Vancouver, B.C., November 29, 2017, Monument Mining Limited (TSX-V: MMY and FSE: D7Q1) “Monument” or the “Company” today announced its first quarter production and financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2017. All amounts are in United States dollars unless otherwise indicated (refer to www.sedar.com for full financial results).
President and CEO Robert Baldock commented on first quarter fiscal 2018 financial results: “The Company continued to development it’s Malaysian and Western Australian gold portfolios. At Selinsing, we closed the Felda Block 7 transaction, completed a close spaced drilling program at Peranggih North, and continued the Front End Engineering Design (“FEED”) study for the Sulphide Project. At Murchison, we commenced the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) at Burnakura.”
First Quarter Highlights:
• 3,500oz of gold sold for gross revenue of $4.50 million (Q1 fiscal 2017: 2,350oz of gold sold for gross revenue of $3.14 million);
• 3,384oz of gold produced (Q1 fiscal 2017: 3,291oz);
• Cash cost per ounce (“oz”) of $948/oz (Q1 fiscal 2017: $981/oz);
• Closed Felda Block 7 transaction at Selinsing;
• Completed close spaced drilling program at Peranggih North;
• A FEED study being carried out on Selinsing to deliver an Implementation Execution Plan for the Sulphide Project; and
• Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) commenced at Burnakura.
First quarter gold production was 3,384oz, a 3% increase compared to 3,291oz in the corresponding period of the previous year. Production included stockpiled super low grade oxide ore and old tailing materials during the quarter that contained higher head grade and oxidized ore resulting in an improved processing recovery rate of 64.3% compared to 53.9% for the same quarter last year. Ore processed was reduced by 4% to 221,536t from 231,000t in the same period last year. The reduced mill feed was mainly due to plant downtime caused by blockages at belt feeder chutes from wet and sticky old tailings materials, resulting in lower crushed tonnes. Mining production is expected to improve with the commencement of mining at Felda Block 7 in the second quarter of fiscal 2018.
Financial Results and Discussion
Gold sales generated $4.50 million for the quarter compared to $3.14 million in the same period last year. The revenue resulted from 3,500oz of gold sold (Q1 fiscal 2017: 2,350oz) at an average realized gold price of $1,286 per ounce (Q1 fiscal 2017: $1,337 per ounce) for the quarter. The average London Fix PM gold price was $1,286 per ounce for the quarter compared to $1,203 per ounce for the same period last year.
Total production costs increased by 44% in the quarter to $3.32 million, compared to $2.31 million in the same period last year. The increase in costs reflected the higher amount of gold produced and sold in the prior year first quarter, while fixed costs of production remained at the same level.
For the first quarter, mining operations before non-cash amortization and depreciation generated a gross margin of $1.18 million, an increase of 42% from $0.84 million in the same quarter last year. Net loss from mining operations was $0.24 million compared to $0.10 million in the same period last year primarily due to higher depreciation and amortization expense. Corporate expenditure for the first quarter were $0.82 million (Q1 fiscal 2017: $0.73 million) increased by $0.09 million or 12% compared to the prior year first quarter. Net loss for the quarter was $1.50 million, or $0.00 per share (basic) compared to net loss of $1.44 million or $0.00 per share (basic) in the same period last year.
As at September 30, 2017, the Company had positive working capital $15.39 million (June 30, 2017: $14.81 million), net of restricted cash. An increase of $0.59 million was the result of cash received from deferred revenue and generated from operations, offset by investing activities carried out by the Company to expand its mineral base and pipeline of mineral property projects.
The Company’s first quarter development at Selinsing focused on exploration and evaluation work on a close spaced drilling program at Peranggih North in an area planned for fiscal 2018 trial mining, and at Murchison work towards a PEA continued. During the quarter, cash investment in exploration and evaluation activities totalled $0.42 million compared to $1.48 million in the corresponding period last year, cash of $0.15 million (Q1 fiscal 2017: $0.39 million) cash was used for the Selinsing Gold Portfolio in Malaysia, $0.24 million (Q1 fiscal 2017: $0.99 million) was used for the Murchison Gold Portfolio in Australia and $0.03 million (Q1 fiscal 2017: $0.10 million) was used for care and maintenance for the Mengapur Polymetallic Portfolio. During the quarter, cash expenditure on property, plant and equipment (“PPE”) was $1.95 million, compared to $1.28 million in the same period last year. The main PPE expenditures in the quarter were $1.47 million for the acquisition of mining leases at Felda Block 7, $0.38 million on tailings storage facility upgrades and $0.19 million on the Sulphide Project for Selinsing in Malaysia and $0.05 million (Q1 fiscal 2017: $0.58 million) on the Burnakura early stage production development in Australia.
During the quarter, the Company closed the Block 7 acquisition by paying consideration in aggregate of $1.39 million in cash to the owners pursuant to the Contract to Mine Agreement. The acquisition has given to the Company the exclusive mining right for all PMLs at Block 7, covering a total 39.12 acres adjacent and east of the Buffalo Reef property.
Block 7 contains the extension of the BRC oxide ore body which is now placed to production. It also allows the pit shell to be fully developed across the boundary to access the entire sulphide ore beneath the BRC once the Sulphide Gold Project is in production.
Selinsing Gold Mine
During the first quarter the Company continued to advance the internal Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”) for the Sulphide Project. Samples of flotation concentrate were prepared on-site by the Research and Development team and dispatched to SGS South Africa for analysis. BIOX process testwork was conducted. Initial sulphide oxidation results were positive and the full report including gold dissolution of the BIOX residues is in progress. Variability flotation concentrate samples were also prepared to test the optimized BIOX operating parameters on different ore sources from the Selinsing and Buffalo Reef pits.
The FEED study also progressed during the quarter with selection of specialist contractors for geotechnical studies on the proposed plant site, for an expansion to the existing tailings storage facility and to undertake a study on slope stability in the Selinsing and Buffalo Reef open pits. Consultants were engaged to determine the additional high voltage power requirement for the expanded plant and to determine an economically feasible solution for the increased power draw. Internal studies were initiated to address the additional clean water demand for the BIOX plant and to gauge the requirements for expanded site water storage facilities. The DFS and FEED studies are scheduled to be completed during the third quarter of fiscal 2018, to facilitate a construction decision for the Sulphide Project.
Mine site preparation was carried at Block 7. Upgrade to the tailings storage facilities was also completed during quarter using 144,161t of waste removed from Buffalo Reef.
The Company advanced mine optimization work at Burnakura and commenced Preliminary Economic Assessment Study (“PEA”) on the Burnakura life of mine areas with exploring underground potential. The PEA is planned for completion in the third quarter of fiscal 2018. Activities during the quarter included review of proposed scope of work and schedule and the compilation of data for geological sections. Ongoing work on the potential underground at NOA2 and 7_8 also continued with a revision of the NOA 7_8 underground model. The work is continuing with geological model updates for an underground mining study also to be included in the PEA.
Site preparation and development for early stage production is on-going. During the quarter, all the bench frames were installed in the wet lab ready for the bench tops, a road works program was undertaken to improve access to the camp area from the process plant and fabrication work was undertaken in the workshop to repair screen frames. The Company has ensured that the plant and other facilities are being kept in good care and maintenance order with a view to future commissioning, and the site accommodation and catering are fully functional for engineers and mining contractors to arrive on site.
In August 2017, the Company signed a Deed of Variation Agreement with Intec International Projects Pty Ltd to the Heads of Agreement dated in January 2015 to exploit the Intec Technology for the sulphide copper process. The testwork going forward with Intec will be focused on production of copper metal at the Mengapur Project. Pursuant to the Deed, the term of the interim Intec license granted to Monument has been extended to January 16, 2022.
A grade control drilling campaign was completed at Peranggih North, for planned trial mining in fiscal 2018. The highly prospective Peranggih deposit is in the same regional shearing structure where Selinsing and Buffalo Reef gold deposits are also hosted. A total of 298 drill holes were completed for 2,780m, and 2,725 samples collected. The holes were designed following East-West staggered lines, configuring a 5m x 5m drilling pattern, infilling previous holes and trenches. The drilling has delineated a zone of higher grade material, and can be used to define shallow and broad gold mineralization within the breccia matrix that occurs at this site.
The preliminary grade control program was carried out at the North zone to test 150m strike length x 80m width of the mineralization. This program has successfully delineated a broad 15m-20m wide high grade zone and multiple isolated high grade zones, surrounded by a halo of lower grade gold mineralisation. It proved the presence of disseminated gold in the breccia matrix. The high and low grade gold mineralization zones were open ended along strike and down-dip. Separate composite samples were fully defined, sorted by ore blocks with delineation based on 2m composites, for further metallurgical testwork. Geological mapping at old pit in Peranggih North was conducted.
During the quarter, geo-metallurgical testwork was completed at Felda and modelling started which aims to identify potential leachable gold for oxide and transition zones. 27 limestone samples were collected from the Selinsing Pits IV and V hanging walls, to test Acid Neutralisation Capacity for potential use in the Sulphide Project. Dry bulk density tests were done to determine the in-situ density for the outcropping limestone. 245 core and coarse reject samples of fresh and transition material, were collected and sent to the on-site laboratory for BIOX(r) Process variability metallurgical testwork.
At the Murchison Gold Portfolio geological work aims to deliver a Preliminary Economic Assessment Study (“PEA”) at the Burnakura Gold Project to further demonstrate the economic viability of early stage production. At Burnakura further updates are being done to the geological model and optimization of the mine plan including testing underground mining opportunities, and other ongoing work includes the review of significant underground potential at the NOA line of deposits. NOA 7_8 was internally re-modelled with implicit geological modelling techniques, allowing underground assessment works to continue. The updated model will now provide the correct resolution and detail needed progress underground mining studies. A compilation of the historical resource model plus ANA NI43-101 resources and internal resource model updates are ongoing for a preparation of the PEA. The Company also signed the agreement with Yamatiji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (“YMAC”) for Heritage Survey
At Tuckanarra a review on the Resource model evaluation is ongoing, with focus on the life of mine proposed mining pits. An in-depth review of the Cable deposit was completed resulting in a re-modelling exercise. At Gabanintha a review on the Resource model evaluation is ongoing, with focus on the life of mine proposed mining pits.
Monument Mining Limited (TSX-V: MMY, FSE:D7Q1) is an established Canadian gold producer that owns and operates the Selinsing Gold Mine in Malaysia. Its experienced management team is committed to growth and is advancing several exploration and development projects including the Mengapur Polymetallic Project, in Pahang State of Malaysia, and the Murchison Gold Projects comprising Burnakura, Gabanintha and Tuckanarra in the Murchison area of Western Australia. The Company employs approximately 190 people in both regions and is committed to the highest standards of environmental management, social responsibility, and health and safety for its employees and neighboring communities.
Robert F. Baldock, President and CEO
Monument Mining Limited
Suite 1580 -1100 Melville Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 4A6
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION visit the company web site at www.monumentmining.com or contact:
Richard Cushing, MMY Vancouver T: +1-604-638-1661 x102 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wolfgang Seybold, Axino GmbH T: +49 711-82 09 7211 email@example.com
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This news release includes statements containing forward-looking information about Monument, its business and future plans (“forward-looking statements”). Forward-looking statements are statements that involve expectations, plans, objectives or future events that are not historical facts and include the Company’s plans with respect to its mineral projects and the timing and results of proposed programs and events referred to in this news release. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology 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”. The forward-looking statements in this news release are subject to various risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks and certain other factors include, without limitation: risks related to general business, economic, competitive, geopolitical and social uncertainties; uncertainties regarding the results of current exploration activities; uncertainties in the progress and timing of development activities; foreign operations risks; other risks inherent in the mining industry and other risks described in the management discussion and analysis of the Company and the technical reports on the Company’s projects, all of which are available under the profile of the Company on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Material factors and assumptions used to develop forward-looking statements in this news release include: expectations regarding the estimated cash cost per ounce of gold production and the estimated cash flows which may be generated from the operations, general economic factors and other factors that may be beyond the control of Monument; assumptions and expectations regarding the results of exploration on the Company’s projects; assumptions regarding the future price of gold of other minerals; the timing and amount of estimated future production; the expected timing and results of development and exploration activities; costs of future activities; capital and operating expenditures; success of exploration activities; mining or processing issues; exchange rates; and all of the factors and assumptions described in the management discussion and analysis of the Company and the technical reports on the Company’s projects, all of which are available under the profile of the Company on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company 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. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.