MONTREAL, April 7 /CNW Telbec/ - SEMAFO (TSX: SMF) today announced record gold production of 65,800 ounces for the first quarter of 2010, an increase of 13% over the first quarter of 2009. The Mana Mine produced 41,400 ounces of gold during the quarter, accounting for 63% of total production. The average selling price for the quarter was $1,111 per ounce.
"Phase I of the Mana plant expansion, which was aimed at increasing plant capacity up to 6,000 tonnes per day in saprolite was completed earlier this year," said Benoit Desormeaux, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. "We are very pleased to report that we have attained and even exceeded design capacity, having achieved a throughput of up to 7,300 tonnes per day."
Phase II, which will increase plant capacity to 6,000 tonnes per day in hardrock is progressing according to schedule with completion expected in the second quarter of 2010. Phase III, which will extend leach time to accommodate increased throughput and optimize gold recovery is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
For the balance of 2010, Mana's quarterly production is expected to be approximately 46,000 ounces of gold. Mana's production represents the majority of SEMAFO's estimated annual production of 235,000 and 260,000 ounces of gold.
"We remain well positioned for the future and look forward to continuing our successful record of discovery, development and operations," said Benoit La Salle, SEMAFO's President and Chief Executive Officer. "This disciplined growth strategy will be the basis of our efforts to unlocking further value for the shareholders."
Production numbers are preliminary and may be subject to final adjustment. Further information will be published in the Company's first quarter operating and financial results to be released in early May.
SEMAFO is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa. The Company currently operates three gold mines: the Mana Mine in Burkina Faso, the Samira Hill Mine in Niger and the Kiniero Mine in 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 "aimed", "increasing", "will", "increase", "schedule", "completion", "extend", "expected", "remain, "future", "look forward", "continuing", "growth", "strategy", "unlocking", "further", "currently", "evolve", "become", "pursuing" 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 to complete within their respective contemplated timeframe or otherwise Phase II and Phase III of the Mana plant expansion, the ability of such Phase II and Phase III expansions to, respectively, increase plant capacity to 6,000 tonnes per day in bedrock and extend leach time to optimize gold recovery, the ability to produce approximately 46,000 ounces of gold per quarter at Mana , the ability to achieve our annual production guidance of between 235,000 to 260,000 ounces of gold, the ability to efficiently manage our assets to ultimately increase shareholder value, the ability to find organic and strategic growth opportunities in West Africa, 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 2009 Annual 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.
SOURCE SEMAFO INC.
For further information: For further information: SEMAFO: Benoit La Salle, President & CEO, (514) 744-4408, Toll-Free: 1 (888) 744-4408, firstname.lastname@example.org; Sofia St Laurent, Communications, (514) 744-4408, Toll-Free: 1 (888) 744-4408, email@example.com