"We are surprised by the significant drop in our share price following the election results in Bulgaria," said Rick Howes, President and CEO. "We do not foresee any fundamental changes that would affect our Chelopech mine, which is fully permitted at all government levels. We have a strong balance sheet, generate solid margins, and have more than $250 million of cash and undrawn lines of credit to fully fund all of our capital commitments."
The Chelopech mine continues to deliver excellent mine and mill operating results. Ore processed was up year over year as a result of the completion of the underground crusher and conveyor system, the final component of the mine/mill expansion project. With Chelopech being a low cost mine operation, it generates significant free cash flow, even at current metal prices.
Krumovgrad, our high grade, low cost gold project in Bulgaria, successfully secured its mine concession and approval of its Environmental Impact Assessment in 2012 and neither is subject to further appeal. The Company is currently completing additional project engineering to further optimize the project and is awaiting a decision from the Municipal Council on the detailed development plan prior to placing any long lead orders of equipment. This is an attractive project even at lower gold prices.
Quarter to date, the Tsumeb smelter has been operating at normal levels, despite some minor residual commissioning issues related to the new dust handling systems. The planned annual furnace maintenance is expected to commence late in the second quarter, during which certain non-environmental components of Project 2012 and commissioning of the second oxygen plant will also be completed. Over the balance of the year, Tsumeb's results are expected to be much stronger, with the anticipated removal of the current curtailment, planned increases in volumes, and scheduled increases in treatment charges.
"Looking beyond 2013, the long term prospects of the Company remain unchanged. We have a number of planned investments that are expected to increase our mine and smelter capacity, generate attractive returns and add significant shareholder value," added Mr. Howes.
About Dundee Precious Metals
Dundee Precious Metals Inc. is a Canadian based, international gold mining company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, mining and processing of precious metals. The Company's principal operating assets include the Chelopech operation, which produces a gold, copper and silver concentrate, located east of Sofia, Bulgaria; the Kapan operation, which produces gold, copper, zinc and silver concentrate, located in southern Armenia; and the Tsumeb smelter, a concentrate processing facility located in Namibia. DPM also holds interests in a number of developing gold properties located in Bulgaria, Serbia, and northern Canada, including interests held through its 53.1% owned subsidiary, Avala Resources Ltd., its 45.5% interest in Dunav Resources Ltd. and its 10.7% interest in Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the Warrant Amendment, future growth opportunities, the future price of gold and silver, the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, the realization of mineral estimates, the timing and amount of estimated future production and output, costs of production, capital expenditures, costs and timing of the development of new deposits, success of exploration activities, permitting time lines, currency fluctuations, requirements for additional capital, government regulation of mining operations, environmental risks, unanticipated reclamation expenses, title disputes or claims, limitations on insurance coverage and timing and possible outcome of pending litigation. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or 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 are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made, and they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Corporation to be materially different from any other future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others: the availability of future growth opportunities, the actual results of current exploration activities; actual results of current reclamation activities; conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of gold, copper, zinc and silver; possible variations in ore grade or recovery rates; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities, fluctuations in metal prices, as well as those risk factors discussed or referred to in documents filed from time to time with the securities regulatory authorities in all provinces and territories of Canada and available at www.sedar.com.
Although the Corporation has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be anticipated, estimated or intended. 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. Unless required by securities laws, the Corporation undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change. Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.