SOURCE: Ventura Gold Corp.

July 31, 2008 09:00 ET

Ventura Announces Fiscal Year-End Results With Positive Working Capital of $7.6 Million

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - July 31, 2008) - Ventura Gold Corp. ("the Company") (TSX-V: VGO) ended its fiscal year at March 31, 2008 with $7.0 million in cash and cash equivalents and aggregate working capital of $7.6 million. The Company also held long-term investments of $1.0 million and securities held for trading with a market value of approximately $1.0 million. (All amounts are reported in US dollars, except as otherwise indicated.)

Ventura continued to make significant progress in implementing its business strategy, including the following highlights for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008 and year to date:

--  Closed a non-brokered private placement unit financing in February
    2008 raising $7.25 million in gross proceeds;
--  Confirmed the existence of a well-mineralized gold-silver zone within
    the Angela vein at the Inmaculada gold property in Peru along a strike
    length of greater than 500 meters ("m") and to a depth of as much as 300m
    below surface.  These significant drill assay results were obtained in a
    second-phase core drilling program totalling 1,766m in eight drill holes as
    announced subsequent to year-end in a June 12, 2008 news release.
    Additional drilling is ongoing;
--  Invested $300,000 to acquire 1.2 million shares (approximately 9% of
    the issued shares) of Caribbean Copper and Gold Corporation ("CCGC"), a
    private unlisted exploration company with properties in Colombia and
    Panama, increasing Ventura's strategic investment holdings to interests in
    eight companies;
--  Saw successful initial public offerings (IPO's) for two of Ventura's
    previously-private equity investments, which commenced trading on the TSX
    Venture Exchange ("TSX-V") -- Colombian Mines Corporation and African Aura
    Resources Ltd.;
--  Completed the earn-in and acquisition of a 60% interest in the
    Cottonwood Peak gold exploration property in Northern Nevada;
--  Completed a drilling program on the Gold Gulch copper-gold project in
    Arizona, adjacent to the Phelps Dodge Morenci copper mine;
--  Entered into an option agreement with Columbus Gold Corporation to
    acquire a 51% interest in the Del Oro Property located in the
    Getchell/Battle Mountain Trend south of Winnemucca, Nevada;
--  Announced that due to corporate priorities the Company is actively
    seeking joint venture partners to advance its Del Oro, Gold Gulch and
    Cottonwood Peak gold exploration properties in Nevada and Arizona.

Financial and Exploration Investment Overview

During the year ended March 31, 2008, the Company incurred a net loss of $1,306,955 ($0.01 per share) primarily due to increased administrative expenses arising from a significant acceleration of on-going exploration activities together with an unrealized loss on securities held for trading. During the same period last year, the Company incurred a net loss of $422,024 ($0.01 per share). The Company has filed its year-end financial statements and management discussion and analysis on SEDAR.

Net cash used in investing activities in 2008 was $4.3 million (2007 - $1.7 million). This was the result of several transactions including: a) the Company incurred $2.8 million in mineral property and deferred exploration costs mainly on the Gold Gulch and Inmaculada properties; and b) the Company acquired $0.6 million of securities held for trading and $0.8 million of long-term investments through strategic investment transactions.


The Company has planned exploration programs through March 31, 2009 which total approximately $2.1 million, mainly focusing on the Inmaculada silver-gold project in Peru. The programs involve significant discretionary spending that can be deferred or cancelled depending on results, project priorities or cash availability.

At the completion of the current program of 15,000 meters of drilling at the Inmaculada gold-silver property in Peru (scheduled to be completed by early 2009), the Company will have met the requirements to earn-in and acquire a 51% join venture interest in the Inmaculada gold-silver project. At completion of the Company's earn-in, Hochschild has a one-time "back in" right for 90 days to acquire an additional 11% interest in the project (60% in total) in consideration for paying to the Company three times the Company's accumulated exploration expenditures (estimated to be approximately $4.0 million upon completion of the 15,000m drill program) on the project. If Hochschild exercises the back-in option, the project will go forward with the Company owning a 40% joint venture interest. If Hochschild does not elect to exercise the back-in option, the project will go forward with the Company owning a 51% interest and a right to acquire up to a 70% interest upon completion of certain feasibility study and financing criteria.

It is anticipated that the existing cash reserves will be sufficient to finance the Company's planned exploration and investment activities for the current fiscal year.

About Ventura

Ventura Gold Corp. is a United States-based precious metals exploration and development company with a business plan to a) acquire, evaluate and develop high-grade, low-cost gold-silver and base-metal deposits with a view to establishing strategic alliances and/or joint ventures with larger companies, and b) acquire strategic investments and/or alliances with pre-IPO exploration companies and listed junior companies where Ventura believes those companies and management have the resources and expertise to optimize the potential value of their asset bases. In addition to exploration projects in Peru, Arizona and Nevada, Ventura has approximately $2 million in strategic investments in emerging exploration companies with exposure to projects in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Indonesia and Africa.

Neither Hochschild Mining plc nor any of its subsidiaries accept any responsibility for the adequacy or inadequacy of the disclosure made in this news release and any such responsibility is hereby disclaimed in all respects.

The TSX Venture Exchange neither approves nor disapproves of the information contained in this News Release.

(Expressed in United States Dollars)

                                                    2008          2007
                                                ------------  ------------


   Cash and cash equivalents                    $  7,022,533  $  5,114,105
   Receivables                                         9,007         4,179
   Advances                                                -        37,025
   Securities held for trading                       959,577             -
                                                ------------  ------------

                                                   7,991,117     5,155,309

Reclamation bond                                      25,585        21,946
Mineral properties and deferred exploration
 costs                                             4,797,298     1,808,540
Long-term investments                              1,029,819       609,608
                                                ------------  ------------

                                                $ 13,843,819  $  7,595,403
                                                ============  ============


   Accounts payable and accrued liabilities     $    116,077  $     61,681
   Accounts payable to related parties                71,277        87,868
   Loans payable                                     245,318       232,585
                                                ------------  ------------

                                                     432,672       382,134
                                                ------------  ------------

Shareholders' equity
   Capital stock                                  18,005,765    10,925,235
   Contributed surplus                               822,875       574,574
   Deficit                                        (5,417,493)   (4,286,540)
                                                ------------  ------------

                                                  13,411,147     7,213,269
                                                ------------  ------------

                                                $ 13,843,819  $  7,595,403
                                                ============  ============

(Expressed in United States Dollars)

                                                    2008          2007
                                                ------------  ------------

   Administration and management services       $    205,434  $    102,218
   Bank charges and interest                           5,735         1,465
   Consulting                                         76,470           950
   Exploration costs                                  26,377        45,138
   Interest on loans payable                          12,733        11,527
   Investor relations and promotion                    8,785             -
   Office and miscellaneous                           20,305         7,546
   Professional fees                                 135,293        97,828
   Rent and utilities                                 71,135         8,222
   Salaries                                          340,573         7,233
   Shareholder information                             6,694         7,653
   Stock-based compensation                          250,600         9,613
   Telephone                                           1,478           367
   Transfer, exchange and filing fees                 25,979        20,263
   Travel and related                                 39,210           556
                                                ------------  ------------

                                                  (1,226,801)     (320,579)
                                                ------------  ------------

   Foreign exchange  loss                             (6,293)      (67,666)
   Interest income                                   162,801        86,091
   Gain on extinguishment of debt                          -        24,425
   Unrealized loss on securities held for
    trading                                         (319,651)            -
   Unrealized gain on warrants                        82,989             -
   Write-off mineral property and deferred
    exploration costs                                      -      (144,295)
                                                ------------  ------------

                                                     (80,154)     (101,445)
                                                ------------  ------------

Loss for the year                                 (1,306,955)     (422,024)

Deficit, beginning of year                        (4,286,540)   (3,864,516)

Fair value adjustment for financial instruments      176,002             -
                                                ------------  ------------

Deficit, end of year                            $ (5,417,493) $ (4,286,540)
                                                ============  ============

Basic and diluted loss per common share         $      (0.01) $      (0.01)
                                                ============  ============

Weighted average number of common shares
 outstanding                                     120,675,056    99,499,316
                                                ============  ============

(Expressed in United States Dollars)

                                                    2008          2007
                                                ------------  ------------

   Loss for the year                            $ (1,306,955) $   (422,024)
   Items not affecting cash:
      Interest accrued on loans payable               12,733        11,527
      Stock-based compensation                       250,600         9,613
      Gain on extinguishment of debt                       -       (24,425)
      Unrealized gain on warrants                    (82,989)            -
      Unrealized loss on securities held for
       trading                                       319,651             -
      Write-off of mineral property and
       deferred exploration costs                          -       144,295

   Changes in non-cash working capital items:
      Increase in receivables                         (4,828)       (2,885)
      (Increase) decrease in advances                 37,025       (37,025)
      Increase in accounts payable and accrued
       liabilities                                    51,837        14,284
      Increase (decrease) in accounts payable
       to related parties                             15,728        (5,168)
                                                ------------  ------------

   Cash used in operating activities                (707,198)     (311,808)
                                                ------------  ------------

   Issuance of capital stock                       7,252,199     6,565,680
   Share issue costs                                (404,454)      (30,201)
                                                ------------  ------------

   Cash provided by financing activities           6,847,745     6,535,479
                                                ------------  ------------

   Securities held for trading                      (630,662)            -
   Equipment                                               -             -
   Long-term investments                            (809,786)     (609,607)
   Return of exploration advances                          -       140,322
   Mineral property reclamation bond                  (3,639)      (21,946)
   Mineral properties and deferred exploration
    costs                                         (2,788,032)   (1,216,168)
                                                ------------  ------------

   Cash used in investing activities              (4,232,119)   (1,707,399)
                                                ------------  ------------

Increase in cash and cash equivalents during
 the year                                          1,908,428     4,516,272

Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of year       5,114,105       597,833
                                                ------------  ------------

Cash and cash equivalents, end of year          $  7,022,533  $  5,114,105
                                                ============  ============
Cash and equivalents is comprised of:
   Cash                                         $  7,022,533  $  5,110,747
   Short-term commercial paper                             -         3,358
                                                ------------  ------------
                                                   7,022,533     5,114,105
                                                ============  ============
Cash paid during the year for:
   Interest expense                             $          -  $          -
   Income taxes                                            -             -
                                                ============  ============

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:

    Wendy Yang
    Vice President of Investor Relations
    (303) 357-4863

    Eric Edwards
    President and CEO
    (303) 357-4862