Vista Gold Corp. Reviews Project Activities, Announces First Quarter 2009 Financial Results and Conference Call with Management



    DENVER, May 6 /CNW/ -- Vista Gold Corp. ("Vista") (TSX & NYSE Amex:   VGZ)
provides the following updates on its principal project activities, announces
the financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, as filed on May 6,
2009 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the relevant
Canadian securities commissions in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and a
conference call with management scheduled for Wednesday, May 13, 2009, at
10:00 A.M. (EDT).
    

    Paredones Amarillos
    
    In February 2009, Vista retained the Roberts and Schaefer Company ("R&S")
to conduct a review of the proposed Paredones Amarillos gold project process
facility lay-out and the proposed design of the crushing, material handling
and milling area as presented in the bankable feasibility study for the
project.  R&S' study is nearing completion and several design improvements
have been identified that have the potential to improve operating efficiencies
and to reduce the estimated capital costs for the proposed processing
facility.  Vista has retained R&S to undertake a complete re-estimate of the
process area capital and operating costs. Vista has also retained SRK
Consulting to complete a re-estimation of the project capital and operating
costs and expects these cost up-dates by the end of the second quarter of
2009. The bankable feasibility study was completed on and dated September 5,
2008, when prices for contracted services and raw materials were higher than
today. In addition there has been a favorable change in the Mexican Peso - US
dollar exchange rate since the completion of the study in September 2008. The
new estimates will reflect current economic conditions.

    Vista is currently waiting for notification of the status of the
Temporary Occupation Permit ("TOP"), for the project, which is a pre-requisite
for the Change of Land Use Permit. The TOP approval process continues in
accordance with the established procedures; however, it is uncertain whether a
further administrative review involving a site visit will be required. In
addition to the TOP, Vista expects to receive approval of a permit for a
development drilling program within the next few weeks. Vista will provide
additional information regarding the status of permits at the earliest
opportunity.
    

    Mt. Todd
    
    Vista has recently completed the first stage of a comprehensive
metallurgical test program which was initiated in 2008 using core drilling
samples obtained during the 2007 and 2008 drilling programs at Mt Todd. The
program examined various approaches to recovering the gold and to determine
the principal operating parameters; including recovery, power and steel
consumptions for crushing and grinding and principal reagents consumption.
Vista has retained TetraTech of Golden, Colorado, to complete a new
Preliminary Economic Evaluation ("PEA") for the Mt. Todd project.  The results
of the metallurgical test program and the previously announced resource
estimate (refer to Vista's press release dated January 26, 2009) will be
incorporated into the PEA which is expected to be released in the near future.
    

    Financial Results
    
    Our consolidated net loss for the three-month period ended March 31,
2009, was US$1.9 million or $0.05 per share compared to a consolidated net
loss of US$2.1 million or $0.06 per share for the same period in 2008.  The
decrease in the consolidated net loss of US$0.2 million from the respective
prior period is primarily due to a decrease in the loss from discontinued
operations of US$0.2 million as there were no disposals during the 2009 period
and a decrease in corporate administration and investor relations expense of
US$0.3 million.  Also, for the 2009 period, there was a future income tax
benefit of US$0.2 million compared to a future income tax loss of US$0.3
million for the same period during 2008.  Offsetting these amounts was an
increase in interest expense of US$0.4 million, an increase in exploration,
property evaluation and holding costs of US$0.09 million, an increase in the
write-down of marketable securities of US$0.1 million and a decrease in
interest income of US$0.08 million.

    Net cash used in operating activities was US$1.1 million for the
three-month period ended March 31, 2009, compared to US$1.2 million for the
same period in 2008.  The decrease of US$0.1 million is the result of a
decrease of non-cash items of US$0.1 million and a decrease in cash used for
accounts payable, accrued liabilities and other of US$0.1 million, which is
partially offset by a decrease in the consolidated net loss of US$0.02
million.

    Net cash used in investing activities decreased to US$1.1 million for the
three-month period ended March 31, 2009, from US$18.1 million for the same
period in 2008.  The decrease of US$17.0 million is mostly due to a decrease
in the additions to property, plant and equipment of US$16.1 million. With the
completion of a brokered private placement on March 7, 2008, of US$30.0
million of principal amount of senior secured notes (the "Notes"), we have
used US$16.0 million of the proceeds towards the purchase of gold processing
equipment to be used at our Paredones Amarillos project, which included the
costs of relocating the equipment to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  There was no
similar purchase during the three-month period ended March 31, 2009.

    There was no cash provided by or used in financing activities for the
three-month period ended March 31, 2009.  Net cash provided by financing
activities was US$31.5 million for the three-month period ended March 31,
2008.  During the three-month period ended March 31, 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$28.5 million.  Also, during the three-month period ended March 31,
2008, warrants exercised produced cash proceeds of US$2.9 million and stock
options exercised produced cash proceeds of US$0.1 million.  There were no
warrants or stock options exercised in the three-month period ending March 31,
2009.

    At March 31, 2009, our total assets were US$76.6 million, compared to
US$75.8 million at December 31, 2008, representing an increase of US$0.8
million.  At March 31, 2009, we had working capital of US$19.4 million
compared to US$21.2 million at December 31, 2008, representing a decrease of
US$1.8 million.  This decrease relates primarily to a reduction in cash
balances from year end, which is offset by an increase in our marketable
securities balances due to better market conditions.

    The principal component of working capital at both March 31, 2009 and
December 31, 2008, is cash and cash equivalents of US$11.0 million and US$13.3
million, respectively.  Other components include marketable securities (March
31, 2009 - US$9.4 million; December 31, 2008 - US$8.2 million) and other
liquid assets (March 31, 2009 - US$0.6 million; December 31, 2008 - US$0.6
million).

    On April 3, 2009, Vista announced that it had sold all of its 1,529,848
shares of Allied Nevada Gold Corp. ("Allied") for US$9.0 million.  These
shares had a book value of US$2.2 million and when sold, resulted in a
realized gain of US$6.8 million.  The proceeds from this transaction increased
the Company's unaudited cash balance to approximately US$20.5 million.  In May
2007, Vista completed a transaction that resulted in the formation of Allied
and the transfer of Vista's Nevada properties to Allied. The Allied shares
sold by Vista were retained in connection with this transaction to facilitate
the payment of any taxes payable by Vista in respect of the transaction. 
Vista has determined that there are no other taxes payable by it in respect of
the transaction and made the decision to sell the Allied shares at the
appropriate time and use the cash for project development requirements.

    On April 17, 2009, we announced that we filed a preliminary short form
base shelf prospectus in Canada with certain Canadian securities commissions
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 Canada and an
amended Form S-3 with the SEC.  The Form S-3 was declared effective on April
30, 2009.
    

    Selected financial results are tabulated below:
    


    
    Selected Financial Data              Three Months Ended March 31,
                                          2009                2008
    U.S. $000's, except loss per share                     (restated)
    

    
    Results of operations
    Net loss                            $(1,880)            $(2,123)
    Basic and diluted loss per share      (0.05)              (0.06)
    

    
    Net cash used in operations          (1,182)             (1,207)
    Net cash used in investing
     activities                          (1,102)            (18,113)
    Net cash provided by financing
     activities                               -              31,544
    

    
    Financial position                   March 31,        December 31,
                                           2009               2008
                                                           (restated)
    Current assets                      $20,939             $22,012
    Total assets                         76,604              75,765
    Current liabilities                   1,580                 803
    Total liabilities                    25,906              24,527
    Shareholders' equity                 50,698              51,238
    

    
    Working capital                      19,359              21,209

    
    The Annual General Meeting of Vista's shareholders was held on May 4,
2009.  Re-elected to the Board of Directors for a one-year term were John M.
Clark, W. Durand Eppler, C. Thomas Ogryzlo, Tracy A. Stevenson, Michael B.
Richings and Frederick H. Earnest.  PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP was
re-appointed independent auditors.  In addition, shareholders approved the
amendments to Vista's stock option plan described in the information circular
for the meeting, and the unallocated options issuable under the plan.  The
amendments to Vista's stock option plan included an amendment to provide for
the automatic extension of the expiry date of options that expire during a
black-out period to the date that is 10 business days after the end of the
blackout period.  The approval of unallocated options was required because
Vista's stock option plan is a rolling stock option plan and under the rules
of the Toronto Stock Exchange, shareholders are required to approve all
unallocated stock options issuable under a rolling stock option plan every
three years.  Further information regarding these matters may be found in the
information circular for the meeting.
    

    Management Conference Call

    
    To review Vista's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter
ending March 31, 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 March
31, 2009 and corporate and project activities is scheduled on Wednesday, May
13, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. EDT.
    

    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=403

    
    This call will be archived and available at www.vistagold.com after May
13, 2009.  Audio replay will be available for three weeks by calling in North
America:  1-866-245-6755, passcode 596915.

    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 is
undertaking programs to advance its Paredones Amarillos project and has
completed a bankable feasibility study and purchased certain long delivery
equipment items for use at the project. If the remaining permits are received
by mid-year and financing arrangements for the Paredones Amarillos project are
completed during the second half of the year, Vista has prepared a development
schedule which anticipates that the project would be in production during
2011. A preliminary assessment for the Mt. Todd project in Australia was
completed in 2007 and additional technical studies are underway, with the
preparation of a preliminary feasibility study targeted for 2009. Vista's
other holdings include the Guadalupe de los Reyes project in Mexico, Yellow
Pine project in Idaho, the Awak Mas project in Indonesia, and the Long Valley
project in California.

    Reported financial results in this press release are approximate.  For
exact amounts please see Vista's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q as filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 6, 2009.
    

    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 project and timing for starting and completion of
drilling and testing programs at the Paredones Amarillos project; plans to
confirm the validity of the Change of Land Use Permit and to obtain the
Temporary Occupation Permit for the Paredones Amarillos project and timing for
confirmation of the status of  those and other permits; anticipated changes in
capital and operating costs; anticipated timing of commencement of
construction and commencement of production at the Paredones Amarillos
project; plans for evaluation of the Mt. Todd project including estimates of
silver, copper and gold resources; preliminary assessment results; 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; Vista's future business strategy; competitive strengths; goals;
operations; reserve and resource estimates; 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 general
economic conditions, delays and incurrence of additional costs in connection
with our Paredones Amarillos project, including uncertainty relating to timing
and receipt for required governmental permits; uncertainty relating to timing
and receipt of the Temporary Occupation Permit and for confirmation of the
validity of the Change of Land Use Permit for the 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
and Mt. Todd 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; 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 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q 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 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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