Vista Gold Corp. Announces Second Quarter Financial Results and Conference Call With Management



    



    
    DENVER, Aug. 7 /CNW/ -- Vista Gold Corp. (TSX & NYSE Amex:   VGZ) ("Vista"
or the "Corporation") announced today its financial results for the quarter
and six months ended June 30, 2009, as filed on August 7, 2009, with the US
Securities and Exchange Commission and the relevant securities regulatory
authorities in Canada in the Corporation's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and
announces a management quarterly conference call scheduled for Tuesday, August
11, 2009, at 1:00 P.M. MDT.
    

    Results from Operations

    
    Our consolidated net earnings for the three-month period ended June 30,
2009, was US$3.9 million or US$0.11 per share compared to a consolidated net
loss of US$2.0 million or US$0.06 per share for the same period in 2008.  Our
consolidated net earnings for the six-month period ended June 30, 2009, was
US$2.0 million or US$0.06 per share compared to a consolidated net loss of
US$4.2 million or US$0.12 per share for the same period in 2008.  For both the
three- and six-month periods ended June 30, 2009, the increases in the
consolidated net earnings of US$5.9 million and US$6.2 million from the
respective prior periods are primarily due to a gain on disposal of marketable
securities of US$6.8 million.  The gain was the result of the sale of our
Allied Nevada Gold Corp. ("Allied") shares which we retained in connection
with the transaction that resulted in the formation of Allied and the transfer
of Vista's Nevada properties to Allied.  This transaction resulted in an
exchange where the Corporation's shareholders received one new Vista common
share and 0.794 Allied common share for each old Vista share held.  This gain
has been partially offset by an increase in the future income tax expense for
both the three- and six-month periods of US$1.2 million and US$0.7 million.
    

    Exploration, property evaluation and holding costs

    
    Exploration, property evaluation and holding costs were US$268,000 for
the three-month period ended June 30, 2009 and US$601,000 for the six-month
period ended June 30, 2009, as compared with US$252,000 and US$497,000 for the
same periods, respectively, in 2008. For both the three-month and six-month
periods ended June 30, 2009, there were no significant variances as we
continue to move our projects towards development decisions.
    

    Corporate administration and investor relations

    
    Corporate administration and investor relations costs decreased to US$1.0
million during the three-month period ended June 30, 2009, compared with
US$1.3 million for the same period in 2008.  The decrease of US$0.3 million
from the respective prior period is primarily due to the following:

    Stock-based compensation expense decreased by US$194,000 for the
three-month period ended June 30, 2009.  This decrease is primarily due to a
decrease in the number of options granted during the prior year and vesting
over time as well as an increase in the stock-based compensation amount being
capitalized as mineral properties.
    

    Legal costs decreased by US$75,000 for the six-month period ended June 30,
2009.

    
    Corporate administration and investor relations costs decreased to US$2.0
million for the six-month period ended June 30, 2009, compared with US$2.5
million for the same period in 2008.  The decrease of US$554,000 from the
respective prior period is primarily due to the following:

    Stock-based compensation expense decreased by US$364,000 for the
six-month period ended June 30, 2009.  This decrease is primarily due to a
decrease in the number of options granted during the prior year and vesting
over time as well as an increase in the stock-based compensation amount being
capitalized as mineral properties.

    Securities and compliance fees expense decreased by US$120,000 for the
six-month period ended June 30, 2009.  Audit, tax and Sarbanes-Oxley
compliance fees decreased by US$53,000 for the six-month period ended June 30,
2009 as we work with our auditors and outside consultants to reduce these
fees.
    

    Interest expense

    
    Interest expense of US$584,000 during the three-month period ended June
30, 2009, was approximately equal to US$585,000 for the same period in 2008.  
 Interest expense increased to US$1.2 million for the six-month period ended
June 30, 2009, as compared with US$769,000 for the same period in 2008.  This
increase is because the senior secured convertible notes (the "Notes") were
issued on March 4, 2008, and therefore only 118 days of interest were recorded
for the 2008 period.  For the three-month period ended June 30, 2009,
US$265,000 is attributable to the accretion of the debt discount and
US$319,000 is attributable to interest expense.  For the six-month period
ended June 30, 2009, US$524,000 is attributable to the accretion of the debt
discount and US$639,000 is attributable to interest expense.  These amounts
are approximately 43% of the full interest expense associated with the
issuance of the Notes.  We capitalized the remaining 57% as additions to
mineral properties in accordance with SFAS No. 34 and our accounting policy.
    

    Other income and expense

    Gain on disposal of marketable securities

    
    For the three-month period ended June 30, 2009, we realized a gain of
US$6.8 million on the disposal of marketable securities compared to a loss on
the disposal of marketable securities of US$88,000 for the same period in
2008. The gain for the three-month period in 2009 resulted from the sale of
securities that had a book value of US$2.2 million and the loss for the same
period in 2008 resulted from the sale of securities that had a book value of
US$120,000.

    For the six-month period ended June 30, 2009, we realized a gain of
US$6.8 million on the disposal of marketable securities as compared to a loss
on the disposal of marketable securities of US$67,000 for the same period in
2008.  The gain for the six-month period in 2009 resulted from the sale of
securities that had a book value of US$2.2 million and the loss for the same
period in 2008 resulted from the sale of securities that had a book value of
US$157,000.

    For both the three- and six-month periods ended June 30, 2009, the gains
were mostly the result of our sale on April 3, 2009, of all 1,529,848 common
shares of Allied Nevada Gold Corp. we held for US$9.0 million.  These shares
had a book value of US$2.2 million.

    At June 30, 2009, we held marketable securities available for sale with a
quoted market value of US$628,000.  We purchased the securities for investing
purposes with the intent to hold the securities until such time it would be
advantageous to sell the securities at a gain. Although there can be no
reasonable assurance that a gain will be realized from the sale of the
securities, we monitor the market status of the securities consistently in
order to mitigate the risk of loss on the investment.

    During the three-month period ended June 30, 2009, the future income tax
expense was US$989,000 compared to a future income tax benefit of US$179,000
for the 2008 period.  During the six-month period ended June 30, 2009, the
future income tax expense was US$781,000 compared with US$93,000 for the same
period in 2008.  For both the three- and six-month periods ended June 30,
2009, the increase in the  non-cash future income tax expense offsets non-cash
 tax benefits that were recorded in previous years since it  has been
determined there will be no tax liability on the gain realized by the sale of
the Allied Nevada shares.
    

    Financial Position, Liquidity and Capital Resources

    Cash used in operations

    
    Net cash used in operating activities was US$3.0 million for the
three-month period ended June 30, 2009, compared to US$2.0 million for the
same period in 2008.  The increase of US$1.0 million is mostly the result of
an increase of US$658,000 in the amount of interest paid on the Notes.  The
Notes were issued on March 4, 2008 and therefore only 72 days of interest had
accrued as of June 15, 2008.  Also contributing to the increase was an
increase in cash used for accounts payable, accrued liabilities and other of
US$454,000, which was offset by an increase in cash provided by accounts
receivable of US$118,000.

    Net cash used in operating activities was US$4.2 million for the
six-month period ended June 30, 2009, compared to US$3.3 million for the same
period in 2008.  Similar to the three-month period ended June 30, 2009, the
increase of US$946,000 is mostly the result of the increase in interest paid
of US$658,000, and an increase in cash used for accounts payable, accrued
liabilities and other of US$349,000, which has been offset by an increase in
cash provided by accounts receivable of US$130,000.
    

    Investing activities

    
    Net cash provided by investing activities increased to US$8.4 million for
the three-month period ended June 30, 2009, as compared to net cash used in
investing activities of US$3.2 million for the same period in 2008.  The
increase in cash provided by investing activities of US$11.6 million is due to
the following:

    An increase in the proceeds from the sale of marketable securities of
US$9.0 million.  On April 3, 2009, we sold all 1,529,848 common shares of
Allied Nevada Gold Corp. we held for US$9.0 million.

    An increase in the proceeds received upon the disposal of mineral
property.  In June 2009, we sold most of the remaining patented mining claims
in Colorado for US$188,000.  There were no similar transactions during the
2008 period.

    A decrease in cash used for additions to mineral properties of US$1.8
million.  During the 2008 period we undertook a drilling program at the Mt.
Todd gold mine and were in the process of completing a feasibility study for
the Paredones Amarillos gold project.  These projects were completed during
2008.

    A decrease in short-term loans made of US$350,000.  In connection with
the sale of our Amayapampa gold project in April 2008, we loaned to Republic
US$350,000 to cover ongoing expenses at the Amayapampa gold project.

    Net cash provided by investing activities increased to US$7.3 million for
the six-month period ended June 30, 2009, as compared to net cash used in
investing activities of US$21.3 million for the same period in 2008.  The
increase in cash provided by investing activities of US$28.6 million is mostly
the result of the same items that increased cash for the three-month period as
well as the following:

    A decrease in the additions to property, plant and equipment of US$16.3
million. During 2008 we completed a brokered private placement of US$30.0
million principal amount of senior secured convertible notes (the "Notes") and
we have used US$16.0 million of the proceeds towards the purchase of gold
processing equipment to be used at our Paredones Amarillos gold project, which
included the costs of relocating the equipment to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. 
There was no similar purchase during the six-month period ended June 30, 2009.

    A decrease in the acquisition of mineral property of US$452,000.  On
January 24, 2008, we completed the acquisition of interests in various mineral
properties adjacent to our Guadalupe de los Reyes gold project in Mexico.  The
consideration paid by Vista for the acquisition of these interests included
cash payments totaling US$452,000 and the issuance of a total of 213,503
common shares of Vista (with an aggregate fair value of US$1.0 million) to
various parties.  There was no similar purchase during the six-month period
ended June 30, 2009.
    

    Financing activities

    
    There was no cash provided by or used in financing activities for the
three-month period ended June 30, 2009.  Net cash used by financing activities
was US$144,000 for the three-month period ended June 30, 2008.  The cash used
in financing activities for the 2008 period was the result of additional fees
paid on the issuance of the Notes.

    There was no cash provided by or used in financing activities for the
six-month period ended June 30, 2009.  Net cash provided by financing
activities was US$31.4 million for the six-month period ended June 30, 2008.  
During the six-month period ended June 30, 2008, we completed a brokered
private placement, in which we offered and sold US$30.0 million principal
amount of the Notes.  Proceeds to Vista after legal and other fees were
US$28.4 million.  Also, during the six-month period ended June 30, 2008,
warrants exercised produced cash proceeds of US$2.9 million and stock option
exercises produced cash proceeds of US$69,000.
    

    Liquidity and Capital Resources

    
    At June 30, 2009, our total assets were US$74.6 million compared to
US$75.8 million at December 31, 2008, representing a decrease of US$1.2
million.  At June 30, 2009, we had working capital of US$17.1 million compared
to US$21.2 million at December 31, 2008, representing a decrease of US$4.1
million.  This decrease relates primarily to a reduction in marketable
securities balances due to the sale of the Allied Nevada Gold Corp. shares in
April 2009, which is offset by an increase in our cash balance from year end.

    The principal component of working capital at both June 30, 2009 and
December 31, 2008, is cash and cash equivalents of US$16.3 million and US$13.3
million, respectively.  Other components include marketable securities (June
30, 2009 -- US$628,000; December 31, 2008 -- US$8.2 million) and other liquid
assets (June 30, 2009 - US$723,000; December 31, 2008 - US$593,000).

    As a result of the delay in the issuance of the Change of Land Use Permit
at the Paredones Amarillos gold project and the current uncertainty in the
resource and financial markets, management has adopted a revised plan and
budget for the year 2009. The plan continues those programs necessary to
expedite the development of the Paredones Amarillos gold project, while
minimizing expenditures in other areas. We expect that in the event that
financing for the Paredones Amarillos gold project is not available on
acceptable terms in 2009, Vista has sufficient working capital to fund its
planned operations at least through the end of 2010, without additional
financing. We will continue to examine potential funding alternatives for the
project, which may include project financing, debt financing or equity
financing.

    On April 17, 2009, we announced that we filed a preliminary short form
base shelf prospectus in Canada with the securities regulatory authorities in
each province and territory (other than Quebec) and a corresponding shelf
registration statement in the United States with the Securities and Exchange
Commission ("SEC").  On April 27, 2009, we announced that we filed a final
short form base shelf prospectus in each province and territory in Canada
(other than Quebec) and an amended Form S-3 with the SEC.  The Form S-3 was
declared effective on April 30, 2009.

    The selected financial data including the results of operations for the
three-month and six-month periods ended June 30, 2009 compared to the 2008
periods, and the financial positions as at June 30, 2009 compared to December
31, 2008, is summarized in the following table:
    


    


    
    Selected Financial Data                Three Months        Six Months
                                           Ended June 30,     Ended June 30,
                                          2009      2008      2009      2008
    U.S. $000's, except loss
     per share
    

    
    Results of operations
    Net earnings/(loss)                   $3,890    (2,048)  $2,010   $(4,171)
    Basic and diluted earnings/(loss)
     per share                              0.11     (0.06)    0.06     (0.12)
    

    
    Net cash used in operations           (3,043)   (2,072)  (4,225)   (3,279)
    Net cash provided/(used)
     in investing activities               8,361    (3,195)   7,259   (21,308)
    Net cash provided by
     financing activities                      -      (144)       -    31,400
    

    
    Financial position                  June 30,  December 31,
                                          2009       2008
    

    
    Current assets                       $17,651   $22,012
    Total assets                          74,589    75,765
    Current liabilities                      514       803
    Total liabilities                     25,460    24,527
    Shareholders' equity                  49,129    51,238
    

    
    Working capital                       17,137    21,209

    Management Conference Call

    
    To review Vista's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter
ending June 30, 2009, including our Management Discussion & Analysis, visit
either www.sedar.com, www.sec.gov or www.vistagold.com.   A conference call
with management to review our financial results for the quarter ended June 30,
2009 and corporate and project activities is scheduled on Tuesday, August 11,
2009, at 1:00 p.m. MDT.
    

    Toll-free in North America:  1-866-782-8903
    International:  1-647-426-1845

    
    This call will also be web-cast and can be accessed at the following web
location:
    

    http://www.snwebcastcenter.com/event/?event_id=516

    
    This call will be archived and available at www.vistagold.com after
August 11, 2009.  Audio replay will be available for three weeks by calling in
North America:  1-866-245-6755, passcode 188727.

    If you are unable to access the audio or phone-in on the day of the
conference call, please feel free to email questions to Connie Martinez,
Manager - Investor Relations, (email: connie@vistagold.com) and we will try to
address these questions prior to or during the conference call.
    

    About Vista Gold Corp.

    
    Since 2001, Vista has acquired a number of gold projects with the
expectation that higher gold prices would increase their value. For more
information about our projects, including technical studies and resource
estimates, please visit our website at www.vistagold.com. Vista has undertaken
programs to advance the Paredones Amarillos gold project, located in Baja
California Sur, Mexico, including a definitive feasibility study, the purchase
of long delivery equipment items, and the purchase of land for the processing
facilities, related infrastructure and the desalination plant. The results of
a Preliminary Economic Assessment completed in 2009 on the Mt. Todd gold
project in Australia are encouraging and Vista is undertaking other studies to
advance the project, with the completion of a preliminary feasibility study
targeted for the fourth quarter of 2009   Vista's other holdings include the
Guadalupe de los Reyes gold project in Mexico, Yellow Pine gold project in
Idaho, Awak Mas gold project in Indonesia, and the Long Valley gold project in
California.

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    Forward-Looking Statements
    This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities
laws.  All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in
this press release that address activities, events or developments that Vista
expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including such things
as financial and operating results and estimates; potential funding
requirements and sources of capital; plans for budgeting financial recoveries;
the timing, performance and results of feasibility studies including the
timing and receipt of required land use, environmental and other permits for
the Paredones Amarillos gold project and timing for starting and completion of
drilling and testing programs at the Paredones Amarillos gold project; the
timing and outcome of the application for the Temporary Occupation Permit and
for the new Change of Land Use Permit for the Paredones Amarillos gold project
and timing for confirmation of the status of such permits; anticipated timing
of commencement of construction and commencement of production at the
Paredones Amarillos gold project; preliminary assessment results for the Mt.
Todd gold project; and plans and timing for a preliminary feasibility study at
the Mt. Todd gold project; Vista's future business strategy; goals;
operations; plans; potential project development; future gold prices; Vista's
potential status as a producer including plans and timing of potential
production; and other such matters are forward-looking statements and
forward-looking information.  When used in this press release, the words
"estimate", "plan", "will", "target", "anticipate", "expect", "intend",
"believe" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking
statements and forward-looking information. These statements involve known and
unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual
results, performance or achievements of Vista to be materially different from
any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such
statements.  Such factors include, among others, risks relating to general
economic conditions, delays and incurrence of additional costs in connection
with our Paredones Amarillos gold project, including uncertainty relating to
timing and receipt for required governmental permits; uncertainty relating to
timing and outcome of the Temporary Occupation Permit and the new Change of
Land Use Permit for the Paredones Amarillos gold project, uncertainty of
feasibility study results and preliminary assessments and of estimates on
which such results are based; risks relating to delays in commencement and
completion of construction at the Paredones Amarillos and Mt. Todd gold
projects; risks of significant cost increases; risks of shortages of equipment
or supplies; risks that Vista's acquisition, exploration and property
advancement efforts will not be successful; risks relating to fluctuations in
the price of gold; the inherently hazardous nature of mining-related
activities; uncertainties concerning reserve and resource estimates; potential
effects on Vista's operations of environmental regulations in the countries in
which it operates; risks due to legal proceedings; risks relating to political
and economic instability in certain countries in which it operates; risks
related to repayment of debt; risks related to increased leverage; and
uncertainty of being able to raise capital on favorable terms or at all; as
well as those factors discussed in Vista's latest Annual Report on Form 10-K,
as amended and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and other documents filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian securities regulatory
authorities.  Although Vista has attempted to identify important factors that
could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in
forward-looking statements and forward-looking information, there may be other
factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. 
There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate as
actual results and future events could differ materially from those
anticipated in such statements. Except as required by law, Vista assumes no
obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements or
forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise.

    For further information, please contact Connie Martinez at (720)
981-1185, or visit the Vista Gold Corp. website at www.vistagold.com
    




    




For further information:

For further information: Connie Martinez of Vista Gold Corp.,
+1-720-981-1185 Web Site: http://www.vistagold.com


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