland, Sweden and Norway.
Sotkamo Silver applies SveMin's & FinnMin's own rules of reporting for public mining & exploration companies. Sotkamo Silver has chosen to publish mineral resources and ore reserves according to the internationally accepted JORC or NI 43-101 code. The company applies International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as approved by the European Union.
The ticker symbol is SOSI in NGM Equity in Stockholm and SOSI1 in NASDAQ Helsinki.
ISIN-code for Sotkamo Silver shares is SE0001057910.
Legal Entity Identifier (LEI): 213800R2TQW1OZGYDX93
Read more about Sotkamo Silver on www.silver.fi
The Company's press releases, and financial reports are distributed via Cision Sverige and are available on www.silver.fI