VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / February 28, 2019 / FIORE GOLD LTD. (TSXV:F.V) (FIOGF) ("Fiore" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that its financial statements and management's discussion and analysis for the first fiscal quarter ("Q1 2019") ended December 31, 2018, have been filed with the securities regulatory authorities and are available at www.sedar.com and on the Company's website at www.fioregold.com.
Q1 2019 Operational, Financial and Organic Growth Highlights
(all figures in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated)
- Gold production of 9,765 ounces, a 47% increase over Q1 2018
- Gold sales of 9,744 ounces at an average realized price of $1,232 per ounce
- Mined ore production of 15,196 ore tons per day ("tpd"), with a stripping ratio of 1.49
- 18,723 man-hours worked in Q1 2019, achieving our goal of zero reportable incidents, zero reportable accidents, and zero lost-time injuries. As of December 31, 2018, the operation was at 957 consecutive days of attaining this Triple-Zero achievement.
- Q1 2019 Pan Mine AISC1 per ounce sold of $882 and cash costs per ounce sold1 of $812, compared to Q1 2018 Pan Mine AISC1 per ounce sold of $1,704 and cash costs per ounce sold1 of $822
- Q1 2019 Fiore consolidated AISC1 of $995 compared to Q1 2018 Fiore consolidated AISC1 of $1,900
- Recorded quarterly revenues of $12.01 million with mine operating income of $3.03 million
- Generated Pan operating cash flow1 of $2.60 million and consolidated operating cash flow of $0.91 million, compared to Pan operating cash flow1 of $0.26 million and consolidated operating cash flow use of $1.58 million during Q1 of 2018
- Maintained a strong balance sheet with no debt and working capital of $20.44 million as of December 31, 2018
- Consolidated operating income of $1.63 million
- Subsequent to quarter-end, we entered into a gold option collar program for 9,600 ounces over a six-month period, securing a floor of $1,300 per ounce for hedged production and a ceiling of $1,350 per ounce. The balance of our expected production for that period remains unhedged.
Organic Growth Highlights
- An updated Pan Mine resource estimate showed almost complete replacement of Measured and Indicated resources mined in the 19 months since declaring commercial production, and a significant growth in Inferred resources even after allowing for mining depletion.
- Subsequent to quarter-end, we have decided to proceed with the installation of a primary crushing circuit at the Pan Mine, that will be financed in part by a $2.3 million finance lease secured with First National Capital, LLC, subject to completion of final documentation. We expect the crusher to be operational by the end of calendar Q2 2019.
1 This is a non-IFRS financial measure. Please refer to "Non-IFRS Financial Measures" at the end of this news release for a description of these non-IFRS financial measures and to the Non-IFRS Financial Measures in the December 31, 2018 Management's Discussion and Analysis for a reconciliation to operating costs from the Company's interim financial statements.
Tim Warman, Chief Executive Officer of Fiore, commented: "Q1 2019 represented another strong operating quarter for the Pan Mine with 9,765 gold ounces produced at Pan Mine all-in sustaining costs below $900 per gold ounce sold for the second consecutive quarter. The steady operating performance, coupled with the positive resource update announced during the quarter, have allowed us to proceed with the investment in a primary crushing circuit which we expect to have operational by the end of calendar Q2 2019. With Pan maturing as an operation, we now turn our attention to the adjacent Gold Rock property which hosts grades approximately 60% higher than at Pan. A development plan for Gold Rock is expected in calendar Q2 2019 that will lay out the steps to advance the project to a production decision."
Review of Operating Results
Three Months Ended
Gold Ounces Mined
Ore Grade Mined
Gold Ounces Produced
Gold Ounces Sold (Payable)
Average Realized Price1
Total Cash Costs per Ounce1
Cost of Sales per Ounce1
Pan Mine AISC per Ounce1
Fiore Consolidated AISC per Ounce1
1 This is a non-IFRS financial measure. Please refer to "Non-IFRS Financial Measures" at the end of this news release for a description of these non-IFRS financial measures and to the Non-IFRS Financial measures in the December 31, 2018 Management's Discussion and Analysis for a reconciliation to operating costs from the Company's interim financial statements.
The first quarter of 2019 represents the Company's fourth consecutive quarter of gold production above 8,500 ounces. It also represents the second consecutive quarter of the Pan Mine all-in sustaining costs per gold ounce sold below $900 and third consecutive quarter of improvements shown on both the Pan Mine AISC and Fiore consolidated AISC. Our ore mining of approximately 15,200 tons per day is ahead of a targeted 14,000 tpd despite an increase in the stripping ratio to 1.49 during the quarter. We mined approximately 37,800 total tons per day in the quarter relative to 31,300 tpd in Q4 2018 and 30,000 tpd in the comparative Q1 2018 period. Importantly, Pan maintained its strong safety record achieving our goal of zero reportable incidents, zero reportable accidents, and zero lost-time injuries through Q1 2019.
A drilling program aimed at extending the mine life at Pan encompassed 28,790 feet (over 8,800 m) of developmental and exploration drilling during FY2018. An updated resource estimate released during Q1 2019 (refer to news release dated December 3rd, 2018) showed almost complete replacement of M+I resources mined in the 19 months since declaring commercial production (which averaged approximately 12,500 ore tons mined per day), and a significant growth in Inferred resources even after allowing for mining depletion. Work on a new life of mine ("LOM") plan and schedule is underway on the updated resource estimate. The updated mine plan will focus on exploiting the updated resources to extend the current mine life and optimize the mine plan. Fiore intends to issue FY2019 production guidance and a reserve update based on the results of the updated LOM plan, which is expected to be completed by the end of calendar Q1 of 2019.
Given the operating performance and updated resource estimate, we are proceeding with the installation of a primary stage crushing circuit. Pan is currently a run of mine operation where blasted ore is hauled from the pit and placed directly on the leach pad. Blending rocky ore with more clay-rich ore ensures adequate permeability and stability of the leach pad. Metallurgical testing has shown that primary crushing will increase both the overall gold recovery and the rate of gold recovery. At the present targeted ore mining rate of 14,000 tons per day, the crushing circuit will produce an estimated 6,000-7,000 additional gold ounces per year. Preliminary site preparation for the crusher is already underway and the crusher system is expected to be operational by the end of calendar Q2 2019.
Capital requirements for the crushing circuit, which total approximately $3.5 million, will come in part from a $2.3 million finance lease secured with First National Capital, LLC, subject to completion of final documentation.
The 2018 drilling program also highlighted several areas in the vicinity of the Pan North Pit where mineralization remains open with the potential to further increase the near-mine resource base with additional drilling. Numerous additional targets remain to be tested along strike from the existing Pan deposit. Looking forward, the next phase of drilling at Pan is being developed to maximize resource conversion.
During Q4 2018, the United States Bureau of Land Management issued the Record of Decision for the Company's 100%-owned Gold Rock project, located approximately 8 km southeast of our Pan Mine, marking the completion of the federal permitting process required for the construction of a mine on the Gold Rock property.
On October 25, 2018, we filed a current technical report for Gold Rock. Gold Rock currently hosts an Indicated resource of 238,700 gold ounces (9.0 million tonnes at 0.82 g/t gold), and an Inferred resource of 180,900 gold ounces (7.8 million tonnes at 0.72 g/t gold). We also completed eight exploration holes targeting three of nine previously-identified areas north of the Gold Rock resource area. All eight holes intercepted the targeted Joanna Limestone unit, with six of the eight holes encountering anomalous gold mineralization. Having demonstrated that gold mineralization is present for a considerable distance along the EZ fault and anticline structure, we also increased our coverage along this structure through the acquisition of the Ely Gold claims during Q1 2019. Fiore now controls approximately 16.5 km of strike length along the prospective EZ structure.
The next phases of drilling at Gold Rock are currently being planned for follow-up drilling at the three recently-confirmed targets, as well as drilling to expand the existing resource. A priority target will be the central portion of the 2018 resource area, between the two resource pits. This area was not included in the current resource and has seen only limited, widely-spaced, vertical holes that in many cases stopped in the upper portion of the mineralization. The deposit also remains open to the north of the existing resource area, where drilling density drops off rapidly.
A development plan for Gold Rock is expected in calendar Q2 2019 that will lay out the steps required to advance the project to a production decision. The next steps in this process will include:
- Additional core and reverse circulation drilling to expand the existing resource, upgrade Inferred resources to Measured and Indicated, and collect samples for orebody characterization and metallurgical testing. A priority target will be the central portion of the 2018 resource area, between the two resource pits. This area was not included in the current resource and has seen only limited, widely-spaced, vertical holes that in many cases stopped in the upper portion of the mineralization. The deposit also remains open to the north of the existing resource area, where drilling density drops off rapidly.
- Metallurgical testing to determine the most economical recovery method(s) and establish expected gold recoveries; and
- Collecting additional data to support a Preliminary Economic Assessment.
Q1 2019 Financial Results
Three Months Ended December 31,
Financial Results of Operations
Select Items - On a Consolidated Basis
Mine Operating Income
Income from Operations
Operating Cash Flow
Unrealized (Loss) Gain on Change in FV of Warrant Derivative
Financial Position as of:
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Select Items - On a Consolidated Basis
Total Current Assets
Mineral Property, Plant and Equipment, net
Total Current Liabilities
Working Capital Surplus
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As Q1 2018was still an operating ramp-up quarter, all key income statement and cash flowmetrics improved significantly in Q1 2019 with Pan at steady state operationalcapacity. Fiore sold 9,744 ounces at an average realize gold price of $1,232per ounce resulting in revenue of $12.01 million. Mine operating income was$3.03 million compared to $2.54 million for the comparative 2018 period.Operating cash flow was $0.91 million relative to a use of $1.58 million in Q12018.
The cashbalance increased relative to September 30, 2018 by $0.20 million as operatingcash flow of $0.91 million was partially used to finance $0.48 million ofreclamation deposit funding and $0.22 million of capital expenditures. As ofDecember 31, 2018, we continue to have a strong working capital surplus of$20.44 million, consisting of current assets of $23.04 million and currentliabilities of $2.60 million.
Our corporate strategy is togrow Fiore Gold into a 150,000 ounce per year gold producer. To achieve this,we intend to:
- grow gold production at the Pan Mine while also growing the reserve and resource base;
- advance exploration and development of the nearby Gold Rock project; and
- acquire additional production or near-production assets to complement our existing operations
*Note on AISCPresentation
The presentation of Pan Mineall-in sustaining costs as shown is consistent with prior quarters' measures ofall-in sustaining costs. We have added Fiore Consolidated all-in sustainingcosts to layer in corporate general and administrative costs, including sharebased compensation and corporate sustaining capital expenditures, whenapplicable. A reconciliation from prior presentations of all-in sustainingcosts per ounce sold has been presented in the table below to the current PanMine AISC and Fiore Consolidated AISC per ounce sold presentations.
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Three Months Ended December 31,
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AISC per Ounce Sold as previously defined
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Adjustments to Pan Mine AISC per Ounce Sold:
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Non-Sustaining Exploration Costs per Ounce Sold
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Corporate Share Based Compensation per Ounce Sold
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Pan Mine AISC per Ounce Sold
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Adjustments to Fiore Consolidated AISC per Ounce Sold:
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Corporate General & Administrative Costs per Ounce Sold
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Corporate Share Based Compensation per Ounce Sold
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Fiore Consolidated AISC per Ounce Sold
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The scientific and technical information relating to Fiore Gold's properties contained in this news release was approved by J. Ross MacLean (MMSA), Fiore Gold's Chief Operating Officer and a "Qualified Person" under National Instrument 43-101.
On behalf of FIORE GOLD LTD.
Chief Executive Officer
Non-IFRS Financial Measures
The Company provides some non-IFRS measures as supplementary information that management believes may be useful to investors to explain the Company's financial results.
We have adopted "all-in sustaining costs" measures for the Pan Mine and Fiore as a consolidated group, consistent with guidance issued by the WGC on June 27, 2013. We believe that the use of all-in sustaining costs is helpful to analysts, investors and other stakeholders in assessing our operating performance, our ability to generate free cash flow from current operations and our overall value. These measures are helpful to governments and local communities in understanding the economics of gold mining. The "all-in sustaining costs" measure is an extension of existing "cash cost" metrics and incorporates costs related to sustaining production. The WGC definition of all-in sustaining costs seeks to extend the definition of total cash costs by adding reclamation and remediation costs, exploration and study costs, capitalized stripping costs, corporate general and administrative costs and sustaining capital expenditures to represent the total costs of producing gold from current operations. All-in sustaining costs exclude income tax, interest costs, depreciation, non-sustaining capital expenditures, non-sustaining exploration expense and other items needed to normalize earnings. Therefore, these measures are not indicative of our cash expenditures or overall profitability.
"Total cash cost per ounce sold" is a common financial performance measure in the gold mining industry but has no standard meaning under IFRS. The Company reports total cash costs on a sales basis. We believe that, in addition to conventional measures prepared in accordance with IFRS, certain investors use this information to evaluate the Company's performance and ability to generate cash flow. Accordingly, it is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. The measure, along with sales, is considered to be a key indicator of a Company's ability to generate operating earnings and cash flow from its mining operations. "Costs of sales per ounce sold" adds depreciation and depletion and share based compensation allocated to production to the cash costs figures.
Total cash costs figures are calculated in accordance with a standard developed by The Gold Institute, which was a worldwide association of suppliers of gold and gold products and included leading North American gold producers. The Gold Institute ceased operations in 2002, but the standard is considered the accepted standard of reporting cash cost of production in North America. Adoption of the standard is voluntary, and the cost measures presented may not be comparable to other similarly titled measure of other companies.
"Total cash costs per ounce", "cost of sales per ounce", "all-in sustaining costs per ounce", "Non-sustaining exploration per ounce", "Pan operating income" and "Pan operating cash flow" are intended to provide additional information only and do not have any standardized definition under IFRS and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. The measures are not necessarily indicative of operating profit or cash flow from operations as determined under IFRS. Other companies may calculate the measure differently. The Non-IFRS table within the December 31, 2018 MD&A reconciles non-IFRS measures to the most directly comparable IFRS measure.
"Average realized price" is a financial measure with no standard meaning under IFRS. Management uses this measure to better understand the price realized in each reporting period for gold sales. Average realized price excludes from revenues unrealized gains and losses, if applicable, on non-hedge derivative contracts. The average realized price is intended to provide additional information only and does not have any standardized definition under IFRS; it should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. Other companies may calculate this measure differently.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" and "forward looking information" (as defined under applicable securities laws), based on management's best estimates, assumptions and current expectations. Such statements include but are not limited to, statements with respect to future operations at the Pan Mine, extending the mine life at the Pan Mine, updated mineable reserve, new life of mine plan at the Pan Mine, expectations for production at the Pan Mine, estimates of mineral resources, addition of crushing circuit at the Pan Mine, estimates and expectation that the crushing circuit will produce additional gold ounces and increase gold recoveries, the crusher system will be in operation by the second calendar of 2019, the crushing circuit will improve the efficiency and productivity of mining operations, capital requirements for the crushing circuit, that First National Capital will finance a portion of the capital requirement for the crushing circuit, ability to finance the addition of a crushing and agglomeration circuit, future drilling and expected results at the Pan Mine and the Gold Rock project, development and advancement of the Gold Rock Project, all of the future planned development, construction and operations described in the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision for the Gold Rock Mine project, creating development plan for Gold Rock and preliminary economic assessment, metallurgical testing for Gold Rock, ability to maintain balance sheet strength, future financial performance, company outlook, goal to become a 150,000 ounce producer, goal to acquire additional production or near production assets, and other statements, estimates or expectations. Often, but not always, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "expects", "expected", "budgeted", "targets", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", "scheduled", "estimates", "aims", "will", "believes", "projects" and similar expressions (including negative variations) which by their nature refer to future events. By their very nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond Fiore Gold's control. There can be no assurances that the finance lease transaction with First National Capital will be closed and, even if all final documentation is executed, there can be no assurance that we will meet all the requirements to access the funds under the finance lease transaction. These statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. Forward looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, as well as a number of assumptions made by, and information currently available to, the Company concerning, among other things, anticipated geological formations, potential mineralization, future plans for exploration and/or development, potential future production, ability to obtain permits for future operations, drilling exposure, and exploration budgets and timing of expenditures, all of which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievement of Fiore Gold to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from results anticipated by such forward looking statements include, but not limited to, risks related to the Pan Mine performance, risks related to the company's limited operating history; risks related to international operations; risks related to general economic conditions, actual results of current or future exploration activities, unanticipated reclamation expenses; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; fluctuations in prices of metals including gold; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; increases in market prices of mining consumables; possible variations in ore reserves, grade or recovery rates; uncertainties involved in the interpretation of drilling results, test results and the estimation of gold resources and reserves; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; the possibility that capital and operating costs may be higher than currently estimated; the possibility of cost overruns or unanticipated expenses in the work programs; availability of financing; accidents, labour disputes, title disputes, claims and limitations on insurance coverage and other risks of the mining industry; delays in the completion of exploration, development or construction activities; the possibility that required permits may not be obtained on a timely manner or at all; possibility that the Gold Rock Record of Decision will be appealed and that such an appeal may be successful; changes in national and local government regulation of mining operations, tax rules and regulations, and political and economic developments in countries in which Fiore Gold operates, and other factors identified in Fiore Gold's filings with Canadian securities authorities under its profile at www.sedar.com respecting the risks affecting Fiore and its business. Although Fiore has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The forward-looking statements and forward-looking information are made as of the date hereof and are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Fiore disclaims any obligation to revise or update any such factors or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements or forward-looking information contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as require by law. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and information.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
SOURCE: Fiore Gold Ltd.
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