Argonaut Gold Inc.
TSX : AR

Argonaut Gold Inc.

July 15, 2015 19:30 ET

Argonaut Gold Announces Second Quarter 2015 Production of 36,529 Gold Equivalent Ounces

79,784 Gold Equivalent Ounces Produced Year to Date

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 15, 2015) - Argonaut Gold Inc. ("Argonaut", "Argonaut Gold" or the "Company") (TSX:AR) announced today that it produced 36,529 gold equivalent ounces ("GEO" or "GEOs"; calculated at conversion ratios set out below) during the second quarter ended June 30, 2015. This included 21,624 GEOs at its 100% owned El Castillo Mine ("El Castillo") located in the State of Durango, Mexico and 14,905 GEOs at its 100% owned La Colorada Mine ("La Colorada") located near Hermosillo, Mexico. Production to date is consistent with Argonaut's production guidance for 2015.

2nd Quarter Year to date
2015 2014 Change 2015 2014 Change
Total Gold Equivalent Ounce Production:
GEOs loaded to the pads1 55,871 56,451 -1 % 110,125 109,056 +1 %
GEOs projected recoverable ounces1,2 31,617 31,849 -1 % 63,251 61,174 +3 %
GEOs produced ounces1 36,529 30,310 +21 % 79,784 61,273 +30 %
GEOs ounces sold1 36,547 31,723 +15 % 78,965 61,888 +28 %

1 GEOs are based on conversion ratio of 55:1 for silver to gold and is the referenced ratio throughout this release.
2 Recoverable ounces - El Castillo expected recovery rates: ROM oxide 50%, crushed oxide 70%, ROM transition 40%, crushed transition 60%, crushed sulphides argillic 30% and crushed sulphides silicic 17%; La Colorada expected recovery rates: gold 60% and silver 30%.

SECOND QUARTER 2015 HIGHLIGHTS:

Corporate Highlights

  • Cash balance is $44 million which increased quarter over quarter by $3 million after giving effect to the final payment to Silver Standard Resources Inc. for the San Agustin purchase of $23 million.

El Castillo

  • Quarterly production of 21,624 GEOs.
  • During the quarter, 27,954 contained gold ounces loaded on the leach pads.
  • 80 thousand tonnes per day mined and 2.8 million tonnes of mineralized material placed on the heap leach pads during the quarter.
  • Scheduled 2015 construction of the heap leach pads for the facility has been completed ahead of schedule.

La Colorada

  • Quarterly production of 13,948 gold ounces and 52,648 silver ounces, for 14,905 GEOs.
  • During the quarter, 20,331 contained gold ounces and 417,223 contained silver ounces were loaded on the leach pads.
  • Average crusher throughput for the quarter of over 14,700 tonnes per day.
  • Construction
    • The first phase of leach pad 6 is complete and the second phase of leach pad 6 is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter.
    • Construction of leach pad 9a is 95% complete.
    • Installation of the second phase of the overland conveyor was completed.

San Agustin

  • Completed over 4,200 metres of drilling in 35 holes year to date.
  • Environmental permit application (MIA) completed and submitted.
  • Working on finalizing negotiations in regards to the acquisition of land and surface rights.
  • Final payment of $23 million (including value added tax), made to Silver Standard Resources Inc. to complete the purchase for 100% ownership of the San Agustin property.

Magino

  • Completed over 11,200 metres of drilling in 50 drill holes year to date.
  • Incorporating the recent drilling into an updated resource and revised block model and expect to prepare an updated prefeasibility study by year-end.

Pete Dougherty, Argonaut Gold's President and CEO, said "I am pleased with the progress at all of our properties as we advanced production and exploration efforts. We built a strong cash position during the first half of the year which allowed us to make the final payment on the San Agustin property. At June 30, 2015 we had $44 million in cash after investing $22 million into capital projects during the first half of 2015, and making the $23 million payment for San Agustín. We are well advanced on our capital programs, with all major pad construction projects complete for the year. We are on target to achieve our production guidance, and are advancing our development projects."

SECOND QUARTER 2015 EL CASTILLO OPERATING STATISTICS
3 Months Ended June 30 6 Months Ended June 30
2015 2014 % Change 2015 2014 % Change
Mining (Tonnes 000s)
Total tonnes mined 7,256 8,291 -12 % 13,949 16,120 -13 %
Total mineralized tonnes mined 2,855 3,767 -24 % 5,666 7,433 -24 %
Tonnes waste 4,401 4,524 -3 % 8,283 8,688 -5 %
Tonnes per day 80 91 -12 % 77 89 -13 %
Waste/mineralized material ratio 1.54 1.20 +28 % 1.46 1.17 +25 %
Heap Leach Pad (Tonnes 000s)
Tonnes mineralized material direct to leach pad 0 683 -100 % 0 1,506 -100 %
Tonnes crushed 1,263 1,616 -22 % 2,660 3,113 -15 %
Tonnes overland conveyor 1,533 1,468 +4 % 2,948 2,814 +5 %
Production
Gold grade (g/t)1 0.31 0.31 0 % 0.32 0.32 0 %
Gold loaded to leach pad (oz)2 27,954 37,352 -25 % 58,510 77,276 -24 %
Gold produced (oz)3 21,409 21,041 +2 % 46,031 43,017 +7 %
Gold equivalent ounces produced4 21,624 21,359 +1 % 46,469 43,530 +7 %
Gold sold (oz) 20,679 22,292 -7 % 44,535 43,198 +3 %
Silver sold (oz) 11,847 17,474 -32 % 24,106 28,211 -15 %
Projected recoverable gold ounces (oz)5 17,143 21,424 -20 % 36,205 43,701 -17 %
1 "g/t" is grams per tonne
2 "oz" means troy ounce
3 Produced ounces are calculated as ounces loaded to carbon
4 GEOs are based on a conversion ratio of 55:1 for silver to gold
5 Recovery rates: ROM oxide 50%, crushed oxide 70%, ROM transition 40%, crushed transition 60%, crushed sulfides argilic 30%, crushed sulfides silicic 17%.
SECOND QUARTER 2015 LA COLORADA OPERATING STATISTICS
3 Months Ended June 30 6 Months Ended June 30
2015 2014 % Change 2015 2014 % Change
Mining (Tonnes 000s)
Tonnes mineralized material 578 700 -17 % 1,061 1,260 -16 %
Tonnes waste 2,130 3,145 -32 % 4,674 7,188 -35 %
Total tonnes 2,708 3,845 -30 % 5,735 8,448 -32 %
Waste/mineralized material ratio 3.68 4.49 -18 % 4.41 5.70 -23 %
Tonnes rehandled 767 245 +213 % 1,430 315 +354 %
Heap Leach Pad (Tonnes 000s)
Tonnes crushed 1,346 880 +53 % 2,486 1,515 +64 %
Production
Gold grade to leach pad (g/t)1 0.47 0.55 -15 % 0.48 0.54 -11 %
Gold loaded to leach pad (oz)2 20,331 15,651 +30 % 38,539 26,463 +46 %
Projected recoverable GEOs loaded (oz)3,4 14,474 10,425 +39 % 27,046 17,473 +55 %
Gold produced (oz) 13,948 8,420 +66 % 31,117 15,983 +95 %
Silver produced (oz) 52,648 29,224 +80 % 120,909 96,803 +25 %
GEOs produced (oz) 14,905 8,951 +67 % 33,315 17,743 +88 %
Gold sold (oz) 14,642 8,530 +72 % 31,760 16,263 +95 %
Silver sold (oz) 55,628 32,083 +73 % 122,762 105,294 +17 %
GEOs sold 15,653 9,113 +72 % 33,992 18,177 +87 %
1 "g/t" is grams per tonne
2 "oz" means troy ounce
3 Recovery rates: gold 60% and silver 30%
4 GEOs based on conversion ratio of 55:1 for silver to gold

Richard Rhoades, Chief Operating Officer of Argonaut Gold, said "At El Castillo, we are pleased with the progress at the mine. We have completed 220,000 square metres of heap leach pad construction for the year. The final 180,000 square metres of pad to be built at the project is anticipated to be constructed during 2017. We continue our cost saving programs; during the quarter we reduced our operating teams as efficiency improved in the mining area. We reduced our cyanide application rates as the benefits from the one-time dosing of higher cyanide application have been achieved. The crushing circuit is consistently running around a 31,000 tonnes per day average. This is lower than the original mine plan and we have adjusted the workforce to match this lower profile. We still anticipate producing between 85,000-90,000 GEOs from El Castillo this year.

At the La Colorada Mine, we are encouraged by the higher throughput achieved in the crushing circuits as we averaged over 14,700 tonnes per day. During the quarter, we continued to blend production from the reprocessing of the leach pad material from the historic pads, and mining the main La Colorada/Gran Central pit. We expect this blending to continue through the rest of the year, which will provide the operational flexibility to effectively manage operations and costs. We are still mining high grade from the bottom of the La Colorada pit and anticipate two to three more benches of material to be removed. We have completed the majority of the capital initiatives for the year and are well positioned to achieve 50,000-55,000 GEOs of production for the year".

Argonaut Gold Q2 2015 Financial Results Conference Call and Webcast - August 14, 2015:

The Q2 financial results call is scheduled to take place on August 14, 2015 at 8:30 AM (ET). Details for the call-in participation are:

Q2 2015 Conference Call Information for August 14, 2015:
Toll Free (North America): 1-877-223-4471
International: 1-647-788-4922
Webcast: http://www.argonautgold.com/
Q2 2015 Conference Call Replay:
Toll Free Replay Call (North America): 1-416-621-4642
International Replay Call: 1-800-585-8367
Conference ID: 26243628

The conference call replay will be available from 11:30 AM (ET) on August 14, 2015 to August 26, 2015.

About Argonaut Gold

Argonaut Gold is a Canadian gold company engaged in exploration, mine development and production activities. Its primary assets are the production stage El Castillo Mine in Durango, Mexico, and the La Colorada Mine in Sonora, Mexico. Advanced exploration stage projects are the San Antonio project in Baja California Sur, Mexico, the Magino project in Ontario, Canada and the San Agustín project in Durango, Mexico. The San Agustín and Magino projects will be the primary exploration targets for Argonaut in 2015. The Company also has several exploration stage projects, all of which are located in North America.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" under applicable Canadian securities laws concerning the proposed transaction and the business, operations and financial performance and condition of Argonaut Gold Inc. ("Argonaut" or "Argonaut Gold"). Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to estimated production and mine life of the various mineral projects of Argonaut; the future price of gold, copper, and silver; the estimation of mineral reserves and resources; the realization of mineral reserve estimates; the timing and amount of estimated future production; costs of production; the benefits of the development potential of the properties of Argonaut; success of exploration activities; synergies and financial impact of completed acquisitions; and currency exchange rate fluctuations. Except for statements of historical fact relating to Argonaut, certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan," "expect," "project," "intend," "believe," "anticipate", "estimate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are based on a number of assumptions and subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Many of these assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of Argonaut and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct.

Factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from results anticipated by such forward-looking statements include changes in market conditions, variations in mineral grade or recovery rates, risks relating to international operations, fluctuating metal prices and currency exchange rates, changes in project parameters, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry, failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated. Although Argonaut has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Argonaut undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Statements concerning mineral reserve and resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward-looking statements to the extent they involve estimates of the mineralization that will be encountered if the property is developed. Comparative market information is as of a date prior to the date of this document.

Qualified Person, Technical Information and Mineral Properties Reports

Technical information included in this release was supervised and approved by Thomas Burkhart, Argonaut Gold's Vice President of Exploration, and a Qualified Person under National Instrument ("NI") 43-101.

For further information on the Company's material properties, please see the reports as listed below on the Company's website or on www.sedar.com:

El Castillo Mine NI 43-101 Technical Report on Resources and Reserves, Argonaut Gold Inc., El Castillo Mine, Durango State, Mexico dated February 24, 2011 and with an effective date of November 6, 2010
La Colorada Mine NI 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment La Colorada Project, Sonora, Mexico dated December 30, 2011 and with an effective date of October 15, 2011
San Agustín Project NI 43-101 Technical Report and Preliminary Economic Assessment on the San Agustín Heap Leach Project, Durango, Mexico dated February 19, 2015 and with an effective date of October 3, 2014
Magino Gold Project Preliminary Feasibility Study Technical Report for the Magino Project, Wawa, Ontario, Canada dated January 30, 2014 and with an effective date of December 17, 2013
San Antonio Gold Project NI 43-101 Technical Report on Resources, San Antonio Project, Baja California Sur, Mexico dated October 10, 2012 and with an effective date of September 2, 2012

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