Precious Metals
February 22, 2023

Aya Gold & Silver - Zgounder Mine Expansion Progressing to Plan

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Montreal, Quebec, February 22, 2023 - Aya Gold & Silver Inc. (TSX: AYA; OTCQX: AYASF) (“Aya” or the “Corporation”) is pleased to announce that construction of the Zgounder Expansion Project in the Kingdom of Morocco continues to advance on schedule.

“We continue to make steady progress with our expansion plans at the Zgounder Silver Mine as a result of strong execution by our construction team and local partners,” said Benoit La Salle, President & CEO. “With procurement substantially behind us, we have completed plant bulk earthworks and are poised to deliver on several important milestones as we transition through the detailed engineering and civil works stages. Importantly, delivery of the ball mill and construction of the tailings remain on their critical paths, with construction activities on time and budget and commissioning still planned for Q1-2024.”

Zgounder Expansion Update Highlights (as of January 31, 2023 unless otherwise noted)

  • Construction remains on schedule: Overall construction at Zgounder is progressing as planned and in line with the baseline schedule. Commencement of commissioning of the new plant is scheduled for Q1-2024 (see Figure 1).
  • Underground development advancing well: Over 4,170 meters (“m”) of permanent underground infrastructure have been completed out of the 11,000m program. Underground development to date is advancing at a rate of 16m per day, in line with the feasibility planned advance rate.
  • Preparations for open-pit mining: The open-pit mining contractor will mobilize next month.
  • Detailed engineering has advanced to over 60%.
  • Fixed price Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”):
  • Detailed design of the process plant is being advanced by Duro Felguera as part of its EPC contract.
  • Procurement of the mechanical equipment packages is nearing completion, with only small packages outstanding.
  • Fabrication of the 3.3-megawatt ball mill is 62% complete, with inspection activities launched in January 2023.
  • Manufacturing of the crushing equipment has reached 90% completion. The Factory Acceptance Test inspections are planned for next month, with site delivery expected in April 2023.
  • Construction start of new Tailings Storage Facility (“TSF”): Following completion of its detailed engineering in 2022, the mandate for the new TSF was awarded in December 2022. Construction of the TSF began in January 2023 (see Figure 2) for expected completion before year-end.
  • Construction start of new Water Storage Facility (“WSF”): Along with construction of the new TSF, construction of the new WSF has been launched. Work commenced in January 2023 and will be completed by Q3-2023, ahead of the plant commissioning.
  • Construction of power line underway: Engineering of the 90-kilometer power line was delivered in 2022 with construction contracted in January 2023. Construction is planned for completion in Q1-2024.
  • Contract for new 60/22 kilovolt electrical substation: Engineering activities for the primary electrical substation are complete with bids for construction received. The contract will be awarded before the end of the month.
  • Bulk earthworks near-complete: Bulk earthworks for the new process plant and emergency water pond have been completed. The new haulage road has been completed, and widening of the existing haulage road is scheduled for completion by the end of Q1-2023.
  • Civil works contractor mobilised: Following installation of the cement batch plant (see Figure 3), construction of the leach tank foundations commenced in February 2023. All civil construction is expected to be finalized by Q3-2023.

Figure 1 – Zgounder Expansion Timeline

Figure 2 – Construction Start of New Tailings Storage Facility for Zgounder Expansion

Figure 3 – Installation of Cement Batch Plant for Construction of New Zgounder Processing Plant

Qualified Person

The technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Patrick Perez, P.Eng, Director of Technical Services, a Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101.

*DISCLAIMER: Aya Gold & Silver is a paid marketing client

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