Avesoro Resources Inc. - Q1 2017 Production Update

TSX: ASO
AIM: ASO

TORONTO, April 11, 2017 /CNW/ - Avesoro Resources Inc. ("Avesoro" or the "Company"), the TSX and AIM listed West African gold producer, is pleased to announce production results for the quarter ended 31 March 2017 (the "Quarter" or the "Period") from its New Liberty Gold Mine ("New Liberty") in Liberia.

The Quarter has seen continued improvement in both mining and processing operations as management continue the turnaround in operations at New Liberty.

Total gold production for the Quarter was 14,906 ounces, which is aligned with expectations for the Quarter and as previously guided. Full year production guidance of 90,000 – 100,000 ounces is maintained as is previously advised cash cost guidance of US$750US$800 per ounce and all in sustaining costs ("AISC") guidance of US$925US$975 per ounce of gold produced.

Further to the 76% increase in total material movement (waste rock and ore) achieved between Quarters 3 and 4 of 2016, material movement continued to increase by an additional 28% during the Quarter to 4,295kt of which 351kt tonnes was ore and 3,944kt was waste rock. This represents an increase of 54% in ore production and 27% in waste movement respectively, and is a direct result of the operational efficiencies put into place by the management team since taking control of mining operations during Q3 2016. In addition, the run of mine ("ROM") ore stockpile increased by 23kt to 142kt during the Quarter and plant utilisation for March reached 95%.

The end of the Quarter saw the installation and commissioning of the two new PSA Oxygen plants that will deliver additional oxygen to the process plant, which is expected to improve gold recovery levels and the efficiency of the detoxification circuit.

Parameter

Unit

Q3 2016

Q4 2016

Variance

Q1 2017

Variance

Ore Mined

kt

303

228

-25%

351

54%

Waste Mined

kt

1,598

3,115

95%

3,944

27%

Strip Ratio

Waste:Ore

5.3

13.7

158%

11.2

-18%

Total Material Movement

kt

1,900

3,342

76%

4,295

29%

Plant Utilisation

%

73.0

91.5

25%

92.3

1%

Ore Processed

kt

221

269

22%

280

4%

Recovery

%

77.3

87.6

13%

90.0

3%

Gold Production

Ounces

14,139

18,872

33%

14,906

-21%

 

Throughout the Period, the Company focused on opening access to, and the stripping of a new pit, whilst catching up on the previously postponed waste pushbacks. During the Quarter, the strip ratio at New Liberty was 11.2:1 (Waste:Ore) compared to an average of 9:1 throughout 2016, highlighting the Company's focus on catching up on waste stripping. The Company will continue to focus upon catching up on the waste cutbacks throughout Q2 2017 in preparation for the onset of the wet season, which will result in gold production for 2017 being weighted towards the second half of the year.

The emphasis on waste stripping throughout the Period resulted in a decrease in the average head grade of ore mined from the open pit from 2.61g/t to 2.21g/t, a decrease of 17% over the previous quarter. Mined ore grades are forecast to return towards the average reserve grade during Q2 2017 now that access to the new pit has been completed.

The New Liberty process plant operations continued to stabilise throughout the Period, with plant utilisation for the Quarter continuing to increase, with 92% plant utilisation achieved throughout the Quarter, and 95% plant utilisation being achieved during March 2017. As a function of this, ore processed during the Quarter totalled 280kt, at a feed grade of 1.97g/t, with gold recovery levels increasing from 88% in Q4 2016 to 90% in Q1 2017. This resulted in gold production of 14,906 ounces for the Quarter. As anticipated, this was a 21% decrease on that achieved during Q4 2016 and is a result of the increased focus upon catching up on the previously postponed waste stripping and the resulting lower feed grade during the Period. Notwithstanding this decrease from Q4 2016, gold production has increased steadily throughout the Quarter corresponding with the increases in process plant operating stability and gold recovery levels.

Serhan Umurhan, Chief Executive Officer of Avesoro Resources, commented: "I am pleased that we have continued to build upon the operational improvements delivered during the second half of 2016 throughout the first Quarter of 2017. Although, as expected, gold production for Q1 2017 is lower than that delivered across Q4 2016, total material movement has continued to increase month on month and we are beginning to catch up on the waste shortfall from H1 2016. The process plant is now operating in a consistent and stable manner and we remain confident of delivering our production guidance of 90,000 – 100,000 ounces of gold for the year".

About Avesoro Resources Inc.

The Company's assets include the New Liberty Gold Mine in Liberia (the "New Liberty Gold Mine," "New Liberty" or the "mine") which has an estimated proven and probable mineral reserve of 8.5 Mt with 924,000 ounces of gold grading 3.4 g/t and an estimated measured and indicated mineral resource of 9,796 Kt with 1,143,000 ounces of gold grading 3.63 g/t and an estimated inferred mineral resource of 5,730 Kt with 593,000 ounces of gold grading 3.2 g/t.  A Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS") has been completed, the first gold pour has taken place and commercial production has been declared.  The foregoing mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates and additional information in connection therewith are set out in the Company's technical report dated March 25, 2015 and entitled "New Liberty Gold Project, Bea Mountain Mining Licence Southern Block, Liberia, West Africa, Definitive Project Plan.

The New Liberty Gold Mine is located within the Southern Block of the 100% owned Bea Mountain mining licence.  This licence covers 478 km² and has a 25 year, renewable, mineral development agreement.  The Bea Mountain mining license also hosts additional gold projects of Ndablama, Gondoja, Weaju and Leopard Rock which are the focus of exploration programs during 2016. Ndablama has an indicated mineral resource of 386,000 ounces of gold grading 1.6 g/t and inferred mineral resource of 515,000 ounces of gold grading 1.7 g/t and Weaju has an inferred mineral resource of 178,000 ounces of gold grading 2.1 g/t.  The Yambesei (473 km2), Archaen West (56 km2), Mabong (36.6 km2) and Mafa West (15.6 km2) licences will also be subject to preliminary reconnaissance geological work.  The foregoing mineral resource estimates and additional information in connection therewith are set out in the Company's technical report dated December 1, 2014 and entitled "Ndablama and Weaju Gold Projects, Bea Mountain Mining Licence, Northern Block, Technical Report on Mineral Resources" ("Ndablama and Weaju Technical Report 2014").

The Company also has a gold exploration permit in Cameroon.

Qualified Persons

The Company's Qualified Person is Mark J. Pryor, who holds a BSc (Hons) in Geology & Mineralogy from Aberdeen University, United Kingdom and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists and a registered Professional Natural Scientist (Pr.Sci.Nat) of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions.  Mark Pryor is an independent technical consultant with over 25 years of extensive global experience in exploration, mining and mine development and is a "Qualified Person" as defined in National Instrument 43 -101 "Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects" of the Canadian Securities Administrators and has reviewed and approves this press release.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain information contained in this Announcement constitutes forward looking information. This information may relate to future events or the Company's future performance. All information other than information of historical fact is forward looking information. The use of any of the words "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe", "predict" and "potential" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward looking information. Specific statements that constitute forward looking information include statements regarding the timing and completion of legal documentation required to amend the loan facilities and to document the guarantees. This forward looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward looking information. No assurance can be given that this information will prove to be correct and such forward looking information included in this Announcement should not be unduly relied upon. This information speaks only as of the date of this Announcement.

Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward looking information contained in this news release as a result of the risk factors, including: the risk that the waiver and standstill agreement will terminate; the risk that legal documentation may not be completed as anticipated; risks normally incidental to exploration and development of mineral properties; the inability to obtain required waivers and amendments from the Company's creditors in respect of its debt repayment obligations and consequential risks of default thereon; risks related to operating in West Africa; health risks associated with the mining workforce in West Africa; risks related to the Company's title to its mineral properties; adverse changes in commodity prices; risks related to current global financial conditions; the inability of the Company to obtain, maintain, renew and/or extend required licences, permits, authorizations and/or approvals from the appropriate regulatory authorities and other risks relating to the legal and regulatory frameworks in Liberia, including adverse changes in applicable laws; competitive conditions in the mineral exploration and mining industry; risks related to obtaining insurance or adequate levels of insurance for the Company's operations; risks related to environmental regulations; uncertainties in the interpretation of results from drilling; risks related to the legal systems in Liberia; risks related to the tax residency of the Company; changes in exchange and interest rates; risks related to the activities of artisanal miners; actions of third parties that the Company is reliant upon; lack of availability at a reasonable cost or at all, of plants, equipment or labour, including required equipment, explosives and other necessary material not being delivered in the expected time frame, or at all; the inability to attract and retain key management and personnel; political risks; and future unforeseen liabilities and other factors.

The forward looking information included in this Announcement is expressly qualified by this cautionary statement and is made as of the date of this Announcement. The Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking information except as required by applicable securities laws.

SOURCE Avesoro Resources Inc.

For further information: Avesoro Resources Inc.: Geoff Eyre / Nick Smith, Tel: +44(0) 20 7010 7690; Camarco: Gordon Poole / Nick Hennis, Tel: +44(0) 20 3757 4980; Numis Securities Limited (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker): John Prior / James Black / Paul Gillam, Tel: +44(0) 20 7260 1000; Hannam & Partners (Advisory) LLP (Joint Broker): Rupert Fane / Andrew Chubb / Ingo Hofmaier, Tel: +44(0) 20 7907 8500

RELATED LINKS
http://avesoro.com/

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