-- Record production and cash costs for 2012-- Fourth quarter 2012 production totalled 71,804 ounces of gold, a Company record, and a 96 percent increase over the same quarter in 2011-- Fourth quarter 2012 total cash costs of $623 per ounce were 23 percent lower than the same quarter in 2011-- Gold production for 2012 was up 63 percent totalling 214,310 ounces at total cash costs per ounce sold of $627, down 20 percent year over year - production and cash costs were in line with guidance for the year-- Production for 2013 is expected in the range of 190,000 to 210,000 ounces of gold at total cash costs of between $650 and $700 per ounce(1)-- As at January 29, 2013 the balance of forward sales contracts outstanding totalled 38,105 ounces, a reduction of 136,395 ounces from December 31, 2011-- The Company's cash balance at December 31, 2012 increased to $45.0 million, including $5.3 million in bullion receivables-- Gora technical study confirms reserves of 285,000 ounces to be mined over 4 years at total cash costs of $675 to $700 per ounce-- Measured and Indicated resources increased 34 percent to 2.9 million ounces, while gold reserves decreased marginally to 1.6 million ounces
Sabodala Gold Operation
(All amounts are in US$ unless otherwise stated)
-- Gold production for the three months ended December 31, 2012 was 71,804 ounces, 96 percent higher than the same prior year period due to the processing of higher grade ore combined with higher mill throughput as a result of the completion of the mill expansion.-- Gold production for the year was within guidance, of 210,000 - 225,000 ounces, at 214,310 ounces, 63 percent higher than the twelve months ended December 31, 2011 due to higher grade ore processed.-- Gold sold for the three months ended December 31, 2012 totalled 71,604 ounces compared to 34,665 ounces sold in the same prior year period, an increase of 107 percent. Ounces sold during the fourth quarter of 2012 were in line with production for the period. At December 31, 2012, gold in circuit and gold bullion inventory amounted to 13,221 ounces.-- Total cash costs for the three months ended December 31, 2012 were $623 per ounce sold compared to $809 per ounce in the same prior year period, a reduction of 23 percent. The decrease in total cash costs per ounce was mainly due to higher gold ounces sold, partially offset by higher mining and processing costs.-- Total cash costs for 2012 were within guidance, of $600 - $650 per ounce, at $627 per ounce sold compared to $782 per ounce for the twelve months ended December 31, 2011, a reduction of 20 percent. The decrease in cash costs was mainly due to higher ounces produced.-- Total tonnes mined for the three months ended December 31, 2012 were 13 percent higher compared to the same prior year period due to increased fleet capacity and improved productivity in the mining operation. Drilling and loading availabilities in 2012 benefited from the addition of three new blast hole drill rigs, four new haul trucks, and the implementation of better maintenance practices, resulting in improved loading and hauling efficiencies from improved availability of the mobile equipment fleet.-- Ore tonnes mined were lower than plan but at better grades resulting in similar ounces mined compared to plan. In calculating 2011 year end reserves, Management lowered the capping level on high grade intersections, which resulted in an underestimation of grade in this high grade area of the ore body. In addition, better dilution control in the pit led to better grades mined than plan.-- Ore tonnes milled for the three months ended December 31, 2012 were 20 percent higher than the same prior year period mainly due to an increase in mill capacity as a result of the completion of the mill expansion. Mill throughput for the fourth quarter was lower than plan due to the ramp up and optimization of the new crushing circuit which was part of the mill expansion, as well as higher than expected wear rates in transfer chutes and feeders in the crushing circuit. The majority of these issues were rectified during a comprehensive planned shutdown in January 2013.-- During the fourth quarter 2012, the average realized gold price was $1,296 per ounce with 33,606 ounces delivered into gold hedge contracts at an average price of $833 per ounce and 37,998 ounces sold at an average spot price of $1,705 per ounce. During the same prior year period, the average realized gold price was $1,482 per ounce with 7,385 ounces delivered into gold hedge contracts at $846 per ounce and 27,280 ounces sold into the spot market at an average spot price of $1,654 per ounce.-- The gold forward sales contracts declined during the fourth quarter 2012 to 59,789 ounces at December 31, 2012. Forward sales contracts have declined by an additional 21,684 ounces to 38,105 ounces at January 29, 2013 and are scheduled to be fully extinguished by August 2013. In total, forward sales contracts outstanding have declined by 136,395 ounces since December 31, 2011.-- Gold production for 2013 is expected to total between 190,000 to 210,000 ounces.(2) See "2013 Guidance" table included in this Report.-- Total mine site cash production costs for 2013 are expected to rise by between $30 and $35 million compared to 2012 due to an increase in mining (up 24 percent) and processing (up 37 percent) rates. However, reported total cash costs for 2013 are expected to rise marginally to between $650 and $700 per ounce due to the adoption of a new accounting standard for deferred stripping (IFRIC 20) that results in approximately $75 to $100 per ounce being capitalized to deferred stripping net of inventory movement costs.(3)-- During the fourth quarter 2012, the Company purchased additional mining equipment to increase the mining rate in the Sabodala pit in the amount of $13.4 million, of which approximately $6 million was spent in 2012. The equipment is intended to be financed by a new equipment lease facility with Macquarie Bank Limited ("Macquarie") which is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2013. The new facility is expected to provide $50 million of equipment financing and will be used to refinance the existing Societe Generale lease facility.-- In addition, the Company continues to review the merits of various debt facilities to provide additional flexibility to execute its growth strategy. Such incurrence of debt may be in the form of one or more borrowings of bank or other similar loans. There can, however, be no assurance that the Company will find the terms on such debt reasonable and therefore may not put a new facility in place.