Gross Revenue of $3.99 Million and Cash Cost of US$857/Oz
Vancouver, B.C., May 29, 2017, Monument Mining Limited (TSX-V: MMY and FSE: D7Q1) “Monument” or the “Company” today announced its production and financial results for the three and nine months ended March 31, 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 third quarter fiscal 2017 financial results: “The Company focused on financing the Burnakura early stage gold production to generate cash flow and completion of Felda Land acquisition commencing oxide production in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018, and fast tracking the Selinsing Sulphide Project with producing an execution plan for construction.
At Selinsing, with the release of the pre-feasibility study by Snowden in December 2016, and the recent commencement of the Front End Engineering Design (the “FEED”) work, we are progressing towards an internal Definitive Feasibility Study (the “DFS”) for the Sulphide pre-treatment plant. At Murchison, early stage production development activities continued with completion of a third party technical report that found no major flaws. The Company is seeking disciplined funding for these projects and gold project acquisition opportunities with a potential combination of equity and debt.”
Third Quarter Highlights:
• 3,359oz of gold sold for gross revenue of $3.99 million (Q3 fiscal 2016: 3,850oz sold for $4.46 million);
• 3,442oz of gold produced (Q3 fiscal 2016: 3,875oz);
• Cash cost per ounce (“oz”) of $857/oz (Q3 fiscal 2016: $665/oz);
• Ore processed 0.21 million tonnes (Q3 fiscal 2016: 0.26 million tonnes);
• A FEED study has been carried out on Selinsing after filing of the Pre-feasibility Study for the Sulphide Project; and
• Operational readiness and due diligence concluded in an Independent Technical Report at the Burnakura Gold Project.
Third Quarter Production and Financial Highlights
|Three months ended March 31,||Nine months ended March 31,|
|Ore mined (tonnes)||68,568||110,138||148,655||312,067|
|Ore processed (tonnes)||210,518||264,159||648,115||750,690|
|Average mill feed grade (g/t)||0.79||0.95||0.82||0.91|
|Processing recovery rate (%)||51.29%||69.1%||56.78%||69.9%|
|Gold recovery (oz)||2,755||5,588||9,642||15,440|
|Gold production(1) (oz)||3,442||3,875||9,621||13,988|
|Gold sold (oz)||3,359||3,850||9,550||18,950|
|Financial (in thousands of US dollars)||$||$||$||$|
|Net Income (Net loss) before other items||(1,133)||371||(2,847)||2,584|
|Net Income (Net loss)||(1,789)||2,500||(3,296)||(1,968)|
|Cash flows from/(used in) operations||(567)||757||(1,127)||836|
|EPS (loss) before other items – basic (US$/share)||(0.00)||0.00||(0.01)||0.01|
|EPS (loss) – basic (US$/share)||(0.01)||0.01||(0.01)||(0.01)|
|Three months ended March 31,||Nine months ended March 31,|
|Average realized gold price per ounce sold (2)||1,187||1,158||1,232||1,138|
|Cash cost per ounce (3)|
|Operations, net of silver recovery||6||4||4||2|
|Total cash cost per ounce||857||665||881||555|
(1) Defined as good delivery gold bullion according to London Bullion Market Association (“LBMA”), net of gold doŕe in transit and refinery adjustment
(2) Monument realized US$/oz for the nine months ended March 31, 2017 excludes gold forward sales.
(3) Total cash cost includes production costs such as mining, processing, tailing facility maintenance and camp administration, royalties, and operating costs such as storage, temporary mine production closure, community development cost and property fees, net of by-product credits. Cash cost excludes amortization, depletion, accretion expenses, idle production costs, capital costs, exploration costs and corporate administration costs.
During the third quarter, gold recovery decreased by 51% to 2,755oz from 5,588oz in the corresponding period last year and average ore head grade decreased by 16% to 0.79g/t Au from 0.95g/t Au in the corresponding period last year. The decreased gold recovery was mainly due to the lower grade mill feed from stockpiled oxide and leachable sulphide ore. The production team at the Selinsing Mine has continued improvements to boost productivity, including the addition of tailings material to mill feed by dry mining and dredging.
Gold production for the third quarter, net of gold doré in transit and refinery adjustment, was 3,442oz (defined as good delivery gold bullion according to the London Bullion Market Association), an 11% decrease compared to 3,875oz in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Financial Results and Discussion
For the quarter ended March 31, 2017
Gold sales generated $3.99 million compared to $4.46 million in the third quarter last year. The revenue comprised of 3,359oz of gold sold (2016: 3,850oz) from production at an average realized gold price of $1,187 per ounce (2016: $1,158 per ounce) for the quarter. The weighted average London Fix PM gold price was $1,188 per ounce compared to $1,172 per ounce for the corresponding period last year. Total production costs increased by 25% to $4.16 million, compared to $3.33 million in the same period last year. The increase in cost was mainly attributed to depreciation that increased to $1.18 million for the third quarter from $0.77 million in the same period last year, offset by the lower amount of gold sold. Mining operations incurred a loss of $0.18 million compared to income of $1.13 million in the same period last year and corporate expenditure for the quarter of $0.96 million (2016: $0.76 million) was 26% higher compared to the same period last year. Net loss for the quarter was $1.79 million, or $(0.01) per share (basic) compared to net income of $2.50 million or $0.01 per share (basic) in the same period last year.
The Company’s development focused on the Sulphide Project and Felda Land acquisition at Selinsing and completion of a third party technical report with no major flaws at Murchison. For the quarter, a total of $1.05 million (2016: $2.81 million) was spent on these programs, comprised of $0.58 million (2016: $1.79 million) at Selinsing; $0.39 million (2016: $0.87 million) at Murchison; and $0.08 million (2016: $0.15 million) was spent on care and maintenance at Mengapur.
For the nine months ended March 31, 2017
For the nine months ended March 31, 2017, gold sales generated $11.77 million compared to $18.47 million, of which $15.88 million from production and $2.59 million from the settlement of a gold forward sale, in the corresponding period last year. The revenue comprised of 9,550oz of gold sold from production at an average realized gold price of $1,232 per ounce (2016: 18,950oz at an average realized gold price of $1,138 per ounce). The weighted average London Fix PM gold price was $1,231 per ounce compared to $1,143 per ounce for the corresponding period last year. Total production costs decreased by 11% to $12.00 million, compared to $13.47 million in the same period last year, the decrease in cost was mainly attributed to the lower amount of gold sold. Loss from mining operations was $0.23 million compared to income of $5.00 million in the same period last year and corporate expenditure of $2.61 million was 8% higher compared to $2.42 million in the same period last year. Net loss for the nine months period was $3.30 million, or $(0.01) per share (basic) compared to $1.97 million or $(0.01) per share (basic) in the same period last year.
For the nine months ended March 31, 2017, a total of $5.94 million (2016: $8.40 million) was spent on capital development, comprised of $2.92 million (2016: $2.37 million) at Selinsing, $2.76 million (2016: $2.80 million) at Murchison, and $0.26 million (2016: $0.56 million) was spent on care and maintenance at Mengapur.
Selinsing Gold Mine
In Malaysia, the focus is on the preparation of Sulphide Gold Production (the “Sulphide Project”) at Selinsing. During the third quarter, the Company has commenced additional testwork to further optimize bioleach sulphide treatment recoveries through the BIOX(r) Process in parallel with completing Intec and acid leaching alternatives. The positive BIOX(r) Process testwork results were received subsequent to the third quarter and showed on average 90% recovery of gold from Buffalo Reef ore samples at Selinsing, which was the best overall performance. A Front End Engineering Design (“FEED”) study has been designed and commenced subsequent to the third quarter, leading to an internal Definitive Feasibility study (“DFS”), which will further upgrade the existing 2016 PFS and enable the Company to make a construction decision. Upon success completion, the upgraded plant can be expected to enable the Company to continue gold production at Selinsing for a further estimated six years through to 2023 without further ore discovery.
The Company has progressed the Felda Land acquisition and mining lease registration with settlers, the Pahang State land authorities and Felda Corporation. The underlying agreements have been reviewed and agreed by all parties.
In Western Australia, during the quarter, the internal economic study was completed including the optimized mine plan, engineering works and economic analysis, it was reviewed and reported by SRK Consulting, an independent consulting firm to a third party under the technical due diligence, and found no major flaws. The internal economic assessment shows that the life of mine could be potentially extended. Metallurgical testwork and mine delivery schedules were completed to mitigate the construction and operation risks. During the quarter, the crushing circuit and heap leach plant equipment were unloaded at Burnakura. Other mine development activities include: a power strategy assessment, building the site power model, pit dewatering assessment, and preparation work for the construction of a new laboratory building.
The Amended Environmental Protection License for Crushing, Heap Leach and Dewatering was received during the quarter with approval from the Department of Environmental Regulation (“DER”) for the operation of the proposed Heap Leach Facility. In addition, the Mining Proposal and the Mine Closure Plan were submitted and approved during the quarter which completes all DER licensing requirements for operational readiness.
The third quarter exploration program focused on the oxide trenching and drilling program at the Peranggih deposit, and the extension of the geo-metallurgical program to define leachable mining blocks for plant production within the life of mine oxide pits at Buffalo Reef. At Peranggih a total of 12 trenches for 660m were completed, with a total of 454 horizontal and vertical channel samples submitted during the quarter. Also 375 assay results were received for six trenches in the South with the results indicating similar mineralisation as adjacent holes. In test-pitting at the old-tailings area in Peranggih North, 11 pits (shafts) comprising 34 samples had been collected at an average depth of 3m per pit. There were also 259 grid-grab samples collected in two old stockpiles, out of which 70 were sent for assay analysis. Trenching was also completed at BRS West Ridge and Selinsing West Bamboo Shoot areas.
Analysis results were received for 63 composited geo-metallurgical samples from the Buffalo Reef areas. The geo-metallurgical modelling for Buffalo Reef South Stage 1 was completed. The delineation of four blocks with an estimated 4,000oz of leachable gold has led to confirmation work with the mining grade control and plant departments. There were 178 assay results received during the quarter from drilling completed in the previous quarter at Selinsing Pit IV. The drilling generally confirmed the current Resource blocks’ locations and estimated high grade gold and may also upgrade the current Resource blocks with the additional high grade gold infill data.
At Murchison, third quarter activities included discussions with Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (“YMAC”) for Heritage Survey agreements; an external due diligence completed as verification on the Resource Models used for the life of mine (“LOM”) production schedule, together with metallurgical testwork on the LOM representative samples and interpretation of the results.
During the quarter, a preliminary review of underground potential at the NOA7_8 deposit was conducted which supports the exploration strategy for designing a deeper drill program south of NOA7_8. The study of the available information and resource modeling update shows evidence of positive indications for the increase of mineralized volume and gold grade/ounces for a good part of NOA7_8, in particular coming from the significant intercepts observed. It has also enhanced the strong potential for the continuity of deep mineralization in the central and north portions of NOA7_8 deposit. The deep drill program was scheduled to start in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, however was postponed subject to funding.
The Company, during the quarter, entered into an “Exclusive Option Agreement” with Panex Resources Inc. (“Panex”) to acquire, at its discretion, Panex’s 51% controlling interest in the Matala Gold Project in Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”), subject to TSX Venture Exchange and regulatory approvals. Panex would carry out an exploration program at Matala. The Option arrangement will allow the Company to further evaluate the drilling and exploration results at Matala without a large commitment. The Company has yet to receive the exploration update from Panex.
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. The Company has also been looking in other countries seeking potential opportunities for larger resources, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“DRC”).
Robert F. Baldock, President and CEO
Monument Mining Limited
Suite 1580 -1100 Melville Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 4A6
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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.