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Minto Metals Announces Second Quarter Results and Provides Update on Reclamation Costs Security

Press Release

WHITEHORSE, YT , Aug. 23, 2022 – Minto Metals Corp. (“Minto” or the “Company”) today announced the financial and production results for the second quarter (“Quarter 2 2022”) and the Half Year results of 2022 (“H1/2022”). The Half Year Results include record EBITDA highlighting a strong 45% growth in production, and a 131% Adjusted EBITDA increase compared to the same period in 2021.

Second Quarter Highlights:

  • Copper sales increased 16% to 5.37 million pounds compared to 4.62 million pounds in Quarter 2 2021, however as a result of spring freshet we are down from 9.1 million pounds in Quarter 1 2022.
  • Quarter 2 2022 revenue declined 9.6% from the same period in 2021: Revenue totaled $32.0 million, a $3.4 million decrease from $35.4 million compared to Quarter 2 2021, as a result of lower copper prices and lower volumes due to the mill suspensions.
  • The Yukon experienced an unusually high spring freshet which resulted in 3 times the amount of water being received on the Minto Mine property and as a result, the milling operation was temporarily suspended on two separate occasions for a total duration of 4 ½ weeks resulting in the above mentioned production decrease quarter over quarter. Operations underground continued as scheduled during the mill’s downtime.
  • Operating results:
    • Mill Feed for Quarter 2 was 176,169 dry metric tonnes (“dmt”), a 23.9% decrease from 231,334 dmt in Quarter 2 2021.
    • Production costs increased 22.5% to $31.5 million compared to $25.7 million in Quarter 2 2021, consistent with operational ramp-up.
    • Operating cash costs per pound sold1 averaged USD $3.30/lb, a 17.9% decrease from USD $4.02/lb in Quarter 2 2021.
    • All-In Sustaining Costs (“AISC”) per pound sold1 averaged USD $4.75/lb, a 5.2% decrease from USD $5.01/lb in Quarter 2 2021.
    • At the end of Quarter 2, there was a stockpile of 77,300 tonnes of ore on surface, representing 23 days of production, therefore allowing Minto to remain on track to meet its previously announced production guidance.

Half Year Highlights:

  • Copper sales for H1/2022 increased by 45.4% to 14.47 million pounds compared to 9.95  million pounds for the same period in 2021.
  • H1/2022 Revenue of $85.3 million,  a growth of $24.4 million or 40.1%, compared to $60.9 million for the same period in 2021.
  • Operating cash flow increased 70.0% from the same period in 2021: Net cash provided by operating activities of $15.1 million, a $6.2 million increase from $8.9 million in 2021
  • Improved operating results
    • Production costs increased 27.0% to $64.7 million compared to $50.9 million for the same period in 2021, consistent with operational ramp-up.
    • Operating cash costs per pound sold1  averaged USD $2.76/lb, a 26.8% decrease from USD $3.77/lb in 2021, the result of improved operational performance.
    • AISC per pound sold1  averaged USD $3.89/lb, a 13.6% decrease from USD $4.50/lb in 2021.
  • Adjusted EBITDA totaled $18.7 million, a $10.6 million dollar increase from $8.1M for the same period in 2021.
  • Total year-to-date Net Income of $5.1 million, a $4.8 million improvement from the $0.3 million net income for the same period in 2021.

1. Refers to Cash Costs & All-In Sustaining Costs “Non-IFRS Measures” on page 20 of the Company’s Quarter 2 2022 MD&A.

2. Refers to Adjusted Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization on page 20 of the Company’s Quarter 2 2022 MD&A. 

“Global inflationary pressures and difficult environmental conditions during the Yukon’s record spring freshet this year presented Minto’s operations team with particular challenges during Quarter 2. In spite of that, Quarter 2 represents the third consecutive quarter (versus the prior year) of positive momentum and we are poised for the positive trend to continue for the second half of 2022. Our team will remain extremely focused for the balance of 2022 on our strategy of FIX, FILL and OPTIMIZE along with continuing our targeted exploration to provide viable mine life expansion,” commented Chris Stewart, President & Chief Executive Officer of Minto Metals.

“We have a lot of great people on Minto’s team and their dedication and hard work continues to improve the business. I want to thank everyone for their efforts during a challenging second quarter. I am excited about the future at Minto and look forward to continuing to build stronger relationships within the Selkirk First Nation and the various Yukon regulatory agencies,” Mr. Stewart added.

Minto Mine Milling Operations and Spring Freshet

The Yukon received between 150% and 400% of the normal annual snowfall during this past winter which generated a significant volume of water during the spring freshet. During Quarter 2, 2022, the Minto mine site saw the daily water volume inflow exceed the mine’s discharge capacities which caused the storage pond water levels to rise. As a precautionary measure the Company temporarily suspended its milling operations for a total of 4 ½ weeks during the quarter. In doing so, the Company was able to ensure all water arriving on the mine site was properly managed within our water management system and that the environment was protected.

Underground mining operations continued uninterrupted during Quarter 2, 2022 with ore being stockpiled ahead of the milling facility. The Mill is permitted to process an average of 4,200 tonnes/day of ore and underground production is currently averaging approximately 3,000 tonnes/day. The stockpiled ore will be processed at a higher rate during H2/2022 and as a result, Minto anticipates the original production guidance provided for 2022 will not be impacted.

“Since the launch of Minto Metals Corp. in November 2021, we have been operating the mine following our five Core Values: Be Safe, Be Honest, Be Responsible, Be Respectful and Be Great. Our environmental stewardship remains the utmost priority and  our commitment is to be safe and responsible to the Selkirk First Nation Settlement Lands on which we operate despite the financial impact of a temporary suspension of our mill. We are confident the spring freshet has concluded and our water management has stabilized. Our mill is back to regular operations with ore being processed at a higher throughput in order to get through the stockpiled ore,” continued Mr. Stewart.

Yukon Government Security Update

On January 4th, 2022 the Yukon Government determined that the security for the Minto Mine site should be increased from $72 million to $104 million.  Until Minto Metals is able to furnish the increased security the Yukon Government placed the Minto Mine under restricted operating conditions related to water management activities on site and provided Minto additional time, most recently until September 1st, 2022, to furnish the increased security.

On August 19, 2022 the Company received a letter from the Yukon Government revising the required security due by September 1, 2022 to $93 million.  This reduction is based on reclamation work already completed on-site as well as the removal of security for two new mining areas which have not been started yet.

Minto has been in ongoing discussions with the Selkirk First Nation and the Yukon Government to finalize a solution that is acceptable to all parties. Various solutions are being discussed while the Company continues carrying out progressive reclamation activities thereby potentially decreasing the required security increase. Further updates will be provided in the coming weeks as the Company works with the Selkirk First Nation and the Yukon Government. But if Minto does not furnish the required $93 million security by September 1, 2022, and/or the Yukon Government does not provide an extension, Minto will be out of compliance with its Quartz Mining License. As a result of that non-compliance, the Yukon Government may direct Minto to take certain actions including cessation of mining and milling activities until such time as the Company furnishes the required security in full.  Although the Company currently believes it will be able to secure the required $93 million security by the September 1, 2022 deadline, there can be no assurance it will be able to do so by such time, or at all.

“At the beginning of 2022 Minto committed to investing $8 million dollars in improvements to the mine water management system at the Minto Mine.  Year to date we have spent over $5 million including upgrades to our water treatment plant, the installation of a new microfiltration plant, and the purchase of evaporation units, all to support improved environmental stewardship.  Minto Metals takes the protection of the environment extremely seriously as is demonstrated by the investments we are making,” concluded Mr. Stewart.

Q2 2022 Financial Highlights

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