Amerigo Reports Q2-2024 Operational Results

Wednesday, July 10, 2024 at 11:30am UTC

Q2-2024 Copper Production of 14.0 million pounds, 2024 Guidance Maintained

$3.6M Quarterly Dividend Paid in Q2-2024, Additional $4.8 M Performance Dividend Declared

Q2-2024 cash cost1 of $1.96 per pound, Outperforming Guidance

Annual Maintenance Shutdown Completed According to Plan

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 10, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Amerigo Resources Ltd. (TSX: ARG; OTCQX: ARREF) (“Amerigo” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce production results for the quarter ended June 30, 2024 (“Q2-2024”) from Minera Valle Central (“MVC”), the Company’s 100% owned operation located near Rancagua, Chile. Dollar amounts in this news release are in U.S. dollars unless indicated otherwise.

“During the second quarter, Amerigo’s team at MVC completed its planned annual 8-day maintenance shutdown. Despite the non-planned impact of one million pounds of reduced copper production due to the previously reported periods of heavy rains (see Company news releases of June 17, 2024, and June 26, 2024), we have maintained our 2024 production guidance. The impact of the rains was significantly lower than in 2023 because of recently completed risk mitigation projects and MVC’s response plan,” said Aurora Davidson, Amerigo’s President and CEO.

“In addition to its swift operational response to the heavy rains, the MVC team continues to excel in managing and controlling costs. Successfully blunting the headwind of a lower-than-expected quarterly copper production level, we are trending below our guided cash cost. The combination of excellent operational results from MVC and the robust copper prices recorded in the second quarter enabled us to continue strengthening our balance sheet with increased cash and lowered debt. Amerigo’s board of directors has just declared the Company’s first performance dividend, which is Amerigo’s unique way of quickly transferring strong copper price performance to shareholders,” she added.

In Q2-2024, MVC produced 14.0 million pounds (“M lbs”) of copper, with 64% of production coming from fresh tailings. MVC’s plant availability was 94%. Production for the first half of 2024 (“H1-2024”) was 30.0 M lbs, representing 48% of Amerigo’s 2024 copper production guidance of 62.4 M lbs.

Q2-2024 molybdenum production was 0.3 M lbs. H1-2024 molybdenum production of 0.6 M lbs. is in line with Amerigo’s annual molybdenum production guidance of 1.2 M lbs.

Amerigo’s cash cost1 in Q2-2024 was $1.96 per pound (“/lb”), and H1-2024 normalized cash cost1 was $1.92/lb, both below the Company’s 2024 cash cost1 guidance of $2.08/lb. Normalized H1-2024 cash cost1 excludes $0.04/lb paid to MVC’s supervisors in January 2024 as the signing bonus of a 3-year collective labor agreement.

Amerigo’s quarterly copper price in Q2-2024 was $4.39/lb, compared to $3.95/lb in Q1-2024. The Company’s molybdenum price was $21.11/lb, up from $19.67/lb in Q1-2024.

On June 30, 2024, Amerigo’s cash position was $28.7 million ($12.5 million higher than December 31, 2023), and restricted cash was $4.2 million ($2.1 million lower than December 31, 2023). Outstanding bank debt was $15.5 million, $5.8 million lower than December 31, 2023.

On June 30, 2024, MVC’s water reserves were over 10.0 million cubic meters, sufficient to maintain projected historic tailings processing rates for at least eighteen months, the Company’s maximum forecast horizon.

Fresh tailings     
Tonnes per day111,636 116,246 117,331 109,276 138,261 
Operating days82 90 92 86 76 
Tonnes processed9,247,246 10,514,765 10,789,129 9,397,541 10,535,165 
Copper grade0.184% 0.177% 0.174% 0.175% 0.169% 
Copper recovery23.6% 20.8% 21.0% 22.6% 22.3% 
Copper produced (M lbs)8.98 8.55 8.69 8.21 8.79 
Historic tailings     
Tonnes per day45,469 49,289 50,578 45,588 36,487 
Operating days62 90 91 38 72 
Tonnes processed2,912,856 4,422,148 4,584,009 1,733,896 2,624,532 
Copper grade0.245% 0.251% 0.243% 0.239% 0.254% 
Copper recovery31.3% 30.5% 31.3% 32.0% 32.8% 
Copper produced (M lbs)5.00 7.45 7.68 2.91 4.84 
Copper produced (M lbs)13.98 16.00 16.37 11.12 13.63 
Copper delivered (M lbs)14.33 15.96 16.08 10.98 13.67 
Cash cost1 ($/lb)1.96 1.96 2.06 2.44 2.37 
Normalized cash cost1 ($/lb)1.96 1.89 2.06 2.44 2.37 
Molybdenum produced (M lbs)0.30 0.32 0.33 0.22 0.30 
Molybdenum sold (M lbs)0.30 0.32 0.33 0.22 0.30 

Capital Return Strategy

Since implementing its Capital Return Strategy (the “Strategy”) in September 2021, Amerigo has paid cumulative quarterly dividends of Cdn$0.32 per share ($40.5 million) and used $23.7 million to purchase and cancel 20.1 million of its common shares, a 11.1% reduction in the number of common shares outstanding at the inception of the Strategy.

On July 8, 2024, Amerigo’s board of directors declared the Company’s first Performance Dividend of Cdn$0.04 per share. With the declaration of the Company’s first Performance Dividend, the three legs of the Strategy (quarterly dividends, performance dividends and share buybacks) are now fully deployed. Amerigo’s Performance Dividend is a flexible mechanism with regard to timing, frequency and the amount of capital returned to shareholders. It is ideally suited to return capital to shareholders quickly and is a unique tool to transfer the benefits of solid copper price performance to Amerigo’s shareholders.

Release of Q2-2024 financial results on July 31, 2024

Amerigo will release Q2-2024 financial results at the market open on Wednesday, July 31, 2024.

Investor conference call on Thursday, August 1, 2024

Amerigo’s quarterly investor conference call will be held on Thursday, August 1, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time/2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

Participants can join by visiting and entering their name and phone number. The conference system will then call the participants and place them instantly into the call.

Alternatively, participants can dial directly to be entered into the call by an Operator. Dial 1-888-664-6392 (Toll-Free North America) and state they wish to participate in the Amerigo Resources Q2-2024 Earnings Call.

About Amerigo and MVC

Amerigo is an innovative copper producer with a long-term relationship with Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (“Codelco”), the world’s largest copper producer.

Amerigo produces copper concentrate and molybdenum concentrate as a by-product at the MVC operation in Chile by processing fresh and historic tailings from Codelco’s El Teniente mine, the world's largest underground copper mine. Tel: (604) 681-2802; Web:; Listing: ARG: TSX.

Contact Information

Aurora Davidson
President and CEO
(604) 697-6207
Graham Farrell
Investor Relations
(416) 842-9003

Non-IFRS Measures

This news release references cash cost and normalized cash cost, performance measures not defined under International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”).

Cash cost is a non-IFRS performance measure included in this news release as it is a key performance measure used by management to monitor operating performance, assess corporate performance, and plan and assess the overall effectiveness and efficiency of Amerigo’s operations. Non-IFRS performance measures are not standardized under IFRS; therefore, amounts presented may not be comparable to similar financial measures disclosed by other companies. Non-IFRS performance measures should not be considered a substitute for performance measures under IFRS.

Cash cost is a performance measure commonly used in the mining industry. In Amerigo’s case, cash cost is the aggregate of smelting and refining charges, tolling/production costs net of inventory adjustments, and administration costs net of by-product credits. Cash cost per pound produced is based on pounds of copper produced and is calculated by dividing cash cost by the number of pounds of copper produced.

The Company reconciles non-IFRS performance measures against IFRS measures every quarter when financial results are reported. Reconciliations are included in the Company’s quarterly earnings release and its Management’s Discussion and Analysis.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains certain forward-looking information and statements defined in applicable securities laws (collectively called "forward-looking statements"). These statements relate to future events or the Company’s future performance. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. The use of any of the words "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "predict", "potential", "should", "believe" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning:

  • forecasted production and operating costs for 2024;
  • the maintenance of the Company’s Capital Return Strategy;
  • our strategies and objectives;
  • our estimates of the availability and quantity of tailings and the quality of our mine plan estimates;
  • the sufficiency of MVC’s water reserves to maintain projected historic tailings tonnage processing for at least 18 months;
  • prices and price volatility for copper, molybdenum and other commodities and materials we use in our operations;
  • the demand for and supply of copper, molybdenum and other commodities and materials that we produce, sell and use;
  • sensitivity of our financial results and share price to changes in commodity prices;
  • our financial resources and financial condition and our expected ability to redeploy other tools of our capital return strategy;
  • interest and other expenses;
  • domestic and foreign laws affecting our operations;
  • our tax position and the tax rates applicable to us;
  • our ability to comply with our loan covenants;
  • the production capacity of our operations, our planned production levels and future production;
  • potential impact of production and transportation disruptions;
  • hazards inherent in the mining industry causing personal injury or loss of life, severe damage to or destruction of property and equipment, pollution or environmental damage, claims by third parties and suspension of operations;
  • estimates of asset retirement obligations and other costs related to environmental protection;
  • our future capital and production costs, including the costs and potential impact of complying with existing and proposed environmental laws and regulations in the operation and closure of our operations;
  • repudiation, nullification, modification or renegotiation of contracts;
  • our financial and operating objectives;
  • our environmental, health and safety initiatives;
  • the outcome of legal proceedings and other disputes in which we may be involved;
  • the outcome of negotiations concerning metal sales, treatment charges and royalties;
  • disruptions to the Company's information technology systems, including those related to cybersecurity;
  • our dividend policy; and
  • general business and economic conditions, including, but not limited to, our assessment of strong market fundamentals supporting copper prices.

These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Inherent in forward-looking statements are risks and uncertainties beyond our ability to predict or control, including risks that may affect our operating or capital plans; risks generally encountered in the permitting and development of mineral projects such as unusual or unexpected geological formations, negotiations with government and other third parties, unanticipated metallurgical difficulties, delays associated with permits, approvals and permit appeals, ground control problems, adverse weather conditions (including, but not limited to, continued extreme rainfall), process upsets and equipment malfunctions; risks associated with labour disturbances and availability of skilled labour and management; risks related to the potential impact of global or national health concerns, and the inability of employees to access sufficient healthcare; government or regulatory actions or inactions; fluctuations in the market prices of our principal commodities, which are cyclical and subject to substantial price fluctuations; risks created through competition for mining projects and properties; risks associated with lack of access to markets; risks associated with availability of and our ability to obtain both tailings from Codelco’s Division El Teniente’s (“DET”) current production and historic tailings from tailings deposit; the availability of and ability of the Company to obtain adequate funding on reasonable terms for expansions and acquisitions; mine plan estimates; risks posed by fluctuations in exchange rates and interest rates, as well as general economic conditions; risks associated with environmental compliance and changes in environmental legislation and regulation; risks associated with our dependence on third parties for the provision of critical services; risks associated with non-performance by contractual counterparties; risks associated with supply chain disruptions; title risks; social and political risks associated with operations in foreign countries; risks of changes in laws affecting our operations or their interpretation, including foreign exchange controls; and risks associated with tax reassessments and legal proceedings. Many of these risks and uncertainties apply to the Company and its operations, as well as DET and its operations. DET’s ongoing mining operations provide a significant portion of the materials the Company processes and its resulting metals production. Therefore, these risks and uncertainties may also affect the Company's operations and have a material effect.

Actual results and developments will likely differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements in this news release. Such statements are based on several assumptions which may prove to be incorrect, including, but not limited to, assumptions about:

  • general business and economic conditions;
  • interest and currency exchange rates;
  • changes in commodity and power prices;
  • acts of foreign governments and the outcome of legal proceedings;
  • the supply and demand for, deliveries of, and the level and volatility of prices of copper, molybdenum and other commodities and products used in our operations;
  • the ongoing supply of material for processing from DET’s current mining operations;
  • the grade and projected recoveries of tailings processed by MVC;
  • the ability of the Company to profitably extract and process historic tailings;
  • the timing of the receipt of and retention of permits and other regulatory and governmental approvals;
  • our costs of production and our production and productivity levels, as well as those of our competitors;
  • changes in credit market conditions and conditions in financial markets generally;
  • our ability to procure equipment and operating supplies in sufficient quantities and on a timely basis;
  • the availability of qualified employees and contractors for our operations;
  • our ability to attract and retain skilled staff;
  • the satisfactory negotiation of collective agreements with unionized employees;
  • the impact of changes in foreign exchange rates and capital repatriation on our costs and results;
  • engineering and construction timetables and capital costs for our expansion projects;
  • costs of closure of various operations;
  • market competition;
  • tax benefits and tax rates;
  • the outcome of our copper concentrate sales and treatment and refining charge negotiations;
  • the resolution of environmental and other proceedings or disputes;
  • the future supply of reasonably priced power;
  • average recoveries for fresh tailings and historic tailings;
  • our ability to obtain, comply with and renew permits and licenses in a timely manner; and
  • Our ongoing relations with our employees and entities we do business with.

Future production levels and cost estimates assume no adverse mining or other events significantly affecting budgeted production levels.

Although the Company believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond the Company’s control, the Company cannot assure that it will achieve or accomplish the expectations, beliefs or projections described in the forward-looking statements.

The preceding list of important factors and assumptions is not exhaustive. Other events or circumstances could cause our results to differ materially from those estimated, projected, and expressed in or implied by our forward-looking statements. You should also consider the matters discussed under Risk Factors in the Company`s Annual Information Form. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this news release. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements or the preceding list of factors, whether due to new information or future events.

1 This is a non-IFRS measure. See “Non-IFRS Measures” for further information.

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