Vista Gold Corp. Announces Year-End Financial Results



    DENVER, March 17 /CNW/ -- Vista Gold Corp. (Amex:   VGZ; TSX) announced
today its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2007, as filed on
March 17, 2008 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the
Canadian Securities Commission in Vista's Annual Report on Form 10-K. For the
year ended December 31, 2007, Vista reported a consolidated net loss of
US$14.2 million or US$0.44 per share compared to the 2006 consolidated net
loss of US$4.2 million or US$0.16 per share. The increase of US$10.0 million
in the net loss for 2007 is primarily the result of an increase in the loss
from discontinued operations of US$4.1 million, costs of US$2.9 million
related to the completion of the Arrangement (discussed below), an increase in
corporate administration and investor relations costs of US$2.7 million and an
increase in exploration, property evaluation and holding costs of US$0.3
million.
    The losses from discontinued operations of US$6.3 million in 2007 and
US$2.3 million in 2006 are primarily the result of two factors. The first
contributing factor relates to the completion of the Arrangement on May 10,
2007 involving the Corporation, Allied Nevada Gold Corp. and Carl and Janet
Pescio, which resulted in, among other things, the transfer of the
Corporation's Nevada properties and cash to Allied Nevada and the acquisition
by Allied Nevada of the Nevada mineral assets of Carl and Janet Pescio. As a
result of the completion of the Arrangement, the losses associated with the
Corporation's Nevada properties are now reflected as losses from discontinued
operations. These losses amounted to US$0.4 million and US$2.1 million for the
respective periods. The financial effects of the Arrangement are also
reflected in the changes of working capital and total assets, as discussed
below. The second contributing factor, resulting in a loss from discontinued
operations of US$5.9 million in 2007, was the determination that, as of
December 31, 2007, the Amayapampa project was held for sale. Upon making this
determination, the Corporation assessed the fair market value of the
Amayapampa project using risk adjusted economic models incorporating the terms
of an arm's-length proposal to purchase the project currently under
consideration by the Corporation. The economic models employed indicated a
fair market value for the Amayapampa project of US$4.8 million as compared to
the carrying value of US$10.3 million which necessitated a write-down of
US$5.5 million. The Amayapampa project incurred losses of US$0.4 million
during 2007 which have been included in losses from discontinued operations.
    The Corporation received net cash from financing activities of US$4.3
million in 2007 compared to US$54.3 million in 2006. The US$4.3 million in
2007 consisted primarily of net proceeds of US$3.6 million from exercise of
warrants and US$0.7 million from the exercise of options.
    Net cash used in investing activities in 2007 was US$31.3 million
compared to US$3.7 million in 2006. The increase of US$27.6 million mostly
reflects US$24.5 million cash transferred to Allied Nevada in connection with
the Arrangement Agreement representing Vista's payment of US$25 million less
US$0.5 million in loans repaid to Vista by Allied Nevada pursuant to the terms
of the Arrangement Agreement. Other variances include an increase in additions
to mineral properties of US$4.2 million which is mostly due to a drilling
program the Corporation undertook at the Mt. Todd project during 2007 and a
decrease in expenditures related to acquisitions of gold properties of US$1.3
million since the Corporation had no property acquisitions in 2007.
    At December 31, 2007, the Corporation's total assets were US$51.3 million
compared to US$92.7 million at December 31, 2006, representing a decrease of
US$41.4 million. Of this decrease, US$9.9 million was attributed to the
mineral properties transferred to Allied Nevada; and US$5.4 million was
attributed to the restricted account balance transferred to Allied Nevada; the
remaining decrease was primarily made up of the reduction in working capital
mostly reflecting payment made to Allied Nevada in connection with the
Arrangement.
    Vista's financial position included current assets at December 31, 2007
of US$27.9 million compared to US$50.4 million at December 31, 2006. Long-term
liabilities totaled US$30,000 at December 31, 2007 compared to US$4.9 million
at December 31, 2006.  At December 31, 2007, the Corporation had working
capital of US$27.3 million, compared to US$49.7 million in 2006. Vista's
working capital of US$27.3 million as of December 31, 2007, decreased from
that at December 31, 2006 by US$22.4 million. The principal component of
working capital for both 2007 and 2006 is cash and cash equivalents of US$16.6
million and US$48.7 million, respectively. Other components include marketable
securities (2007-US$10.9 million; 2006-US$0.8 million), accounts receivable
(2007-US$0.1 million; 2006-US$0.6 million) and other liquid assets
(2007-US$0.3 million; 2006-US$0.3 million). The decrease of US$22.4 million in
working capital from 2007 to 2006 relates to the payment to Allied Nevada of
US$25.0 million less the receivable of US$0.5 million pursuant to the
Arrangement Agreement. At December 31, 2007, Vista held marketable securities
available for sale with a quoted market value of US$10.9 million. Included in
these marketable securities were 1,529,848 shares of Allied Nevada at a quoted
market value of US$9.5 million. The Corporation continues to hold these shares
of Allied Nevada, which Vista retained as part of the closing of the
Arrangement to facilitate payment of any taxes payable by the Corporation as a
result of the Arrangement. At December 31, 2007, Vista held no debt with banks
or institutions.
    Subsequent to year-end, Vista completed a private placement in which it
issued US$30 million in aggregate principal amount of senior secured
convertible notes.



    
    Selected Financial Data
                                                Years ended December 31,
    U.S. $ 000's, except loss per share         2007                2006
    Results of operations
    Net loss                                 $(14,201)            $(4,171)
    Basic and diluted loss per share           $(0.44)             $(0.16)
    

    
    Net cash used in operations               $(4,285)            $(1,508)
    Net cash used in investing activities     (31,349)             (3,682)
    Net cash provided by financing activities   4,324              54,279
    

    
    Financial position
    Current assets                            $27,948             $50,420
    Total assets                               51,346              92,731
    Current liabilities                           664                 727
    Total liabilities                             694               5,604
    Shareholders' equity                       50,652              87,127
    

    
    Working capital                           $27,284             $49,693
    
    Mike Richings, Executive Chairman and CEO, commented on the 2007
financials: "In comparing this year's financial results with those for
previous years, shareholders should consider two important events which
occurred during the year that impacted our financial results, but which we
believe have long-term positive implications for our shareholders. First,
there was the completion of the Arrangement that resulted in the formation of
Allied Nevada, a new Nevada pure gold company, which was done largely with
contributions of Vista's Nevada mineral properties and cash, and resulted in
the distribution to our shareholders of approximately 0.794 Allied Nevada
share for each share of the Corporation shares held. Second, our decision made
during the year to advance our key projects to the point where production
decisions can be made has resulted in increased expenditures. As a result, we
have significantly increased our estimate of measured and indicated resources
at Mt. Todd (see press release of February 27, 2008), and we added a number of
new members to our management team and purchased key items of mill equipment
in furtherance of our goal to place the Paredones Amarillos project into
production by the end of 2009. Also, as part of this decision to advance our
key projects to production decisions, we decided we would like to sell or
joint venture the Amayapampa project in Bolivia and negotiations to do this
are proceeding. As previously announced, we are seeking a partner or buyer for
the Amayapampa project with the financial and personnel resources to manage
and develop the project and commence commercial gold production in the
shortest time possible. We feel that it is not appropriate for management to
be distracted by developing what is expected to be a smaller project in
Bolivia when we have larger projects located in very favorable regions. When
we estimated the Amayapampa project value, and incorporated appropriate risks,
we felt it was appropriate to reduce the carrying value; however, if the
project is successfully developed at current or higher gold prices, we
anticipate retaining an interest in the project that will enable us to receive
acceptable returns. I believe we are now well positioned to become a mid-tier
producer over the next few years and, we expect to generate attractive returns
for our shareholders."
    The annual general meeting of Vista's shareholders has been scheduled for
Monday, May 5, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., Vancouver time, at the offices of Borden
Ladner Gervais LLP, located at Suite 1200, 200 Burrard Street, Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada.
    
    About Vista Gold Corp.
    
    Since 2001, Vista has acquired a number of gold projects with the
expectation that higher gold prices would significantly increase their value.
Vista has recently completed a preliminary feasibility study on the Paredones
Amarillos project in Mexico that indicated positive results at gold prices
lower than those now prevailing. Vista plans to confirm these results with
definitive feasibility studies in 2008. Vista is undertaking programs to
advance the Paredones Amarillos project, including the purchase of long
delivery equipment items, so that construction can begin during the second
half of 2008. The results of a preliminary assessment completed in 2007 on the
Mt. Todd project in Australia were encouraging and additional technical
studies are underway with a definitive feasibility study planned for
completion by mid-2009. Vista's other holdings include the Guadalupe de los
Reyes project in Mexico, Yellow Pine project in Idaho, Awak Mas project in
Indonesia, Long Valley project in California, and Amayapampa project in
Bolivia.
    
    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; the performance and results of
feasibility studies including the ongoing bankable feasibility study for the
Paredones Amarillos Project; and timing for starting and completion of
drilling and testing programs at the Paredones Amarillos Project; anticipated
timing of commencement of construction and commencement of production at the
Paredones Amarillos Project; results of drilling programs and prospects for
exploration and conversion of resources at the Mt. Todd Project and plans for
a feasibility study at the Mt. Todd Project; plans for disposition of the
Amayapampa Project; Vista's future business strategy, competitive strengths,
goals, operations, plans, potential project development, future share price
and valuation; future gold prices; Vista's potential status as a producer
including plans, timing and targeted initial production levels; and other such
matters are forward-looking statements and forward-looking information.  When
used in this press release, the words "estimate", "plan", "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 delays and incurrence of additional costs in connection with
the feasibility study underway at our Paredones Amarillos 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 Project; 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; 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 and other
documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian
securities commissions.  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 http://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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