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COVID-19, rising costs hinder Jaguar

Shares in Jaguar Mining tumbled to a one-year low as the Brazil-focused gold miner halved its dividend and outlined the financial impact of a challenging June quarter.
COVID-19, rising costs hinder Jaguar COVID-19, rising costs hinder Jaguar COVID-19, rising costs hinder Jaguar COVID-19, rising costs hinder Jaguar COVID-19, rising costs hinder Jaguar

Jaguar Mining is eyeing a return to normal in the second half

Ngaire McDiarmid

Reporter

The company cited COVID-19 impacts, a 19% drop in gold sales compared with a year earlier and a 46% rise in cash operating costs to US$858 per ounce sold.

Net income fell to $2.9 million, down from $19.2 million in the second quarter of 2020.

The announced dividend of C4c per share compared with 8c for the previous four quarters.

"Given the impact on the business due to COVID-19, the board has determined that a reduction in the dividend in favour of additional investment in our primary development and growth and exploration pipeline is the most optimal use of Jaguar's cashflow," the company said.

June quarter production was 11% higher than the previous quarter, at 20,212oz, despite the period starting with Brazil and therefore Jaguar experiencing peak impacts of the pandemic, president and CEO Vern Baker said last month. 

He said yesterday one of the impacts from the pandemic appeared to be inflation and its operations were seeing its main inputs of steel, chemicals and diesel "all experiencing significant upward price pressure".

However he said Jaguar had seen the impacts of the pandemic reducing in the second half of the quarter and expected operations "to return to normal in the next few months".

Baker had said in April he was confident of Jaguar quickly returning to a sustainable production rate of 100,000oz per year, once limitations were removed from operating teams.

"The challenges at this point for Jaguar are to bring ounce production levels up to target, keep costs down and to begin capitalising on the exploration results we are seeing," Baker said yesterday.

"The Jaguar team is focused on accomplishing these challenges over the next two quarters."

He expected the workforce to be near full vaccination levels later this year.

Eric Sprott holds 48.9% of the company.

Jaguar ended the quarter with $34.4 million in cash, compared with $37.8 million at March 31.

Its shares (TSX: JAG) touched a 12-month low of C$4.83 intraday.

They closed down 10.5% to $4.84, capitalising it at $350.5 million (US$280 million).