NYSE American:SVM $2.44 +0.04 TSX:SVM $3.11 +0.05

News & Media

2016

Silvercorp Reports Q3 Fiscal 2016 Financial And Operating Results And Fiscal 2017 Guidance Issued

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – February 5, 2016 – Silvercorp Metals Inc. (“Silvercorp” or the “Company”) (TSX: SVM) reported its financial and operating results for the third quarter ended December 31, 2015 (“Q3 Fiscal 2016”).  All amounts are expressed in US Dollars.

THIRD QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cash flows from operations of $9.6 million, or $0.06 per share;
  • Repurchased 684,700 common shares of the Company; 
  • Ended the quarter with $66.8 million in cash and short term investments;
  • Net income attributable to equity shareholders of $3.3 million, or $0.02 per share;
  • Silver and lead head grades improved by 13% and 14%, respectively, to 287 grams per tonne for silver and 4.1% for lead at the Ying Mining District, compared to the prior year quarter;
  • Silver sales of 1.4 million ounces, lead sales of 15.1 million pounds, and zinc sales of 4.7 million pounds, down 15%, 9%, and 33%, respectively, from the prior year quarter;
  • Realized selling price for silver, lead, and zinc dropped by 12%, 13%, and 35%, respectively, compared to the same prior year quarter;
  • Sales of $29.1 million, down 28% from the prior year quarter;
  • Gross margin of 33% compared with 38% in the prior year period;
  • Cash cost per ounce of silver, net of by-product credits, of $0.90, compared to $0.53 in the prior year quarter; and
  • All-in sustaining cost per ounce of silver, net of by-product credits1, of $7.72, compared to $10.91 in the prior year quarter. 

FINANCIALS

Net income attributable to the shareholders of the Company in Q3 Fiscal 2016 was $3.3 million, or $0.02 per share compared to $5.5 million, or $0.03 per share for the three months ended December 31, 2014 (“Q3 Fiscal 2015”).
In the current quarter, the Company’s financial results were mainly impacted by the following: i) lower metal prices and increased smelter charges, as the realized selling price for silver, lead, and zinc dropped by 15%, 9%, and 33%, respectively, compared to the same prior year quarter; and ii) lower amount of metals sold resulting from lower production output.  

Sales in Q3 Fiscal 2016 were $29.1 million, down 28%, compared to $40.2 million in Q3 Fiscal 2015.  Silver and gold sales represented $16.8 million and $0.4 million, respectively, while base metals represented $11.9 million of total sales in this quarter compared to silver, gold and base metals of $22.4 million, $0.7 million, and $17.1 million, respectively, in Q3 Fiscal 2015.

Cost of sales in Q3 Fiscal 2016 was $19.5 million compared to $24.8 million in Q3 Fiscal 2015.  The cost of sales included $13.6 million (Q3 Fiscal 2015 - $18.7 million) cash costs and $6.0 million (Q3 Fiscal 2015 - $6.1 million) depreciation, amortization and depletion charges. The decrease in cost of sales is mainly due to a lower amount of metals sold in the quarter, offset by the increase in the per tonne non cash mining costs.

Gross profit margin in Q3 Fiscal 2016 was 33% compared to 38% in Q3 Fiscal 2015.  For the nine months ended December 31, 2015, gross profit was 34% compared to 46% in the same prior year period. The decrease in gross profit margin is mainly due to the decline of metal prices, increases in smelter charges, and increased per tonne production costs.  This has been partially offset by the increase in head grades.

Cash flows provided by operating activities were $9.6 million or $0.06 per share in Q3 Fiscal 2016 compared to $15.4 million or $0.09 per share in Q3 Fiscal 2015. 

OPERATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT

In Q3 Fiscal 2016, the Company sold 1.4 million ounces of silver, 15.1 million pounds of lead, and 4.7 million pounds of zinc, compared to 1.7 million ounces of silver, 16.7 million pounds of lead, and 7.0 million pounds of zinc, respectively, in Q3 Fiscal 2015.  The decrease of metal sales is mainly due to less ore milled in the current quarter partially offset by the increase of head grade. 

For the nine months ended December 31, 2015, the Company sold 4.1 million ounces of silver, 42.6 million pounds of lead, and 13.7 million pounds of zinc, compared to 4.2 million ounces of silver, 42.3 million pounds of lead, and 13.4 million pounds of zinc, respectively, in the same prior year period.

In reaction to the lower metal prices, the Company intentionally increased its inventory of concentrates. As at December 31, 2015, the Ying Mining District had 2,931 tonnes of lead concentrates and 240 tonnes of zinc concentrates in inventory, 2,631 and 90 tonnes higher, respectively, compared to 300 tonnes of lead concentrates and 150 tonnes of zinc concentrates in stock as at December 31, 2014. The estimated metals contained in concentrate inventory as at December 31, 2015 are approximately 0.3 million ounces of silver, 3.0 million pounds of lead, and 0.1 million pounds of zinc higher, respectively, compared to the metals contained in concentrate inventory as at December 31, 2014.

1.   Ying Mining District, Henan Province, China

In Q3 Fiscal 2016, the total ore mined at the Ying Mining District was 152,230 tonnes compared to total ore production of 175,782 tonnes in Q3 Fiscal 2015.  Total ore milled in Q3 Fiscal 2016 was 151,035 tonnes compared to 187,154 tonnes of ore milled in Q3 Fiscal 2015. Silver and lead head grades improved by 13% and 14%, respectively, to 287 grams per tonne (“g/t”) for silver and 4.1% for lead from 253 g/t for silver and 3.6% for lead, respectively, in Q3 Fiscal 2015. The decrease in ore mined and the increase of silver and lead head grades at the Ying Mining District were mainly due to enhanced dilution control management at all mining stopes.
In Q3 Fiscal 2016, the Ying Mining District sold 1.2 million ounces of silver, 500 ounces of gold, 12.1 million pounds of lead, and 1.2 million pounds of zinc, compared to 1.4 million ounces of silver, 900 ounces of gold, 14.2 million pounds of lead, and 2.5 million pounds of zinc in Q3 Fiscal 2015. The decrease of metal sales is mainly due to less ore milled in the current quarter partially offset by the increase of head grade.

In Q3 Fiscal 2016, the total mining costs and cash mining costs at the Ying Mining District were $78.91 and $55.63 per tonne, compared to $73.28 and $57.79 per tonne, respectively, in Q3 Fiscal 2015. The decrease in cash mining costs was mainly due to improved management resulting in decrease in labour and material costs.

In Q3 Fiscal 2016, the total milling costs and cash milling costs were $14.15 and $11.67 per tonne, compared to $15.77 and $13.63 per tonne, respectively, in Q3 Fiscal 2015. The decrease in cash milling costs was mainly due to the decrease in material costs and utility costs.

All in sustaining costs and all in costs, net of by-product credits, at the Ying Mining District in Q3 2016 was $6.62 and $8.62 per ounce of silver compared to $8.91 and $10.32, respectively, in Q3 Fiscal 2015. The decrease in all in sustaining costs and all in costs was mainly due to improvement in cost and dilution control and less sustaining capital and investment capital incurred in the current quarter.

For the nine months ended December 31, 2015, the total ore mined at the Ying Mining District was 490,351 tonnes compared to 546,402 tonnes in the same prior year period.  Correspondingly, total ore milled was 488,248 tonnes compared to 547,465 tonnes.  Head grades were 260 g/t for silver and 3.8% for lead compared to 232 g/t for silver and 3.3% for lead, respectively.

During the same periods, the Ying Mining District sold 3.5 million ounces of silver, 2,000 ounces of gold, 35.6 million pounds of lead, and 4.0 million pounds of zinc, compared to 3.8 million ounces of silver, 2,500 ounces of gold, 38.4 million pounds of lead, and 5.7 million pounds of zinc in the prior year. The decrease of metal sales was mainly due to the Company intentionally increasing its inventory of concentrates in reaction to lower metal prices.

For the nine months ended December 31, 2015, the total mining costs and cash mining costs at the Ying Mining District were $80.15 and $58.25 per tonne, compared to $62.10 and $49.24 per tonne, respectively, in the same prior year period.  The increase in cash mining costs per tonne was mainly due to: i) a $1.5 million or $3.1 per tonne increase arising from the mining contractor changeover interruption; ii) a $3.2 million or $8.2 per tonne increase in mining preparation costs as approximately 60,435 metre (“m”) of underground diamond drilling and 16,460 m of preparation tunnelling were conducted in the current period; and iii) lower production output resulting in a higher per unit fixed costs allocation offset by $1.2 million, or $1.63 per tonne reduction in labour costs. 

All in sustaining costs and all in costs, net of by-product credits, at the Ying Mining District for the nine months ended December 31, 2015 was $8.52 and $10.08 per ounce of silver compared to $8.62 and $15.00, respectively, in same prior year period.

In Q3 Fiscal 2016, in addition to approximately 21,223 m of underground diamond drilling and 4,231 m of preparation tunnelling, which were expensed and included in the mining preparation costs, Ying Mining District completed and capitalized approximately 13,893 m of horizontal tunnels, raises and declines. Total exploration and development expenditures capitalized for the Ying Mining District were $4.6 million compared to $8.8 million in Q3 Fiscal 2015.

For the nine months ended December 31, 2015, in addition to approximately 60,435 m of underground diamond drilling and 16,460 m of preparation tunnelling, which were expensed and included in the mining preparation costs, Ying Mining District completed and capitalized approximately 49,452 m of horizontal tunnel, raises, and declines. Total exploration and development expenditures capitalized for the Ying Mining District were $16.4 million in the nine months ended December 31, 2015 compared to $25.9 million in the same prior year period. In addition, total expenditures capitalized as plant and equipment were $6.7 million, including $4.9 million expenditures to construct a transportation tunnel and haul road, in the current period.

The operational results at the Ying Mining District for the past five quarters are summarized in the table below:

2.   GC Mine, Guangdong Province, China

Commercial production at GC mine commenced on July 1, 2014, and the trial mining operation results for the period ending June 30, 2014 have been excluded from the consolidated operation results discussed and revenue realized from metal sales during the trial period was offset against costs capitalized.

The operational results at the GC mine for the past five quarters are summarized in the table below:

Total ore mined at GC mine in Q3 Fiscal 2016 was 71,288 tonnes at a total mining cost and cash mining cost of $46.52 and $38.22, compared to 87,916 tonnes mined in Q3 Fiscal 2015 at a total mining cost and cash mining cost of $55.16 and $33.11. The increase in cash mining cost was mainly due to $0.3 million increase in mining preparation costs and lower production output resulting in a higher per unit costs allocation.

Total ore milled at GC mine in Q3 Fiscal 2016 was 71,593 at a total milling cost and cash milling cost of $17.30 and $15.16, compared to 90,287 tonnes milled in Q3 Fiscal 2015 at a total milling cost and cash milling cost of $19.88 and $15.82.

The head grades at GC mine were 97 g/t for silver, 1.9% for lead, and 2.6% for zinc in Q3 Fiscal 2016, compared to 104g/t for silver, 1.3% for lead and 2.6% for zinc in Q3 Fiscal 2015.

Recovery rates at GC mine were 80.2% for silver, 88.3% for lead, and 81.2% for zinc in Q3 Fiscal 2016 compared to 75.9% for silver, 85.9% for lead, and 80.6% for zinc, respectively in Q3 Fiscal 2015.

In Q3 Fiscal 2016, in addition to approximately 4,202 m of underground diamond drilling and 731 m of preparation tunnelling, which were expensed and included in the mining preparation costs, the GC mine completed and capitalized approximately 3,934 m of horizontal tunnels, raises and declines. Total exploration and development expenditures capitalized at the GC mine were $0.3 million compared to $0.9 million in Q3 Fiscal 2015.

For the nine months ended December 31, 2015, in addition to approximately 18,500 m of underground diamond drilling and 2,693 m of preparation tunnelling, which were expensed and included in the mining preparation costs, GC mine completed and capitalized approximately 10,393 m of horizontal tunnel, raises, and declines. Total exploration and development expenditures capitalized at the GC mine were $0.8 million in the nine months ended December 31, 2015 compared to $3.2 million in the same prior year period.

FISCAL 2017 Production and Cash Cost Guidance

(*) All-in sustaining cost per ounce of silver is net of credits from gold, lead, and zinc, which are estimated based on the metal prices and foreign exchange rates as at December 31, 2015.

In Fiscal 2017, the Company expect to produce approximately 860,000 tonnes of ore, yielding 5.1 million ounce of silver, 57.0 million pounds of lead, and 19.3 million pounds of zinc. The consolidated all-in sustaining cost (“AISC”) is forecasted to be $9.76 per ounce of silver after credits from gold, lead, and zinc.  

1.   Ying Mining District, Henan Province, China

In Fiscal 2017, Ying Mining District plans to mine and process 610,000 tonnes of ore averaging 260 g/t silver, 4.1% lead, and 0.8% zinc with expected metal production of 4.6 million ounces of silver, 50.7 million pounds of lead and 5.3 million of zinc. The cash production cost is expected to be $74.3 per tonne of ore. All-in sustaining cash cost per ounce of silver is estimated to be $8.13 per ounce of silver, which includes $17.4 million attributed to sustaining capital expenditures, or $3.76 per ounce of silver.

Capital expenditures in Fiscal 2017 at the Ying Mining District are budgeted at $30.2 million, which includes sustaining capital expenditures of $17.4 million and other capital expenditures of $12.8 million. Sustaining capital expenditures include $2.1 million for tunnel development, $0.7 million of equipment replacement and additions, and $14.6 million in exploration expenditures. Other expected capital expenditures include transportation tunnel and haul road construction of $7.2 million and mining right fees of $5.0 million.   

2.   GC Mine, Guangdong Province, China

In Fiscal 2017, GC Mine plans to mine and process 250,000 tonnes of ore averaging 109 g/t silver, 1.3% lead and 3.0% zinc with expected metal production of 0.5 million ounces of silver, 6.3 million pounds of lead and 14.0 million pounds of zinc. The cash production cost is expected to be $47.0 per tonne of ore.  All in sustaining cash cost at GC Mine is expected to be $8.86 per ounce of silver, which includes $0.5 million in sustaining capital expenditures, or $1.04 per ounce of silver.

Capital expenditures at GC Mine are budgeted at $1.0 million, which includes sustaining capital expenditures of $0.5 million for tunnel development and other capital expenditures of $0.5 million to complete the shaft development.   

3.   Consolidated AISC

Consolidated all-in sustaining cost is estimated to be $9.76 per ounce of silver and the detailed breakdown is as follows:

(*) Expressed in thousands of US dollars and estimated based on the metal prices and foreign exchange rates as at December 31, 2015.

Alex Zhang, P.Geo., Vice President, Exploration, is the Qualified Person for Silvercorp under NI 43-101 and has reviewed and given consent to the technical information contained in this news release.

This earnings release should be read in conjunction with the Company's Management Discussion & Analysis, Financial Statements and Notes to Financial Statements for the corresponding period, which have been posted on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and are also available on the Company's website at www.silvercorp.ca. All figures are in United States dollars unless otherwise stated.

About Silvercorp

Silvercorp is a low-cost silver-producing Canadian mining company with multiple mines in China. The Company's vision is to deliver shareholder value by focusing on the acquisition of under developed projects with resource potential and the ability to grow organically. For more information, please visit our website at www.silvercorp.ca.

For further information
Silvercorp Metals Inc.
Lorne Waldman
Senior Vice President
Phone:  (604) 669-9397
Toll Free:  1(888) 224-1881
Email:  investor@silvercorp.ca
Website:  http://silvercorpmetals.ca

CAUTIONARY DISCLAIMER - FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain of the statements and information in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian provincial securities laws. Any statements or information that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as “expects”, “is expected”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “plans”, “projects”, “estimates”, “assumes”, “intends”, “strategies”, “targets”, “goals”, “forecasts”, “objectives”, “budgets”, “schedules”, “potential” or variations thereof or stating that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved, or the negative of any of these terms and similar expressions) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements or information.  Forward-looking statements or information relate to, among other things: the price of silver and other metals; the accuracy of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates at the Company’s material properties; the sufficiency of the Company’s capital to finance the Company’s operations; estimates of the Company’s revenues and capital expenditures; estimated production from the Company’s mines in the Ying Mining District; timing of receipt of permits and regulatory approvals; availability of funds from production to finance the Company’s operations; and access to and availability of funding for future construction, use of proceeds from any financing and development of the Company’s properties.

Forward-looking statements or information are subject to a variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements or information, including, without limitation, risks relating to: fluctuating commodity prices; calculation of resources, reserves and mineralization and precious and base metal recovery; interpretations and assumptions of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates; exploration and development programs; feasibility and engineering reports; permits and licences; title to properties; property interests;  joint venture partners; acquisition of commercially mineable mineral rights; financing; recent market events and conditions; economic factors affecting the Company; timing, estimated amount, capital and operating expenditures and economic returns of future production; integration of future acquisitions into the Company’s existing operations;  competition;  operations and political conditions; regulatory environment in China and Canada;  environmental risks; foreign exchange rate fluctuations; insurance; risks and hazards of mining operations; key personnel; conflicts of interest; dependence on management; internal control over financial reporting as per the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; and bringing actions and enforcing judgments under U.S. securities laws.

This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of the Company’s forward-looking statements or information. Forward-looking statements or information are statements about the future and are inherently uncertain, and actual achievements of the Company or other future events or conditions may differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements or information due to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors, including, without limitation, those referred to in the Company’s Annual Information Form for the year ended March 31, 2015 under the heading “Risk Factors”.  Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated, described or intended.  Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information.  

The Company’s forward-looking statements and information are based on the assumptions, beliefs, expectations and opinions of management as of the date of this press release, and other than as required by applicable securities laws, the Company does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements and information if circumstances or management’s assumptions, beliefs, expectations or opinions should change, or changes in any other events affecting such statements or information. For the reasons set forth above, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and information.

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