LionOre Mining International Ltd.

LionOre Mining International Ltd.

May 11, 2006 19:09 ET

LionOre Announces First Quarter 2006 Results

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 11, 2006) - LionOre Mining International Ltd. ("LionOre"), (TSX:LIM)(ASX:LIM)(LSE:LOR)(BSE:LIONORE) today reported its first quarter 2006 financial and operational results. All amounts are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.

Quarterly Highlights:

- Company production (100% basis) of 6,724 tonnes of payable nickel at a cash cost of $3.75/lb (Q1 2005: 6,491 tonnes of payable nickel at a cash cost of $3.36/lb)

- Quarterly average nickel price of $6.72/lb (Q1 2005: $6.96/lb)

- Net mineral sales of $126.7 million (Q1 2005: $105.5 million)

- Operating cashflow of $40.1 million (Q1 2005: $38.8 million)

- Operating earnings of $35.5 million (Q1 2005: $34.1 million)

- Net earnings of $13.2 million or $0.06 per share (Q1 2005: $0.11 per share)

- Net earnings of $0.12 per share after adjustments for the following:

- Nickel inventory of an estimated 2,019
tonnes of payable nickel representing an
approximate unrealized after-tax profit
of $6.4 million: 3 cents per share

- Gold hedge mark-to-market negative
adjustments and realized hedge losses of
$8.5 million or $6.0 million after tax (Q1
2005: gain of $1.5 million or $1.1 million
after tax): 3 cents per share

- Foreign exchange loss of $2.6 million or
$1.4 million after tax (Q1 2005: gain of
$7 million or $4.9 million after tax): 0.5 cents per share

- Cash and cash equivalents were $221.3 million (excluding restricted

Quarterly summary of LionOre's nickel production and cash costs:

Q1 Q4
2006 2005
Nickel Tonnes Payable Tonnes Payable
Operations Ni produced Ni produced

(100%)(1) (attrib.) Cost/lb (100%)(1) (attrib.) Cost/lb
Johnston 1,895 1,895 $3.65 2,255 2,255 $2.84
Black Swan 1,813 1,450 $5.27 2,784 2,227 $4.36
Tati 2,347 1,995 $3.61 2,527 2,148 $3.52
Nkomati 669 669 $0.39 674 674 $0.86
6,724 6,009 $3.75 8,240 7,304 $3.18

Nickel Tonnes Payable
Operations Ni produced

(100%)(1) (attrib.) Cost/lb
Johnston 3,030 3,030 $2.45
Black Swan 1,622 1,298 $4.35
Tati 1,839 1,563 $3.99
Nkomati - - -
6,491 5,891 $3.36

(1) 100% of production except for the Nkomati mine which is shown at 50% (LionOre's share of the Nkomati mine)

Commenting on the results, Colin Steyn, President and CEO of LionOre, said, "I am pleased to report that the Group's production is on target to meet our first half 2006 forecast. Operating costs reflected the treatment of higher volumes of lower grade ore. In Australia, large volumes of lower grade material from the Maggie Hays mine were processed through the Lake Johnston processing facilities for the first time and the ore mined from the open pit at Black Swan was increased. In Africa, we continued to process record volumes of lower grade ore at the Phoenix mine. Nkomati was the star performer of the quarter with a very low cash cost of $0.39 per pound of nickel thanks to significant by-product credits.

In the medium term operating costs will be optimized through the plant upgrades occurring at all of our operations as we continue to process higher volumes at lower grades. These capital projects are progressing on schedule and on budget.

The Tati Activox® feasibility study is well advanced and on track for completion by the end of June 2006. The independent third party report conducted by Hatch to review the Activox® process has been completed and is being made available to prospective lenders for due consideration. We are encouraged by the fact that no fundamental flaws or unresolved issues were raised. Discussions with the Government of the Republic of Botswana are close to conclusion and we anticipate signing all the outstanding agreements regarding fiscal, power, water and human resources during June."

Quarterly Operational Highlights


- Nkomati cash costs fell substantially by 55% to $0.39/lb, one of the lowest in the industry

- Tati achieves new pit production, crushing and milling records

- Mining grade continued to be a challenge, but will be soon rectified by the implementation of the ore upgrading technology DMS Phase 1 project, scheduled for commissioning at the end of July 2006

- Project 5 Million currently on schedule and on budget, new secondary crusher commissioned

- Tati large-scale DMS plant feasibility study well underway and on target for completion at the end of July 2006

- Independent report on the Activox® process completed

- The Environmental Social Impact Assessment is well advanced and due for signing by June 2006

- Activox® Feasibility Study on target for completion at the end of June 2006


- Production from nickel operations are in line with Company forecasts

- Large volumes of Maggie Hays ore processed through Lake Johnston facilities

- Plant upgrades at Black Swan and Lake Johnston are on schedule within approved budgets

- Waterloo decline development is ahead of schedule and within the approved budget

- Review of exploration assets and expenditure, highlighted in the last quarter, is proceeding well

- Thunderbox gold production up 27% to 35,312 over fourth quarter 2005 at a cash cost of $381/oz. Plant throughput returned to normal levels with water supply restrictions resolved.

LionOre's Consolidated Interim Financial Statements for the quarter and Management's Discussion and Analysis can be found at

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained herein are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies. Many known and unknown factors could cause actual events or results to differ materially from estimated or anticipated events or results reflected in such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: exploration, development and operating risks, uninsurable risks, ore reserve and resource estimates, additional funding requirements, dependence on smelting facilities, foreign countries and regulatory requirements, and environmental regulation and liability. For further information concerning certain such factors, see the Company's most recent annual information form filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities on SEDAR at The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and, accordingly, not to put undue reliance on such statements.

Teleconference and Webcast Details:

LionOre will host a teleconference / webcast on Friday May 12, 2006 at 10:00am EDT. The webcast can be accessed at and will be archived on the site for 90 days. The replay will be available for 2 weeks at 416-695-5800 or 1-800-408-3053, pass code 3185901#.

For further information, please visit

Contact Information

  • LionOre Mining - UK / Europe
    Colin Steyn
    President & CEO
    +44 (0)20 7590 8888
    LionOre Africa
    Peter Breese
    Managing Director
    +27 (0)11 463 4223
    LionOre Mining - Canada
    Ted Mayers
    Chief Financial Officer
    +1 (416) 777-1670
    +1 (416) 777-1320 (FAX)
    LionOre Australia
    Glenn Jardine
    Managing Director
    +61 (0)8 9426 0100