VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — (MARKET WIRE) — 08/11/10 —
Second Quarter 2010 Financial and Operating Highlights:
– Gold production of 35,304 ounces and 54,603 ounces for the three and six months ended June 30, 2010, with on-site average cash costs(1) of gold produced of $851 per ounce and $724 per ounce, respectively, comprised of the following:
For the three For the six months ended months ended June 30, 2010 June 30, 2010 Ounces Cash Ounces Cash Pro- Costs Pro- Costs duced (1,2) duced (1,2) ————————————————————————— San Andres Mine 15,739 $ 638 35,038 $ 558 Sao Francisco Mine (from May 1, 2010) 10,931 1,125 10,931 1,125 Sao Vicente Mine (from May 1, 2010) 8,634 893 8,634 893 ————————————————————————— Total / Average 35,304 $ 851 54,603 $ 724 ————————————————————————— ————————————————————————— (1) See cautionary note regarding non-GAAP measures. (2) Cash costs for the Brazilian Mines are based on the fair values of opening inventories purchased.
– Gold sales of 32,024 ounces for the quarter and 50,058 ounces year-to-date for net sales of $38,576,000 and $58,367,000, respectively;
– Realized average price of gold sold of $1,215 per ounce for the quarter, which compares to a market average price of $1,197 per ounce (London PM Fix), and realized average price of gold sold of $1,178 per ounce year-to-date, which compares to a market average price year-to-date of $1,153 per ounce (London PM Fix);
– Mine operating profit of $9,835,000 for the quarter and $18,568,000 for the six months ended June 30, 2010;
– Net loss for the quarter of $13,328,000 or $0.07 per share and $14,598,000 or $0.08 per share for the six months ended June 30, 2010;
– Adjusted net loss(1) for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2010, after adjusting for unrealized foreign exchange losses and other non-recurring revenue and expense items, of $6,657,000 or $0.03 per share and $3,634,000 or $0.02 per share, respectively; and
– Ended the quarter with $85.2 million in cash and cash equivalents.
Second Quarter 2010 Development and Corporate Achievements Highlights:
– Closed the acquisition of the Sao Francisco and Sao Vicente mines in Brazil (collectively, the “Brazilian Mines”) on April 30, 2010 and reduced the cash and promissory note consideration by a combined $13.2 million, as a result of the net free cash flow generated by the Brazilian Mines from the date of the acquisition agreement in mid-July 2009;
– Continued to advance the engineering and mine development at the Aranzazu project in Mexico, (the “Aranzazu Project”) toward a planned restart of operations in the third quarter of 2010;
– During and subsequent to the quarter, released results from ongoing exploration and definition drilling program at the
– Appointed Mr.
Keith Harris-Lowe to the position of Vice President, Human Resources.
“Gold production during the second quarter 2010 of 35,304 ounces came from the San Andres Mine in Honduras, and the Sao Francisco and Sao Vicente mines in Brazil, and we are pleased to have finally integrated all three mines into the
Patrick Downey, President and Chief Executive Officer of
The following financial information does not constitute management’s discussion and analysis (“MD&A”) as contemplated by relevant securities rules and should be read in conjunction with the Company’s interim unaudited financial statements for the three and six months ended June 30, 2010 and audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2009 and the MD&A’s for the two periods, which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com under the Company’s profile or on the Company’s website.
The following table presents a summary of financial information for the three and six months ended June 30, 2010 and 2009:
Three Three Six Six months months months months ended ended ended ended (Unaudited, in thousands of dollars, June 30, June 30, June 30, June 30, except per share amounts) 2010 2009 2010 2009 ————————————————————————— Sales $38,576 $ – $58,367 $ 35 Mine operating expenses, depletion, amortization and accretion, and net smelter return royalties 28,741 – 39,799 23 ————————————————————————— Mine operating profit 9,835 – 18,568 12 Expenses Stock-based compensation 5,726 1,503 7,647 2,369 Cost of operations in care and maintenance – 423 – 1,047 Exploration expenses 6,599 1,814 11,691 4,102 General and administrative expenses 3,445 1,167 6,496 2,319 Transaction costs 1,414 – 2,711 – Interest expense (income), net 354 (28) 471 (100) Foreign exchange loss (gain) 3,360 (1,325) (121) (2,866) Impairment charge – – – 8,167 ————————————————————————— Loss before income taxes 11,063 3,554 10,327 15,026 Income tax expense (recovery), net 2,265 2 4,271 (2,774) ————————————————————————— Net loss for the period $13,328 $ 3,556 $14,598 $12,252 ————————————————————————— ————————————————————————— Adjustments: Unrealized foreign exchange (gains) losses (469) – 606 – Stock-based compensation 5,726 1,503 7,647 2,369 Non-recurring transaction costs 1,414 – 2,711 – Impairment charge, net of related future income tax recovery – – – 5,390 ————————————————————————— Adjusted loss(1) for the period $ 6,657 $ 2,053 $ 3,634 $ 4,493 ————————————————————————— ————————————————————————— Basic and diluted loss per share $ 0.07 $ 0.03 $ 0.08 $ 0.10 ————————————————————————— ————————————————————————— Adjusted loss(1) per share $ 0.03 $ 0.02 $ 0.02 $ 0.04 ————————————————————————— ————————————————————————— (1) See cautionary note regarding non-GAAP measures.
Gold ounces sold for the respective periods, the average realized prices per ounce and gross and net sales are detailed in the following table. The average realized prices per ounce for the three and six months ended June 30, 2010 compare to the average market prices (London PM Fix) of $1,197 and $1,153 per ounce, respectively.
Three Three Six Six months months months months ended ended ended ended June 30, June 30, June 30, June 30, 2010 2009 2010 2009 ————————————————————————— San Andes Mine, Honduras (ounces) 18,474 – 36,508 – Sao Francisco Mine, Brazil, from May 1, 2010 (ounces) 6,928 – 6,928 – Sao Vicente Mine, Brazil, from May 1, 2010 (ounces) 6,622 – 6,622 – ————————————————————————— Total ounces sold during period 32,024 – 50,058 – Realized average gold price per ounce in period $ 1,215 $ – $ 1,178 $ – ————————————————————————— Gross gold sales revenues (in thousands) $38,911 $ – $58,958 $ – Less local sales taxes paid (in thousands) (335) – (591) – ————————————————————————— Net gold sales revenues (in thousands) $38,576 $ – $58,367 $ – ————————————————————————— —————————————————————————
Cash costs of gold sold at the Company’s three operating mines totalled $22,857,000 (or $714 per ounce), which included a net smelter return royalty of $120,000 for the quarter (or $4 per ounce). Together with non-cash depletion, amortization and accretion charges of $5,884,000 or $183 per ounce, cost of goods sold was $28,741,000 or $897 per ounce for the three months ended June 30, 2010.
Mine operating profit was $9,835,000 during the quarter, which compares to a mine operating profit of $8,733,000 for the first quarter of 2010. The increase in mine operating profit is primarily a result of higher average realized gold prices during the quarter and 2% more gold ounces sold from the San Andres Mine. As opening inventories for the Brazilian Mines were required to be fair valued based on the gold price of $1,179 per ounce on the acquisition date, only $737,000 of the mine operating profit for the second quarter was attributable to sales from the Brazilian Mines.
Other expenses for the three months ended June 30, 2010 included exploration expenses of $6,599,000, stock-based compensation of $5,726,000, general and administrative expenses, including amortization, of $3,445,000, and transaction costs related to the acquisition of the Brazilian Mines of $1,414,000.
Interest expense net of other income for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 of $354,000 relates to interest paid on the promissory notes payable in connection with the acquisitions of the San Andres Mine and the Brazilian Mines. For the three months ended June 30, 2010, the Company recorded a foreign exchange loss of $3,360,000 reflecting the effects of the Company’s assets and liabilities held in foreign currencies, and the fluctuation of those currencies against the US dollar during the period.
For the second quarter, the Company recorded a current income tax expense of $2,726,000 relating to income taxes payable on earnings at the San Andres Mine, as well as a future income tax recovery of $461,000 reflecting the reversal of a portion of the future income tax liabilities set up on the acquisitions of the San Andres Mine and the
For the three months ended June 30, 2010, the Company recorded a net loss of $13,328,000 or $0.07 per share. Adjusted net loss(1) for the second quarter, after adjusting for unrealized foreign exchange gains and losses, impairment losses and other non-recurring revenue and expense items, was $6,657,000 or $0.03 per share.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Cash and cash equivalents used in operating activities during the second quarter of 2010 were $12,898,000. Cash and cash equivalents used in investing activities during the quarter were $5,766,000, and included $11,242,000 of property, plant and equipment acquired for cash, and $50,858,000 in cash paid for the acquisition of the Brazilian Mines. Total cash and cash equivalents used in investing activities for the three months ended June 30, 2010 are net of the release of the $56,866,000 in restricted cash from escrow just prior to the acquisition of the Brazilian Mines.
As at June 30, 2010, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $85,178,000, and working capital of $105,218,000. The Company’s strong cash position is expected to fund operational and development growth objectives in 2010.
Operational and Project Review
San Andres Mine
Production at the San Andres Mine was 15,739 ounces of gold during the quarter, an 18% decrease from the first quarter of 2010. Cash costs of $638 per ounce of gold produced in the second quarter of 2010 were approximately 29% higher than the $493 per ounce reported for the first quarter. The increase was a direct result of the lower production and the higher allocation of fixed costs to the fewer gold ounces produced during the quarter.
The table below sets out selected operating information for the San Andres Mine for the first and second quarters and year-to-date 2010:
Year-to- Operating Information Q1 2010 Q2 2010 Date ————————————————————————— Ore mined (tonnes) 1,217,655 1,059,103 2,276,758 Waste mined (tonnes) 32,368 199,658 232,026 Total mined (tonnes) 1,250,023 1,258,761 2,508,784 Waste-to-ore ratio 0.03 0.19 0.10 Ore plant feed (tonnes) 1,244,024 1,062,565 2,306,589 Grade (g/tonne) 0.77 0.73 0.75 Production (ounces) 19,299 15,739 35,038 Sales (ounces) 18,034 18,474 36,508 Average cash cost of gold produced ($/ounce)(1) $ 493 $ 638 $ 558 ————————————————————————— (1) See cautionary note regarding non-GAAP measures.
Lower than expected gold production during the second quarter 2010 was a result of the early onset of the rainy season combined with significantly higher than normal rainfall, which impacted the mining operations, the crushing and conveyor systems and the grade of the heap leach solutions. With the early onset of the heavy rains, several weeks’ worth of blasted inventory in the pit became saturated, resulting in materials handling difficulties both in the pit and in the downstream crushing/conveying systems. Normal practice during the rainy season is to maintain a minimum blasted inventory and compact the blasted muck to allow water run-off, thereby reducing moisture content of the ore and minimizing materials handling issues. Furthermore, the new crusher-conveyor system consists of over four kilometres of conveyors which prior to the early onset of rains had not yet been covered to protect against rainfall. This added to overall moisture content and materials handling issues. These covers are now installed. As a result of the materials handling issues experienced during the quarter, primary crusher throughput was reduced during May and June. Significant rainfall in the ponds also resulted in dilution of the pregnant leach solution, which in turn resulted in fewer ounces recovered during the quarter. These ounces remain in inventory and will be recovered over an extended period. In addition, during the quarter, standard testing of treated water prior to discharge revealed trace levels of cobalt. A new pilot water treatment plant with a resin filtration system has been installed on site this quarter. Pilot plant testing with a resin ion exchange product has been conducted on site, with excellent results. Treated water has resulted in lowering the cobalt in the solution to levels significantly below discharge limits. Discharging of treated water meeting permitted limits has started with this pilot plant. A full-scale plant will be installed during the third quarter. Until the water treatment facility is fully operational, pond levels will remain high and contribute to the lower 2010 guidance due to the need to process lower grade pregnant solutions. Several improvements have also been completed on the new crusher/conveyor system which will be further enhanced by the installation of a vibrating grizzly to break up wet clay-rich ore feeding the primary crusher, and the installation of a surfactant foam injection system ahead of the primary and secondary crushers. This will allow for better handling of the wet clay-rich material. The grizzly and the foam injection system are expected to be installed during the fourth quarter.
Sao Francisco Mine and Sao Vicente Mine
Production at the Sao Francisco Mine was 10,931 ounces during the two months of the quarter attributable to
Production at the Sao Vicente Mine was 8,634 ounces during the two months of the quarter attributable to
In addition to the need for additional waste stripping, costs at both operations were affected during the quarter by an 18% increase in load/haulage rates, presented to the Company by the contractors immediately upon acquisition. Under the circumstances, the increase was presented as non-negotiable. Accordingly, the Company is in the process of completing a detailed review of such costs at the operations with the view to replacing the fleet with an owner operated fleet of larger sized equipment, which could be more suitable for current and future operations.
Additionally, the cash costs(1) of production of $1,125 per ounce and $893 per ounce at the Sao Francisco Mine and Sao Vicente Mine, respectively, were impacted by the requirement under Canadian GAAP for business acquisitions to state opening inventories at their fair values. Accordingly, these costs were determined based on the market price of gold on April 30, 2010 of $1,179 per ounce (London PM Fix), less both cash and non-cash costs estimated to complete production of the gold inventories. Cash production costs(1) at the Sao Vicente Mine of $893 per ounce are lower than the cash costs(1) at the Sao Francisco Mine, due in part to the non-cash costs, being depreciation and depletion per ounce, which were estimated to be higher at the Sao Vicente Mine as a result of fewer proven and probable reserves over which to allocate the depreciation and depletion base.
The table below sets out selected operating information for the Brazilian Mines for the period from May 1 to June 30, 2010:
Operating Information for the period from May 1 to Sao Sao June 30, 2010 Francisco Vicente ————————————————————————— Ore mined (tonnes) 833,813 562,899 Waste mined (tonnes) 2,314,340 1,070,009 Total mined (tonnes) 3,148,153 1,632,908 Waste-to-ore ratio 2.78 1.90 Ore plant feed (tonnes) 782,000 581,000 Grade (g/tonne) 0.46 0.49 Production (ounces) 10,931 8,634 Sales (ounces) 6,928 6,622 Average cash cost of gold produced ($/ounce)(1) $ 1,125 $ 893 ————————————————————————— (1) See cautionary note regarding non-GAAP measures.
Since acquiring the Sao Francisco Mine on April 30, 2010, the Company has been focused on advancing operational initiatives aimed at increasing productivity, improving overall gold recovery and lowering cash operating costs. These initiatives include updating the mine plan to improve grade control and mine contractor productivity, and upgrading the current crushing plant to increase feed to the gravity circuit, which will improve the leaching characteristics of run-of-mine ore previously not crushed. Increasing feed to the crushing/gravity circuit will also have a secondary beneficial effect of reducing ore haulage distance.
Key operating initiatives also include: increasing the water supply and screen size feeding the gravity circuit to allow a higher proportion of crushing plant feed to be treated through the gravity circuit; installing a new carbon regeneration kiln to improve the carbon loading efficiency; and completing an exploration program focused on drilling out extensions to the main shear zone to increase the current reserve and resource base. In addition,
Similar to the Sao Francisco Mine, the Company’s focus for the Sao Vicente Mine will be operational improvements to increase productivity, improve overall gold recovery and lower cash operating costs. Ongoing operational initiatives include upgrading the crushing and process plant to increase equipment availability and thereby improve plant throughput and reduce operating costs. Such improvements will include: installation of certain critical standby equipment; installation of a second train of carbon columns to improve gold extraction from solution; construction of additional leach pad space, beginning in the third quarter of 2010; and completion of a definition and expansion drilling program to improve the mine planning and grade control and to increase the resource base. The preliminary program results of drilling conducted on nearby targets identified for increased production are expected late third quarter 2010. With both the Sao Francisco and Sao Vicente operations being heap leach operations with long leach cycles, it will take approximately four to six months to see the expected benefits in production and costs from the ongoing and planned improvements.
In addition, given the close proximity of the Sao Francisco Mine to the Sao Vicente Mine, a review of all work functions at the Brazilian Mines is being undertaken to improve the efficiency of the operations. A number of administrative functions will be shared to streamline the organization for the two operations.
The Company also completed approximately 25,000 metres of close-spaced core drilling at the high-grade resources within the Calcocita, Arroyos Azules, Glory Hole and BW zones for conversion of resources into proven and probable reserves as part of the planned restart of operations. As part of this program, results from 161 holes were released in 2009, with an additional 35 new and six historic holes during the first four months of 2010. A further 56 in-fill and definition drill holes were released after the quarter-end which continue to confirm grades and widths of the ore-body. The Company also believes there is significant potential at depth to increase the resources and subsequently significantly increase the size of the overall operation. In this regard, a 50,000 metre surface and underground drill program is ongoing to test the down-dip and along strike potential of the mineralized system beyond the current resource boundaries as part of an overall plan to investigate the possibility to develop a high tonnage bulk mining operation at the
An updated resource estimate and a first reserve estimate for the
Updated resource estimates for the Serrote and Caboclo deposits at the
Since acquiring the San Andres Mine, the Company’s focus has been the completion of the new primary crusher-conveyor system and stacking system and the implementation of a number of operational improvements, which are on-going to optimize gold recovery and reduce cash costs. The commissioning of the new crusher-conveyor system was completed in the second quarter 2010. Completion of the leach pad expansion and installation of a new stacker system is expected during the third quarter 2010; however, due to the impact on the operation of heavier than normal rains experienced in the second quarter, the Company is lowering 2010 production guidance for the San Andres Mine to approximately 82,000 ounces of gold. The Company expects cash costs(1) at the San Andres Mine to return to the previous guidance of between $480-520 per ounce range once rainfall normalizes. Cash costs(1) at the San Andres Mine are expected to decrease in 2011 and beyond as additional operational improvements at the mine are expected to result in higher throughputs and increased recoveries.
At the Brazilian Mines, implementation by the Company of certain operational initiatives commenced immediately upon assuming operating control on April 30, 2010. Certain of these initiatives will have a near term effect on operating efficiencies and costs and certain others, including the capital programs described above, will take longer to implement. However, the Company expects that the need to increase waste stripping at both operations over the next few quarters will negatively impact both production and costs prior to the mines achieving sustainable levels of production in 2011. The Company will provide cost guidance on the Brazilian Mines later in the fourth quarter once it has fully assessed the impact of ongoing operational upgrades. As a result of the operational improvements requiring longer than anticipated implementation time, production guidance for 2010 for both the Sao Francisco Mine and the Sao Vicente Mine is reduced, to 50,000 to 55,000 ounces and 25,000 to 30,000 ounces, respectively.
Estimated 2010 gold production per mine, based on eight months of production from the Brazilian Mines, is summarized in the table below:
Gold Production Estimates ————————————————————————— San Andres Mine 82,000 oz Sao Francisco Mine 50,000 – 55,000 oz Sao Vicente Mine 25,000 – 30,000 oz ————————————————————————— Total 157,000 – 167,000 oz —————————————————————————
These estimates do not include any production from the
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This news release includes certain non-GAAP performance measures, in particular, the total cash costs of gold per ounce, and adjusted earnings or loss and adjusted earnings or loss per share. These non-GAAP measures do not have any standardized meaning within Canadian GAAP and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. The Company believes that this information is useful to management and certain investors in evaluating the Company’s performance. The data presented is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with Canadian GAAP. Cash costs are presented as they represent an industry standard method of comparing certain costs on a per unit basis. Total cash costs include on-site mining, processing and, administration costs, off-site refining and royalty charges, reduced by by-product credits, but exclude amortization, reclamation, and exploration costs, as well as capital expenditures. Total cash costs are divided by ounces to arrive at per ounce cash costs. Adjusted earnings or loss and adjusted earnings or loss per share are calculated by taking the Company’s net earnings or loss, excluding (a) non-recurring revenue and expense items; (b) stock-based compensation; (c) unrealized foreign exchange gains and losses; (d) unrealized gains and losses on derivative financial instruments; and (e) impairment losses.
(1) Refer to cautionary note regarding non-GAAP measures in this news release.
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