Argonaut Gold Inc.

Argonaut Gold Inc.

November 15, 2010 08:49 ET

Argonaut Gold Reports Q3 2010 Financial Results

66% Increase in Gold Production in Q3

Delivers More Than 5,000 Ounces in October

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 15, 2010) - Argonaut Gold Inc. ("Argonaut" or the "Company") (TSX:AR), today announced its full financial results for the 3rd quarter, ended on September 30, 2010. The capital expansion program at El Castillo is nearing completion, with the east side processing plant expected to be operational by year end.

Third Quarter Highlights

  • 2010 Q3 compared to 2009 Q3
    • Total Tonnes mined ↑ +83%
    • Ore Tonnes processed ↑ +92%
    • Gold Production ↑ +66%
    • Record ounces loaded on the pad (24,202 ounces)
  • $621 Cash cost per Oz. produced (El Castillo); $605 year to date
  • Revenue $9.8 million
  • Operating Income $3.2 million
  • Net Income $345,358

October Highlights

  • Over 1.5 million total tonnes moved in October 2010
  • Over 5,000 ounces of production in October 2010
  • Barren solution upgrade project completed

CAPEX Program Updates

West Side Improvements

  • Commissioned pad 7 and began loading ore in Q3
  • Barren solution volume capacity for the west carbon plant upgraded to 1000 cubic meters/hr of flow from 400 cubic meters per/hr of flow, more than doubling the previous flow rate

East Side Additions

  • Stage 1, cell 1 was complete
  • Cell 2 and 3 of Stage 1 will be complete by year end
  • Barren and PLS ponds will be complete by year end
  • East Carbon plant will be commissioned by year end

CEO Commentary

Noting El Castillo's continuous improvements and increase in production, Argonaut's President and CEO Peter Dougherty noted:

"The 3rd quarter marks the third consecutive quarter of increased gold production at El Castillo (12,724 ounces). During the 3rd quarter there were 24,202 ounces delivered to the pad. This was a record month for ounces delivered to the pad at El Castillo. Upgrades to the west side processing plant more than doubled the previous flow rate.

The capital expansion program is scheduled for completion by year end, which will include commissioning of the east side processing plant. Combined, the two plants' facilities will provide a processing capacity of over 1 million tonnes of ore per month.

October demonstrated production abilities of operations at El Castillo following the CAPEX improvements. October production was over 5,000 ounces, with over 1.5 total tonnes mined. The improvements made at the El Castillo mine were key to establishing a 75,000 ounce run rate in 2011."

This press release should be read in conjunction with the Company's unaudited consolidated interim financial statements for the quarter‐ended September 30, 2010 and associated Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") which are available from the Company's website, in the "Investors" section under "Financial Filings", and under the Company's profile on SEDAR at

Summary of Production Results:

Year over year, total tonnes mined increased by +83% for the quarter. With a full quarter of utilizing a larger, more efficient truck fleet at El Castillo, the rate of mining production exceeded 1.5 million tonnes per month. The total of ounces loaded to the pads also increased. In the 3rd quarter 24,202 ounces were placed on the pad, representing a 20% increase over 2nd quarter in 2010.

Gold production of 12,724 ounces in the third quarter of 2010 was a 66% increase compared to the third quarter of 2009.

The 3rd quarter strip ratio was slightly higher than previous quarters. The Company chose to begin mining the $1,000 pit limit in accordance with the arrival of the new larger capacity fleet. This was done in anticipation of the new 43-101 technical report to be completed and released in January 2011. The strip ratio is expected to return to the range historically mined at El Castillo.

Key operational metrics and production statistics for the third quarter of 2010 compared to 2009 are presented below:

    Q3 2010   Q3 2009*   9 Months Ended
El Castillo Operating Statistics   9/30/2010   9/30/2009   9/30/2010   9/30/2009
Total Tonnes mined   4,749,610   2,594,800   11,093,516   5,966,900
Tonnes Ore   2,013,668   1,051,300   5,197,406   2,477,800
ROM Tonnes Ore   1,675,504   782,900   4,237,532   1,809,000
(direct to leach pad)                
Tonnes Crushed   369,275   268,300   954,559   668,800
Gold Grade (g/t)   0.37   0.42   0.37   0.48
Gold Loaded to Pad (oz)   24,202   14,100   60,744   37,851
Gold Produced (oz)   12,724   7,655   33,032   20,044
Gold Sales (oz)   7,994   7,311   26,779   19,436

*Note: Information obtained from Castle Gold Corporation press release dated October 21, 2009 and Castle Gold Corporation 3rd quarter MD&A dated November 25, 2009.

Financial Results – Third Quarter 2010

During the third quarter of 2010, revenue was $9.8 million compared to $7.0 million for El Castillo in Q3 of 2009 as reported by Castle Gold Corporation ("Castle Gold") for the El Castillo Mine in its Management's Discussion and Analysis for the Quarter ended September 30, 2009 posted on November 26, 2009 on  The increase in revenue is due to more gold ounces sold and higher gold prices.  During the third quarter of 2010, cost of sales and depletion, depreciation and accretion expenses were $6.7 million.   Cash cost per gold ounce for units sold was $622.  (Cash cost per gold ounce for units sold is a non-GAAP measure and is cost of sales less silver sales divided by gold ounces sold.)   Income from mining operations was $3.2 million and net income was $345,358.  Cash cost per ounce of gold produced was $621. (Cash cost per ounce of gold produced is a non-GAAP measure and is mining and processing cost over units produced.)

During the nine months ended September 30, 2010, revenue was $31.7 million compared to $18.1 million for El Castillo as reported by Castle Gold.   The increase in revenue is due to 7,343 more gold ounces sold and higher gold prices.  During the first nine months of 2010, cost of sales & depletion, depreciation and accretion expenses were $25.0 million.  Cost of sales included 11,032 gold ounces, of the 26,779 gold ounces sold, that were fair valued at acquisition of Castle Gold at market price of gold less cost to process units. The year-to-date cash cost per gold ounce for units sold (a non-GAAP measure) was $809 which includes the above fair value adjustment.  During the first nine months of 2010, income from mining operations was $6.6 million and net loss was $1.6 million.  During the first nine months of 2010, cash cost per ounce of gold produced (a non-GAAP measure) was $605.

Looking Forward – 4th Quarter:

  • East side processing facility scheduled for year-end completion
  • Current production rate on target to achieve 47,000 ounces in 2010
  • Vote on proposed merger with Pediment Gold Corp

Cash Requirements:

The capital expansion program is anticipated to be funded by operating cash flow and cash on hand.

Q3 2010 Financial Results Conference Call and Webcast:

Argonaut Gold will host a conference call on Monday, November 15th, 2010 at 9:30 am EST to discuss the third quarter 2010 results and provide an update of the Company's operating, exploration, and development activities.

Participants may join the conference call by dialing 1(877)240-9772 or 1(416)340-8530 for calls outside of Canada and the United States. The pass code is 6778610 followed by the # key. The conference call may also be accessed via webcast by visiting the Company's website,

A recorded playback of the conference call can be accessed after the event until November 22, 2010 by dialing 1(800)408-3053 or 1(905)694-9451 for calls outside Canada and the United States. The pass code for the conference call playback is 6778610 followed by the # key.

About Argonaut

Argonaut is a Canadian gold company engaged in exploration, mine development and production activities. Its primary assets being the production-stage El Castillo Project and the exploration-stage La Fortuna Project, both located in the State of Durango, Mexico. Argonaut was created by former executive management team members of Meridian Gold Inc. Creating the Next Quality Mid-Tier Gold Producer in the Americas.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause results to differ materially from management's current expectations. Actual results may differ materially due to a number of factors. Except as required by law, Argonaut Gold Inc. assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking information contained in this news release.

Qualified Person

Preparation of this release was supervised by Thomas Burkhart, Argonaut's Vice President of Exploration, and a Qualified Person under NI 43-101. For additional information on El Castillo please refer to the "Technical Report on the El Castillo Project in Durango, Mexico" dated July 31, 2008 and available at Argonaut's profile on

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