MINTO METALS REPORTS A STRONG FINISH TO 2021, PURCHASE PRICE DEFERRAL, AND PROVIDES OPERATIONAL GUIDANCE FOR 2022.

January 7, 2022

Press Releases

WHITEHORSE, YT, Jan. 7, 2022 /CNW/ - MINTO METALS CORP. ("Minto" or the "Company") (TSXV: MNTO) today announced production results for the 12-month period ended December 31st, 2021, a purchase price deferral and operational guidance for the Calendar Year 2022.

Minto completed 2021 with consolidated production totaling 26 million pounds of payable copper, a 46% increase versus the prior year. The full-year results were highlighted with a strong finish in November and December during which the Company delivered an average of 3,000 tonnes per day of ore processed through the mill and 6.1 million pounds of payable copper.


         Twelve months ended


Metal

Dec. 31, 2021

Dec. 31, 2020

% Change  





Payable Copper (million pounds)

26.0

17.8

46%

Gold (oz)

11,783

7,674

54%

Silver (oz)

135,354

67,490

101%






Calendar 2021






H1

H2

Total

Payable Copper (million pounds)

11.8

14.0

26.0






Calendar 2020


H1

H2

Total

Payable Copper (million pounds)

10.0

7.8

17.8





% Increase 2021 vs 2020

18%

81%

46%



"Our operation is showing positive momentum thanks to the efforts of our employees and contractors at our Minto mine located in the central Yukon. The 2021 copper production is up 46% compared to a year ago. The improved performance is encouraging and a testament to the drive and passion to win shown by everyone who works here at Minto" said Chris Stewart, President & Chief Executive Officer of Minto.

"From the mine's performance to the enhancements we have seen in our milling operation, we are pleased with the production growth in 2021. I joined Minto in mid-January of 2021, and we are now starting to see the benefits of the many changes we have made which will benefit our employees as well as all our stakeholders.  I am optimistic about the future at Minto and look forward to building stronger relationships with the Selkirk First Nation and the various Yukon regulatory agencies.", Mr. Stewart added.  "Our goal is to carry the momentum from 2021 into 2022. All indicators are giving us reasons to be encouraged about the bright future ahead."

Outlook Guidance -2022

Minto is pleased to announce guidance for 2022 as we continue to ramp up our ore production throughout the year.  We are committed to a cost control strategy while improving our mine and milling operations.  Capital investment is required for the development of our assets and we are working closely with our partners at the Selkirk First Nation and the Yukon Government to facilitate the permits needed for this.  Our goal is to deliver a high-quality product while protecting the Selkirk First Nation's land that we operate on.

The following table summarises the production, cost and capital expenditure outlook for 2022.  The plan is to operate the mill at an average throughput of 3,000 tonnes/day for H1/2022 and 3,250 tonnes/day for H2/2022 as the ore production continues to ramp up towards our mill's ultimate permitted capacity of 4,200 tonnes/day.

Production and Cash Costs



Minto Yukon







Copper Production (million pounds)


28.0 - 31.0

C1 cash cost (USD /lb)1




$2.70 - $2.90







Capital Expenditure (CAD millions, rounded)



Mine Development (new areas)

 $13M 


Vehicle Lease



 $7M 


Sustaining



 $16M 

Exploration (CAD millions, rounded)


 $6M - $9M 

Note:  Foreign Exchange used CDN:USD = 0.81



1)This is a non-GAAP  measure.  Please see "Non GAAP" at the end of this release

Permitting

Our previously communicated ore production ramp-up target of 4,000 tonnes/day in 2022 has been delayed as we await the necessary permits to expand our underground mine operations.  As a result, our production rate has been adjusted down as outlined above in this release.  Executing our "Fill the Mill" strategy is now expected to occur in 2023. 

Other Highlights:

Investment in People

Minto is proud to announce the transition from contractor mining to Minto-managed mining.  On January 1, 2022, for the first time in the history of the Minto mine, the Company began operating its underground mine operations with Minto employees.  "This change signals a significant investment in our people and continues our cultural shift to delivering consistent, improved performance across the business and we believe our new employees, along with our current employees, are motivated to safely deliver on our targets for 2022.  It is an exciting time for our company, and I am pleased with the team we have put in place to share in this great journey," said Mr. Stewart.

Purchase Price Deferral

Minto is also pleased to announce it has reached an agreement with Capstone Mining Corp ("Capstone") to defer paying part of Minto's purchase price obligation. In accordance with the Future Expenditures Agreement between Pembridge and Minto announced on December 1st, 2021, payments to Capstone of the purchase price are to be made by Minto.  Of the total purchase price of USD $20 million, USD $5 million was paid by Minto on March 30th, 2021 and the remaining USD $15 million (with the contingent requirements having been met) was due in December 2021.  Under a new agreement reached with Capstone, the amount to be paid in December 2021 was adjusted to USD $10 million which was paid to Capstone before December 31st, 2021.  The remaining USD $5 million is now payable on January 15th, 2023.

Qualified Person

The technical contents of this news release have been reviewed and approved by Chris Stewart, P.Eng., President & CEO of Minto and a Qualified Person as defined by Canadian Securities Administrators National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

Non-GAAP Financial Measure

C1 Cash Costs   

C1 cash costs consist of production and selling costs net of by-product credits and is provided in this news release as it is a key measure that management uses to monitor and evaluate the performance of the Company's mining operation.  This measure does not have a standard meaning within GAAP and, therefore amounts presented may not be comparable to similar data presented by other mining companies.  This performance measure should not be considered in isolation as a substitute for measures of performance in accordance with GAAP.

 Cash Cost Calculation 

 Production Costs (Cost of Production) 

 Less: Exploration costs 

 Less: Corporate Costs 

 Less: By-product credits 

 Total Cash Costs 

 Cash Costs CAD/lbs 

 Cash Costs USD/lbs (CAD/USD FX RATE) 

About Minto Metals Corp.

Minto owns and operates the producing Minto mine located in the Minto Copper Belt of the Yukon, Canada. The Minto mine has been in operation since 2007 with underground mining commencing in 2014. Since 2007, approximately 500Mlbs of copper have been produced from the Minto mine.  Capstone Mining (previous owners) put the Minto mine into care & maintenance in 2018 and the mine operations were shut down.  In mid-2019 Minto (formerly Minto Explorations Ltd.) purchased the Minto mine operation and restarted the mine. The current Minto mine includes underground mining operations, a processing plant that produces a high-grade copper, gold and silver concentrate, and all supporting infrastructure associated with operating a remote mine located in Yukon. The Minto mine property is located on the Selkirk First Nation's Territory, sitting about 20 km WNW of Minto Landing on the west side of the Yukon River.  Minto Landing is located on the east side of the Yukon River approximately 250 road-km north of the City of Whitehorse, the capital city of the Yukon.

Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains "forward-looking information" and "forward-looking statements" (collectively, "forward-looking statements"), within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable U.S. securities laws, which we refer to collectively as "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements are statements and information regarding possible events, conditions, or results of operations that are based upon assumptions about future conditions and courses of action. All statements and information other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "seek", "expect", "anticipate", "budget", "plan", "estimate", "continue", "forecast", "intend", "believe", "predict", "potential", "target", "may", "could", "would", "might", "will" and similar words or phrases (including negative variations) suggesting future outcomes or statements regarding an outlook. Forward-looking statements or assumptions in this press release include, but are not limited to: statements of production volume, cash costs, capital expenditures, exploration expenditures, permitting timelines, mill production, and investment in people.

Such forward looking statements are based on a number of material factors and assumptions, including, but not limited to: the accuracy of mineral reserves and mineral resources, grade, mine life, cash cost, net present value, internal rate of return and production and processing estimates, and other assumptions, projections and estimates made, such as the successful completion of development and exploration projects, planned expansions or other projects within the timelines anticipated and at anticipated production levels; that mineral resources can be developed as planned; interest and exchange rates; that required financing and permits will be obtained; general economic conditions; that labour disputes or disruptions, flooding, ground instability, geotechnical failure, fire, failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate are as anticipated and other risks of the mining industry will not be encountered; that contracted parties provide goods or services in a timely manner; that there is no material adverse change in the price of copper, gold or other metals; competitive conditions in the mining industry; title to mineral properties; costs; taxes; the retention of the Company's key personnel; and changes in laws, risks related to the direct and indirect impact of COVID-19 including rules and regulations applicable to Minto.

Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause actual results, performance, or achievements to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. The Company believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements contained herein. Some of the risks and other factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements contained in this news release, include, but are not limited to: mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates may change and may prove to be inaccurate; life of mine estimates are based on a number of factors and assumptions and may prove to be incorrect; Minto has a limited operating history and is subject to risks associated with establishing new mining operations; sustained increases in costs, or decreases in the availability, of commodities consumed or otherwise used by the Company may adversely affect the Company; actual production, costs, returns and other economic and financial performance may vary from the Company's estimates in response to a variety of factors, many of which are not within the Company's control; adverse geotechnical and geological conditions (including geotechnical failures) may result in operating delays and lower throughput or recovery, closures or damage to mine infrastructure; the ability of the Company to treat the number of tonnes planned, recover valuable materials, remove deleterious materials and process ore, concentrate and tailings as planned is dependent on a number of factors and assumptions which may not be present or occur as expected; the Company's operations may encounter delays in or losses of production due to equipment delays or the availability of equipment; the Company's operations are subject to continuously evolving legislation, compliance with which may be difficult, uneconomic or require significant expenditures; the Company may be unsuccessful in attracting and retaining key personnel; labour disruptions could adversely affect the Company's operations; risks related to the Company's use of contractors; the hazards and risks normally encountered in the exploration, development and production of copper, gold and silver; the Company's operations are subject to environmental hazards and compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations; the Company's operations and workforce are exposed to health and safety risks; unexpected costs and delays related to, or the failure of the Company to obtain, necessary permits could impede the Company's operations; the Company's title to exploration, development and mining interests can be uncertain and may be contested; the Company's properties may be subject to claims by various community stakeholders; risks related to limited access to infrastructure and water; the Company's exploration programs may not successfully expand its current mineral reserves or replace them with new reserves; the Company's common shares may experience price and trading volume volatility; the Company's revenues are dependent on the market prices for copper, which have experienced significant recent fluctuations; the Company may not be able to secure additional financing when needed or on acceptable terms; Company shareholders may be subject to future dilution; risks related to changes in interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates; changes to taxation laws applicable to the Company may affect the Company's profitability; the risks related to the Company's internal controls over financial reporting and compliance with applicable accounting regulations and securities laws; the carrying value of the Company's assets may change and these assets may be subject to impairment charges; the Company may be liable for uninsured or partially insured losses; the Company may be subject to litigation; the Company may be unsuccessful in identifying targets for acquisition or completing suitable corporate transactions, and any such transactions may not be beneficial to the Company or its shareholders; the Company must compete with other mining companies and individuals for mining interests; and risks related to information systems security threats; and those risk factors set out in the Company's listing application dated November 12, 2021 as filed on SEDAR.

Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements, including those risk factors, you are cautioned that this list is not exhaustive and there may be other factors that the Company has not identified. Furthermore, the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements included in or incorporated by reference in, this news release if these beliefs, estimates, and opinions or other circumstances should change, except as otherwise required by applicable law.

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 release.

SOURCE Minto Metals Corp.