TORONTO, May 11, 2017 /CNW/ - Avesoro Resources Inc. ("Avesoro" or the "Company"), the TSX and AIM listed West African gold producer, is pleased to announce the release of its unaudited results for the quarter ended 31 March 2017 (the "Quarter").
- Revenues of US$19.7 million from gold sales of 16,008 ounces, with an average realised gold price of US$1,231 per ounce;
- US$17.0m improvement on the prior quarter Adjusted EBITDA1 to US$0.5 million;
- Positive EBITDA achieved for the first time in the Company's history, largely driven by improvements in mining and processing productivity, operational efficiency and cost savings through the insourcing of core activities;
- Mining cost reduced by 49% to US$2.19/t compared to US$4.30/t in Q4 2016;
- Processing costs reduced by 24% to US$26.77/t compared to US$35.12/t in Q4 2016;
- Operating cash costs of US$1,051 per ounce, a reduction of 46% on the previous quarter;
- All-in sustaining costs ("AISC") of US$1,488 per ounce sold, a reduction of 28% on the previous quarter;
- Cash of US$6.7 million and inventory of US$15.2 million at the end of the Quarter;
- Capital expenditure of US$7.2 million during the Quarter, predominantly consisting of capitalised stripping costs of US$5.6 million; and
- Secured improved terms for the Company's existing finance facilities with Nedbank Limited and FirstRand Bank Limited.
Total gold production for the Quarter was 14,906 ounces at an operating cash cost of US$1,051 per ounce, which was in line with management's expectations and full year guidance of 90,000 - 100,000 ounces at a cash cost of US$750 – US$800 per ounce.
Mined ore grades averaged 2.21 g/t during the Quarter, and plant feed grade averaged 1.97 g/t, which is considerably lower than the average reserve grade for the New Liberty deposit of 3.4 g/t. This lower feed grade suppressed the Company's EBITDA performance for the Quarter and as previously reported, the Company focused on opening access to, and the stripping of a new pit, whilst catching up on the previously postponed waste pushbacks during the Quarter, both of which will provide access to higher grade ore during the second half of the year.
Plant and Processing Optimisations Coming Through
Following the stabilisation of mining and processing activities at New Liberty, management has established a solid foundation from which the Company expects to achieve a robust financial and operational performance during the second half of 2017.
In addition to the previously reported performance improvements in Q4 2016, the Company achieved further performance improvements in both mining and processing operations at New Liberty in the Quarter when compared to Q4 2016, with total material movement increasing by 29% to 4,295kt. As a function of the increased material movement and other operational efficiencies put into effect, including the insourcing of additional core activities, the unit mining cost decreased by 49% from US$4.30/t in Q4 2016 to US$ 2.19/t in Q1 2017, whilst processing unit costs reduced by 24% to US$26.77/t, down from US$35.12/t during Q4 2016. For further detail see the Company's Q1 production announcement of 11 April 2017.
Serhan Umurhan, Chief Executive Officer of Avesoro Resources, commented: "A primary focus of the Quarter was catching up on the waste stripping shortfall from H1 2016 as well as continuing to improve performance across the entire operation. It is pleasing to see that our optimisation work at New Liberty is beginning to translate into increased efficiencies and lower costs, and, despite the relatively low plant feed grade during the Quarter we achieved a positive EBITDA for the first time in New Liberty's history."
The financial statements should be read in conjunction with the accompanying management's discussion and analysis. These documents have been filed on Sedar and are available on the Company's website www.avesoro.com or at www.sedar.com.
1 Adjusted EBITDA is a non-IFRS financial measure calculated by excluding one-off costs or credits relating to non-routine transactions from EBITDA. It excludes other credits and charges, that individually or aggregate, if of a similar type, are of a nature or size that requires explanation in order to provide additional insight into the underlying business performance.
About Avesoro Resources Inc.
The Company's assets include the New Liberty Gold Mine in Liberia (the "New Liberty Gold Mine," "New Liberty" or the "mine") which has an estimated proven and probable mineral reserve of 8.5 Mt with 924,000 ounces of gold grading 3.4 g/t and an estimated measured and indicated mineral resource of 9,796 Kt with 1,143,000 ounces of gold grading 3.63 g/t and an estimated inferred mineral resource of 5,730 Kt with 593,000 ounces of gold grading 3.2 g/t. A Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS") has been completed, the first gold pour has taken place and commercial production has been declared. The foregoing mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates and additional information in connection therewith are set out in the Company's technical report dated March 25, 2015 and entitled "New Liberty Gold Project, Bea Mountain Mining Licence Southern Block, Liberia, West Africa, Definitive Project Plan.
The New Liberty Gold Mine is located within the Southern Block of the 100% owned Bea Mountain mining licence. This licence covers 478 km² and has a 25 year, renewable, mineral development agreement. The Bea Mountain mining license also hosts additional gold projects of Ndablama, Gondoja, Weaju and Leopard Rock which are the focus of exploration programs during 2016. Ndablama has an indicated mineral resource of 386,000 ounces of gold grading 1.6 g/t and inferred mineral resource of 515,000 ounces of gold grading 1.7 g/t and Weaju has an inferred mineral resource of 178,000 ounces of gold grading 2.1 g/t. The Yambesei (473 km2), Archaen West (56 km2), Mabong (36.6 km2) and Mafa West (15.6 km2) licences will also be subject to preliminary reconnaissance geological work. The foregoing mineral resource estimates and additional information in connection therewith are set out in the Company's technical report dated December 1, 2014 and entitled "Ndablama and Weaju Gold Projects, Bea Mountain Mining Licence, Northern Block, Technical Report on Mineral Resources" ("Ndablama and Weaju Technical Report 2014").
The Company also has a gold exploration permit in Cameroon.
The Company's Qualified Person is Mark J. Pryor, who holds a BSc (Hons) in Geology & Mineralogy from Aberdeen University, United Kingdom and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists and a registered Professional Natural Scientist (Pr.Sci.Nat) of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions. Mark Pryor is an independent technical consultant with over 25 years of extensive global experience in exploration, mining and mine development and is a "Qualified Person" as defined in National Instrument 43 -101 "Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects" of the Canadian Securities Administrators and has reviewed and approves this press release.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this Announcement constitutes forward looking information. This information may relate to future events or the Company's future performance. All information other than information of historical fact is forward looking information. The use of any of the words "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe", "predict" and "potential" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward looking information. Specific statements that constitute forward looking information include statements regarding the timing and completion of legal documentation required to amend the loan facilities and to document the guarantees. This forward looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward looking information. No assurance can be given that this information will prove to be correct and such forward looking information included in this Announcement should not be unduly relied upon. This information speaks only as of the date of this Announcement.
Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward looking information contained in this news release as a result of the risk factors, including: the risk that the waiver and standstill agreement will terminate; the risk that legal documentation may not be completed as anticipated; risks normally incidental to exploration and development of mineral properties; the inability to obtain required waivers and amendments from the Company's creditors in respect of its debt repayment obligations and consequential risks of default thereon; risks related to operating in West Africa; health risks associated with the mining workforce in West Africa; risks related to the Company's title to its mineral properties; adverse changes in commodity prices; risks related to current global financial conditions; the inability of the Company to obtain, maintain, renew and/or extend required licences, permits, authorizations and/or approvals from the appropriate regulatory authorities and other risks relating to the legal and regulatory frameworks in Liberia, including adverse changes in applicable laws; competitive conditions in the mineral exploration and mining industry; risks related to obtaining insurance or adequate levels of insurance for the Company's operations; risks related to environmental regulations; uncertainties in the interpretation of results from drilling; risks related to the legal systems in Liberia; risks related to the tax residency of the Company; changes in exchange and interest rates; risks related to the activities of artisanal miners; actions of third parties that the Company is reliant upon; lack of availability at a reasonable cost or at all, of plants, equipment or labour, including required equipment, explosives and other necessary material not being delivered in the expected time frame, or at all; the inability to attract and retain key management and personnel; political risks; and future unforeseen liabilities and other factors.
The forward looking information included in this Announcement is expressly qualified by this cautionary statement and is made as of the date of this Announcement. The Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking information except as required by applicable securities laws.
SOURCE Avesoro Resources Inc.
For further information: Avesoro Resources Inc.: Geoff Eyre / Nick Smith, Tel: +44(0) 20 7010 7690; Camarco: Gordon Poole / Nick Hennis, Tel: +44(0) 20 3757 4980; Numis Securities Limited (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker): John Prior / James Black / Paul Gillam, Tel: +44(0) 20 7260 1000; Hannam & Partners (Advisory) LLP (Joint Broker): Rupert Fane / Andrew Chubb / Ingo Hofmaier, Tel: +44(0) 20 7907 8500