WHITEHORSE, Aug. 13 /CNW/ - European Goldfields Limited (AIM: EGU / TSX:
EGU) ("European Goldfields" or the "Company") today reports its results for
the quarter ended 30 June 2009.
- Strong gold sales - up by 83% on H1 2008
- Total sales of $16.2 million reflecting improved base metal prices
- Working capital of $171.2 million
- Profits for the period double versus Q2 2008
- US$119 million invested in future projects to date
- Greece: PEIS process reaches final stage after Central Archaeological
- Stratoni: Mine infrastructure essentially complete
- Skouries: Outotec Final Basic Engineering Package received and
equipment items delivered
- Olympias: Very strong gold sales. EIS approval process advances to
- Certej: Permitting process advances with successful completion of
Commenting on the results, David Reading, Chief Executive Officer of
European Goldfields, said: "We have delivered a strong performance in what
remain challenging conditions. The permitting process in Greece has now passed
a key milestone. We are confident that our patient and detailed long-term
approach to project development remains the right way to deliver enhanced
value to our shareholders."
An analyst meeting will be held at the offices of Buchanan
Communications, 45 Moorfields, EC2Y 9AE, London at 09:00 a.m. on Thursday 13
August 2009. European Goldfields will then host a conference call at 10:00
a.m. ET / 3:00 pm (London, UK time) to update investors and analysts who
cannot attend the meeting on its results. Participants may join the call by
dialling one of the three following numbers, approximately 10 minutes before
the start of the call.
From North America: (toll free) 1 888 935 4575
From the UK, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy,
Netherlands, Norway, Sweden & Switzerland: +44 (0)20 7806 1950 or (toll free
from the UK) 0800 028 1243
Participant pass code: 1686634
A live audio webcast of the call will be available on the following link,
and a replay will be available on the same link from 12:00pm ET / 5:00pm
(London, UK time):
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
Quarter ended 30 June
(in thousands of US dollars, 2009 2008
except per share amounts) $ $
Statement of profit and loss
Sales 16,204 18,461
Gross profit 3,186 3,470
Profit before income tax 2,653 242
Income taxes (1,078) 644
Profit after income tax 1,575 886
Non-controlling interest (136) (74)
Profit for the period 1,439 812
Earnings per share 0.01 0.00
30 June 2009 31 December 2008
(in thousands of US dollars) $ $
Working capital 171,185 192,675
Total assets 753,196 766,095
European Goldfields' unaudited consolidated financial statements and
management's discussion and analysis for the three month periods ended 30 June
2009 and 2008 are filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Q2 revenues recovered well compared to Q1 2009 as a result of strong gold
sales and improved base metal prices, and profit for the period doubled
compared to Q2 2008. Stratoni production remained behind budget but all
significant capital expenditures have now been completed at the mine, securing
its future operational capacity. Olympias gold concentrates sales continued to
perform robustly. The Company's lead hedging programme will remain in place
until the end of 2009 and generated income of US$1.8 million for the quarter.
Working capital declined as the Company continued its capital expenditure
programmes at its operating mine and development projects, but the Company's
balance sheet remains strong.
STRATONI OPERATIONS (GREECE)
- Major mine infrastructure essentially complete
- Lower current production due to geotechnical factors in upper levels
- Completion of Upper Adit will enable greater production capacity
- Euro operating costs fall 11%
The Stratoni mine consists of a lead-zinc-silver deposit and lies
approximately four km from the coastal town of Stratoni in northern Greece.
The Company's 95%-owned subsidiary Hellas Gold mined a total of 60,023 wet
tonnes in Q2 2009 (Q2 2008 - 73,137).
Infrastructure and development
Internal development is virtually complete for the year. The last
development of major infrastructure at the mine, the Upper Adit, is awaiting
the completion of the fan and sump installations. This is due during August,
prior to holing through the remaining three metres. The adit will thus become
fully operational in the very near future. The completion of this project
means that the Company has now effectively built a new mine at Stratoni.
Hellas Gold completed six shipments in Q2 2009 (Q2 2008 - 8), four
shipments of zinc and two of lead/silver. Sales from Stratoni were as follows:
Q2 2009 Q2 2008 H1 2009 H1 2008
Ore mined (wet tonnes) 60,023 73,137 116,915 131,345
Zinc concentrate (tonnes) 10,646 11,224 20,952 19,595
- Containing payable:
Zinc (tonnes)(*) 4,427 4,633 8,579 8,087
Lead concentrate (tonnes) 3,771 7,418 7,533 9,290
- Containing payable:
Lead (tonnes)(*) 2,448 4,628 4,795 5,816
Silver (oz)(*) 183,452 355,298 366,956 450,881
Inventory (end of period)
Ore mined (wet tonnes) 2,293 1,003 2,293 1,003
Zinc concentrate (tonnes) - 5,660 - 5,660
Lead/silver concentrate (tonnes) 2,106 1,238 2,106 1,238
(*) Net of smelter payable deductions
Mining production year to date is under budget, due to poor geotechnical
conditions as the convergence of the main Stratoni and footwall faults
bounding the orebody have affected mining in the upper levels of the mine. As
a result, this has disrupted the cycle of mining levels, with two levels that
are due to come into production suffering delays due to access issues. The
mine has therefore suffered from both a reduced number of faces being
available than anticipated and a greater dependence on lower grade areas than
Mine management is confident that the introduction of new infrastructure
and the deployment of uprated shotcrete equipment will soon ameliorate the
poor conditions in the upper levels. Plans have been redrawn and a revision is
in progress that emphasises production from higher grade, lower levels in Q3
and from both upper and lower areas, including the large dimension stopes on
the new 124 Level in Q4, to recoup metal production.
Process plant performance
The circuit to improve the quality of the lead concentrate is in the
final design stage and installation is planned for Q4.
Zinc and lead metal recoveries are being maintained on budget at a
consistent 92% and silver at 87%. The plant continues to run efficiently and
planned maintenance was carried out on schedule, providing high equipment
The development of the Stratoni process plant was completed in 2006; the
two filter presses in September 2008; the underground mine this year with the
upper adit linked to the decline by the main ramp and all main infrastructure
in place (pumping and ventilation). The water treatment plant is currently
being commissioned. The capital costs to bring Stratoni Mine to this state
Process Plant 4.4
Filter Presses 2.6
Water Treatment Plant 3.1
Social and community
The Company is sponsoring the "Mademohoria Summer Festival", which takes
part in the four villages closest to its operations: Stratoni, Stratoniki,
Stagira, and Olympias. Hellas Gold has sponsored a public concert and other
cultural events in each one of these villages.
SKOURIES PROJECT (GREECE)
- Basic Engineering Packages complete
- Outotec commences detailed design package
ENOIA delivers Basic Design package to schedule
ENOIA has produced and submitted the Basic Design package including an
initial draft of an updated budget cost estimate for the process plant for
Skouries to Hellas Gold for consideration. The overall Basic Design package
managed and co-ordinated by ENOIA is now complete, comprising the ENOIA and
Outotec elements; the mine and roads design by Omicron Kappa; the
architectural element from KION and the civil structures and works by MHXME.
ENOIA has also completed a few early factory acceptance tests on control
Outotec commences Detailed Design package
Outotec has commenced the Detailed Engineering of instrumentation and
control systems for the flotation plant. Further detailed engineering and
additional equipment orders will be placed as soon as the required
authorisations are forthcoming.
Fabrication of the long lead items is well advanced and deliveries
continue to Greece.
Detailed plant and dam site geotechnical investigation
Detailed engineering and the ordering of the remaining important long
lead-time items will be initiated during Q3, along with the required
geotechnical drilling for the plant and dams detailing design. The latter will
in turn enable ENOIA to commence the detailed process plant design.
Hellas Gold is now working on all the above studies with a view to
producing a post feasibility engineering study for the Skouries project later
OLYMPIAS PROJECT (GREECE)
- Sale of gold concentrates up by 83% over H1 2008
- Approval of EIS for re-treatment of tailings anticipated
- Underground rehabilitation
Sale of gold concentrates up by 83% over H1 2008
The Olympias project benefits from an existing stockpile of gold-bearing
pyrite concentrates which represented, at 1 January 2009, a reserve of
approximately 101,000 tonnes grading 23.5 g/t gold (containing approximately
75,000 oz of gold), in addition to tailings containing 238,000 oz of gold and
substantial underground reserves of gold, lead, zinc and silver. Excavation of
the concentrate for shipment has indicated that the depth of stockpile base
was underestimated in several areas by historical surveys and therefore
additional concentrate tonnage exists compared to the declared reserve.
Hellas Gold completed 28 shipments of Olympias concentrates in Q2 2009
(Q2 2008 - 11). This translates into 32,134 tonnes of pyrite concentrates
Sales of pyrite concentrates were as follows:
Q2 2009 Q2 2008 H1 2009 H1 2008
Gold concentrate (dry tonnes) 32,134 22,479 58,966 32,257
The economic slowdown in the Balkans has led to a reduction in the number
of containers arriving at the port of Thessaloniki, but the Company has
successfully sourced sufficient containers by close co-operation with a number
of shipping companies and other counterparties.
In addition to the stockpile of gold concentrates, Hellas Gold plans to
process 2.4Mt of stockpiled tailings arising from the previous operations at
Olympias. This will produce approximately 350,000 tonnes of concentrates
(containing 238,000 oz of gold) and the refurbishment of the underground
mining operations is scheduled to be phased to the exhaustion of the tailings
at Olympias, the underground producing more gold bearing pyrite concentrates
for sale to existing and new off-take purchasers.
Submission of EIS for re-treatment of tailings
Mine schedules, plant refurbishment plans and cost studies for the second
phase of the Olympias project are approaching completion. In Q2 2008 the
Company submitted an Environmental Impact Study ("EIS") to allow the early
processing of existing tailings, which will produce additional gold
concentrate and allow the rehabilitation of a significant area of the Olympias
valley. The Company has worked closely with the Ministry of Environment and
anticipates approval of the EIS in the near future. It is planned that this
re-processing will commence in parallel with refurbishment of the plant lines
for run of mine production and the necessary underground development to
recommence production in Phase Two. The Company has now evaluated offers for
the detailed design phase from Greek engineering companies and is expecting to
award contracts in the near future.
A detailed study to outline the rehabilitation work and associated costs
is to be started in the third Quarter and completed during the fourth Quarter.
The study will adhere to standard, proven mining practice and technology.
PERMITTING PROCESS - SKOURIES AND OLYMPIAS
Further to site visits and other analysis by specialists from the
Ministry of Culture, the Central Archaeological Council of Greece has approved
the preliminary environmental impact study ("PEIS") and this has been
documented by a Ministerial letter. This is the final inter-ministerial
document required for the granting of the PEIS and this has allowed the
Ministry of Environment and Public Works ("MEPW") to start to finalise the
PEIS approval process. The Company is working closely with MEPW and
anticipates that final approval will be delivered shortly.
The separate Environmental Impact Study ("EIS") application in respect of
the early processing of existing tailings, which will produce additional gold
concentrate and allow the rehabilitation of a significant area of the Olympias
valley, is also due to move to its final stage of approval once public
consultation has been completed.
The Company continues to receive the active support of the Greek Ministry
of Development for its Business Plan and the PEIS. The Business Plan focuses
on a phased approach to the development of the Skouries gold-copper porphyry
deposit and the Olympias gold-lead-zinc-silver deposit. The principal revenue
stream in the early phases will be through the sale of concentrates. The
Company's current plan is to develop Olympias in two phases. The Company will
refurbish the underground mine in the early stage and in the final phase will
construct a new gold processing facility in the brownfield Stratoni area.
Skouries will initially be mined as a low strip open pit operation, followed
by highly productive underground mining.
Approval of the PEIS by the MEPW will be expressed as a Project
Pre-Approval from the Greek State with an invitation to the Company to submit
its final EIS to allow public consultation. On approval of the EIS, the
environmental permits for Skouries and Olympias will be issued.
The Company will then submit to the Greek government a final technical
report on the Skouries and Olympias projects, which will restate the
principles of the business plan and take into account any conditions detailed
in the environmental permit. The mining permits are expected to be issued on
approval of the technical report by the Greek government.
EXPLORATION IN GREECE
Airborne geophysical surveys have revealed four new zones of conductive
rocks with electromagnetic ("EM") signatures typical for massive sulphides
such as the known mineralisation at Stratoni, Olympias and Piavitsa. The new
zones are distinct from any known mineralisation and represent some 20
kilometres of potential strike. Each anomalous area will now be investigated
in the field with mapping, geochemistry and possibly follow-up ground
geophysics in order to define future drill targets.
The EM survey had already successfully confirmed an anomaly extending
eight km of strike at the Piavitsa massive sulphide target. Two km of this
strike length have massive sulphide drill intercepts which correspond exactly
with the EM anomaly. A number of drill sites have good access through existing
roads, which will allow some drilling to take place in the coming months. An
EIS has been submitted to allow access to drill the remaining sites later in
In addition, the magnetic component of the survey has already identified
a 17 km by six km belt of porphyry intrusives over which a three dimensional
model has been completed defining two other major targets. Follow-up
reconnaissance mapping on the ground has confirmed the presence of porphyry
style mineralisation and drill sites have been selected for test drilling on
approval of the submitted EIS.
CERTEJ PROJECT (ROMANIA)
- Basic Engineering work nearing completion
- Permitting process continues to advance, public consultation
The Company's Certej gold-silver project is located 12 km from the town
of Deva in the "Golden Quadrilateral" area of the Apuseni Mountains of
Transylvania in Western Romania. Certej has recent mining activity and boasts
excellent infrastructure. The project is currently at the development stage.
Certej is a typical epithermal gold-silver deposit. The project has reserves
of 2.41 million ounces gold and 11.7 million ounces silver. The project will
involve the mining and processing of 3.0 million tonnes of ore per annum over
an open pit life of 11 and a half years. The pit is expected to yield
approximately 160,000 oz of gold and 820,000 oz of silver per year in doré,
reflecting an average total process recovery of 81% for gold and approximately
75% for silver. Thereafter, the plant will be fed for a further five years at
the same throughput rate by material previously stockpiled from the open pit
or historic dumps which has been defined and is Canadian NI 43-101 compliant.
The metallurgical process involves the production of a flotation
concentrate, followed by the extraction of gold and silver into doré on site,
incorporating an oxidation stage using the Albion Process. The Albion Process
is a combination of ultra-fine grinding of concentrates and oxidative leaching
at atmospheric pressure. The liberated gold and silver is then recovered as
doré by the conventional Carbon in Leach ("CIL") process. The revenue stream
will be through the production and marketing of gold-silver doré.
Basic Engineering work nearing completion
The Basic Engineering ("BE") contract for the Certej project process
plant and associated infrastructure was awarded to Aker Solutions Engineering
& Construction and work started in February 2009. The work is now nearing
completion. The BE covers the entire process plant engineering, encompassing
the three main areas of mineral processing, the concentrator area, the Albion
section and gold-silver doré production by CIL. Xstrata Technology, who are
the owners of the Albion Process, are part of the BE team for the Albion
section of the plant.
The Romanian contractor Cepromin is also an important contributor to the
work and they have recently visited Stockton, UK to review the Aker Solutions
BE. As the project progresses through to detailed engineering, Cepromin will
ensure the submissions comply with Romanian procedures. They have started the
work to generate the Technical Project Report, which together with the
environmental permits will be required for issuing the Construction Permit.
Permitting process continues to advance
The Certej project has already received all the technical mining
approvals and permits required for the operation of mining activities: in
September 2008, the Romanian National Agency for Mineral Resources ("NAMR")
approved the Technical Feasibility Study ("TFS") for the project, as required
under Romanian legislation, and also confirmed the official approval and
registration of the project's resources and reserves. This completed all the
mining approvals required for the project from NAMR and was a very significant
step forward in the development of the project, as it effectively updates the
mining permit and allows the TFS reserve to be mined.
The Company recently updated the Certej Environmental Impact Study
("EIS"), incorporating the improved location of the TMFs in the same water
catchment area as the rest of the mine infrastructure. This was submitted to
the Romanian environmental authorities in Timisoara and has been incorporated
into both the EIS and Zonal Urbanisation Plan ("PUZ") processes. The PUZ
process is almost complete with 16 of the 17 constituent permits required
being obtained, including that relating to water, which involved cross-border
A public consultation process in respect of the environmental permit for
the PUZ has also been successfully concluded: the public consultation involved
four public hearings in the communities most directly affected by the Certej
project. No adverse comments were raised during the public notice period,
during the meetings themselves or subsequently to the authorities, and the
final environmental permit is now expected to be issued. A positive final
outcome of the process is expected imminently and represents a significant
step forward in the environmental permitting process.
In anticipation of the approval of the PUZ, the Ministry of the
Environment has invited the Company to file its EIS application, which will
also then be subject to the last requirement for public consultation prior to
the issuance of the environmental permit. These are the final approvals
required for the construction and operation of the plant, the tailings design
and other related infrastructure.
Certej Independent Technical Consultant
As part of the project financing process, an internationally recognised
engineering group has been appointed as Independent Technical Consultant for
the Certej Project. A site visit has already been conducted and a review of
the Certej Definitive Feasibility study and all its supporting documents is
In addition, Digby Wells and Associates were commissioned to review the
Company's environmental and social plans and studies in order to ensure
compliance with the Equator Principles. This work has indicated that the
project is at an appropriate level of compliance for its development stage and
that future compliance will be achieved with the Company's planned programmes
of work as part of the project construction and production phases.
EXPLORATION IN ROMANIA
In early 2009 the Company acquired two new prospecting licences for 454
square kilometres of prospective terrain, covering the westward extension to
the area hosting the Company's Certej deposit and the area containing the Deva
Porphyry deposit. These areas are prospective for disseminated gold, porphyry
mineralisation as well as the more prolific and higher-grade epithermal
Work in the quarter has been focused on the Deva Porphyry area, which
hosts a volcanic complex, including the historically mined Deva Porphyry pipe,
which produced some 20Mt at 0.8% Cu with the gold grade unrecorded. The
Company has completed approximately 70% of a ground magnetic survey and
finished an initial soil survey over the Deva Porphyry area. Magnetics are
proving to be an excellent targeting tool in the mapping of the buried and
blind porphyries and the survey has also highlighted potential alteration
systems that were not previously recognised.
Early results indicate several magnetic centres in addition to the Deva
Porphyry pipe with associated porphyry-style geochemical signatures of Cu-Au,
with Ag, Ba, Hg, Mo, Sb and V. The largest of these exciting newly identified
targets lies just 70 m to the North of the previously mined pipe. The complex
has never been the subject of modern systematic exploration. The first phase
of the current programme will be complete in the next two months.
EXPLORATION IN TURKEY
In April 2008 the Company entered into a joint venture with Ariana
Resources plc ("Ariana") with respect to mineral properties in the Eastern
Pontide area of northeast Turkey.
Continued mapping and sampling has indicated further extension to the
Ardala porphyry, to the southwest of the main porphyry body with lithological
samples returning between 0.05 and 2.35 g/t Au and 0.05 and 3.9% Cu. Earlier
work had already confirmed that porphyry mineralisation continues to the south
of the previously recognised outcrops, and this additional extension increases
the size potential of the porphyry system. A high-grade gold zone has also
been identified at Salinbas, some three km to the southwest of the Ardala
porphyry. The zone comprises a mineralised breccia which had a confirmed
strike length of over 230m with a true thickness of 5 to 10 metres. Recent
work has shown that it extends a further 100m to the east, with grades in
outcrop and float of between 0.9 and 15.25 g/t Au in the extension. Drilling
and trenching are planned at both Ardala and Salinbas for the near future.
The Company continues to consolidate ground to the south of the Ardala
licence and has signed a Heads of Agreement with Aldridge Minerals Inc
("Aldridge") for the joint development of Aldridge's Derinkoy properties,
which cover an area of 40 square km adjacent to the Company's Ardala Licences.
The properties lie within the area of interest of the Company's joint venture
with Ariana (the "Pontid JV") and as such will be developed within the Pontid
JV vehicle. The consolidation of this contiguous belt with known porphyry
Au-Cu and epithermal Au mineralisation forms part of the Company's strategy to
carry out modern, systematic exploration along this known mineralised belt.
Under the agreement, European Goldfields will fund all exploration and
development costs of the properties to earn ultimately up to a 90% interest in
the project by completion of a Feasibility Study. A programme of mapping and
sampling is planned for this field season.
In addition, the Company received a further three licences adjacent to
Derinkoy and Ardala. The Pontid JV now has 14 licences totalling some 210
square km not including the Derinkoy licences.
About European Goldfields
European Goldfields Limited is a resource company involved in the
acquisition, exploration and development of mineral properties in Greece,
Romania and South-East Europe.
Greece - European Goldfields holds a 95% interest in Hellas Gold S.A.
Hellas Gold owns three major gold and base metal deposits in Northern Greece.
The deposits are the polymetallic operation at Stratoni, the Olympias project
which contains gold, zinc, lead and silver, and the Skouries copper/gold
porphyry project. Hellas Gold commenced production at Stratoni in September
2005 and started selling an existing stockpile of gold concentrates from
Olympias in July 2006. Hellas Gold is applying for permits to develop and
build the Skouries and Olympias projects.
Romania - European Goldfields owns 80% of the Certej gold/silver project
in Romania. In July 2008, the National Agency of Mineral Resources approved
the technical feasibility study in support of its permit application and
issued a new mining permit for the Certej project.
Resources & reserves parameters
For additional information on the resource and reserve estimates quoted
in this news release, please refer to the Company's Resources & Reserves
Declaration at www.egoldfields.com/goldfields/resources.jsp. Patrick Forward,
General Manager, Exploration of the Company, was the Qualified Person under
Canadian National Instrument 43-101 responsible for reviewing the disclosure
of resource and reserve estimates quoted in this news release.
Certain statements and information contained in this document, including
any information as to the Company's future financial or operating performance
and other statements that express management's expectations or estimates of
future performance, constitute forward-looking information under provisions of
Canadian provincial securities laws. When used in this document, the words
"anticipate", "expect", "will", "intend", "estimate", "forecast", "planned"
and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements or
information. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the
estimation of mineral reserves and resources, the timing and amount of
estimated future production, costs and timing of development of new deposits,
permitting time lines and expectations regarding metal recovery rates.
Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates
and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by management, are
inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive
uncertainties and contingencies. The Company cautions the reader that such
forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and
other factors that may cause the actual financial results, performance or
achievements of the Company to be materially different from its estimated
future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by those
forward-looking statements and the forward-looking statements are not
guarantees of future performance. These risks, uncertainties and other factors
include, but are not limited to: changes in the price of gold, base metals or
certain other commodities (such as fuel and electricity) and currencies;
uncertainty of mineral reserves, resources, grades and recovery estimates;
uncertainty of future production, capital expenditures and other costs;
currency fluctuations; financing and additional capital requirements; the
successful and timely permitting of the Company's Skouries, Olympias and
Certej projects; legislative, political, social or economic developments in
the jurisdictions in which the Company carries on business; operating or
technical difficulties in connection with mining or development activities;
the speculative nature of gold and base metals exploration and development,
including the risks of diminishing quantities or grades of reserves; the risks
normally involved in the exploration, development and mining business; and
risks associated with internal control over financial reporting. For a more
detailed discussion of such risks and material factors or assumptions
underlying these forward-looking statements, see the Company's Annual
Information Form for the year ended 31 December 2008, filed on SEDAR at
www.sedar.com. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any
obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a
result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by
For further information:
For further information: European Goldfields: David Reading, Chief
Executive Officer, e-mail: email@example.com, Tel: +44 (0)20 7408 9534;
Buchanan Communications: Bobby Morse/Katharine Sutton, e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +44 (0)20 7466 5000; RBC Capital Markets: Sarah
Wharry, e-mail: email@example.com, Tel: +44 (0)20 7653 4804