MONTREAL, QUEBEC -- (Marketwire) -- 02/13/13 -- MDN Inc. ("MDN") (TSX: MDN) notifies its shareholders that African Barrick Gold plc (ABG), the project operator of the Tulawaka gold mine in Tanzania in which MDN has a 30% participating interest, announced fourth quarter and annual operational results.
ABG have successfully extended the life of this operation consistently in the last three years; however as part of ABG Operational Review, ABG have taken the decision not to further extend the mine life beyond the middle of 2013. ABG are currently starting to implement a closure plan for the operation. Therefore in 2013, ABG will focus on the progression of closure planning. Options for divestment will also be considered.
"In spite of the closing of Tulawaka Mine, MDN with $3.5 million working capital, plus its valuable Crevier Nb - Ta deposit and quality projects in Tanzania, MDN have a good base to continue to persist and to develop the value of the company in the following years compared to several peers in the current condition market" said Marc Boisvert President & CEO of MDN.
Tulawaka is becoming a historical successful story for a junior mining company as MDN. MDN succeeded to finance the Tulawaka construction during an era of low gold price and kept going at the rapid building pace by a major gold producer to succeed the opening in March 2005. In less than 3 years, MDN succeeded to reduce its debt obligation and started to accumulate profit from the production at Tulawaka mine. Funds permitted MDN to increase it land package in Tanzania and to develop quality exploration projects. Today, Ikungu is an advance drill project with a mineral gold zone. It is one of the most advance project in Tanzania with blue sky potential not under control of a major company. At Ikungu East, MDN acquired the control over 15 km strike length of a volcanic belt not observed until this day. At Nikonga, MDN did a drill discovery with NKD-02 drill hole intersecting 12.3 g/t Au over 4.26 m (PR March 27, 2012) and finally the Isambara project with the potential for bulk mining mineralization style.
In parallel, it permitted a strategic investment in 2009 where MDN acquired control in a Niobium - tantalum deposit located in Quebec Canada which is taking value with the feasibility in progress and increasing price and demand of Tantalum metal. This strategic investment was implemented as an alternative and anticipation of the Tulawaka mine aging. Crevier deposit is expected to bring future revenue to MDN. Progress are made to become one of the most secure and reliable supply of Tantalum in a near future.
Operating performance (reflected as 100 %)
The total mine gold production for the year was 44,338 ounces compared to the 84,101 ounces achieved in 2011. The decreased gold production level resulted from lower mined grade from underground stopes and the application of batch milling in order to drive plant efficiencies. Gold ounces sold were broadly in line with production.
Cash costs for the year were US$1,269 per ounce sold compared to US$727 in the prior year. This cost increase was mainly due to the lower production base and the impact of lower capitalised mining. These were slightly offset by lower sales related costs due to lower sales ounces.
Cash costs per tonne milled increased to US$219 in 2012 from US$146 in 2011, primarily as a result of a lower mill throughput due to the batch milling campaign.
Capital expenditure for the year of US$24.6 million was 22% lower than the prior year of US$31.7 million. Key capital expenditure included capitalised exploration drilling and underground development costs (US$10.2 million) as we tested the potential to extend the mine life and infrastructure investments into the tailings storage facility, security and accommodation (US$4.2 million) which will form part of the closure plan. Included in capital expenditure is a non-cash reclamation adjustment which amounted to US$1.3 million.
During Q4 2012, impairment charges of US$44.5 million were recorded against Tulawaka by ABG. This impairment for ABG will not affect MDN's financial reporting. The agreement between MDN and ABG is related only to the liquidity available at end of the periods.
Reserves and Resources
2012 2011 ------------------------------------------------------ Grade Grade Tonnes Au Ounces Tonnes Au Ounces (000's) (g/t) (000's) (000's) (g/t) (000's)Reserve - Proven and probable 41 16.81 22 237 12.02 91Resources Indicated 947 6.58 200 876 5.46 154Resources Inferred 184 4.67 27 166 5.72 30
Mineral reserves and mineral resources estimates contained in this report have been calculated as at 31 December 2012 in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 as required by Canadian securities regulatory authorities, unless otherwise stated. Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) definitions were followed for mineral reserves and resources. Calculations have been reviewed, verified (including estimation methodology, sampling, analytical and test data) and compiled by ABG personnel under the supervision of ABG Qualified Persons: Nic Schoeman, Director Operations Support, Eric Acheampong, Corporate Manager, Geology and Samuel Eshun, Corporate Manager, Mine Planning. However, the figures stated are estimates and no assurances can be given that the indicated quantities of metal will be produced. In addition, totals stated may not add up due to rounding.
The Tulawaka project is a contractual joint-venture between MDN (30% participating interest) and Pangea Goldfields Inc. (70% participating interest), a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of African Barrick Gold plc and project operator and owner through its subsidiary Pangea Minerals Ltd. The information disclosed on the Tulawaka Gold Mine is based on information provided by the Operator.
Marc Boisvert, President & CEO is a Qualified Person under NI 43-101 and has reviewed the technical and scientific information in this press release.
MDN Inc. (TSX: MDN) is mining exploration and development company with properties in Quebec and Tanzania. MDN has a 30% working interest in the Tulawaka producing gold mine in Tanzania, along with many other promising gold exploration projects. In Quebec, MDN has a 72.5% interest in Crevier Minerals Inc., which owns an NI 43-101 niobium-tantalum resource that is presently the subject of a feasibility study.
Other than statements of historical fact, all statements in this release that address events or developments that the Company expects to occur are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements are discussed in greater detail in the Company's most recent Annual Information Form filed on SEDAR, which also provides additional general assumptions in connection with these statements. Investors and others who base themselves on the Company's forward-looking statements should carefully consider the factors mentioned in the Annual Information Form as well as the uncertainties they represent and the risk they entail. The Company believes that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct, and as such, the forward-looking statements in this press release should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release.
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Marc Boisvert, P. Eng.
President and Chief Executive Officer
514 866-6500, Ext 221