VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/26/13 -- Elgin Mining Inc. (TSX: ELG)(TSX: ELG.WT) ("Elgin Mining" or the "Company") reports its operational and financial results for the three and thirteen month periods ended December 31, 2012 ("fourth quarter" and "fiscal year 2012", respectively). Elgin Mining owns and operates the Bjorkdal gold mine ("Bjorkdal") in Sweden, and is advancing the potential restart of operations at the Lupin gold mine ("Lupin") in Nunavut, Canada. All figures are in Canadian dollars ($ or CAD) unless otherwise indicated.
Fourth Quarter 2012 Highlights-- Gold production of 11,401 gold ounces;-- Cash cost per gold ounce sold of US$938;-- On-site cash cost per gold ounce produced of US$973;-- Cash cost per gold ounce produced of US$1,026;-- Cash provided by operating activities before working capital changes was $7.6 million for Bjorkdal;-- Net loss of $1.8 million attributable to exploration expenses of $2.1 million and Lupin pre-development costs of $1.6 million in the current quarter;-- Basic and diluted loss per share of $0.01;-- Gold production in the quarter was 9% higher than the previous quarter despite lost production days due to flooding from heavy rainfall in October in the underground unit, and lower ore movement in the open pit from the changeover of the load/haul mining contractor; and-- Strong gold production growth is attributable to higher plant head grades as a result of improving open pit and underground ore grades mined. Management expects this trend to continue into 2013 as operational improvements initiated earlier in 2012 progress.Fiscal Year 2012 HighlightsFinancial-- Gold production of 46,808 gold ounces which exceeded the Company's guidance of 44,000 to 46,000 ounces;-- Cash cost per gold ounce sold of US$1,023 which was below the Company's cash cost guidance of US$1,025 to US$1,075 per ounce;-- On-site cash cost per gold ounce produced of US$982;-- Cash cost per gold ounce produced of US$1,034;-- Cash provided by operating activities before working capital changes was $22.8 million for Bjorkdal;-- Net loss of $2.6 million attributable to exploration expenses of $11.5 million at the Lupin and Ulu gold properties, and to Lupin pre- development costs of $1.6 million in 2012; and-- Basic and diluted loss per share of $0.02.Operational-- Recruitment of key senior technical and operational managers to advance operations at both Lupin and Bjorkdal;-- Commenced several initiatives to optimize the production and profitability of Bjorkdal, including the on-going implementation of grade control programs in both the open pit and underground, cable- bolting of underground stopes prior to mining to reduce dilution, and an approved plan to transition from contractor to owner-operated mining of underground production drifts upon expiry of the contractor's contract in August 2013;-- Drill results from the underground exploration program conducted in 2012 supports the Company's assertion that the Bjorkdal ore body remains open in several directions with strong resource upside. The Company intends to release an updated resource and reserve estimate in the second quarter of 2013;-- Conducted surface drilling on near mine targets surrounding Lupin and at the Ulu gold property to satisfy the Company's obligation to incur $9 million of flow-through eligible expenditures by the end of 2012; and-- Continued to further "de-risk" Lupin for a potential restart of operations by examining and repairing key surface infrastructure and by updating its health, safety and environmental activities to ensure on- going compliance with its key permits.Liquidity and Capital Resources-- Cash and cash equivalents of $15.8 million at December 31, 2012;-- Working capital of $20.3 million at December 31, 2012;-- Gold concentrate inventory of 2,552 gold ounces at December 31, 2012; and-- Long-term debt of $0.9 million at December 31, 2012