Yamana Gold 4Q production over 255K GEO
Yamana Gold announced fourth quarter and full year preliminary 2020 production, financial, and corporate results. The strong results and strategic advances delivered during the year, and most recently the fourth quarter, further enhance the Company’s long-term resilience and growth prospects.
Following this announcement, the Company will be providing its production guidance for 2021 through 2023 along with a 10-year production overview and strategic plan, which should be read in conjunction with this announcement.
Yamana Gold President and Chief Executive, Daniel Racine, commented, “Two thousand twenty will be remembered as a year that challenged every dimension of our lives. We are focused on keeping our people and communities safe, sustaining our operations, and improving and growing our portfolio to further enhance the robustness and resilience of our business.
We have benefitted from being a high cash generative business starting 2021 in a strong financial position, with cash balances at year end of $428 million, and net debt well below the level as at the beginning of year, with a reduction of net debt of $323 million.
We had a very strong year for cash flow with a particularly strong cash flow finish in the fourth quarter, with cash flow in the fourth quarter exceeding the cash flow of the preceding quarter and the average of the three preceding quarters.
Despite the challenging global operational environment, production outperformed expectations over the course of the year in almost all cases, with Jacobina, Canadian Malartic, El Peñón, and Minera Florida all producing above plan.
While full year production of 901,155 gold equivalent ounces (GEO) was within our guidance tolerances, we had hoped to reach a higher level of production. Covid-19 related restrictions imposed in Argentina in December meant production at Cerro Moro was below our expectations although operational performance in December still exceeded the monthly average for the year.
We remain confident in Cerro Moro as we recognize that it would have met our production goals in the quarter except for the unexpected, although necessary, pandemic related restrictions imposed in December. We note that these restrictions were the result of infections in the broader sense rather than directly affecting our operation. While we anticipate there may be some short-term operational challenges in Argentina over the next few months due to Covid-19, we expect to return to business as usual as the national vaccination program ramps up.
We remain committed to our strategy of managing and growing a diversified portfolio in rules based and politically safe jurisdictions in the Americas, maximizing cash flow and creating financial resilience and maximizing cash returns to shareholders by dividends as part of a broader capital allocation approach.”
Fourth quarter gold equivalent ounce production of 255,361 GEO, including 221,659 ounces of gold and 2.59 million ounces of silver, with production during the quarter exceeding sales by over 7,000 ounces of gold due to timing of sales which is expected to normalize during 2021.
Full year production of 901,155 GEO, including 779,810 ounces of gold and 10.37 million ounces of silver, which exceeds original guidance for the year for 890,000 GEO, and which, while below the set point of revised guidance of 915,000 GEO, was well within the plus or minus three per cent guidance range(2) set by the Company to account for Covid-19 related uncertainties (with all of the difference attributable to further changes to Covid-19 restrictions imposed in Argentina near the end of the year which impacted production at Cerro Moro).
GEO production for the year at Jacobina, El Peñón, Canadian Malartic, and Minera Florida were all well above plan and, notwithstanding the Covid-19 restrictions imposed near the end of the year in Argentina, GEO production at Cerro Moro in December was strong, exceeding the monthly average for the year.
At Jacobina, production reached an all-time high and increased for the seventh consecutive year, and annual production at Minera Florida reached its highest level since 2010 and the second highest total since the mine entered production in 1986.