TORONTO, Nov. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Gran Colombia Gold Corp. (TSX: GCM) announced today the release of its unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012 and accompanying management's discussion and analysis. All financial figures contained herein are expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.
Third Quarter 2012 Highlights
- Gold production of 26,912 ounces in the third quarter of 2012 represented a 24% improvement over the same quarter last year bringing total gold production for the first nine months of 2012 to 78,779 ounces, up 22% over the first nine months of last year. The Company continued to make progress at its Segovia Operations, increasing mill throughput at Maria Dama to an average of 891 tonnes per day ("tpd") in the third quarter of 2012, a 61% increase compared with the first half of 2012. In September, the Company reached its objective as mill throughput averaged 1,066 tpd, including several days when it was stress tested with throughput greater than 1,300 tpd. Four new flotation cells have also been installed as part of the plant upgrade and the final two new flotation cells will be completed shortly. Capital development activities continued at the Providencia and Sandra K mines and the mine contractor continues de-watering to open up access to lower levels at the El Silencio mine. Segovia's gold production in the third quarter of 21,114 ounces was impacted by lower than normal grades due to the temporary depletion of higher grade zones in the levels being mined and the processing of lower grade stockpiles in the ramp up of the new mill. Grades are expected to return to historical levels at Segovia as the new mining areas are opened up in the fourth quarter. At Marmato Underground, grades improved in the third quarter as expected, resulting in gold production of 5,798 ounces for the quarter.
- Revenues for the third quarter of 2012 of $47.1 million, 21% higher than the third quarter last year, brought total revenues for the first nine months of 2012 to $130.5 million. The Company sold 77,241 ounces of gold at an average realized price of $1,647 per ounce in the first nine months of 2012.
- Cash costs showed improvement at both Segovia and Marmato Underground in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the second quarter this year. At Segovia, cash costs decreased by $32 per ounce to $1,288 in the third quarter, and would have been below $1,200 per ounce if not for the lower head grades encountered in the third quarter. At Marmato Underground, the improvement in grades reduced cash costs by $114 per ounce to $1,174 per ounce in the third quarter. Overall, with an average realized gold price of $1,642 per ounce and a combined cash cost of $1,261 per ounce, the Company generated cash flow of $381 per ounce or $10.8 million from its production in the third quarter of 2012.
- General and administrative expenses of $4.1 million for the third quarter of 2012 included additional expenses incurred to expedite the collection of overdue VAT claims in Colombia, an increased level of initiatives being undertaken in the quarter and care and maintenance costs and legal fees associated with the Mazamorras and Mali properties, both of which are in the process of being wound down.
- Net loss attributable to shareholders of $0.7 million, or $0.00 per share, in the third quarter of 2012, compared to a net loss of $5.9 million, or $0.02 per share, in the third quarter of 2011.
- Cash balance at September 30, 2012 was $1.6 million. During the third quarter of 2012, the Company used $2.5 million of its cash on hand, together with $0.6 million generated from operating activities and $4.9 million of net proceeds from additional Colombian bank debt facilities to fund $7.9 million of investing activities during the quarter.
- Expansion of the Company's Segovia Operations gained momentum on October 30, 2012, when the Company closed a $100 million, senior secured 10% gold-linked notes financing.
- Exploration highlights included the announcement, on October 10, 2012, of the best results the Company has seen thus far in the deep zone mineralization at the Marmato Project, including 1.6 grams per tonne of gold over 618 meters of drilling, with 16.9 meters with 35.2 grams per tonne of gold and a 1.8 meter section containing 159 grams per tonne of gold. This indication of a second zone of mineralization, well below the current estimated lower limit of the open pit option, forming a deep body that could be suitable for underground mining. The Company expects to complete the prefeasibility study for the Marmato Project by the end of this year. Also in October, the Company commenced a 51,000 meter exploration program to upgrade and expand the Company's resources at its Segovia Operations.
- The company has commenced a process to identify other potential acquirers or joint venture partners for the Mazamorras Project as the previously announced agreement was not completed by the acquiring company as agreed.
Effective November 1, 2012, the Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Gabriel Gaviria as Vice President of Mining for Gran Colombia Gold. In his previous position, Mr. Gaviria managed all aspects of the Company's underground mining operations at Marmato. In his new capacity, Mr. Gaviria will bring his considerable experience in cost control, mine planning and operations management to focus on the Segovia Operations, including the expansion project which is now getting underway.
Commenting on the Company's progress in the third quarter of 2012, Serafino Iacono, Executive Co-Chairman of Gran Colombia commented said "We are pleased to have received the financial support of our existing and new shareholders to fund the expansion and modernization of our Segovia Operations. With the financing in place, we must now focus on completing the new Segovia expansion project on time and on budget. Combined with the new management focus that Mr. Gaviria's appointment brings to our existing Segovia Operations, we must ensure that we redouble our efforts to deliver on our commitments to our shareholders."
About Gran Colombia Gold
Gran Colombia is a Canadian-based gold and silver exploration, development and production company with its primary focus in Colombia. Gran Colombia is currently the largest underground gold and silver producer in Colombia with several underground mines in operation at its Segovia and Marmato Operations. In addition, Gran Colombia is advancing a project to develop a large-scale, gold and silver mine at its Marmato operations.
Additional information on Gran Colombia Gold can be found on the Company's website at www.grancolombiagold.com and by reviewing the Company's page on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
This news release contains "forward-looking information", which may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the future financial or operating performance of the Company and its projects and, specifically, statements concerning anticipated growth in annual gold production and reduction of cash costs. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "believes" or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Gran Colombia to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements are described under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form dated as of March 28, 2012 which is available for view on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this press release and Gran Colombia disclaims, other than as required by law, any obligation to update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, results, future events, circumstances, or if management's estimates or opinions should change, or otherwise. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
SOURCE: Gran Colombia Gold Corp.