Atna Resources Reports Fourth Quarter and Year End 2009 Results


    


    
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<p>GOLDEN, Colo., <span class="xn-chron">March 26</span> /CNW/ -- Atna Resources Ltd. ("Atna" or the "Company") (TSX: ATN;  OTC Bulletin Board:   ATNAF) today reported audited financial results for the Company's fourth quarter  and 2009 year end for the period ended <span class="xn-chron">December 31, 2009</span>. The Company's 20-F and management's discussion and analysis for the period are available on <a href="http://www.sedar.com">www.sedar.com</a> and the Company's website at <a href="http://www.atna.com">www.atna.com</a>. Unless otherwise designated, all amounts are in U.S. dollars.</p>
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<p>"Atna completed a successful start-up of operations at its Briggs Mine in California and completed permitting activities for its Reward Mine in Nevada. In addition, the compliant gold resource base for the Company was increased by more than 80 percent.  In 2010, the staff and management of Atna will focus diligently on increasing production and reducing operating costs at Briggs, continuing the development of Reward, completing an  economic assessment of the Columbia project, and unlocking value from its interest in the Pinson project," states <span class="xn-person">James Hesketh</span>, President & CEO.</p>
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    Highlights

    --  Revenues of $8.7 million
    --  Cash and cash equivalents at year end of $13.1 million
    --  Net loss of $6.0 million or a loss per share of $0.07
    --  An 81 percent increase in measured and indicated gold resource, for a
        total of 2.0 million ounces, net of ounces mined in 2009
    --  An increase of 112 percent in inferred gold resource for a total 1.2
        million ounces, net of ounces mined
    --  Gold production of 11,195 ounces of gold in dore, and gold sales of
        10,886 ounces at an average gold price of $962 per ounce valued at
        $10.4 million
    --  Cash cost of $908 per ounce for second half 2009 due to unforeseen
        start up problems
    --  A measured and indicated mineral resource was declared for the
Columbia
        gold project totaling 741,700 ounces of gold and 2.1 million ounces of
        silver. Inferred mineral resource totaled an additional 453,600 ounces
        of gold and 1.0 million ounces of silver
    --  Closed in December 2009 an offering of a $14.5 million gold
        participating bond ("Gold Bonds").
    --  Closed in September 2009 a $1.5 million convertible debt financing


    Financial Results

    
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<p>At <span class="xn-chron">December 31, 2009</span>, cash and cash equivalents totaled <span class="xn-money">$13.1 million</span>. Net cash used in 2009 for operating activities was <span class="xn-money">$11.5 million</span>, primarily consisting of the net cash loss from operations plus cash expended to build gold inventory-in-process of approximately 8,300 ounces with an inventory value of <span class="xn-money">$6.9 million</span>. Net cash used in investing activities of <span class="xn-money">$6.0 million</span> was due to purchases of property, plant and equipment at the Briggs Mine partially offset by proceeds from sales of assets. Net cash provided by financing activities of <span class="xn-money">$13.8 million</span> included <span class="xn-money">$13.6 million</span> in net proceeds from the issuance of the Gold Bonds and <span class="xn-money">$1.4 million</span> in net proceeds from the issuance of debentures partially offset by <span class="xn-money">$1.1 million</span> of payments on capital leases.</p>
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<p>For the year ended <span class="xn-chron">December 31, 2009</span>, Atna recorded a net loss of <span class="xn-money">$6.0 million</span>, or a loss per share of <span class="xn-money">$0.07</span>, on revenues of <span class="xn-money">$8.7 million</span>. This compares to net income of <span class="xn-money">$15.8 million</span>, or income per share of <span class="xn-money">$0.20</span>, on revenues of <span class="xn-money">$0.2 million</span> for the year ended <span class="xn-chron">December 31, 2008</span>.</p>
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    2010 Outlook and Objectives

    --  Further increase reserves/resources at both the Briggs and Reward
mines
    --  The Briggs Mine is expected to produce positive cash flow in 2010 at a
        production target of 36,000 to 40,000 ounces of gold for the year
    --  Cash cost of production for 2010 is estimated to range from $600 to
        $625 per ounce of gold
    --  The 2010 goal for Briggs is to improve operational productivity while
        containing costs
    --  Complete infrastructure development at the Reward Mine and initiate
        project construction
    --  Complete an economic assessment of the Columbia project; continue
        permitting activities, baseline environmental sampling, metallurgical
        test work and initiate feasibility study
    --  Advance our opportunities arising from the interest held in the Pinson
        project


    Briggs Mine, California (100%)

    
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<p>Commercial production at Briggs was declared on <span class="xn-chron">February 26, 2010</span>, when the mine produced 80 ounces of gold per day for a period of greater than 30 days. At this production rate, the mine should produce sufficient cash flow to support both its operational and capital requirements, as well as support corporate overheads and return cash to the Company. The Briggs Mine is expected to produce positive cash flow in 2010 at a production target of 36,000 to 40,000 ounces of gold for the year. Cash cost of production for 2010 is estimated to decline to <span class="xn-money">$600 to $625</span> per ounce of gold.  The life of mine cash cost of production for current reserves is expected to range from <span class="xn-money">$500 to $525</span> per ounce of gold.</p>
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<p>Approximately <span class="xn-money">$15.7 million</span> in capital has been spent on the Briggs project through <span class="xn-chron">December 31, 2009</span>. Capital spending for 2010 at Briggs is projected to be approximately <span class="xn-money">$5.1 million</span>, primarily for capital lease payments for major mining equipment and leach pad expansion. The pad expansion will add an additional seven million tons of leach pad capacity, which will be sufficient for all ores included in the current reserves.</p>
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    Briggs Satellite Project (100%)

    
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<p>The Cecil R satellite project is located four miles north of the Briggs Mine. In <span class="xn-chron">March 2010</span>, Atna declared a measured and indicated gold mineral resource containing 73,490 ounces and an inferred gold mineral resource containing 99,390 ounces (at a 0.01 oz/ton Au cut-off). Gold mineralization at Cecil R is hosted by the same geologic unit which hosts the nearby Briggs Mine gold deposit. The gently west dipping blanket-like zone of gold mineralization dips beneath Quaternary gravel cover and is distributed over an area 1,500 feet by 1,200 feet and has a thickness of 10 to 60 feet.</p>
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<p>Work on the Cecil R project will continue during 2010 with economic evaluation of the newly defined resource, baseline environmental studies, infill drilling to upgrade resource classification, metallurgical testing, and permitting.</p>
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    Reward Project, Nevada (100%)

    
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<p>The Company has received all major permits required to initiate development activities. A project manager has been retained for the project and an office has been opened in Beatty, Nevada. Immediate development activities include the completion of design engineering, development of contractor bid packages, and initial infrastructure development.  Infrastructure development includes access road improvements, fencing, and placement of orders for long lead-time items, power line and water supply development.  Anticipated cost for this phase of work will be approximately <span class="xn-money">$3.0 million</span> to be expended over a period of up to six months beginning in <span class="xn-chron">March 2010</span>.</p>
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<p>The Reward operation is expected to produce approximately 139,000 ounces of gold over a five year mine life at estimated average cash cost of <span class="xn-money">$435</span> per ounce of gold produced. The feasibility study included capital costs of <span class="xn-money">$24.3 million</span> for crushing and process plants, leach pads, other facilities and infrastructure, mining fleet and deferred stripping.  The Company is currently updating project capital and economic estimates to reflect higher gold prices, more accurate operating costs and increased gold reserves.</p>
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    Pinson Project, Nevada (30%)

    
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<p>Atna owns a 30 percent equity interest in the Pinson joint venture. Pinson Mining Company ("PMC"), a subsidiary of Barrick Gold, owns 70 percent and PMC acts as operator of the project. The project is under further evaluation and Atna's share of project expenditures for 2009 and <span class="xn-chron">January 2010</span> totaled <span class="xn-money">$0.5 million</span>.</p>
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<p>In 2009, PMC completed an in-house review of the project for both underground and open pit mining potential. They are currently reviewing their strategic options in regards to the project, which may include sale of their interest. Should they decide to sell their interest Atna retains a right of first refusal to match any offer within 60 days of that offer being presented to Atna. The 2010 budget for the Pinson project includes ongoing underground pumping and maintenance operations. Atna's share of the 2010 budget is <span class="xn-money">$0.3 million</span>.</p>
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<p>In <span class="xn-chron">January 2010</span>, Atna acquired a 1.5 percent net smelter return royalty ("NSR") on approximately four sections of land within the area of interest. The NSR was acquired from Barrick Turquoise Ridge Inc., a subsidiary of Barrick Gold. One of these sections contains gold resources previously announced by Atna.</p>
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    Columbia Gold Property, Montana (100%)

    
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<p>Atna completed an NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report and Mineral Resource Estimate on the property in <span class="xn-chron">October 2009</span> (filed on SEDAR on <span class="xn-chron">October 21</span>, 2009).  The Technical Report declared a measured and indicated mineral resource of 741,700 ounces of gold and 2.1 million ounces of silver. Inferred mineral resource totaled 453,600 ounces of gold and 1.0 million ounces of silver (at a 0.01 oz/ton Au cut-off).</p>
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<p>Montana state law currently prohibits the development of the Columbia project as an open-pit mine using cyanide based recovery technology. As a result, the Company is conducting conventional gravity and froth flotation recovery analysis on bulk samples from the mineralized zones. Initial results are promising, but additional test work and economic analysis is required to economically optimize this process route. The Columbia project will be required to complete an environmental impact statement and the permitting process before any development activities can take place on the property.</p>
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<p>During 2010, the Company is planning to conduct additional metallurgical test work, environmental base-line studies, and a preliminary economic assessment of development alternatives for the property.</p>
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    Conference Call

    
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<p>Management will host a conference call on <span class="xn-chron">Monday, March 29, 2010</span> at <span class="xn-chron">11:00 am (EDT</span>), to discuss these results and general corporate and project activities. Participants in the US and <span class="xn-location">Canada</span> dial   (877) 559 - 1977, International callers dial (660) 422 - 4979. Please reference conference ID # 64688371</p>
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<p>A replay of the call will be available until midnight <span class="xn-chron">April 1, 2010</span>, by dialing (800) 642-1687 or (706) 645-9291, reference conference ID # 64688371.</p>
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<p>For additional information on Atna, its mining, development and exploration projects, please visit our website at <a href="http://www.atna.com">www.atna.com</a>.</p>
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<p>This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements," as defined in the <span class="xn-location">United States</span> Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical fact. They are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of the Company's management on the date the statements are made and they involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Consequently, there can be no assurances that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements if management's beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change. Factors that could cause future results to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements include: the Company might encounter problems such as the significant depreciation of metals prices; accidents and other risks associated with mining exploration and development operations; the risk that the Company will encounter unanticipated geological factors, the Company's need for and ability to obtain additional financing; the possibility that the Company may not be able to secure permitting and other governmental clearances necessary to carry out the Company's exploration programs; and the other risk factors discussed in greater detail in the Company's various filings on SEDAR (<a href="http://www.sedar.com">www.sedar.com</a>) with Canadian securities regulators and its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's 2008 Form 20-F dated <span class="xn-chron">March 31, 2009</span>.</p>
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<p>Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors -- The <span class="xn-location">United States</span> Securities and Exchange Commission permits U.S. mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. We use certain terms in this report, such as "measured," "indicated," "inferred," and "resources," that the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit U.S. registered companies from including in their filings with the SEC. Investors are urged to closely consider the disclosure in our Form 20-F which may be obtained from us or found on line at <a href="http://www.sec.gov/edgar">www.sec.gov/edgar</a>.</p>
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<p>FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:</p>
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    James Hesketh, President and CEO - (303) 278-8464
    Valerie Kimball, Investor Relations - toll free (877) 692-8182
    www.atna.com


    
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                        ATNA RE

SOURCES LTD. AND SUBSIDIARIES SUMMARIZED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL INFORMATION (US dollars, Canadian GAAP basis) (Audited) </pre> <p> </p> <p> </p> <pre> December 31, December 31, 2009 2008 ---- ---- BALANCE SHEETS -------------- ASSETS Current assets $21,331,700 $17,896,300 Noncurrent assets 58,525,600 49,515,300 ---------- ---------- Total assets 79,857,300 67,411,600 ========== ========== LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY Current liabilities 9,679,500 3,012,000 Notes payable - long term 837,200 825,000 Gold bonds, net of discount 9,857,400 - Noncurrent liabilities 5,445,800 4,300,000 Shareholders' equity 54,037,400 59,274,600 ---------- ---------- Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $79,857,300 $67,411,600 =========== =========== </pre> <p> </p> <p> </p> <pre> Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended December 31, December 31, ------------ ------------ 2009 2008 2009 2008 ---- ---- ---- ---- STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS ------------- Revenues $4,957,800 $- $8,689,200 $155,100 Cost of sales 5,568,300 - 9,126,100 148,400 Depreciation 41,000 33,700 155,600 125,400 General and administrative 1,050,700 908,800 3,402,900 4,062,900 Exploration 106,900 68,800 1,464,700 532,800 Other expense (income), net 14,800 2,416,900 500,000 (17,515,300) ------ --------- ------- ----------- Income Tax Benefit - 3,004,100 - 3,004,100 --- --------- --- --------- Net (loss) income (1,823,900) (424,100) (5,960,100) 15,805,000 Unrealized gains (losses) on translating the financials of self sustaining foreign operations 16,000 132,200 (7,000) (394,100) Unrealized (loss) gain on investments available- for-sale (91,700) 326,600 53,900 - Realized gain on available for sale securities recognized in net loss 199,500 - 199,500 - ------- --- ------- --- Comprehensive (loss) income (1,700,100) 34,700 (5,713,700) 15,410,900 ========== ====== ========== ========== </pre> <p> </p> <pre> Basic (loss) income per share $(0.02) $(0.01) $(0.07) $0.20 ====== ====== ====== ===== Basic weighted- average shares outstanding 83,291,133 83,291,100 83,291,133 79,166,725 ========== ========== ========== ========== </pre> <p> </p> <pre> CASH FLOWS ---------- Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period $1,712,400 $23,201,700 $16,707,300 $3,581,300 Net cash used in operating activities (1,064,700) (1,235,000) (9,633,200) (6,064,100) Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities (746,500) (5,316,600) (7,842,600) 18,769,900 Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities 13,153,800 (3,200) 13,820,000 495,600 Effect of exchange rate changes on cash 5,300 60,300 8,800 (75,400) ----- ------ ----- ------- Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $13,060,300 $16,707,200 $13,060,300 $16,707,300 =========== =========== =========== ===========

For further information: For further information: James Hesketh, President and CEO, +1-303-278-8464, or Valerie Kimball, Investor Relations - toll free, 1-877-692-8182, both of Atna Resources Ltd. Web Site: http://http://www.atna.com

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