Aureus Mining Inc. - Financial results and highlights for year ended December 31, 2012 and 2013 update

TSX : AUE
AIM : AUE

TORONTO, March 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Aureus Mining Inc. (TSX: AUE) (AIM: AUE) ("Aureus Mining" or the "Company") is pleased to announce its annual financial results for the year ended December 31, 2012 and provides an update for 2013.

Debt Financing

  • Nedbank Capital ("Nedbank") and Rand Merchant Bank ("RMB") have been mandated to arrange a Project Debt Finance Facility for New Liberty as separately announced today

  • US$108m Project Debt Facilities with overall cost of funding of c.5% p.a.

  • No gold hedging contemplated

  • Credit approval expected in Q2 2013

Financial Highlights

  • Cash and cash equivalents of US$ 79.4 million

  • Total assets of US$ 153.1 million

  • Loss for the year of US$ 5.8 million

New Liberty Project Highlights

  • Feasibility study shows a robust NPV of US$ 234 million and IRR of 37% at an average gold price of US$1,400/oz

  • NI 43-101 compliant proven and probable reserve estimate of 910,000 ounces (8.7 million tonnes grading 3.3 g/t)

  • New Liberty to be the first commercial gold mine in Liberia producing +120,000oz per annum at 3.7 g/t for the first five years. First gold pour scheduled for Q4 2014

  • Project optimisation works nearing completion and include relocation of tailings' storage and plant facilities and redesign of Marvoe Creek diversion channel

  • Final metallurgical testwork on the New Liberty ore confirms gold recovery of 93%, significant reduction in reagent consumption and CIL residence time now shortened to 24 hours (versus 48 hours previously)

  • All key permits in place following receipt of environmental permit in October 2012

  • Construction phase commenced in Q4 2012 with early earthworks

Exploration Highlights

  • 9,000 meters of Weaju drilling campaign completed in Q1 2013 with initial results showing high grade intercepts as follows:

  • - 10.0 g/t over 7.5m from 0.2m
    - 6.6 g/t over 9.0m from 114.4m
    - 4.6 g/t over 11.3m from 13.9m
    - 2.5 g/t over 19.0m from 24.0m
    - 3.7 g/t over 11.0m from 36.0m
    - 5.5 g/t over 6.6m from 12.9m
    - 3.8 g/t over 9.0m from 78.0m
    - 3.2 g/t over 9.0m from 180.0m
    - 4.7 g/t over 5.9m from surface
    - 5.1 g/t over 4.4m from 7.2m
    - 4.4 g/t over 5.0m from 79.8m

  • The Weaju and New Liberty deposits demonstrate very similar geological settings and styles of mineralisation. At Weaju soil surveys outline potential extensions which suggest that only half of the area has been drill tested

  • Phased drilling programmes have been completed at Leopard Rock, Ndablama and Gondoja and results continue to deliver high grades, including

    • - 14.8 g/t over 3m
      - 7.1 g/t over 11m
      - 7.6 g/t over 2.2m
      - 4.8 g/t over 3.3m

    • Extensive soil survey has outlined a continuous zone of 13km of gold anomalies covering multiple target areas - Leopard Rock, Ndablama and Gondoja

    • Regional geochemistry and structural studies initiated to generate new targets over the Liberian licence portfolio

    • Generative early stage field exploration work continues in Cameroon

    Corporate Highlights

    • Transformation from an explorer to mine developer and growth company as New Liberty entered construction phase

    • US$ 80 million equity issue in November 2012 to fund New Liberty

    Outlook - Key Targets for 2013

    • Complete New Liberty project optimisation studies

    • Loan documentation for the debt component of the mine development expected to be finalised in Q3 2013 with first draw down of funds expected in Q4 2013

    • Complete the following New Liberty development milestones:

    • - Marvoe Creek Diversion Channel

      - Kinjor village relocation

      - Plant earthworks

    • Commence the following development activities:

    • - Civil construction

      - Tailings' storage facility earthworks

      - Order long lead items from April 2013

    • Exploration

    • - Define new resources at Weaju and Ndablama

      - Complete geochemical studies covering the total Liberian licence portfolio

      - Generative study to define new targets in Liberian licence portfolio

        Cameroon

      Commenting on the results, David Reading, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aureus Mining, said:

      "2012 saw Aureus achieve all of its goals - a maiden reserve, a feasibility study which demonstrates the robustness of the New Liberty project, completion of the equity financing to build Liberia's first commercial gold mine and highlighting the next phase of exploration targets.  The Company has gained genuine momentum since its inception in 2011: from an exploration company, to a development company in 2012, and now having mandated banks for project financing Aureus will become a gold producer in 2014.  The strategy of New Liberty being the first mine in our portfolio remains intact - our near mine exploration has added significant longevity to the life of mine at New Liberty, as well as exciting drilling results from Weaju, Ndablama and Leopard Rock, which underpins the significant future opportunities within our sizeable licence area in Liberia.

      "Not only do the Aureus assets benefit from grades significantly above most of its peer group in West Africa, we have a team which has built gold mines in the region, and now we have the support of not only our loyal shareholders but also high quality, supportive banks, Nedbank and RMB, who share our vision of turning Liberia into West Africa's next prolific gold province.

      "To have achieved so much in 2012 demonstrates the commitment, endeavour and support the Company receives from its shareholders, board, management and employees. I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and I look forward to another exciting year in the growth of Aureus as one of West Africa's newest gold producers."

      The financial statements and the accompanying Management's Discussion and Analysis are available for review at the Company's website, www.aureus-mining.com, as well as being available on www.sedar.com, and should be read in conjunction with this press release.

      Aureus Mining will host a conference call on Wednesday March 20, 2013 at 09:00am (London, UK time) to update investors and analysts on its annual results.  Participants may join the call by dialling one of the following numbers approximately 10 minutes before the start of the call.

                         
      From UK: (toll free) 0808 238 0673                 From rest of world: +44 (0)1452 569 335
                         
      The Participant pass code is 23984125                  
                         

      A recording of the webcast will also be made available on the Company's website later on the same day.

      A separate conference call will be held for Canadian analysts and investors at 1:00pm GMT / 9:00am EST.

                       
      From Canada: (toll free) 1866 4949 885               From rest of world: +44 (0) 1452 569 335
                       
      The participant pass code is # 26203414                
                       

      Qualified Person

      The estimates of mineral Resources were calculated in accordance with NI 43-101 and carried out by Chris G Arnold BSc (Hons), MSc, MAusIMM (CP) of independent consultants AMC. The Reserve Study was prepared by Mr M Staples of AMC, a Qualified Person, for the purposes of the study, under the standards set forth by National Instrument 43-101 "Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Project", of the Canadian Securities Administrators ("NI 43-101″).

      About Aureus Mining

      The Company's assets include the New Liberty gold deposit in Liberia (the "New Liberty Gold Project" or the "Project"), which has an estimated proven and probable reserve of 910,000 ounces of gold grading 3.3 g/t and an estimated measured and indicated mineral resource of 1,143,000 ounces of gold grading 3.6 g/t and an estimated inferred mineral resource of 593,000 ounces of gold grading 3.2 g/t. A feasibility study has been completed on the Project and construction has commenced with initial earthworks. The Project is expected to have an eight and a half year mine life and annual production of 120,000 ounces for the first five years of production. The Company has financed the Project's equity funding requirement and is in advanced discussions with interested parties to fund the balance.

      The New Liberty Gold Project is located within the Bea Mountain mining licence, which covers 457 km² and has a 25 year, renewable, mineral development agreement. The Bea Mountain mining license also hosts the proximal gold targets of Ndablama, Gondoja and Weaju, which are the focus of exploration programs during 2013. The contiguous Archaen Gold exploration licence, which covers 89 km², is also a focus of exploration for 2013, with Leopard Rock being the main target.

      The Company also has gold exploration permits in Cameroon.

      Forward-Looking Information

      This press release contains certain forward-looking information. All information, other than information regarding historical fact, that addresses activities, events or developments that Aureus Mining believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future is forward-looking information. Forward-looking information contained in this press release includes, but may not be limited to, the future plans and objectives of Aureus Mining and their anticipated future growth, mineral resource estimates and the anticipated exploration and development activities of Aureus Mining. The foregoing and any other forward-looking information contained in this press release reflects the current expectations, assumptions or beliefs of Aureus Mining based on information currently available to Aureus Mining. With respect to the forward-looking information contained in this press release, Aureus Mining has made assumptions regarding, among other things: general business, economic and mining industry conditions; and it has also been assumed that no material adverse change in the price of precious and/or base metals occurs, no unusual geological or technical problems occur and no significant events occur outside of the normal course of Aureus Mining's respective business.

      Such forward-looking information is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, including: risks normally incidental to exploration and development of mineral properties; uncertainties in the interpretation of results from drilling and test work; the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with expectations; uncertainty of mineral resources estimates; adverse changes in precious and/or base metal prices; and future unforeseen liabilities and other factors including, but not limited to, those listed under "Risk Factors" in the Preliminary Prospectus of Aureus Mining Inc. dated April 20, 2011, a copy of which is available on www.sedar.com, and in the Aureus Mining Admission Document, a copy of which is available at www.aureus-mining.com.

      Any mineral resource figures referred to in this press release are estimates and no assurances can be given that the indicated levels of minerals will be produced. Such estimates are expressions of judgment based on knowledge, mining experience, analysis of drilling results and industry practices. Valid estimates made at a given time may significantly change when new information becomes available. While Aureus Mining believes that the mineral resource estimates in respect of their respective properties are well established, by their nature mineral resource estimates are imprecise and depend, to a certain extent, upon statistical inferences which may ultimately prove unreliable. If such mineral resource estimates are inaccurate or are reduced in the future, this could have a material adverse impact on Aureus Mining, as applicable. Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to inferred mineral resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will be upgraded to an indicated or measured mineral resource as a result of continued exploration.

      Forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable law, Aureus Mining disclaims any obligation to update or modify such forward-looking information, either as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason.

       

      SOURCE: Aureus Mining Inc.

      For further information:

      Aureus Mining Inc. 

      David Reading / Jeremy Cave

      Tel: +44(0) 20 7010 7690

      RBC Capital Markets (Nominated Advisor and Joint Broker) 

      Martin Eales / Richard Hughes

      Tel: +44(0) 20 7653 4000

      Buchanan 

      Bobby Morse / Gordon Poole

      Tel: +44(0) 20 7466 5000

      GMP Securities Europe LLP (Joint Broker) 

      Richard Greenfield / Alexandra Carse

      Tel: +44(0) 20 7647 2800

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Aureus Mining Inc.

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