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Silvercorp absorbs impact of COVID-19

Silvercorp Metals (TSX: SVM) has reported full-year revenue of US$158.8 million, down only 7% on the previous year despite an extended shutdown at its mines in China due to COVID-19.
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Silvercorp Metals’ GC mines in China

Staff reporter

The company said earlier this month it had surpassed full-year production guidance despite the extra month-long pause imposed at its Ying and GC mines following the Chinese New Year break, due to the outbreak of the global pandemic. 

Cash costs rose but remained negative for the year.

Revenue for the March quarter was down 46% on the previous corresponding period, due to the shutdowns, lower metals prices and a foreign exchange gain of $5.4 million recorded arising from the appreciation of the US dollar against the Canadian dollar.

Silvercorp had said silver, lead and zinc production for the year to March 31 had surpassed annual guidance by 3%, 3% and 17% respectively.

It had reported silver production of 6.3 million ounces, 67.4 million pounds of lead and 25.6Mlb of zinc.

The company sold about 6.3Moz of silver, 3,300oz of gold, 65.3Mlb of lead and 25.4Mlb of zinc, with the realised silver price 7% higher than the previous year but lead and zinc 19% and 32% lower respectively.

Cash costs remained negative, at -$1.91/oz of silver, net of by-product credits.

This was up from negative $4.29/oz the previous year, mainly due to a decrease in by-product credits stemming from lower lead and zinc prices.

All-in sustaining costs rose from $3.52 to $6.86/oz, net of by-product credits.

The company is diversifying its interests, recently investing $7 million to maintain its 28.8% stake in Bolivia-focused explorer New Pacific Metals, and last week agreed amended acquisition terms with takeover target Guyana Goldfields, which has the Aurora gold mine in South America.

Silvercorp reported a net income attributable to shareholders of $34.3 million or 20c per share, down from $39.7 million and 23c a year earlier.

Cash and equivalents were 24% higher than a year ago at $142.5 million.

It reiterated potentially higher guidance for fiscal 2021 of 6.2-6.5Moz silver, 66.1-68.5Mlb of lead and 24.5-26.7Mlb of zinc.

Silvercorp closed 1.7% lower on Friday to C$5.76 to capitalise it at $1 billion (US$0.7 billion).