MONTREAL, Jan. 11, 2024 /CNW/ - Aya Gold & Silver Inc. (TSX: AYA) (OTCQX: AYASF) ("Aya" or the "Corporation") is pleased to announce production of 1,970,646 ounces of silver at its Zgounder Silver Mine in 2023.

Aya Gold & Silver Inc logo (CNW Group/Aya Gold & Silver Inc)

Q4-2023 Production Highlights

  • Silver ("Ag") production of 450,046 ounces ("oz") in Q4-2023.
  • Processed 66,449 tonnes ("t") of ore at a head grade of 239 grams per tonne ("g/t") of silver.
  • Silver recovery of 86.7% in Q4-2023.
  • Combined mill availability of 91.3% in Q4-2023, a 2.6% increase compared to Q4-2022.
  • Mine production of 180,726t of ore in Q4-2023, 124.7% increase compared to Q4-2022 as per mine ramp up plan.

Safely Delivering on our Commitments and Guidance

  • 240% year-on-year increase in health and safety training hours.
  • 86% reduction in accident frequency rates compared with 2022.
  • Silver production of 1,970,646 oz in 2023, a 4.8% increase compared with 2022 and beating 2023 production guidance of between 1.7 and 1.9 million ("M") oz.
  • Processed 281,634t of ore at 250 g/t Ag in 2023, a 10.5% increase in ore processed compared with 2022.
  • Combined silver recovery of 86.9% in 2023, a 0.3% increase compared with 2022.
  • Combined mill availability of 93.6% in 2023, a 1.8% increase compared with 2022.
  • Mine production of 505,989t of ore in 2023, a 78.7% increase compared with 2022, in line with our mine ramp up plan.

"I am extremely proud of our operations team who delivered another year of production outperformance at Zgounder" said Benoit La Salle, President & CEO. "Not only did we beat production guidance for the third year in a row, but 2023 was a record year, with silver production of almost 2 million ounces. This important milestone was achieved during a transitional year as we complete our Zgounder mine expansion to quadruple production and continue to drill at both Zgounder and Boumadine. We remain on time and on budget with commissioning in Q2-2024 and full ramp up by Q4-2024."

Q4-2023 and 2023 Annual Production Update

Key production metrics



Tonnes processed



Average grade (g/t Ag)



Silver ingots produced (oz)



Silver in concentrate for sale produced (oz)



Total silver produced (oz)



*2023 numbers are preliminary and are subject to final adjustment.

In 2023, operation of the Zgounder open pit began. The planned production rate of 500 tonnes per day ("tpd") was reached in October. Production of the underground mine accelerated to 1,300 tpd in November. In December, the combined mining rate from both underground and open pit mines exceeded 2,300 tpd. This progressive increase in mining rate is consistent with our mine ramp-up plan.

Higher mill throughput, especially at the flotation plant, resulted in the processing of 281kt in 2023 compared to the 245kt guided. Sustained recoveries and mill availabilities resulted in total production of 1.97M oz, exceeding the 1.7 to 1.9M oz guided. Furthermore, the flotation mill was shut down for maintenance for six days during December 2023 to ensure a solid start to 2024 operations.

Q4-2023 Financial and Operational Results

Aya will release its 2023 year-end and fourth quarter financial and operational results before market open on March 28, 2024 and will host a conference call shortly afterwards. Details of the call will be released at a later date.

About Aya Gold & Silver Inc.

Aya Gold & Silver Inc. is a rapidly growing, Canada-based silver producer with operations in the Kingdom of Morocco.

The only TSX-listed pure silver mining company, Aya operates the high-grade Zgounder Silver Mine and is exploring its properties along the prospective South-Atlas Fault, several of which have hosted past-producing mines and historical resources. Aya's Moroccan mining assets are complemented by its Tijirit Gold Project in Mauritania, which is being advanced to feasibility.

Aya's management team has been focused on maximising shareholder value by anchoring sustainability at the heart of its operations, governance, and financial growth plans.

For additional information, please visit Aya's website at

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain statements that constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws ("forward-looking statements"), which reflects management's expectations regarding Aya's future growth and business prospects (including the timing and development of new deposits and the success of exploration activities) and other opportunities. Wherever possible, words such as "plans", "expects", "does not expect", "deliver", "plan", "scheduled", "trends", "indications", "potential", "estimates", "predicts", "anticipate", "to establish", "does not anticipate", "believe", "intend", "ability to" and similar expressions or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might", "will", or are "likely" to be taken, occur or be achieved, have been used to identify such forward-looking information. Specific forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements and information with respect to the exploration and development potential of Zgounder and the conversion of Inferred Mineral Resources into Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources, future opportunities for enhancing development at Zgounder, and timing for the release of the Company's disclosure in connection with the foregoing. Although the forward-looking information contained in this press release reflect management's current beliefs based upon information currently available to management and based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, Aya cannot be certain that actual results will be consistent with such forward-looking information. Such forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions, opinions and analysis made by management in light of its experience, current conditions, and its expectations of future developments that management believe to be reasonable and relevant but that may prove to be incorrect. These assumptions include, among other things, the closing and timing of financing, the ability to obtain any requisite governmental approvals, the presence of artisanal miners, obtaining regulatory permits for on site work, importing goods and machinery and employment permits, the accuracy of Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource Estimates (including, but not limited to, ore tonnage and ore grade estimates), the price of silver, the price of gold, exchange rates, fuel and energy costs, future economic conditions, anticipated future estimates of free cash flow, and courses of action. Aya cautions you not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements.

The risks and uncertainties that may affect forward-looking statements include, among others: the inherent risks involved in exploration and development of mineral properties, including government approvals and permitting, changes in economic conditions, changes in the worldwide price of silver gold and other key inputs, changes in mine plans (including, but not limited to, throughput and recoveries being affected by metallurgical characteristics) and other factors, such as project execution delays, many of which are beyond the control of Aya, as well as other risks and uncertainties which are more fully described in Aya's 2022 Annual Information Form dated March 31, 2023, and in other filings of Aya with securities and regulatory authorities which are available on SEDAR at Aya does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements should assumptions related to these plans, estimates, projections, beliefs, and opinions change. Nothing in this document should be construed as either an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy or sell Aya securities. All references to Aya include its subsidiaries unless the context requires otherwise.

SOURCE Aya Gold & Silver Inc

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