TSX : AUE
AIM : AUE
TORONTO, March 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Aureus Mining Inc. (TSX: AUE / AIM: AUE) ("Aureus" or the "Company") is pleased to announce its audited annual financial results for the year ended December 31, 2013 and to provide an update for 2014.
Project financing for New Liberty Gold Mine
- Full credit committee approval and loan documentation finalised for project debt financing with Nedbank and Rand Merchant Bank totalling US$ 88 million
- Additional US$ 12 million subordinated debt facility with RMB Resources
- Overall cost of funding of c.6% p.a.
- Cash and cash equivalents of US$ 39.4 million
- Loss for year of US$ 7.4 million (loss per share of US$ 0.03)
- Total assets of US$ 166 million
New Liberty Project Highlights for 2013
- Construction of the earth works and terraces at the plant has been completed, advanced civil works progressing well and first concrete poured in October 2013. First gold pour on schedule for Q1 2015
- RAP village relocation is ongoing and remains on schedule for completion by end of 2014
- Construction of the mine site accommodation progressed well during the year
- All required permits received at New Liberty to commence the mine build
- EPCM contract awarded to DRA
- Optimised DFS released outlining improved economics resulting in a robust project. The DFS substantially de-risks the project from a design, operational and environmental perspective:
- Pre-tax NPV of US$ 230 million with 29% IRR using a US$ 1,400 / oz gold price
- 119,000 ounces of gold over first six years of life of mine at a gold grade of 3.6 g/t
- US$ 668 / oz cash cost (2.5% reduction from October 2012 study)
- All in sustaining cash costs of $850 per ounce
- Average gold recovery of 93% using conventional CIL and gravity processes
- US$ 136 million capital cost (2.9% reduction from October 2012 study)
- Reserve: 8.5 million tonnes of ore grading at 3.4 g/t for 924,000 ounces of gold in the Proven and Probable categories
- Resource: 9.8 million tonnes of ore grading at 3.6 g/t for 1,143,000 ounces of gold in the Measured and Indicated categories
- Approximately 11,000 metres (64 holes) of exploration diamond drilling completed in 2013
- Ndablama gold target:
- Maiden Resource of 451,000 ounces of gold grading at 2.1 g/t estimated using a 0.5 g/t cut-off grade over a 650 metre strike length at Ndablama Central
- Current Resource is open along strike and down dip and the target area is 5 kilometres in a North-South direction
- Positive results of 92-94% gold recovery for metallurgical test work using CIL leach and gravity processes
- Gold geochemistry for soils and geological mapping highlight that the shallow dipping, gold bearing structure can be traced for over five kilometres in a northerly direction. This shear zone locates near the geological contact between granite and metavolcanics and is referred to as the pressure shadow zone
- Weaju gold target:
- Maiden Resource of 178,000 ounces of gold grading at 2.1 g/t using a 1.0 g/t cut-off grade
- Gold mineralisation still open to the South West and to the East
- Exploration footprint around New Liberty
- Expanded to 1,470 km2 with the granting of four new exploration licences. The enlarged ground-holding portfolio now hosts over 80 kilometres of gold bearing structures
Outlook – Key Targets for 2014
- Continuation of the construction of New Liberty progressing on time and on budget
- Key milestones for the construction of New Liberty include:
- Complete local village relocation in Q2 2014 and finish new village in Q4 2014
- Plant construction to continue in line with schedule
- Plans and detailed schedules to be finalised in readiness for mining
- Emphasis on nearby new mine exploration work to define follow-up targets for drill testing with the objective of adding satellite ounces to New Liberty
- Continue to construct New Liberty in a safe and responsible way – in February 2014 we achieved our first major safety target for the project of 1,000,000 lost time injury frequency rate ("LTIFR") hours
- Primary focus on the Ndablama pressure shadow corridor with a phase 4 drilling campaign (50 holes for 10,000 metres) underway to expand the current Resource in H1 2014
- At Weaju, plan new drilling programme to test the potential extensions
- Undertake reconnaissance generative work over the Company's licence to generate new gold targets for follow up work
- Prioritise and generate additional targets
- First drawdown of project debt finance expected in April 2014
Commenting on the results, David Reading, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aureus Mining, said:
"The past financial year saw Aureus secure the required financing and permits to build New Liberty, Liberia's first commercial gold mine. In addition, the economics of the project have been substantially improved, and the exploration drilling campaign has been highly successful in further identifying a potential new goldfield at Ndablama, with additional drilling to come in 2014 to prove up the inferred resources. Significant progress has been made in the construction of New Liberty, with earth moving, bridge and road construction completed, whilst concrete foundation work and steel erection has commenced. We look forward to updating shareholders on further progress at New Liberty, including the installation of the ball mill and other key developments, within the next few months."
The financial statements and the accompanying Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") are available for review at the Company's website, www.aureus-mining.com, as well as being available on www.sedar.com, and should be read in conjunction with this press release.
The estimates of mineral Resources for the DFS were calculated in accordance with NI 43-101 and carried out by Chris G Arnold BSc (Hons), MSc, MAusIMM (CP) of independent consultants AMC. The Reserve Study for the DFS was prepared by Mr M Staples of AMC, a Qualified Person, for the purposes of the study, under the standards set forth by National Instrument 43-101 "Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Project", of the Canadian Securities Administrators ("NI 43-101″).
The Company's Qualified Person responsible for preparing this release, other than as detailed above in respect of the DFS, is David Reading, who holds an MSc in Economic Geology from University of Waterloo, Canada and is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. David Reading is the President and CEO of Aureus Mining Inc. and consents to the inclusion in the announcement of the matters based on their information in the form and context in which it appears and confirms that this information is accurate and not false or misleading.
About Aureus Mining Inc.
The Company's assets include the New Liberty gold deposit in Liberia (the "New Liberty Gold Project" or the "Project"), which has an estimated proven and probable reserve of 924,000 ounces of gold grading 3.4 g/t and an estimated measured and indicated mineral resource of 1,143,000 ounces of gold grading 3.63 g/t and an estimated inferred mineral resource of 593,000 ounces of gold grading 3.2 g/t. A Definitive Feasibility Study has been completed on the Project and construction has commenced with earthworks. The Project is expected to have an 8 year mine life and annual production of 119,000 ounces for the first 6 years of production. The Company has financed the Project's equity and debt funding requirement.
The New Liberty Gold Project is located within the Southern Block of the 100% owned Bea Mountain mining licence. This licence covers 457 km² and has a 25 year, renewable, mineral development agreement. The Northern Block of the Bea Mountain mining license also hosts additional gold projects of Ndablama, Gondoja and Weaju, which are the focus of exploration programs during 2013. Ndablama has an inferred mineral resource of 451,000 ounces of gold grading 2.1 g/t and Weaju has an inferred mineral resource of 178,000 ounces of gold grading 2.1 g/t. The Archaen Gold exploration licence, which covers 89 km², is also a focus of exploration for 2013, with Leopard Rock being the main target. The Yambesei (759 km2), Archaen West (112.6 km2), Mabong (36.6 km2) and Mafa West (15.6 km2) licences will also be subject to preliminary reconnaissance geological work.
The Company also has gold exploration permits in Cameroon.
This press release contains certain forward-looking information. All information, other than information regarding historical fact, that addresses activities, events or developments that Aureus Mining believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future is forward-looking information. Forward-looking information contained in this press release includes, but may not be limited to, the future plans and objectives of Aureus Mining and their anticipated future growth, mineral resource estimates and the anticipated exploration and development activities of Aureus Mining. The foregoing and any other forward-looking information contained in this press release reflects the current expectations, assumptions or beliefs of Aureus Mining based on information currently available to Aureus Mining. With respect to the forward-looking information contained in this press release, Aureus Mining has made assumptions regarding, among other things: general business, economic and mining industry conditions; and it has also been assumed that no material adverse change in the price of precious and/or base metals occurs, no unusual geological or technical problems occur and no significant events occur outside of the normal course of Aureus Mining's respective business.
Such forward-looking information is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, including: risks normally incidental to exploration and development of mineral properties; uncertainties in the interpretation of results from drilling and test work; the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with expectations; uncertainty of mineral resources estimates; adverse changes in precious and/or base metal prices; and future unforeseen liabilities and other factors including, but not limited to, those listed under "Risk Factors" in the Annual Information Form of Aureus Mining Inc. dated March 20, 2013 a copy of which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, and in the Aureus Mining Admission Document, a copy of which is available at www.aureus–mining.com.
Any mineral resource figures referred to in this press release are estimates and no assurances can be given that the indicated levels of minerals will be produced. Such estimates are expressions of judgment based on knowledge, mining experience, analysis of drilling results and industry practices. Valid estimates made at a given time may significantly change when new information becomes available. While Aureus Mining believes that the mineral resource estimates in respect of their respective properties are well established, by their nature mineral resource estimates are imprecise and depend, to a certain extent, upon statistical inferences which may ultimately prove unreliable. If such mineral resource estimates are inaccurate or are reduced in the future, this could have a material adverse impact on Aureus Mining, as applicable. Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to inferred mineral resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will be upgraded to an indicated or measured mineral resource as a result of continued exploration.
Forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable law, Aureus Mining disclaims any obligation to update or modify such forward-looking information, either as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason.
SOURCE: Aureus Mining Inc.
For further information: Aureus Mining Inc.: David Reading / Paul Thomson, Tel: +44(0) 20 010 7690; Buchanan: Bobby Morse / Gordon Poole, Tel: +44(0) 20 7466 5000; Numis Securities Limited (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker): John Prior / James Black, Tel: +44(0) 20 7260 1000; GMP Securities Europe LLP (Joint Broker): Richard Greenfield / Alexandra Carse, Tel: +44(0) 20 7647 2800