Sierra Metals Inc. (TSX: SMT) (“Sierra Metals” or the “Company”) announced today that it has appointed Ernesto Balarezo to Chief Executive Officer and José Fernández-Baca to Chief Financial Officer, both of whom had been previously serving on an interim basis.
“The Sierra Metals Board of Directors is very pleased to secure Mr. Balarezo and Mr. Fernández-Baca as CEO and CFO of the Company,” said Oscar Cabrera, Chair of Sierra Metals’ Board of Directors. “Both accepted their interim roles at a challenging time for the Company and demonstrated tremendous leadership in stabilizing and optimizing our operations. We believe their continued service to be instrumental to the successful completion of Sierra Metals’ turnaround and the implementation of the long-term growth plan they have put in place.”
Since assuming their interim roles, Mr. Balarezo and Mr. Fernández-Baca have led a turnaround at Sierra Metals. Their key accomplishments have included: a shift in the corporate culture with a renewed emphasis on safety and a more “hands-on” approach to operations; implementation of infrastructure improvements at the Yauricocha and Bolivar mines; the streamlining of operations to reduce costs; the successful negotiation of a refinancing agreement with the Company’s lenders; significant increases in production from the fourth quarter of 2022 to the first quarter of 2023; and the initiation of a permitting process at Yauricocha to enable access to higher-grade ore bodies.
Ernesto Balarezo, CEO and Director
Mr. Balarezo was appointed as Interim CEO and director of Sierra Metals on November 28, 2022. He will be nominated for re-election to the Board of Directors at the Company’s annual and special meeting of shareholders to be held on June 28, 2023.
Mr. Balarezo’s career spans over three decades with leading companies in the mining, cement and services industries, including as Executive Vice President for the Americas at Gold Fields Ltd. and as CEO of Gold Fields La Cima S.A. where he oversaw the Cerro Corona Mining unit in Peru. His mining experience also includes a broad range of positions during 16 years with the Hochschild Group where he advanced to Vice President Operations after starting his tenure as General Manager of the Mexican branch and then as General Manager in Peru.
Mr. Balarezo serves as an Independent Board Member in Compañía Minera Caravelí, Grupo LAR and Compañía Agrícola Chapi, as well as the Strategic Committees in Grupo Cobra Perú and Spencer Stuart - Perú. Mr. Balarezo holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Industrial Management from Texas A&M University.
José Fernández-Baca, CFO
Mr. Fernández-Baca was appointed Interim CFO on January 16, 2023, after joining the Company in 2020. His career spans more than four decades at local and international levels of leading multinational companies spanning the mining, textile and consumer goods sectors, where he has held positions including General Manager, CFO, and Finance Manager. Mr. Fernández-Baca's mining experience includes ten years in financial leadership and as a board member of Anglo American in Peru, and most recently three years as Finance Manager and Director at Sociedad Minera Corona SA, the Peru-based subsidiary of Sierra Metals.
Mr. Fernández-Baca holds a degree in Economics from the Universidad del Pacifico, Lima-Peru, and an MBA from Northern Illinois University. In addition, he has advanced executive program certifications from Northwestern, INCAE, Cambridge, and the Universidad de Piura.
About Sierra Metals
Sierra Metals is a diversified Canadian mining company with green metal exposure including copper, zinc and lead production with precious metals byproduct credits, focused on the production and development of its Yauricocha Mine in Peru and its Bolivar Mine in Mexico. The Company is focused on the safety and productivity of its producing mines. The Company also has large land packages with several prospective regional targets providing longer-term exploration upside and mineral resource growth potential.
For further information regarding Sierra Metals, please visit www.sierrametals.com.
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Sierra Metals Inc.
Tel: +1 (416) 366-7777
Sierra Metals Inc.
Tel: +1 (416) 366-7777