VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 28, 2015) - True Gold Mining Inc. (TSX VENTURE:TGM) ("True Gold" or the "Company") reported the financial results and business highlights for the year ended December 31, 2014.
True Gold's Karma Project ("Karma") is an ideal foundation upon which to build a mining company. Karma is a technically simple open-pit heap leach project that offers low capital and operating costs, rapid payback and strong financial performance. Once in production, Karma will be one of the lowest cost gold mines in West Africa with significant exploration growth potential.
FOURTH QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS AND SUBSEQUENT EVENTS
Strengthened Leadership Team:
- Appointed Christian Milau as Chief Executive Officer, effective April 27, 2015. Mr. Milau joins True Gold from Endeavour Mining Corporation ("Endeavour"), where he has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and played a leading role in Endeavour's acquisition, financing, development, and operation of four gold mines in West Africa.
- Project Development - Karma Project Construction:
- Project construction is well advanced, with approximately US$61.7 million (~47%) spent and committed as at December 31, 2014.
- All plant site earthworks and civil construction were 100% and 40% completed at the end of December respectively.
- All major mining equipment has been delivered to site.
- The Company secured a long-term cement contract at a price significantly lower than used in the Karma Project Feasibility Study ("Karma FS")
- Increases the Karma FS after-tax NPV by approximately US$20 million to $198.8M @ US$1,250/oz Au (see news release dated September 8, 2014)
- Project construction is well advanced, with approximately US$61.7 million (~47%) spent and committed as at December 31, 2014.
- Project Finance:
- Secured financing of up to US$120 million from Franco-Nevada Corporation ("Franco-Nevada") and Sandstorm Gold Inc. ("Sandstorm") to fully fund the Karma Project construction as well as certain corporate and Burkina Faso general and administrative costs.
- Commenced draw down under the financing agreement receiving US$57.7 million to date. Draw down of the remaining balance will be made over the course of construction.
- As of the date hereof the Karma project remains fully funded, subject to re-commencement of construction in the near term.
- Permitting - Karma Project Fully Permitted:
- All five deposits within the Karma FS mine plan are fully permitted. No other permits are required under the Karma FS mine plan.
- Potential Mine Expansion:
- Completed a Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") on North Kao which indicated the potential to add US$118 million in after-tax free cash flow to the Karma FS economics (see news release dated October 21, 2014). North Kao yields an after-tax IRR of over 200% and adds approximately US$70.0 million to the Karma Project after tax NPV.
- Completed 14,712 metres of core and RC drilling designed to expand existing deposits and to discover new domains of open-pit, leachable material that could be incorporated into the mine plan for potential mine life extensions or throughput increases.
- Political Situation in Burkina Faso:
- On October 30, 2014, civil unrest broke out in Burkina Faso. On the following day incumbent president Blaise Compaoré resigned, and both the national assembly and the government were dissolved. An interim leader was appointed and a transitional government established. The transitional government will remain in place until the country's next election, currently scheduled for October 2015.
- Voluntary Suspension of Project Development:
- In early January 2015, True Gold voluntarily suspended construction at Karma following a demonstration at the site. The demonstration resulted in damage to equipment, supplies and plant site infrastructure. True Gold estimated the equipment and site damages to be approximately US$6.1 million, of which approximately US$2.0 million is expected to be recovered through various insurance policies.
- True Gold is engaged with various stakeholders that include leaders from government, traditional authorities, religious groups, and local business in the Karma Project area. Activities are focused on dealing with a small fringe element largely responsible for the unrest in January. The discussions have been productive and are ongoing. The government of Burkina Faso remains committed to True Gold and a near-term restart of construction at the Karma Project.
- At the time of the shutdown, Karma was ahead of schedule and under budget. Once activities resume at Karma, the Company expects it will be in a position to pour first gold within 10 months. Accordingly, the Company has amended its previous guidance, which forecast Karma to enter production before the end of 2015. The Company is working closely with SENET, the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contractor for Karma, to finalize a plan for an efficient restart of construction.
- As part of its effort to limit capital expenditures until construction resumes, the Company has implemented a technical shutdown as prescribed under applicable Burkina Faso labour laws. This allows the Company to provide financial assistance to its employees during the shutdown, preserve capital and efficiently restart operations.
The following selected financial data are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013, as prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards. Details of these results are described in the audited consolidated financial statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2014. These documents can be found on the Company's website (www.truegold.com) or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. All amounts are presented in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated.
|December 31, 2014||December 31, 2013|
|Net loss for the year||$||(17,131,207||)||$||(32,781,539||)|
|Comprehensive loss for the year||$||(17,229,520||)||$||(33,139,791||)|
|Basic and diluted loss per share||$||(0.05||)||$||(0.15||)|
|December 31, 2014||December 31, 2013|
|Cash and short term investments||$||55,138,678||$||24,014,411|
For the year ended December 31, 2014, we reported a net loss of $17.1 million respectively, compared to a net loss of $32.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2013. Operating expenses totalled $18.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 down 38% from $29.9 million a year earlier. The principle reason for the change was a decrease in exploration and evaluation expenditures in the amount of $10.9 million as the Company is now focused on development work on the Karma Project. The Company has commenced capitalizing costs related to development in the current year.
Total assets as at December 31, 2014 have increased since December 31, 2013 by $84.9 million to $127.7 million, mainly due to (i) to an increase in total cash and short term investments reflecting cash inflows from financing transactions through the year ended December 31, 2014; (ii) the capitalization of development costs related to Karma, including: Site earthworks, civil construction, and other construction activities; and (iii) deposits on the mining fleet and advances for construction materials and services for Karma. This increase was partially offset by cash outflows from operations.
During the year ended December 31, 2014 the Company entered into a US$100-million definitive agreement with Franco-Nevada and Sandstorm to complete funding for the construction of Karma. In exchange for US$100.0 million in funding, True Gold is obligated to deliver 100,000 ounces of gold over five years, and thereafter 6.5% of equivalent production at the Project. True Gold will receive 20% of the spot price of gold for each ounce of gold delivered. In addition, True Gold holds sole option to increase funding by up to US$20.0 million during the first 18 months following the date of the execution of the financing agreement. For the year ended December 31, 2014, the Company has drawn down US$57.7 million ($66.2 million CAD) of the Deposit. During the year ended December 31, 2014 the Company recorded a gain on the change in fair value of the liability of $3.2 million. On December 31, 2013 the Company had no non-current liabilities.
Peter C. Carter, P. Eng., Chief Operating Officer and Vice President Engineering of the Company, is the designated Qualified Person for this news release within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects and has reviewed and verified that the technical information contained in this release is accurate and approves of the written disclosure of same.
Scott Heffernan, M.Sc., P.Geo., Vice President Exploration of the Company, and Peter C. Carter, P. Eng., Chief Operating Officer and Vice President Engineering of the Company, are the designated Qualified Persons within the meaning of NI 43-101 for this news release. They have reviewed and verified that the scientific and technical information contained in this release is accurate and approves of the written disclosure of same.
About True Gold
True Gold Mining Inc. is where gold comes to life. We are committed to growing a successful gold exploration, development and production company, by focusing on projects with low costs, low technical risks and solid economics. The Company's board, management and technical teams have proven track records in gold exploration, development, operations and production worldwide.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Christian Milau, President & CEO
* The estimated figures provided are from the Karma Project definitive feasibility study, released in December 2013 and the North Kao PEA released in October 2014, and based on the assumptions made therein. The estimated figures can be affected by a number of factors, including but not limited to gold prices, consumables pricing, labour, materials and contract pricing.
Neither 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.
Unless stated otherwise, information of a scientific or technical nature in this press release regarding the Karma Project is summarized, derived or extracted from the technical report entitled "Updated Resource Estimate on the Karma Gold Project, Burkina Faso, West Africa", dated March 13, 2014 prepared by P&E Mining Consultants Inc.,and filed on SEDAR on April 28, 2014.
Mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of mineral resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, sociopolitical, marketing, or other relevant issues.
The quantity and grade of reported Inferred mineral resources in this estimation are uncertain in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to define these Inferred mineral resources as an Indicated or Measured mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in upgrading them to an Indicated or Measured mineral resource category.
The mineral resources were estimated using the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), CIM Standards on Mineral Resources and Reserves, Definitions and Guidelines prepared by the CIM Standing Committee on Reserve Definitions and adopted by CIM Council.
All statements in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are "forward-looking information" with respect to True Gold within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including statements with respect to the potential quantity and/or grade of minerals, potential size and expansion of a mineralized zone, proposed timing of exploration and development plans. Forward-looking information is often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "planned", "expect", "project", "predict", "potential", "targeting", "intends", "believe", "potential", and similar expressions, or describes a "goal", or variation of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "should", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and is based upon a number of estimates and assumptions of management at the date the statements are made including, among others, assumptions about future prices of gold, copper, silver and other metal prices, currency exchange rates and interest rates, favourable operating conditions, political stability, obtaining governmental approvals and financing on time, obtaining renewals for existing licences and permits and obtaining required licences and permits, labour stability, stability in market conditions, availability of equipment, accuracy of any mineral resources, successful resolution of disputes, the Company's ability to efficiently recommence operations at the Karma Project, that the Company will receive additional drawdowns under the financing agreement with Franco-Nevada and Sandstorm and anticipated costs and expenditures. Many assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of Pilot Gold and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct.
Such forward-looking information, involves known and unknown risks, which may cause the actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including, risks related to the interpretation of results at the Karma Project, reliance on technical information provided by third parties as related to the Karma Project; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; current economic conditions; future prices of commodities; possible variations in grade or recovery rates; the costs and timing of the development of new deposits; failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; the failure of contracted parties to perform; the timing and success of exploration activities generally; satisfaction of Burkina Faso requirements relating to the periodic submissions of Environmental Impact Assessments; possible claims against the Company or its joint venture partners; labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals, financing or in the completion of exploration, uncertainties relating to the interpretation of drill results and the estimation of mineral resources, the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits, accidents, equipment breakdowns, risk of undiscovered, title defects and surface access, the potential for delays in exploration and permitting activities, uncertainties related to the Company's relationship with communities that surround its properties in Burkina Faso, risks related to the financing agreement with Franco-Nevada and Sandstorm, including the Company's ability to meet its scheduled delivery obligations, the potential for unexpected costs and expenses, commodity price fluctuations, currency fluctuations, political risk as well as those factors discussed in the Annual Information Form of the Company dated April 30, 2014 in the section entitled "Risk Factors", under True Gold's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.
Although True Gold has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. True Gold disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise unless required by law.
Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Mineral resource estimates do not account for mineability, selectivity, mining loss and dilution. There is also no certainty that these inferred mineral resources will be converted to measured and indicated categories through further drilling, or into mineral reserves, once economic considerations are applied. The mineral resource estimates referenced in this press release use the terms "Indicated Mineral Resources" and "Inferred Mineral Resources". While these terms are defined in and required by Canadian regulations (under NI 43-101), these terms are not recognized by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). "Inferred Mineral Resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. The SEC normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute SEC Industry Guide 7 compliant "reserves" as in-place tonnage and grade without reference to unit measures. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into reserves. True Gold is not an SEC registered company.