MONTREAL, Jan. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - SEMAFO (TSX: SMF) today provided a summary of its 2009 operating results as well as the Company's production outlook for 2010.
In 2009, gold production totalled a record 242,000 ounces, surpassing the upper end of the Company's annual guidance of between 220,000 and 240,000 ounces. Cash operating cost is anticipated to be in line with the Company's 2009 guidance of between $435 and $475 per ounce. Gold sales for the year totalled $240,000,000. The Company's average selling price per ounce of gold was $1,111 for the quarter and $988 for the 12 months ended December 31, 2009, compared to the average London PM Gold Fix price of $1,100 and $972 per ounce, respectively. SEMAFO closed out its hedge program during the second quarter of 2009, which allowed the Company to fully benefit from spot gold prices.
"Operationally, we have demonstrated our ability to deliver on our promises by repeatedly meeting or exceeding our production guidance," said Benoit Desormeaux, SEMAFO's Executive Vice-President and COO.
The Mana mine produced a total of 153,500 ounces of gold in its first full year of operation. Mana's contribution to SEMAFO's overall gold production results was key to exceeding expectations in 2009. Moving forward, the Company expects Mana to remain the cornerstone of its operations, but also looks forward to the property achieving its true potential and developing into a mining district.
"In 2009, SEMAFO delivered a solid performance both operationally and financially," said Benoit La Salle, SEMAFO's President and CEO. "SEMAFO is well positioned for 2010. As part of the Company's organic growth strategy, we will continue to pursue opportunities to optimize our operations through ongoing exploration programs. The exceptional results from Mana's exploration programs continued to accentuate the robust nature of the Wona deep zone. Extensive drilling programs are ongoing at Mana to extend the at-depth structure as well as to validate the on-surface potential, with the objective to increase mineral reserves and resources."
For 2010, and taking into consideration the situation at the Kiniero mine, SEMAFO is forecasting production of between 235,000 and 260,000 ounces of gold at a cash operating cost of between $485 and $525 per ounce. Assuming a cash margin of $450 per ounce, the Company anticipates cash flow from operations of between $105,750,000 and $117,000,000 for the year.
A number of assumptions were made in preparing the 2010 forecast in this press release, including:
- $1.00 per liter of oil
- Commissioning of our plant expansion at Mana
- Canadian/US dollar exchange rate of $1.05
- Social and political stability in Africa
- Continued stable production at the Company's three mines
Production numbers are preliminary and may be subject to final adjustment. All amounts are in US dollars unless otherwise indicated. "Cash operating cost", "cash margin" and "cash flow from operations" are measures that are not recognized under Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). This data may not be comparable to data presented by other gold producers.
SEMAFO will release its fourth quarter and 2009 year-end financial results on or about March 17, 2010. The Company will also host a conference call to discuss the results, the details of which will be announced at a later date.
SEMAFO is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa. The Company currently operates three gold mines in Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea. SEMAFO is committed to evolve in a conscientious manner to become a major player in its geographical area of interest. SEMAFO's strategic focus is to maximize shareholder value by effectively managing its existing assets as well as pursuing organic and strategic growth opportunities in West Africa.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions and accordingly, actual results and future events could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. You are hence cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include words or expressions such as "outlook", "anticipated", "moving forward", "expects", "remain", "achieving", "developing", "growth", "strategy", "continue", "pursue", "ongoing", "accentuate", "objective", "increase", "forecasting", "assuming", "committed", "evolve", "become" and other similar words or expressions. Factors that could cause future results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include the ability of the ongoing drilling programs at Mana to validate both the at-depth and on-surface potential and ultimately increase mineral reserves and resources, fluctuation in the price of currencies, gold or operating costs, mining industry risks, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves and resources, delays, political and social stability in Africa (including our ability to maintain or renew licenses and permits) and other risks described in SEMAFO's documents filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. You can find further information with respect to these and other risks in SEMAFO's 2008 Annual MD&A, as updated in the 2009 First Quarter MD&A, 2009 Second Quarter MD&A and 2009 Third Quarter MD&A, and other filings made with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available at www.sedar.com. These documents are also available on our website at www.semafo.com. SEMAFO disclaims any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law.
SEMAFO Inc.'s Board of Directors has approved this press release.
SOURCE SEMAFO INC.
For further information: For further information: SEMAFO: Benoit La Salle, President & CEO, (514) 744-4408, Toll-Free: 1-888-744-4408, email@example.com; Sofia St Laurent: Communications, (514) 744-4408, Toll-Free: 1-888-744-4408, firstname.lastname@example.org