(All amounts expressed in US dollars, unless otherwise stated) 

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 16, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Atico Mining Corporation (the “Company” or “Atico”) (TSX.V: ATY | OTCQX: ATCMF) today announced its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2023, posting a net loss of $0.5 million. Production for the period at Atico’s El Roble mine totaled 2.3 million pounds (“lbs”) of copper and 2,553 ounces (“oz”) of gold in concentrate at a cash cost(1) of $2.20 per payable pound of copper(2).

Fernando E. Ganoza, CEO and Director, commented, “Lower grade and throughput than planned for this period impacted our financials for the quarter. The mechanical failures experienced during the fourth quarter of last year which carried through to this quarter have been resolved and we have now moved back into higher grade zones. These should be reflected in the El Roble production results for the second quarter as we anticipate we will be able to make up for the slow start of the year throughout the remaining quarters” said Fernando E. Ganoza, CEO. “In parallel we will focus on the on-going drill program at El Roble mine vicinity aimed at replacing ore and extending the life of mine.”

First Quarter Financial Highlights

  • Net loss for the quarter amounted to $0.5 million, compared with income of $3.9 million for the comparative quarter. The decrease was primarily due to lower sales, and a higher cost per pound of copper, impacting income from mining operations.
  • Sales for the quarter decreased 38% to $12.8 million when compared with $20.6 million in Q1-2022. Copper (“Cu”) and gold (“Au”) accounted for 84% and 16% of the 6,475 (Q1-2022 – 9,568) dry metric tonnes (“DMT”) sold during Q1-2023. Sales during the quarter were impacted by lower quantities sold and at a lower copper price compared to Q1-2022.
  • The average realized price per metal was $4.15 per pound of copper and $2,139 per ounce of gold.
  • Ending working capital was $15.0 million and the Company had $15.7 million in long-term loans payable.
  • Cash costs (1) were $127.33 per tonne of processed ore and $2.20 per pound of payable copper produced, which were an increase of 2% and a 71% over Q1-2022, respectively.
  • Cash margin was $1.95 (Q1-2022 - $3.36) per pound of payable copper produced, which was a decrease of 42% over Q1-2022 due to lower copper price and higher cash costs per pound.
  • All-in sustaining cash cost per payable pound of copper produced(1)(2) was $3.34.

First Quarter Summary of Financial Results

 $12,783,240 $20,645,001 -38%
Cost of sales
  (10,702,409) (11,551,647)-7%
Income from mining operations
  2,080,831  9,093,354 -77%
As a % of revenue
  16% 44%-63%
General and administrative expenses
  1,466,716  1,277,676 15%
Income from operations
  573,062  7,623,353 -92%
As a % of revenue
  4% 37%-88%
Income before income taxes
  197,191  7,919,534 -98%
Net income
  (499,670) 3,900,202 -113%
As a % of revenue
  -4% 19%-121%
Operating cash flow before changes in non-cash operating working capital items(1)
 $2,039,380 $11,156,820 -82%

First Quarter Operational Review

In Q1-2023, the Company produced 2.3 million lbs of copper, 2,553 oz of gold, and 8,335 oz of silver. The decrease in copper production is mainly due to the decrease in grade.

Cash costs(1) were $127.33 per tonne of processed ore and $2.20 per pound of payable copper produced, which were an increase of 2% and a decrease of 71% over Q1-2022, respectively. The increase in cash cost per pound of payable copper produced compared to the comparative period is due to lower copper grade partially offset by higher gold (by-product) credits.

First Quarter Operational Details

Production (Contained metals)(3)      
Copper (000s lbs) 2,310 4,731 -51%
Gold (oz) 2,553 2,636 -3%
Silver (oz) 8,335 8,779 -5%
Tonnes of material mined 60,568 66,594 -9%
Tonnes processed 62,793 65,844 -5%
Tonnes processed per day 747 826 -10%
Copper grade (%) 1.87 3.55 -47%
Gold grade (g/t) 2.23 2.08 7%
Silver grade (g/t) 23.07 7.69 200%
Copper (%) 89.2 91.8 -3%
Gold (%) 57.0 59.7 5%
Silver (%) 37.5 53.8 -30%
Copper Concentrates (DMT) 5,815 10,719 -46%
Copper (%) 18.1 20.0 -10%
Gold (g/t) 13.7 7.9 73%
Silver (g/t) 44.8 25.9 73%
Payable copper produced (000s lbs) 2,174 4,576 -53%
Cash cost per pound of payable copper ($/lbs)(1)(2) 2.20 1.29 71%

The financial statements and MD&A are available on SEDAR and have also been posted on the Company's website at http://www.aticomining.com/s/FinancialStatements.asp.

El Roble Mine

The El Roble mine is a high grade, underground copper and gold mine with nominal processing plant capacity of 1,000 tonnes per day, located in the Department of Choco in Colombia. Its commercial product is a copper-gold concentrate.

Since obtaining control of the mine on November 22, 2013, Atico has upgraded the operation from a historical nominal capacity of 400 tonnes per day.

El Roble has Proven and Probable reserves of 1.00 million tonnes grading 3.02% copper and 1.76 g/t gold, at a cut-off grade of 1.3% copper equivalent with an effective date of September 30, 2020. Mineralization is open at depth and along strike and the Company plans to further test the limits of the deposit. On the larger land package, the Company has identified a prospective stratigraphic contact between volcanic rocks and black and grey pelagic sediments and cherts that has been traced by Atico geologists for ten kilometers. This contact has been determined to be an important control on VMS mineralization on which Atico has identified numerous target areas prospective for VMS type mineralization occurrence, which is the focus of the current surface drill program at El Roble.

La Plata Overview

Atico’s wholly-owned La Plata project is a gold rich volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit that was the subject of small-scale mining from 1975-1981 by Outokumpu Finland. The project benefits from a modern drill and exploration database which was completed by Cambior Inc. from 1996-1999, Cornerstone Capital from 2006-2009 and Toachi from 2016-2019.

Toachi Mining completed a PEA estimating an inferred resource of 1.85 million tonnes grading 4.10 grams gold per tonne, 50.0 grams silver per tonne, 3.30% copper, 4.60% zinc and 0.60% lead per tonne.

The La Plata project consists two concessions covering a total area of 2,235 hectares along its 4-kilometer length, which contains known mineralization in two VMS lenses and nine priority exploration targets.

Qualified Person

Mr. Thomas Kelly (SME Registered Member 1696580), advisor to the Company and a qualified person under National Instrument 43-101 standards, is responsible for ensuring that the technical information contained in this news release is an accurate summary of the original reports and data provided to or developed by Atico.

About Atico Mining Corporation

Atico is a growth-oriented Company, focused on exploring, developing and mining copper and gold projects in Latin America. The Company generates significant cash flow through the operation of the El Roble mine and is developing it’s high-grade La Plata VMS project in Ecuador. The Company is also pursuing additional acquisition of advanced stage opportunities. For more information, please visit www.aticomining.com.


Fernando E. Ganoza
Atico Mining Corporation

Trading symbols: TSX.V: ATY | OTCQX: ATCMF

Investor Relations
Igor Dutina
Tel: +1.604.633.9022

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.

No securities regulatory authority has either approved or disapproved of the contents of this news release. The securities being offered have not been, and will not be, registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the ‘‘U.S. Securities Act’’), or any state securities laws, and may not be offered or sold in the United States, or to, or for the account or benefit of, a "U.S. person" (as defined in Regulation S of the U.S. Securities Act) unless pursuant to an exemption therefrom. This press release is for information purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities of the Company in any jurisdiction.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements

This announcement includes certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, without limitation the use of net proceeds, are forward-looking statements. Forward- looking statements involve various risks and uncertainties and are based on certain factors and assumptions. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations include uncertainties as to the timing and process for renewal of title to the El Roble claims; uncertainties relating to interpretation of drill results and the geology, continuity and grade of mineral deposits; uncertainty of estimates of capital and operating costs; the need to obtain additional financing to maintain its interest in and/or explore and develop the Company’s mineral projects; uncertainty of meeting anticipated program milestones for the Company’s mineral projects; the world-wide economic and social impact of COVID-19 is managed and the duration and extent of the coronavirus pandemic is minimized or not long-term; disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic or other health and safety issues, or the responses of governments, communities, the Company and others to such pandemic or other issues; and other risks and uncertainties disclosed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company's Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2022 as filed on SEDAR and as available on the Company's website for further details, and in the prospectus of the Company dated March 2, 2012 filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The items marked with a "(1)" are alternative performance measures and readers should refer to Non-GAAP Financial Measures in the Company's Management's Discussion and Analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2023, as filed on SEDAR and as available on the Company's website for further details.

(1) Alternative performance measures; please refer to “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” at the end of this release.
(2) Net of by-product credits
(3) Subject to adjustments on final settlement

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