VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Jan 21, 2014) - Rio Alto Mining Limited ("Rio Alto" or the "Company") (TSX:RIO)(BVL:RIO)(NYSE:RIOM)(DBFrankfurt:MS2) is pleased to announce that its La Arena Gold Mine produced and sold a quarterly record of 70,551 ounces of gold during the three months ended December 31, 2013 (214,742 ounces of gold poured for the twelve months ended December 31, 2013 compared to guidance of 190,000 to 210,000 ounces for the year).
Ore and waste production from the La Arena Gold Mine for the fourth quarter of 2013 was:
|Tonnes||Au gpt||Tonnes||Au gpt||Tonnes/Ozs||Au gpt|
Production for 2013 was:
|Tonnes||Au gpt||Tonnes||Au gpt||Tonnes/Ozs||Au gpt|
Gold production exceeded plan for the year due to better than expected ore grade of 0.59 gpt compared to planned grade of 0.54 gpt and tonnes of ore mined exceeding plan by 8 per cent.
2014 Production and Cost Guidance
The Company forecasts producing between 190,000 and 210,000 ounces of gold in 2014 at adjusted operating costs forecasted to be in the range of $629 to $695 per ounce of gold sold. All-in sustaining costs - including selling, general and administrative costs, exploration, and sustaining capital - are forecast to fall within a range of $824 to $911 per ounce and all-in costs within a range of $990 to $1,094 per ounce for the year.
The 2014 production forecast and operating cost estimates are based on the following assumptions:
- Gold recovery of 87 per cent from the run of mine, dump leach operation;
- Throughput: 32,000 tpd ore;
- Average grade: 0.62 gpt Au;
- Waste-to-ore ratio of 1.63:1;
- Diesel of $4.00 per gallon; and
- Peruvian Sol : United States dollar foreign exchange rate of 2.8:1.
Rio Alto's 2014 cost per ounce projection is based on sales of between 190,000 and 210,000 ounces of gold and the following cost estimates:
|Processing & power||17,477|
|Worker profit participation||7,321|
|Mine & Lima administration||32,877|
|Refining costs net of silver revenue||734|
|Adjusted operating costs||132,017||$629 to $695|
|All-in sustaining costs||173,101||$824 to $911|
|Phase II capital||26,069|
|Total All-in Costs||207,899||$990 to $1,094|
The Company expects these parameters to fluctuate during the year. The 2014 forecast should be treated as full-year average estimates. Quarterly results will vary from these estimates.
Looking beyond 2014, the Company will complete an update of the gold oxide resources and reserves at La Arena in February. In conjunction with the reserve estimate, the Company will release an updated life of mine production plan, financial model and sustaining capital estimate for the oxide mine.
2014 Capital Budget
The 2014 La Arena sustaining capital budget is $35.4 million and includes the key items outlined below:
|Pad Construction||$20.8 million|
|Waste Dump Construction||$4.0 million|
|Acid Water Treatment Plant||$2.2 million|
|Local school expansion||$0.8 million|
2014 Phase II Budget
The 2014 La Arena Phase II budget is $26 million which includes feasibility study costs, power line and substation and surface rights acquisition.
2014 Exploration budget
The Company plans to drill approximately 14,500 metres of reverse circulation (RC) infill and extension drilling around the Calaorco open pit during 2014 with the objective of adding to the existing resources and reserves. Approximately 5,000 metres of RC exploration drilling is also planned for each of the Carmen and El Alizar exploration targets located on the 27,000 hectare land package at La Arena. Also planned is approximately 10,000 metres of condemnation and scout drilling in the immediate area surrounding the La Arena oxide mine and areas designated for infrastructure for the future sulphide mine.
The cost of exploration activities and drilling is estimated to amount to $8.2 million.
"The production of 214,742 ounces of gold from the second year of commercial production at the La Arena Gold Mine significantly exceeded management's expectations and was due in large part to the hard work and focus of the Lima based management team and everyone involved in mine operations. The board of directors would like to express its appreciation for the commitment and effort of everyone involved in the mine development and its operation and looks forward to a solid performance in 2014 despite challenging market conditions", commented Alex Black, President & CEO.
Rio Alto intends to release its Q4 and 2013 financial results in late March.
The Company's exploration programs are designed and managed by Enrique Garay, M Sc. P. Geo. (AIG Member), Vice President Geology of Rio Alto who is a qualified person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 of the Canadian securities regulators and who has reviewed the contents of this news release.
This news release contains certain forward-looking information including statements concerning expected timing for completion of a feasibility study, future production, capital spending plans, exploration programs and cost performance and the timing for the preparation of an updated oxide resource and reserve estimate. All statements included herein, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking information and such information involves various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. A description of assumptions used to develop such forward-looking information and a description of risk factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking information can be found in Rio Alto's disclosure documents on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com. Rio Alto does not undertake to update any forward-looking information except in accordance with applicable laws.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF RIO ALTO MINING LIMITED
Alex Black, President & CEO