Alphamin Announces Q4 2020 Results / Achieves Record Fourth Quarter EBITDA and Production

Grand Baie, MAURITIUS


GRAND BAIE, Mauritius, March 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Alphamin Resources Corp. (AFM:TSXV, APH:JSE AltX, “Alphamin” or the “Company”), a producer of 4% of the world’s mined tin1 from its high grade operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is pleased to provide the following operational and financial update for the quarter ended December 2020:

  • Record EBITDA of $16,7m at a tin price of $18,497/t (Current: ~$24,000/t)
  • Record tin production of 2,898 tons, up 13% from the previous quarter
  • Abnormal seasonal rains resulted in logistical constraints which negatively impacted Q4 2020 sales volumes (down 14% from the previous quarter)
  • Q1 2021 tin sales guidance of 3,200 tons (Q4 2020: 2,306 tons) on improved road conditions
  • Commencement of drilling campaign at the adjacent Mpama South deposit
  • Fine tin recovery plant construction 80% complete

Operational and Financial Summary for the Quarter ended December 20202

DescriptionUnitsActual
  Quarter
ended
December
2020
Quarter
ended
September
2020
Variance
Tons ProcessedTons93 56096 086-3%
Tin Grade Processed% Sn4,23,810%
Overall Plant Recovery%74714%
Contained Tin ProducedTons2 8982 56313%
Contained Tin SoldTons2 3062 695-14%
EBITDAUS$'00016 74816 0524%
AISC per ton tin soldUS$/t11 38410 7776%
Tin Price AchievedUS$/t18 49717 4366%

Operational and Financial Performance

Tin production increased 13% to a quarterly record of 2,898 tons and was higher than our previous market guidance of 2,600 to 2,800 tons. This outperformance was due to better than expected tin feed grades and plant recoveries. The processing plant performed at an average recovery of 74% for the quarter, including a record recovery of 77% achieved in December 2020.

Quarterly sales decreased by 14% due to extreme seasonal rains impacting export road conditions. Weather stations across the export route reported rainfall above 159% of the long-term mean.

EBITDA for Q4 2020 increased to a record $16,7million, albeit negatively impacted by lower tin sales volumes. The short dry-season (Jan-March) allows road maintenance to be done and already road conditions have improved. We expect to sell approximately 3,200 tons of contained tin during Q1 2021 thereby recouping most of the past quarter’s sales shortfall.

AISC per ton of tin sold in Q4 2020 increased by 6% to $11,384 from the previous quarter. The increase followed additional outbound road maintenance costs and employee bonus provisions as well as the impact from lower unit production costs resulting in a reduced concentrate stockpile valuation.

The LME tin price has increased from approximately US$18,497/t during Q4 2020 to a current level of ~US$24,000/t, which bodes well for the Company’s 2021 earnings.

The Bisie tin mine recorded zero lost-time injuries during the past quarter.

Alphamin’s audited consolidated financial statements and accompanying Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the quarter and year ended 31 December 2020 are available under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com.

Production and AISC Guidance for the year ending December 20213

Alphamin’s short-term objective is to increase annualised contained tin production from the current level of 11,000t to 13,000t. This increase is expected from July 2021 following the commissioning of the previously announced fine tin recovery plant (“FTP”) and a planned increase of 5% in processed ore volumes.

On this basis, we expect contained tin production of 5,500t in H1 2021 increasing to 6,500t in H2 2021, which would achieve our annualised production goal of 13,000t thereafter.

AISC per ton of tin sold is expected to increase on the back of higher tin prices as royalties and marketing fees escalate. Additionally, sustaining capital expenditure will likely be higher than 2020.

Covid-19 Pandemic and Impact on Operations

The health of our employees is of paramount importance and in this regard the Company has a range of Covid-19 awareness, prevention and other risk mitigation controls in place.

To date, the Company has been able to continue with normal production and concentrate sales activities and has not been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Growth Initiatives

The fine tin recovery plant is 80% complete with full commissioning targeted during June 2021. Estimated expenditure at completion is substantially in line with the budget of US$4.6 million. The fine tin recovery plant has the potential to increase contained tin production by 5%-10% effective July 2021.

Drilling at the Mpama South deposit, located only 750m south of the current processing facility, commenced in December 2020. Drilling has progressed well with 4,152m (20 holes) completed by 28 February 2021. Our objective is to declare a maiden Mineral Resource during 2021 and to test the limits of mineralisation on this deposit to depths of up to 500m below surface and along strike to better understand the potential for establishing another long life, high grade mine at the Bisie complex. The lead time to convert drill holes to final assays is two to three months – assays for the first batch of seven drill holes are expected to be completed during the next week whereafter a market announcement will be made.

While Mpama South could provide an opportunity to increase the production rate and life of operations at Bisie, an extension of the life of mine at Mpama North (the current producing orebody) can be confirmed by drilling down-dip and along strike beyond the northernmost holes drilled in the 2014 drilling campaign. A diamond drilling campaign is planned for 2021 from an underground drilling drive (under development) located on Level 6 at Mpama North.

Further, the 14km long Bisie Ridge, hosting both Mpama North and South, has a plethora of anomalous geochemical targets for follow up and lies entirely within Alphamin’s tenements. In this regard, the Company has identified two drill targets for 2021 (in addition to Mpama North and Mpama South).

Qualified Person

Mr Vaughn Duke Pr.Eng. PMP, MBA, B.Sc. Mining Engineering (Hons.), is a qualified person (QP) as defined in National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this news release. He is a Principal Consultant, Partner and Director of Sound Mining Solutions, an independent technical consultant to the Company.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Maritz Smith                                
CEO                        
Alphamin Resources Corp.                        
Tel: +230 269 4166
E-mail: msmith@alphaminresources.com 

CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

Information in this news release that is not a statement of historical fact constitutes forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements contained herein include, without limitation, statements relating to anticipated mining, processing and production and sales volumes, timing and cost of completion of the Company’s fine tin recovery plant and its impact on production, the timing and success of additional exploration drilling, and road conditions for the export of tin produced. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions management believes to be reasonable at the time such statements are made. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Although Alphamin has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from expected results described in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: uncertainties associated with Alphamin’s resource and reserve estimates, uncertainties regarding estimates of the expected mined tin grades, processing plant performance and recoveries, uncertainties regarding global supply and demand for tin and market and sales prices, uncertainties with respect to social, community and environmental impacts, uninterupted access to required infrastructure, adverse political events, impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic on mining operations and commodity prices as well as those risk factors set out in the Company’s Management Discussion and Analysis and other disclosure documents available under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this news release and Alphamin disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

USE OF NON-IFRS FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE MEASURES

This announcement refers to the following non-IFRS financial performance measures: Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) and All-In Sustaining Cost (“AISC”).

These measures are not recognized under IFRS as they do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. We use these measures internally to evaluate the underlying operating performance of the Company for the reporting periods presented. The use of these measures enables us to assess performance trends and to evaluate the results of the underlying business of the Company. We understand that certain investors, and others who follow the Company’s performance, also assess performance in this way.

We believe that these measures reflect our performance and are useful indicators of our expected performance in future periods. This data is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS.

EBITDA

EBITDA provides insight into our overall business performance (a combination of cost management and growth) and is the corresponding flow drivers towards the objective of achieving industry-leading returns. This measure assists readers in understanding the ongoing cash generating potential of the business including liquidity to fund working capital, servicing debt, and funding capital expenditures and investment opportunities. EBITDA is profit before net finance expense, income taxes and depreciation, depletion, and amortization.

Cash Costs

This measures the cash costs to produce a ton of payable tin. This measure includes mine operating production expenses such as mining, processing, administration, indirect charges (including surface maintenance and camp and tailings dam construction costs), smelting costs and deductions, refining and freight, distribution, royalties and product marketing fees. Cash Costs do not include depreciation, depletion, and amortization, reclamation expenses, capital sustaining, borrowing costs and exploration expenses.

AISC

This measures the cash costs to produce a ton of payable tin plus the capital sustaining costs to maintain the mine, processing plant and infrastructure. This measure includes the Cash Cost per ton and capital sustaining costs less concentrate stock movement divided by tons of payable tin sold. All-In Sustaining Cost per ton does not include depreciation, depletion, and amortization, reclamation, borrowing costs and exploration expenses.

Sustaining capital expenditures are defined as those expenditures which do not increase payable mineral production at a mine site and excludes all expenditures at the Company’s projects and certain expenditures at the Company’s operating sites which are deemed expansionary in nature. The following table reconciles sustaining capital expenditures to the Company’s total capital expenditures:

 __________________________________________________________________________________________ 
Data obtained from International Tin Association Tin Industry Review 2020
2
Production information is disclosed on a 100% basis. Alphamin indirectly owns 84.14% of its operating subsidiary to which the information relates.
3 Production and sales guidance is based on certain estimates and assumptions, including but not limited to: quantity of material processed, tin grades of processed material and processing recoveries, truck availabilities for tin sales and assumes mining operations will continue to be conducted in the same manner as the previous quarter and will not be further impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.