TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire -05/15/12)- Crocodile Gold Corp. (CRK.TO)(CROCF.PK)(XGC.F) ("Crocodile Gold" or the "Company") today announces its financial and operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2012. All figures are in U.S. dollars, unless stated otherwise.
In the three months ended March 31, 2012, the Company:
-- Milled 371,439 tonnes of ore at an average head grade of 0.99 grams per tonne ("g/t") and a recovery rate of 92% to produce 10,759 ounces of gold. -- Recorded revenue of $18,513,040 million on the sale of 10,900 ounces of gold for an average realized price of $1,698 per ounce. -- Recorded a net loss of $20,289,927 or $0.06 per share, and used $17,868,866 cash in operations. The net loss includes approximately $10 million in change of control, consulting and advisory fees associated with a takeover by an entity affiliated with Luxor Capital Group, LP ("Luxor"), a U.S. based investment fund manager. -- Maintained net working capital at March 31, 2012 of $32,914,077, including cash and cash equivalents of $28,711,224 representing $0.09 per share. -- Completed a bought deal private placement, raising $33,645,257, net of issue costs. -- Entered into a definitive agreement with AuRico Gold Inc. ("AuRico"), pursuant to which the Company acquired the Stawell and Fosterville mines located in Victoria State, Australia through the acquisition of all the issued and outstanding shares of Navco from AuRico, which was subsequently completed on May 4th.
Q1 Operational Highlights
-- Completed 930 metres of development at the Cosmo underground mine where, in February 2012, the first stope slot raise was fired, and ore production commenced from stopes in Zone A. -- Completed 7,313 metres of surface exploration diamond drilling at Union Reefs, Maud Creek and Rising Tide. Additionally, 6,239 metres of underground diamond drilling was conducted at Cosmo. -- Was the object of a successful takeover bid by Luxor, a U.S. based investment fund manager. On February 7, 2012, Luxor announced that it had acquired an aggregate of 170,618,271 common shares of the Company which, together with the common shares already owned or controlled by the Luxor group, represented approximately 70% of the common shares of the Company.
Crocodile Gold milled 371,439 tonnes and achieved excellent gold recoveries of 92% at the Union Reefs production facility in the three months ended March 31, 2012. On February 29, 2012, the first stope slot raise was fired at the Cosmo underground mine, where ore production commenced from stopes in Zone A. The commencement of stope ore production is expected to increase underground ore mining rates significantly in the second quarter.
At the end of March 31, 2012, the Company sold 10,900 ounces of gold at an average cash cost of $2,028 per ounce of gold sold (see non-GAAP Measures below). Cash costs in the quarter have been significantly impacted by lower than expected ounces produced and sold, as a result of the lower than expected grade of gold produced from the open pits, the expenses in starting-up the Rising Tide open pit and development delays at the Cosmo underground mine that was caused by a grid power failure in the latter part of the quarter. This cash cost was approximately $325 per ounce higher than projected as a result of the lower than expected grade of gold mined and processed. A further, approximately $130 per ounce in additional cash costs per ounce can be attributed to a single open pit, where mining failed to deliver the ore tonnes projected.
Crocodile Gold recorded a net loss of $20,289,927, or $0.06 per share, compared to a net loss of $7,009,449, or $0.03 per share, in the first quarter of 2011. The mine operating loss for the quarter was $5,771,042. On a cash basis, the mine operating loss was $3,587,921, net of depletion and depreciation of $1,942,260 and share-based compensation of $240,861. The net loss includes exploration expenditures of $309,448 for the quarter, in respect of properties where mineral resources have not yet been identified or the Company has not yet made a development decision. Care and maintenance expenses included were $519,870 and included rehabilitation costs associated with historic operations in the vicinity of ongoing mining activities.
Crocodile Gold earned interest income of $379,872 on the cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash on hand. Professional, consulting and management fees, and general corporate and administration expenses amounted to $11,284,302 and $427,957 respectively.
Cash used in operating activities in the three months ended March 31, 2012 of $17,868,866 included cash used by mine operations of $3,587,921, general and administrative type costs (net of interest income) of $11,319,083, exploration and care and maintenance costs of $829,318, and a net increase in working capital of $2,132,544.
Investing activities used $20,656,726 in the three months ended March 31, 2012. Expenditures in the period were principally incurred on the development of the Cosmo underground mine and Howley open pit (approximately $10.7 million and $3.7 million respectively) and in the Company's exploration programs (approximately $3.7 million).
The significant financing activity in the quarter was the completion of a bought deal private placement on March 15, 2012 for $33,645,257, net of issue costs of $1,127,293.
As at March 31, 2012, the Company had net working capital of $32,914,077, which included cash and cash equivalents of $28,711,224.
In reporting these results, Chantal Lavoie, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, commented: "Although good progress was made at our Cosmo mine with the initiation of production activities, our open pit operations failed to deliver the expected value of ore mined. A reassessment of the mining plan for these operations is in progress, including the possible cessation of surface mining activities to concentrate the efforts on the ramp-up of Cosmo, the permitting of International and the assessment of our Union Reefs and Maud Creek projects. The recently completed acquisition of the Fosterville and Stawell gold mines should also provide an opportunity to bring quality ounce production into our mine plan for the remainder of the year."
Preparing its mine plan and budget for 2012, Crocodile Gold expected to produce between 75,000 and 85,000 ounces of gold in 2012, with the majority of production to come from the Cosmo underground mine. Production ore at the Company's flagship underground mine, Cosmo, commenced as expected in the first quarter of 2012 with longitudinal mining starting in the upper section of the mine. While management still expects Cosmo to reach commercial production by the fourth quarter of 2012, development delays have reduced the ounces expected to be produced from Cosmo in the first six to nine months of the year. Experience to date in the ore development at Cosmo has shown that ore grade and width are as expected and management is confident that Cosmo will reach its ultimate goal, as the flagship operation. As for the surface mining activities, management is evaluating the decision not to proceed with production from certain open pits that are considered marginal and open pit production could end by June 2012. For further discussion of the effect that the acquisition of the Fosterville and Stawell gold mines are expected to have on the Company's production guidance for the remainder of the year, please refer to the Company's press release dated May 10, 2012.
The Union Reefs project area has been prioritized to define additional sources of high-grade mill feed that can be mined from underground, with the near term priorities being the Prospect and Crosscourse deposits. The drill program on the Prospect and Crosscourse deposits has been extended and is now due for completion in May 2012. Revised resource statements will be calculated and a scoping study defining the economic viability of the Prospect deposit will be completed in the second quarter of 2012. If this provides positive economic indications then an exploration ramp will be established with the objective of obtaining a bulk sample and defining the optimal mining method. Crocodile Gold has applied for the permits to establish the ramp. The start of ramp development can occur in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The Maud Creek project will undergo a re-calculation of resources based on the limited drilling completed in 2011 and a re-interpretation of the model based on an improved understanding of the mineralization system. The ultimate objective is to complete a robust scoping study defining the economic viability of mining the Maud Creek Deposit by open pit and underground mining methods. Should the scoping study be positive, then a prefeasibility study will be implemented. It is envisaged that additional drilling will be required to further define the deposit with respect to designing underground mine plans.
Further details regarding the Company's operations are available on the Company's website at www.crocgold.com and also www.sedar.com where Crocodile Gold's Annual Information Form, audited annual financial statements and managements' discussion and analysis (MD&A) are posted.
About Crocodile Gold
Crocodile Gold is a Canadian company with operating gold mines in the Northern Territory of Australia with a land package of over 3,300 square kilometers. The Company has also recently acquired two operating mines-Fosterville and Stawell-in Victoria State, Australia. Currently, Crocodile Gold is mining a number of open pits in the Howley Corridor and is completing the development of the Cosmo underground mine with commercial production expected in the second half of 2012. Ore is processed at the Union Reefs Mill with a capacity of 2.4 million tonnes per year. The Company has an extensive exploration program in place and is focusing advanced exploration efforts on its key properties, Union Reefs and Maud Creek.
Crocodile Gold has 3.175 million ounces of NI 43-101 compliant Measured and Indicated mineral resources and 2.14 million ounces of Inferred mineral resources (see the NI 43-101 compliant technical report entitled "Report on the Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves of the northern Territory Gold and Base Metals Properties for Crocodile Gold Corp." by Fleur Muller, Mark Edwards and Heath Gerritsen dated April 4, 2011, filed under the Company's profile on SEDAR for the details regarding these mineral resource estimates). Mineral resource estimates are currently being prepared on Crocodile Gold's recent property acquisitions at Fosterville and Stawell and the Company expects to file a NI 43-101 compliant technical report by the end of the second quarter of 2012.
David Keough, F.AusIMM and Bill Nielsen, P. Geo of Crocodile Gold, each a "qualified person" as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101, have reviewed and approved the technical information and data included in this press release.
Crocodile Gold believes that investors use certain indicators to assess gold mining companies. The indicators are intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards.
"Cash cost per ounce" is a non-GAAP performance measure which could provide an indication of the mining and processing efficiency and effectiveness at the operations. It is determined by dividing the operating expenses, excluding stock-based compensation allocated to operating expense and net of silver revenue, by the number of ounces of gold sold. There are variations in the method of computation of "cash cost per ounce" as determined by the Company compared with other mining companies. The following is a reconciliation of the cash cost per ounce of gold sold, to the reported operating expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2012:
Operating expenses per consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive income (loss) 22,405,959 By-product silver sales credit (64,137) Non-cash stock option expense charged to operating expenses (240,861) ----------- Operating cash costs 22,100,961 ----------- ----------- Divided by ounces of gold sold 10,900 Cash cost per ounce ($ per ounce) 2,028
Certain information set forth in this press release contains "forward-looking statements", and "forward-looking information under applicable securities laws. Except for statements of historical fact, certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements, which include management's assessment of Crocodile Gold's financial results, operations and mineral resource estimates and are based on Crocodile Gold's current internal expectations, estimates, projections, assumptions and beliefs, which may prove to be incorrect. Some of the forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as "expects" "anticipates", "believes", "projects", "plans", and similar expressions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and undue reliance should not be placed on them. Such forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause Crocodile Gold's actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: liabilities inherent in mine development and production; geological, mining and processing technical problems; Crocodile Gold's inability to obtain required mine licenses, mine permits and regulatory approvals required in connection with mining and mineral processing operations; competition for, among other things, capital, acquisitions of reserves, undeveloped lands and skilled personnel; incorrect assessments of the value of acquisitions; changes in commodity prices and exchange rates; currency and interest rate fluctuations; various events which could disrupt operations and/or the transportation of mineral products, including labour stoppages and severe weather conditions; the demand for and availability of rail, port and other transportation services; the ability to secure adequate financing and management's ability to anticipate and manage the foregoing factors and risks. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Crocodile Gold undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.