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Mako Mining Provides Operating Results for August


September 14, 2021

Mako Mining Corp. (TSX-V: MKO; OTCQX: MAKOF) (“Mako” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide an operating update from its San Albino gold mine (“San Albino”) in northern Nicaragua.

All components of the 500 tonnes per day (“tpd”) gravity and carbon-in-leach processing plant have been fully operational since the beginning of May 2021.  Since May 12th, when the processing of high-grade mineralization  began, the plant has been averaging 432 tpd at 80% availability (see Table 2).  Since this time, the plant has been processing 71% high-grade diluted vein material and 29% historical dump and other mineralized material with a blended average grade of 9.81 grams per tonne (“g/t”) gold and recovering an average of 94.9% (see Table 2).

Since May 12th, an average of 578 tpd of diluted vein, historical dump material and other mineralized material above cutoff grade have been mined, with a strip ratio of 15.4 (see Table 2).  The stockpile is now approximately 123,000 tonnes and is comprised of 3,522 tonnes of diluted vein material at 5.88 g/t gold and 119,478 tonnes of historical dump and other mineralized material at 2.45 g/t gold for a total of 10,087 ounces of gold (see Table 3).

Since May 12th, 11,577 ounces of gold have been recovered and 8,603 ounces of gold have been shipped (see Table 2).  The variance of approximately 3,000 ounces of gold is a combination of unprocessed gravity concentrates, gold in process throughout the plant, and timing of gold pours.  The buildup of inventory is typical during startup and inventory levels have started stabilizing since July.

For accounting purposes, Mako declared commercial production effective July 1, 2021.

The Company’s cash balance materially improved since the start of May and commencement of debt repayment has begun, including the refinancing of US$8 million (see press release dated August 30, 2021).  The Company has also begun to increase its exploration expenditures with the addition of three rigs, bringing the total to five rigs for a 60,000-meter drilling program over the next twelve months.  Importantly, all of Mako’s exploration activities are being funded through operating cash flow (see Table 1).

Towards the end of August, more than 50% of the diluted vein material has been coming from the Porcelana Zone and the Company has continued to blend diluted vein material with historical dump material and other mineralized material above cutoff grade.  Looking forward, the Porcelana Zone, which has the highest grade-thickness profile encountered at San Albino, is expected to make up the majority of the diluted vein tonnes for the foreseeable future.

August plant throughput of 426 tpd (see Table 2) continues to be impacted by labor availability issues that have persisted over the past three months.  The Company has implemented an aggressive recruitment campaign and adjusted salaries where appropriate to mitigate these issues and expects to reach nameplate capacity of 500 tpd as newly hired employees gain additional training and experience.

Plant adjustments to mitigate timber from historical underground workings making its way into the plant appear to be working and recoveries do not appear to have been affected. 

Up until now, the gravity circuit was only operational for short periods of time to reduce the need for additional fresh water coming into the plant.  The Knelson concentrator requires a significant amount of clean water to run properly, and the Company wanted to maintain a neutral water balance during the current rainy season, which ends in October.  Adjustments were made to the filter press and various pumps throughout the plant such that reliably clean process water is now available from the tailings filter press.  The gravity circuit can now be operated continuously and is expected to improve recoveries and reduce processing costs of the high-grade mineralization coming from the Porcelana Zone.

Akiba Leisman, Chief Executive Officer of Mako states that, “this operating update continues to highlight the high grades being mined and processed at San Albino, especially the increase in both tonnes and grade of diluted vein material mined in August as the Porcelana Zone is opened up.  Furthermore, the consistent cash flow being generated at San Albino is allowing the Company to continue repaying debt, fund an aggressive exploration program and accelerate plans for the return of capital to shareholders.”

Table 1 – Monthly Financial Snapshot of Operations

The table below is being furnished by management to provide investors with a useful snapshot of the revenue and Adjusted Operating Expenses at San Albino.  Adjusted Operating Expenses is a non-IFRS financial measure that excludes depletion and depreciation that will be included in the next comparable financial measure disclosed in the Company’s financial statements.  Revenue also represents pre-production revenue in the months of May and June of 2021 that were capitalized as mineral property, plant and equipment in the most comparable set of financial statements.  The non-IFRS financial measures are not a standardized financial measure under IFRS and might not be comparable to similar financial measures disclosed by other issuers.

(amounts in millions) Units May* June July August
Revenue US$ $1.6 $3.2 $5.3 $5.2
Adjusted Operating Expenses US$ $1.3 $1.6 $2.0 $1.9
* Represents the period from May 12-31, 2021.

Table 2 – Monthly Operating Statistics

  Units May* June July August Since May 12th
Mined            
Diluted Vein            
Tonnes t 1,701 2,856 3,060 4,709 12,326
Gold Grade g/t 12.54 11.28 14.10 15.53 13.78
Contained Gold oz 686 1,036 1,387 2,351 5,459
Historical Dump + Other**            
Tonnes t 11,235 14,028 12,476 14,685 52,424
Gold Grade g/t 2.57 2.57 2.82 2.74 2.68
Contained Gold oz 929 1,159 1,130 1,295 4,514
Waste            
Tonnes t 171,150 273,357 295,535 258,744 998,786
Strip Ratio w:o 13.2 16.2 19.0 13.3 15.4
             
Milled            
Tonnes t 4,644 11,602 10,914 11,517 38,677
Gold Grade g/t 18.29 10.21 8.51 7.21 9.81
Contained Gold oz 2,731 3,808 2,986 2,670 12,196
             
Availability % 50% 86% 86% 87% 80%
Days d 20 30 31 31 112
Average Tonnes per Day t            469            451            407            426                   432
             
Diluted Vein % 100% 100% 76% 36% 71%
Historical Dump + Other** % 0% 0% 24% 64% 29%
             
Recovered            
Recoveries % 97.8% 95.3% 94.3% 92.2% 94.9%
Gold Recovered oz         2,671         3,629         2,816         2,461              11,577
Gold to Tailings oz              60            179            170            209                   619
Gold Shipped oz            899         2,607         2,884         2,213                8,603
Gold Sold oz            842         1,744         2,958         2,921                8,465
* Represents the period from May 12-31, 2021.
** Includes historical dump, hanging wall, foot wall, historical muck and all other non-vein mineralized material above cutoff grade.

Table 3 – Month End Stockpile Statistics

  Units May June July August
Diluted Vein*          
Tonnes t        17,120        10,354         5,139         3,522
Gold Grade g/t        11.94         11.41           9.23           5.88
Contained Gold oz       6,572         3,799         1,526            666
Historical Dump + Other**          
Tonnes t     92,366      106,394      116,028      119,478
Gold Grade g/t         2.48           2.49           2.51           2.45
Contained Gold oz       7,368         8,528         9,372         9,422
Stockpile Total          
Tonnes t    109,486    116,748    121,167    123,000
Gold Grade g/t          3.96          3.29          2.80          2.55
Contained Gold oz      13,940      12,327      10,898      10,087
* Includes stockpiles of mineralized material at the crusher.
** Includes historical dump, hanging wall, foot wall, historical muck and all other non-vein mineralized material above cutoff grade.

Qualified Person

John Rust, a metallurgical engineer and qualified person (as defined under NI 43-101) has read and approved the technical information contained in this press release. Mr. Rust is a senior metallurgist and a consultant to the Company.

On behalf of the Board,

Akiba Leisman
Chief Executive Officer

About Mako

Mako Mining Corp. is a publicly listed gold mining, development and exploration company.  The Company operates the high-grade San Albino gold mine in Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua, which ranks as one of the highest-grade open pit gold mines globally.  Mako’s primary objective is to operate San Albino profitably and fund exploration of prospective targets on its district-scale land package.

For further information: Mako Mining Corp., Akiba Leisman, Chief Executive Officer, Telephone: 203-862-7059, E-mail: aleisman@makominingcorp.com or visit our website at www.makominingcorp.com and SEDAR www.sedar.com.

Forward-Looking Information:  Some of the statements contained herein may be considered “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information can be identified by words such as, without limitation, “estimate", "project", "believe", "anticipate", "intend", "expect", "plan", "predict", "may" or "should" or variations thereon or comparable terminology. The forward-looking information contained herein reflects the Company’s current beliefs and expectations, based on management’s reasonable assumptions, and includes, without limitation, that the Porcelana Zone, is expected to make up the majority of the diluted vein tonnes for the foreseeable future that the Company expects to reach nameplate capacity of 500 tpd as newly hired employees gain additional training and experience; that the gravity circuit, which can now be operated continuously, is expected to improve recoveries and reduce processing costs of the high-grade mineralization coming from the Porcelana Zone; the expected return of capital to shareholders; the Company’s drill program over the next 12 months; that Mako will meet its objective to operate San Albino profitably and fund exploration of prospective targets on its district-scale land package. Such forward-looking information is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking information, including, without limitation, changes in the Company’s exploration and development plans and parameters; unanticipated costs; that the Company’s cash flow generation is weaker than expected and inhibits the Company’s ability to repay its debts or pursue its increased exploration program; and other risks and uncertainties as disclosed in the Company’s public disclosure filings on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Such information contained herein represents management’s best judgment as of the date hereof, based on information currently available and is included for the purposes of providing investors with information regarding the Company’s operational results for August  and its plans and expectations for its San Albino mine, and may not be appropriate for other purposes. Mako does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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