Bema Gold Corporation

Bema Gold Corporation

March 01, 2005 22:32 ET

2004 Gold Production/2005 Production and Development Guidance


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: BEMA GOLD CORPORATION

TSX, AMEX SYMBOL: BGO
AIM SYMBOL: BAU

MARCH 1, 2005 - 22:32 ET

2004 Gold Production/2005 Production and Development
Guidance

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - March 1, 2005) - Bema Gold
Corporation (TSX:BGO)(AMEX:BGO)(AIM:BAU) releases its gold production
figures to December 31, 2004 and outlines the Company's projections for
2005. All dollar figures are in United States dollars unless otherwise
indicated.

Gold Production in 2004

Bema's consolidated gold production for the year was 229,545 ounces with
an operating cash cost of $315 and total cash cost of $332 per
ounce(1)(2).

The 79% owned Julietta Mine, in far eastern Russia, produced 83,317
ounces of gold at an operating cash cost of $189 per ounce(2) and a
total cash cost of $234 per ounce(2). Production was less than
forecasted and operating cost was slightly more than forecasted due
mainly to a fire in the warehouse during the first quarter and delays in
accessing higher grade work faces that were scheduled to be mined during
the year. The fire destroyed the majority of spare parts inventory which
resulted in mining and milling rates at Julietta being temporarily
reduced while the spare parts were replaced. The majority of the spare
parts were replaced by mid-March, after which the mill ramped back up to
full production.

In 2004, the 100% owned Petrex Mines in South Africa produced 146,228
ounces of gold at a total cash cost of $388 per ounce(1). During the
first two quarters of 2004 Bema successfully completed a program
designed to improve mining efficiencies and cut costs at Petrex. As a
result, tonnes milled, recoveries, operating costs, capital expenditures
and ounces produced were all better than budgeted during the second half
of the year. However, operating costs will remain high if the South
African Rand retains its strength versus the US dollar.

(1) Consolidated production costs are adjusted to reflect a cash gain of
$41 per ounce gold from the exercise of South African rand denominated
gold put options in 2004. At Petrex the cash gain from the puts is $64
per ounce gold.

(2) Julietta costs are net of silver byproduct credits

2005 Production Projections

Bema's projected gold production in 2005 is approximately 309,000 ounces
at an operating cash cost of $295 per ounce (3)(4) and a total cash cost
of $312 per ounce(3)(4). This would represent a 35% increase over the
number of ounces produced in 2004 and a 6% decrease in total operating
cost per ounce. The main reason for the increase in production is the
recommencement of operations at the 50% owned Refugio Mine in Chile and
an estimated 18% increase in production at the Petrex Mines. In 2006,
Bema's consolidated production is projected to increase further and
operating cost to decline, as the Refugio Mine records a full year of
gold production. In the first full year of production, Refugio is
projected to produce approximately 250,000 ounces of gold annually
(100%) at total cash cost of $235 per ounce.

In 2005, the Julietta Mine is projected to produce approximately 86,000
ounces gold with an operating cash cost of $190 per ounce (3) and a
total cash cost of $241 per ounce(3). Production from the Petrex Mines
is projected at 173,175 ounces of gold at a total cash cost of $347 per
ounce(4).

Start up of the crushing facilities at Refugio is projected to commence
on May 1st 2005. A two month ramp up period is projected prior to
reaching full plant capacity of 40,000 tonnes per day, as a result,
Bema's share of projected production at Refugio for the remainder of the
year should be approximately 50,000 ounces of gold. Total operating
costs are projected at $298 per ounce, slightly higher than the life of
mine projections of $250 per ounce, due to the ramp up period.

(3) Net of silver credits assuming a $6.50 per ounce spot price

(4) Based on a 6.5 rand to 1 USD conversion rate, a $400 per ounce spot
gold price and accounting for any potential gains from the 2005 rand
gold put option program.

Kupol Project

The updated resource estimate for the Kupol Project, located in North
Eastern Russia, is expected to be completed by mid March. Due to the
delays in the completion of the new resource calculation the feasibility
study will now be completed by late May. Bema is currently in
negotiations with international banks with respect to the Kupol project
loan. Shortly after the completion of the feasibility study, the Company
intends to finalize the project financing for Kupol.

The majority of supplies for the 2005 exploration and development work
at Kupol have been shipped to the seaports of Pevek and Magadan, and
mobilization of that material to site along winter roads is underway.
The 2005 Kupol development program has commenced and Bema has received
permits for preliminary construction which includes, roads and site
earth works. In addition, a 45,000 metre drill program is planned to
further infill drill the resource and continue exploration drilling to
further test the ultimate potential of the Kupol deposit. Bema is
earning a 75% interest in the Kupol Project from the Government of
Chukotka.

Cerro Casale Project

In September 2004, Placer Dome issued a certificate (Certificate B)
under the shareholders' agreement indicating it has commenced or is
continuing to use reasonable commercial efforts to arrange financing for
the Cerro Casale project on commercially reasonable and customary terms
in accordance with the financing requirements of the shareholders'
agreement. Subject to the terms of the shareholders' agreement, Placer
Dome has until the end of 2005 to arrange such financing. Placer Dome is
also advancing discussions on key commercial contracts and long-term
marketing off-take arrangements. If Placer Dome elects not to proceed
with the project and it is still deemed financable under the terms of
the shareholders agreement, they will relinquish their interest in Cerro
Casale. The Cerro Casale project is located in Chile and is a joint
venture between Placer Dome (51%), Bema (24%) and Arizona Star (25%).

Bid for Arizona Star

On December 20, 2004 Bema announced that it intended to make an offer to
all Arizona Star Resource Corp. ("Arizona Star") shareholders to
exchange each Arizona Star share for 1.85 shares of Bema. The offer
valued Arizona Star at CDN$7.01 per common share based on that days
closing price and represents a premium of 33% based on the 20 day volume
weighted average trading share prices for both companies at the time of
the offer. Bema currently owns approximately 5% of the common shares of
Arizona Star.

2004 Year End Results Conference Call

Bema will host a conference call to discuss the 2004 year end results on
Tuesday, March 22, 2004 at 2:00pm PST (5:00 EST). The results will be
released prior to the call, after the North American markets have
closed. To access the call please dial 416-695-6120 or toll free
1-877-888-4210.



On Behalf Of Bema Gold Corporation

"Clive Johnson"
Chairman, CEO, President


For more information please visit our website at www.bema.com


The Toronto Stock Exchange neither approves nor disapproves the
information contained in this News Release. Bema Gold Corporation trades
on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and the American Stock Exchange
(AMEX). Symbol: BGO. Bema Gold also trades on the London Stock
Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Symbol: BAU.

Some of the statements contained in this release are "forward-looking
statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown
risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual
results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the
anticipated results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by
such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this
release include statements regarding: the Company's projections
regarding gold production, costs of production, drilling and development
programs, financings and the proposed bid for Arizona Star. Factors that
could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results
include risks and uncertainties such as: risks relating to estimates of
reserves, mineral deposits and production costs; mining and development
risks; the risk of commodity price fluctuations; political and
regulatory risks; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in the
Company's Form 40-F Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2003,
which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and
the Company's Renewal Annual Information Form for the year ended
December 31, 2003, which is an exhibit to the Company's Form 40-F and is
available at the Canadian Depository for Securities Web site. The
Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any
forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information,
future events or otherwise.


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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Bema Gold Corporation
    Ian MacLean
    Manager, Investor Relations
    (604) 681-8371
    investor@bemagold.com
    or
    Bema Gold Corporation
    Derek Iwanaka
    Investor Relations
    (604) 681-8371
    investor@bemagold.com