Gold production during the first quarter of 2013 has been negatively impacted by the drought conditions that persisted to the end of February 2013 reducing mill throughput and gold production. Fortunately, the rains started to arrive in late February and operations at Aurizona have returned to normal. Additionally, the Company embarked on a successful test hole program to identify fresh ground water sources with the first well installation underway. The drought conditions benefited the tailings dam raise, which was successfully completed to the 27 metres elevation, and which will provide extra water storage and rain collection.
As a result of the drought conditions, the Company is now targeting to produce between 15,000 and 16,000 ounces of gold during the first quarter of 2013, a reduction from its previous guidance of approximately 21,000 ounces. The Company expects to mark up this production shortfall throughout the balance of 2013. As a result, annual production guidance for the year remains at 95,000 to 105,000 ounces.
Following permit approvals, mining and plant feed of high grade laterite ore in a new area of the Piaba pit commenced during the second half of February 2013.
On March 14, 2013, Luna intends to release the results of Aurizona's resource update.
In January, Luna announced the positive assay results generated from its initial drill program at Touro, the most promising target at the Company's 220,000 hectare Luna Greenfields property. These results have led the Company to continue drilling at Touro in an effort to define a National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource.
"2012 was a remarkable year for Luna Gold," stated John Blake, Luna's President and CEO. "It is a great achievement for our shareholders and employees to have both generated more than 74,000 ounces in production and positive cashflows for the year. At the beginning of 2012, the Company outlined an annual production target of 60,000 ounces. We succeeded in achieving both production well above this level and considerable improvements in our efficiency."
"During 2013, Luna will strive to deliver additional value continue to our shareholders by funding both Aurizona's ongoing expansion and the continued exploration of our promising Greenfields property. In combination, we believe that these two properties are capable of delivering the level of production necessary to grow our Company into Brazil's next mid-tier gold producer."
CONFERENCE CALL DETAILS
Luna will utilize its inaugural quarterly conference call to discuss both the Company's financial results and the resource update at Aurizona. This call is scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 11:00 am Eastern Standard Time.
Toll Free (North America): 866 226 1793Toronto Local and International: 416 340 2218Webcast: http://www.gowebcasting.com/4213
A replay of the call will be available until March 28, 2013. The replay may be access by dialing either 905-694-9451 (Toronto Local and International) or 800-408-3053 (Toll Free). The passcode for the replay is 1948527.
About Luna Gold Corp.
Luna is a gold production and exploration company engaged in the operation, discovery, and development of deposits and advanced stage projects in Brazil.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
LUNA GOLD CORP.
John Blake, President and CEO
This release contains certain "forward looking statements" and certain "forward looking information" as defined under applicable Canadian and U.S. securities laws. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may", "will", "expect", "intend", "estimate", "anticipate", "believe", "continue", "plans" or similar terminology. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to future gold production and/or the results of analysis on gold production. Forward-looking statements are based on forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable and assumptions that while believed by management to be reasonable, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors identified in Luna Gold Corp.'s periodic filings with Canadian Securities Regulators. These factors include the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drill results and other exploration data, the potential for delays in exploration or development activities, the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits, the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations, accidents, equipment breakdowns, title matters, labor disputes or other unanticipated difficulties with or interruptions in production and operations, fluctuating metal prices, unanticipated costs and expenses, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, the inherent uncertainty of production and cost estimates and the potential for unexpected costs and expenses, commodity price fluctuations, currency fluctuations, regulatory restrictions, including environmental regulatory restrictions and liability, competition, loss of key employees, and other related risks and uncertainties. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking information except as required by applicable law. Such forward-looking information represents management's best judgment based on information currently available. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual future results may vary materially. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information.
Luna Gold Corp.