November 12, 2018 - Toronto, Ontario - Silver Bear Resources Plc (“Silver Bear” or the “Company”) (TSX: SBR) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Vadim Ilchuk as President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) to lead the Company through its next phase as a silver producer. Mr. Ilchuk succeeds Mr. Graham Hill who has announced his resignation from the Company to pursue other opportunities. In addition, Mr. Hill has resigned his seat on the Board of Directors (“Board”) and Mr. Ilchuk has been appointed to the Board effective November 14, 2018. With the support of the Company’s strong finance team, Mr. Ilchuk will also act as Interim Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) during the search for his replacement.
A Russian and US national and seasoned international mining executive, Mr. Ilchuk has been with Silver Bear since July 2017 as the CFO and has been responsible for implementing many financial and operational controls positioning the Company to become a successful silver producer. Mr. Ilchuk has 19 years of experience in the mining industry and natural resource investment business, with an extensive background in mine finance and accounting, financial reporting and cross-border M&A process and integration. Mr. Ilchuk joined the Company from RT-Business Development, Inc. where he was CFO. He also served several years in managerial roles in Kinross Gold Corporation in the United States and Russia.
Chris Westdal, Chairman of the Board stated: "On behalf of Silver Bear and the Board, I thank Graham for his leadership and major achievement taking our Mangazeisky silver deposit from a resource to a producing mine and building a team to run it well. We wish him great success in his future endeavours.
I congratulate Vadim on his appointment, confident that he will lead our team to optimize production, operational costs and technical performance at Mangazeisky and to enhance its profitability by taking advantage of favourable current developments, including major cost reductions in corporate structure and services, in debt interest rates, in reagent consumption and in fuel costs. Streamlined and strong, Silver Bear offers shareholders the opportunity of disciplined investment in Russian mining with able, proven partners and excellent relations with community and government officials.”
Graham Hill, departing President and CEO, commented: “After four years as President, CEO and director of Silver Bear I have decided that it is time for new challenges and will step down from my position effective November 14, 2018. It has been my pleasure to have worked with both a very supportive and active Board and major shareholders, without whom we could not have achieved all that has been accomplished during my tenure. It has been a very satisfying and challenging position, and I am proud to have been able to drive the Company forward from exploration into production in a very difficult and extreme environment. It was my privilege to have worked with such a fantastic team of people within Silver Bear and our subsidiary ZAO Prognoz in Yakutsk, and I am confident that they now have a strong, professional and competent team in place to successfully move the Company and the operations forward.
As I embark on the new challenges that await me, I hand over to incoming President and CEO, Vadim Ilchuk, our former CFO, and I wish him and the team great success in taking the Mangazeisky project into the operational phase, achieving all planned production targets and managing future exploration and Company growth.”
Power Generation Incentive Program
During the third quarter, the Company has taken advantage of a state-run cost facilitation program which subsidizes power generation costs for businesses located in the Far North of Russia. Participation in the program will from November 1, 2018, allow Silver Bear to radically reduce its power generation costs, from US$0.40 per KW/h to approximately US$0.13 per kW/h, a 67% reduction. Terms of the program are subject to government regulations which can be changed at any time depending on economic conditions and government requirements.
Mr. Westdal noted that “The energy cost reductions in prospect are of major significance. Savings of up to US$3 million a year will radically enhance our project’s economics.”
About Silver Bear
Silver Bear (TSX: SBR) is focused on the development of its wholly-owned Mangazeisky Silver Project, covering a licence area of approximately 570 km2 that includes the high-grade Vertikalny deposit (amongst the highest- grade silver deposits in the world), located 400 km north of Yakutsk in the Republic of Sakha within the Russian Federation. The Company was granted a 20-year mining licence for the Vertikalny deposit in September 2013 and filed an updated Feasibility Study in August 2017.With first silver production achieved in 2Q 2018, the Company reached commercial production at the beginning of Q3 2018. Other information relating to Silver Bear is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com as well as on the Company’s website at www.silverbearresources.com.
This release and subsequent oral statements made by and on behalf of the Company may contain forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s expectations. Wherever possible, words such as “intends”, “expects”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “anticipates”, “believes” and similar expressions or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved, have been used to identify these forward-looking statements. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this release reflect management’s current beliefs based upon information currently available to management and based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot be certain that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. A number of factors could cause events and achievements to differ materially from the results expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Such risk factors include, but are not limited, to the risk factors identified by the Company in its continuous disclosure filings filed from time to time on SEDAR. These factors should be considered carefully, and prospective investors should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements necessarily involve significant known and unknown risks, assumptions and uncertainties that may cause the Company’s actual results, events, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Although the Company has attempted to identify important risks and factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors and risks that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, prospective investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this release, and the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, unless otherwise required by law.
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