Wesdome earns $32.2 million in 2009

TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd (WDO: TSX) ("Wesdome" or the "Company") is pleased to report its financial and operating results from its Canadian operations for the year ended December 31, 2009. This information should be read in conjunction with the Company's annual financial statements, notes to the financial statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis. All figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise specified.

The Company owns the Eagle River gold mining operation in Wawa, Ontario and the Kiena mining complex in Val d'Or, Quebec. The Eagle River mine commenced commercial production on January 1, 1996, and the Kiena mine on August 1, 2006.

    
    HIGHLIGHTS

    -   Production totals 96,152 ounces
    -   Earnings rise to $32.2 million or $0.32 per share
    -   Revenues rise to $103.5 million
    -   Cash flow from operations rises to $41.3 million or $0.41 per share
    -   Cash flow after capital spending rises to $22.1 million
    -   Cash and bullion at market at year-end increases to $39.9 million
    -   Total reserves increase net of depletion
    -   Bullion inventory grows to 14,032 ounces
    

Donovan Pollitt, CEO comments "This year's strong financial results clearly demonstrate the Company's leverage to higher gold prices, the quality of our gold deposits and the commitment of our miners. We see our strong free cash flow in 2009 giving us flexibility to evaluate potential growth opportunities in 2010."

OVERALL PERFORMANCE

The Company owns and operates the Eagle River gold mining operations in Wawa, Ontario and the Kiena Mine Complex in Val d'Or, Quebec. The Eagle River mine commenced commercial production January 1, 1996 and the Kiena mine August 1, 2006.

At December 31, 2009, the Company had working capital of $35.2 million. During the year ended December 31, 2009, revenue exceeded operating costs by $45.3 million and $14.2 million was invested in exploration and development, $0.8 million on the acquisition of exploration properties and $4.2 million in capital equipment. Cash flow from operations totalled $41.3 million before working capital adjustments and net income was $32.2 million or $0.32 per share in 2009.

The improved financial performance was driven by three key factors:

    
    1)  Increased gold sales (92,700 ounces vs. 86,100 ounces in 2008)
    2)  Increased gold prices realized ($1,113 per ounce vs. $931 per ounce
        in 2008), and
    3)  Stabilization in operating costs ($58 million vs. $57.4 million in
        2008)
    

External factors which influenced results were related to general economic conditions (recession) and uncertainty in financial markets. The former served to ease labour, energy and materials costs. The latter served to increase demand for gold as an investment. We believe external factors will continue to support increasing gold prices.

    
    RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

                                    Three Months Ended   Twelve Months Ended
                                                Dec 31                Dec 31
                                       2009       2008       2009       2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Eagle River Mine

    Tonnes milled                    29,970     32,069    132,004    118,961
    Recovered grade (g/t)              13.0       11.0       14.3       13.0
    Production (oz)                  12,503     11,301     60,754     49,660
    Sales (oz)                       15,000     11,000     56,300     45,664
    Bullion inventory (oz)           12,081      7,627     12,081      7,627

    Bullion revenue (thousands)      17,543     11,018     62,649     42,513
    Operating costs (thousands)       7,650      8,063     28,273     30,245
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mine operating profit ($m)*     9,893      2,955     34,376     12,268
    Gold price realized ($Cdn/oz)     1,168      1,001      1,112        933

    Kiena Mine Complex

    Tonnes milled                    89,536     49,906    302,034    241,641
    Recovered grade (g/t)               3.0        7.3        3.6        5.2
    Production (oz)                   8,690     11,788     35,398     40,344
    Sales (oz)                        9,000     10,700     36,400     40,600
    Bullion inventory (oz)            1,951      2,953      1,951      2,953

    Bullion revenue (thousands)      10,515     10,457     40,621     37,793
    Operating costs (thousands)       7,204      4,597     29,746     27,127
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mine operating profit (($m)*    3,311      5,860     10,875     10,666
    Gold price realized ($Cdn/oz)     1,166        976      1,114        929

    Total

    Production (oz)                  21,193     23,089     96,152     90,004
    Sales (oz)                       24,000     21,700     92,700     86,100
    Bullion inventory (oz)           14,032     10,580     14,032     10,580

    Bullion revenue (thousands)      28,058     21,475    103,270     80,306
    Operating costs (thousands)      14,854     12,660     58,019     57,372
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mine operating profit ($m)*    13,204      8,815     45,251     22,934
    Gold price realized ($Cdn/oz)     1,167        990      1,113        931

    * The Company has included in this report certain non-GAAP performance
        measures, including mine operating profit and operating costs to
        applicable sales. These measures are not defined under GAAP and
        therefore should not be considered in isolation or as an alternative
        to or more meaningful than, net income(loss) or cash flow from
        operating activities as determined in accordance with GAAP as an
        indicator of our financial performance or liquidity. The Company
        believes that, in addition to conventional measures prepared in
        accordance with GAAP, certain investors use this information to
        evaluate the Company's performance and ability to generate cash flow.
    

In 2009, combined operations produced 96,152 ounces of gold, exceeding initial forecasts of 75,000 ounces by 28%. A total of 92,700 ounces were sold at an average price of $1,113 per ounce and refined bullion inventory at year end grew to 14,032 ounces (2008: 10,580 ounces).

Gold sales exceeded operating costs resulting in a mine operating profit of $45.3 million. In addition to these direct costs, other costs including royalty payments, corporate and general costs and interest costs totalled $4.8 million.

At the Eagle River mine, production continued from the high grade western portion of the mine. Grades continued to exceed expectations here. Drilling traced the 811 zone a further 300 metres (1,000 feet) to depth where it remains open. Proven and probable reserves contained ounces of gold rose 50%, net of depletion. Eagle River produced 60,754 ounces of gold from 132,004 tonnes milled at an average recovered grade of 14.3 gAu/tonne. The Eagle River mine contributed 76% of the mine operating profits this year.

The Kiena mine produced 35,398 ounces of gold from 302,034 tonnes milled at an average recovered grade of 3.6 gAu/tonne. Although mining the lower grade phase of our mining sequence, efforts to gain efficiency by increasing throughput were successful.

Efficiencies and cost controls reduced the overall operating costs per ounce sold to $626Cdn per ounce from $666Cdn per ounce in 2008.

On the exploration front, drilling more than replaced reserves at Eagle River and follow-up drilling on our recent Dubuisson discovery in Val d'Or generated impressive drill hole intersections, including 26.1 gAu/tonne over 10.3 metres and 16.5 gAu/tonne over 12.3 metres in holes S552 and S551, respectively (Press Release dated September 8, 2009).

A stepwise re-evaluation of our known gold assets, in light of current gold prices, was initiated with the purpose of examining organic growth potential. Work was initiated on the Wesdome property in Val d'Or and the Mishi deposit in Wawa.

FOURTH QUARTER

Earnings in the fourth quarter rose to $13.2 million or $0.13 per share. The fourth quarter benefited from the recognition of the recoverability of future income tax of $4.7 million or $0.05 per share.

Wesdome's production totalled 21,193 ounces. Sales during the quarter totalled $28.2 million with 24,000 ounces sold at an average price of $1,169 per ounce. The cost of sales, or cash cost, was $619Cdn per ounce.

The Eagle River mine produced 12,503 ounces of gold from 29,970 tonnes milled at an average recovered grade of 13.0 gAu/tonne. Sales totalled 15,000 ounces at an average realized price of $1,169 per ounce. Cost of sales, or cash cost, averaged $510Cdn per ounce. Mine operating profit for the quarter was $9.9 million.

The Kiena mine produced 8,690 ounces from 89,536 tonnes milled at an average recovered grade of 3.0 gAu/tonne. Sales totalled 9,000 ounces at an average realized price of $1,166 per ounce. Cost of sales, or cash cost, averaged $829Cdn per ounce. Despite processing low grade material, the Kiena mine generated a mine operating profit, or gross margin, of $3.3 million.

LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

At December 31, 2009, the Company had working capital of $35.2 million, an increase of $22.1 million from year-end 2008. The Company invested $14.2 million in exploration and development, $0.8 million on the acquisition of exploration properties and $4.2 on capital equipment for a total of $19.2 million, compared to $14.0 million in exploration and development and $2.3 million on capital equipment for a total of $16.3 million in 2008.

At December 31, 2009, the Company held 14,032 ounces of gold inventory carried at a cost of $12.1 million. The market value at December 31, 2009 was $16.2 million.

The Company believes it has sufficient capital resources to cover its operating and capital cost requirements in 2010.

Production planned in 2010 should generate operating cash flow, even at gold prices well below those currently being realized.

OUTLOOK

For 2010 we forecast approximately 70,000 ounces of production with about 38,000 ounces from Eagle River and about 32,000 ounces from Kiena. Although we expect lower grades from Eagle River, mining in the western portion of the mine has, to date, exceeded grade forecasts. As development and mining progress here we are hopeful that we can again upgrade our forecasts periodically during the year.

We will focus on operations and continue the stepwise re-evaluation of our assets for organic growth potential. Chief amongst these are the Mishi deposit, the Dubuisson discovery and the Wesdome project. Acquisition opportunities which fit our regional development strategy will continue to be examined with discipline.

Conditions have never been more favourable for Canadian gold mines, nor have fundamentals ever been so supportive of the gold market. We feel that our leverage to gold prices has been clearly demonstrated over the last two years. Our unhedged production, growing bullion inventory and exploration potential serve to maximize leverage to gold prices.

ABOUT WESDOME

Wesdome is an established Canadian gold producer with wholly-owned mining and milling complexes located in Wawa, Ontario and Val d'Or, Québec. Wesdome has been producing gold continually for 20 years on an unhedged basis and to date has produced in excess of 1.0 million ounces. The Company has 100.6 million shares issued and outstanding and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WDO".

This news release contains "forward-looking information" which may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the future financial or operating performance of the Company and its projects. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "believes" or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this press release and the Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances, management's estimates or opinions should change, except as required by securities legislation. Accordingly, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd.
    Consolidated Balance Sheets
    December 31                                              2009       2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (in thousands)

    Assets
    Current
      Cash and cash equivalents                         $  23,702  $   8,029
      Receivables                                           4,022      4,205
      Inventory                                            14,624     10,165
      Marketable securities                                   211         44
      Future income taxes                                   1,199          -
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           43,758     22,443

    Restricted funds                                        2,588      2,303
    Future income taxes                                     2,245          -
    Capital assets                                              9         10
    Mining properties                                      64,637     61,294
    Exploration properties                                 30,018     28,956
    Property held for sale                                      -        378
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        $ 143,255  $ 115,384
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Liabilities
    Current
      Payables and accruals                             $   7,322  $   7,865
      Current portion of obligations under
       capital leases                                       1,240      1,478
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            8,562      9,343

    Income taxes payable                                       82        173
    Obligations under capital leases                        1,108      2,396
    Convertible 7% debentures                               9,483      9,413
    Asset retirement obligation                             1,324      1,042
    Future income taxes                                         -      1,292
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           20,559     23,659
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Minority interest in Moss Lake Gold Mines Ltd.            857        903
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Shareholders' Equity
    Capital stock                                         114,567    113,872
    Contributed surplus                                     3,770      3,648
    Accumulated other comprehensive loss                     (222)      (290)
    Equity component of convertible debentures              1,970      2,062
    Retained earnings (Deficit)                             1,754    (28,470)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          121,839     90,822
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                        $ 143,255  $ 115,384
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd.
    Consolidated Statements of Income and Comprehensive Income
    Years Ended December 31                                  2009       2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (in thousands, except per share amounts)

    Revenue
      Gold and silver bullion                           $ 103,270  $  80,306
      Interest and other                                      266        655
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          103,536     80,961
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Costs and expenses
      Operating costs                                      58,019     57,372
      Amortization of mining properties                    12,869     10,767
      Production royalties                                  1,073        774
      Corporate and general                                 2,064      1,991
      Stock based compensation expense                        495        398
      Interest on long term debt                            1,596      1,542
      Other interest                                           16         19
      Amortization of capital assets                            1          3
      Accretion of asset retirement obligation                 71         66
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           76,204     72,932
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net income before the following                        27,332      8,029
    Dilution gain (loss) on Moss Lake Gold Mines Ltd.           9       (140)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net income  before income tax and
     minority interest                                     27,341      7,889

    Income tax (recovery)
      Current                                                 (91)       173
      Future                                               (4,676)    (1,672)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           (4,767)    (1,499)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net income before minority interest                    32,108      9,388

    Minority interest                                          57        (26)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net income                                             32,165      9,362

    Other comprehensive income (loss):
      Change in fair value of available-for-sale
       marketable securities                                   68       (158)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comprehensive income                                $  32,233  $   9,204
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Net income per common share
      Basic and diluted                                 $    0.32  $    0.09
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd.
    Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
    Years Ended December 31                                  2009       2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (in thousands)

    Operating activities
      Net income                                        $  32,165  $   9,362
      Amortization of mining properties                    12,869     10,767
      Accretion of discount on convertible debentures         516        463
      Gain on sale of Moss Lake shares                          -        (14)
      Dilution (gain) loss on Moss Lake Gold Mines Ltd.        (9)       140
      Minority interest                                       (57)        26
      Stock based compensation expense                        495        398
      Amortization of capital assets                            1          3
      Future income taxes                                  (4,676)    (1,672)
      Gain on sale of equipment                                (1)       (41)
      Gain on property held for sale                         (122)         -
      Accretion of asset retirement obligation                 71         66
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           41,252     19,498
      Net changes in non-cash working capital              (4,745)    (4,833)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           36,507     14,665
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Financing activities
      Exercise of options                                     984         27
      Funds paid to repurchase common shares under NCIB       (38)    (1,435)
      Funds paid to repurchase debentures                    (477)       (87)
      Share issuance costs                                   (105)     1,668
      Dividends paid                                       (1,995)         -
      Shares issued by a subsidiary of the company to
       third parties                                           17         (4)
      Repayment of obligations under capital leases        (1,890)    (1,740)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           (3,504)    (1,571)
      Net changes in non-cash working capital                   -        276
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           (3,504)    (1,295)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Investing activities
      Additions to mining and exploration properties      (17,857)   (13,867)
      Proceeds on sale of Moss Lake shares to minority
       interests                                                -         26
      Proceeds on sale of equipment                           577        261
      Proceeds on property held for sale                      400        567
      Funds held against standby letters of credit           (285)       238
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          (17,165)   (12,775)
      Net changes in non-cash working capital                (165)        25
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          (17,330)   (12,750)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Increase in cash and cash equivalents                  15,673        620

    Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of year            8,029      7,409
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash and cash equivalents, end of year              $  23,702  $   8,029
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    



For further information: For further information: Donovan Pollitt, P.Eng., President or Shelly John, Manager of Investor Relations, 8 King St. East, Suite 1305, Toronto, ON, M5C 1B5, Toll Free: 1-866-4-WDO-TSX, Phone: (416) 360-3743, Fax: (416) 360-7620, Email: invest@wesdome.com, Website: www.wesdome.com

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