Cambior Inc.

Cambior Inc.

November 03, 2005 19:22 ET

Cambior Inc.: Third Quarter 2005 Results

LONGUEUIL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 3, 2005) - Cambior Inc. (TSX:CBJ) (AMEX:CBJ) All amounts are expressed in US dollars, unless otherwise indicated.

- Revenues of $91.7 million, up 14%
- Cash flow from operating activities of $11.7 million
- Net loss of $2.2 million
- Continued strong operating results and reserve increase at the
Rosebel mine
- Production ended at Omai Gold Mine in September
- Agreement to sell the Carlota Copper project
- Adoption of a Shareholder Rights Plan

Cambior Inc. (TSX & AMEX:CBJ) - For the third quarter ended September 30, 2005, revenues totalled $91.7 million, compared to $80.7 million for the same period last year, representing an increase of 13.6%. This increase in revenues is essentially attributable to non-gold operations, particularly Omai Bauxite Mining Inc. which was formed in December 2004. Total gold production reached 158,300 ounces at mine operating costs of $314 per ounce compared to 174,500 ounces at mine operating costs of $263 per ounce in the corresponding period a year ago.

Cash flow from operating activities reached $11.7 million for the third quarter, which compares to $16.9 million for the corresponding period in 2004. Despite higher revenues, Cambior incurred a net loss of $2.2 million ($0.01 per share) compared to a net loss of $6.1 million ($0.02 per share) in the third quarter of 2004.

Revenues for the first nine months of 2005 totalled $272.0 million, up 24% from revenues of $219.0 million for the same period in 2004. For the first nine months, Cambior reports net earnings of $0.4 million ($0.00 per share) and cash flow from operating activities of $34.6 million, compared to net earnings of $2.9 million ($0.01 per share) and cash flow from operating activities of $34.2 million for the corresponding period in 2004. Year-to-date, gold production reached 496,800 ounces at mine operating costs of $284 per ounce compared to 519,000 ounces at mine operating costs of $242 per ounce in 2004. The Company remains confident to reach its 2005 gold production objective of 640,000 ounces.

Commenting on the quarterly results, Mr. Louis P. Gignac, President and CEO noted: "We continue to face cost pressures arising from the record fuel prices, strong Canadian dollar and other inflationary increases which are offsetting the improved gold market conditions. Fuel prices increased by 44% year-over-year for the quarter and the first nine months of the year; high fuel prices particularly penalized the last quarter of operations at the Omai Mine where the fuel costs for power and transportation were near $200 per ounce produced. Without the Omai contribution, our gold production was 129,500 ounces at a mine operating cost of $288 per ounce. We have made steady progress at Doyon and are making progress on a turnaround at Sleeping Giant and we are looking forward to a stronger fourth quarter. We have also completed our Phase I rehabilitation at Omai Bauxite and the expansion and optimization program at Niobec, which should also impact favourably our results in the next three months."


Agreement to sell the Carlota Copper project

The Company has entered into an agreement with Quadra Mining Ltd. for the sale of its Carlota copper assets for a consideration of $37.5 million. Under the terms of the agreement, payments of the purchase price will be comprised of $15.0 million in cash at closing followed by eight quarterly payments of 6,250 ounces of gold which, based on a reference gold price of $450 per ounce, represent the remaining $22.5 million of the purchase price. The final four gold payments may be deferred if Quadra is unable to begin construction by the first quarter of 2007.

The transaction is consistent with Cambior's intention to focus on gold. The transaction also accomplishes a swap of exposure to copper for exposure to physical gold as the future consideration is denominated in gold ounces. The Company expects to close the transaction in late November.

Adoption of shareholder rights plan

Cambior announces that its board of Directors has adopted today a Shareholder Rights Plan (the "Plan") to encourage the fair treatment of shareholders should a take-over bid be made for Cambior. The Plan is effective as of November 4th, 2005 and will provide the board of directors of Cambior Inc. (the "Board") and the shareholders more time to consider fully any unsolicited take-over bid for Cambior. The Plan is intended to discourage coercive or unfair take-over bids and gives the Board time to pursue alternatives to maximize shareholder value, if appropriate, in the event of an unsolicited takeover bid.

The Plan has not been adopted in response to, or in contemplation of, any specific proposal to acquire control of Cambior. The Plan is subject to acceptance by the Toronto Stock Exchange and must be ratified by shareholders within six months of the effective date of the Plan. Unless otherwise terminated in accordance with its terms, the Plan will terminate at the close of the third annual meeting of Cambior shareholders following the meeting at which the Plan is ratified by shareholders, unless the Plan is reconfirmed and extended at such meeting.

"The Board is of the view that the recent weakness of the share price of Cambior might have created an environment where an opportunistic take-over offer could be made for Cambior. Such an offer may not be in the best interests of all shareholders. Consequently, the Board has taken a pro-active approach and implemented a Shareholder Rights Plan, the benefits of which extend to our shareholders should an offer be made for Cambior", said Mr. Guy G. Dufresne, Chairman of Cambior.

The rights issued under the Plan will become exercisable only when a person, including any party related to it, acquires or announces its intention to acquire 20 percent or more of the outstanding shares of Cambior without complying with the "Permitted Bid" provisions of the Plan or without approval of the Board. Should such an acquisition occur, each right would, upon exercise, entitle a rights holder, other than the acquiring person and related persons, to purchase shares of Cambior at a substantial discount to the market price at the time.

Under the Plan, a "Permitted Bid" is a bid made to all shareholders of Cambior and is open for acceptance for not less than 60 days. If, at the end of such 60-day period, at least 50 percent of the outstanding shares, other than those owned by the offer or and certain related parties, have been tendered, the offeror may take up and pay for the shares but must extend the bid for a further 10 days to allow other shareholders to tender. The Plan is similar to other shareholder rights plans recently adopted by several other Canadian companies and approved by their respective shareholders. A complete copy of the rights plan will be filed on SEDAR.


The gold price maintained its strong 2005 performance and averaged $440 per ounce for the third quarter versus $401 for the same period last year and $427 per ounce in the previous quarter. On September 30th, the gold price ended the quarter near its highest quote of the last 17 years at $473.

Cambior's average realized price in the third quarter of 2005 was $427 per ounce, ($365 per ounce in 2004) and $409 per ounce ($363 per ounce in 2004) for the first nine months. The revenue shortfall between market price and Cambior's realized price is due to the negative impact of the gold deliveries made under the prepaid gold forward sales and to the closure of other gold hedging commitments in 2004.

During the first nine months of 2005, Cambior has further reduced its gold sales commitment through the delivery of 39,000 ounces of gold against its prepaid gold forward sales agreement and the closure of 10,000 ounces in hedged positions. As at September 30th 2005, the gold delivery commitments stood at 156,000 ounces, a decrease of 24% since December 31, 2004. Over the course of the fourth quarter, the Company will deliver the last 12,980 ounces of prepaid gold and therefore terminate this portion of its gold delivery obligations.


Cambior produced 158,300 ounces of gold at a mine operating cost of $314 per ounce in the third quarter of 2005, compared to 174,500 ounces at $263 per ounce for the corresponding quarter in 2004. For the first nine months of 2005, gold production was 496,800 ounces at a mine operating cost of $284 per ounce compared to 519,000 ounces for the same period last year at a cost of $242 per ounce. The decrease in gold production is attributable to the termination of mining at Omai's Fennell pit in September 2004 and the subsequent processing of the low grade stockpile. As previously announced, Omai's activities have been terminated in September. Mining operations continued to be affected by higher costs, mainly fuel and raw materials, and by the stronger Canadian dollar. However, with the closure of the Omai mine, the exposure of gold production to fuel price will be greatly reduced and we expect lowest quarterly mine operating costs for the year in the 4th quarter.

The Rosebel mine in Suriname delivered another strong performance in the third quarter with a total gold production of 82,000 ounces of gold at a mine operating cost of $226 per ounce. This represents a 3.8% increase over the production achieved in the corresponding period in 2004. During the third quarter, some 1.8 million tonnes were processed at an average grade of 1.51 g Au/t compared to 1.5 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.72 g Au/t for a gold output of 79,000 ounces at an average mine operating cost of $195 per ounce in the third quarter of 2004. The ore processed was from the Pay Caro and Royal Hill pits. During the first nine months of 2005, the mill throughput averaged 19,817 tonnes per day and yielded some 259,600 ounces of gold, compared to 180,400 ounces in the first nine months of 2004. The higher tonnage milled is the result of debottlenecking and circuit expansion over the course of 2004. Because of higher throughput, high grading ceased at the end of 2004 and the average grade of the reserves has been milled in 2005.

As a result of the drilling campaign that took place on its Royal Hill deposit during the first five months of 2005, the Company announced in August an increase of Rosebel reserves. The 25,200 meters development drilling program resulted in the addition of 265,000 ounces of gold at an average cost of $10.07 per ounce. Encouraged by these results, the Company intensified its reserves development activities in the area. A total of 19,529 meters (142 holes) were drilled during the third quarter: 14,557 meters at Royal Hill, 3,260 meters at Rosebel and 1,714 meters at Pay Caro/East Pay Caro. The drilling programs should continue until November. Data compilation and resources modeling will follow and result with updated mineral reserves by year-end.

The final quarter of operations at Omai was entirely devoted to processing the low grade stockpiled ore accumulated in the early years of operations. A total of 1.1 million tonnes were milled during the third quarter yielding 28,800 ounces of gold at a mine operating cost of $433 per ounce. The 2004 operations based on mining in the Fennell Pit over the same period had contributed 58,400 ounces of gold at a mine operating cost of $263 per ounce. Omai's year-to-date production amounts to 96,900 ounces at a cost of $374 per ounce compared to 197,400 ounces at a cost of $230 per ounce in 2004. As explained earlier, the major cost increase between 2004 and 2005 is the result of the lower grade of the ore milled and the impact of high oil prices which represented 45% of operating costs in the third quarter. Consequently, the Omai Mine was the major cause of the cost increase for our consolidated production this quarter.

Omai facilities were inaugurated in 1993 and ceased their operations in September after having processed all available reserves. Over the course of its life, the mine has produced over 3.7 million ounces of gold, 1.6 million ounces in excess of the production originally forecasted by the feasibility study. The Company has already started the rehabilitation of the mine site with reclamation of the waste dumps and tailings ponds essentially completed. Several facilities and equipment have already been transferred to other Cambior operations and projects. The remaining elements of the closure process will take place over the next 12-15 months.

Over the course of the third quarter of 2005, the Doyon Division produced 37,700 ounces of gold at a mine operating cost of $360 per ounce, compared to 28,900 ounces produced at a cost of $442 per ounce in the course of the same period of 2004. Year-to-date production reaches 114,200 ounces at a cost of $359 per ounce compared to 115,200 ounces at a cost of $359 per ounce in 2004. Underground production continued to improve for the third consecutive quarter following the restructuring of the mine in September 2004, reaching 199,500 underground tonnes milled in the third quarter of 2005 compared to 190,700 underground tonnes for the previous quarter. Total tonnage processed reached 212,500 tonnes at an average grade of 5.8 g Au/t versus 196,400 tonnes milled at an average grade of 6.5 g Au/t for the previous quarter. The Company expects that the performance of this division will keep improving in the last quarter of 2005, especially at Mouska where higher grades are expected in the fourth quarter.

Production at Sleeping Giant totaled 9,800 ounces during the third quarter of 2005 at a mine operating cost of $525 per ounce compared to 8,200 ounces at a cost of $279 per ounce in the third quarter of 2004. For the year to date, the mine produced 26,100 ounces at a mine operating cost of $451 per ounce, versus 26,000 ounces at a cost of $281 per ounce for the corresponding period of 2004. The situation at Sleeping Giant is better explained if one looks at gold production on a monthly basis in 2005:

Month Gold Production - 100%
January 4,209
February 4,462
March 5,610
April 4,208
May 3,978
June 2,855
July 2,516
August 3,331
September 4,026

The significant loss of experienced miners impacted severely our production in both the second and third quarter, the worst moment being July. The situation has since stabilized as we recruited intensively and organized training programs for newcomers to our industry. We believe that our persistence should further improve our production and financial results.


Non-gold operations generated combined sales of $23.1 million over the course of the third quarter in comparison to $13.3 million over the same period of 2004. Year-to-date non-gold revenues amounted to $63.2 million in comparison to $28.5 million for the first nine months of 2004.The increase is attributable to the operations of Omai Bauxite Mine in which Cambior acquired a 70% ownership in December 2004.

Niobec registered sales totalling $11.3 million during the quarter ending on September 30th, 2005, compared to revenues of $11.6 million for the corresponding period in 2004. This small decrease in sales occurred because of an increase in finished products during the slower summer months. For the first nine months of the year, Niobec's revenues amounted to $36.2 million in 2005 compared to $24.5 million a year ago. Margins remained under pressure due to the strength of the Canadian dollar.

Third quarter production and operating costs were affected by the process flowsheet modifications aimed at improving Nb2O5 recovery at the concentrator. Because we elected to maintain production, our recovery and milling costs temporarily suffered. All construction work and commissioning was completed in September and operating results, both in milling capacity and recovery, have met or exceeded our objectives. The Niobec mine has now a capacity to produce 4,000,000 kg Nb per year in FeNb.

Sales from Omai Bauxite amounted to $9.6 million for the third quarter of 2005 compared to $7.3 million for the previous quarter. This sharp increase in revenues is the result of optimization of Kiln 13 performance. For the last year, we have been conducting our Phase 1 rehabilitation with many construction projects, but the main event being the total rebuilt of Kiln 14. Commissioning progressed in August and September and commercial production was reached on October 1st with a total monthly production of 27,100 tonnes of calcined high-alumina bauxite in October compared to 14,200 tonnes per month for the first half of the year. Because higher fuel prices have a major impact on our cost of production, we had to increase selling prices to our clients effective October 1st.


Camp Caiman - French Guiana

The Camp Caiman feasibility study was completed and made public during the quarter.

Highlights of the study include:
- Probable mineral reserves: 12.3 million tonnes grading 2.82 g Au/t
- Gold contained: 1.1 million ounces
- Average production rate: 124,000 ounces per annum
- Average mine operating cost: $268 per ounce
- Initial capital costs: $114.7 millions
- Expected government sponsored investment incentives (Loi Girardin):
$29 millions
- Construction period: 21 months
The project was approved by Cambior's board conditionally to:
- Obtaining all operating permits with realistic conditions and
within a reasonable timetable;
- Satisfactory government grants under Loi Girardin;
- Relief from certain regional fuel tax and other regional levies and

Permit applications were filed in September for a ten-month public and state approval process. Additional discussions are also underway with government officials with respect to the grants under the Loi Girardin and with local government representatives with respect to the expected relieves on certain regional taxes. The Company hopes to settle these matters over the first half of 2006 and initiate development of the infrastructure in mid-2006 which would allow the beginning of the operations in 2008.

La Arena and El Toro - Peru

Encouraged by the results from the drilling program completed in May 2005, the Company initiated a second phase to this program on September 15th 2005. 29 holes totaling 19,280 meters are to be drilled in the La Arena Au-Cu porphyry. As of October 31st 2005, 22 holes had been completed totaling more than 11,000 meters drilled. Results confirm economic Cu-Au mineralization in addition to the gold epithermal deposit previously discussed in our May 12th, 2005 press release.

The current plan includes completing the drilling program, conducting initial metallurgical studies on the La Arena Au-Cu mineralization, compiling results, geological modelling and initial resource estimation by the end of the first quarter 2006.

The Company has decided to temporarily postpone work on El Toro to focus its efforts on the La Arena property.

Mr. Gignac stated: "Our focus is on adding to our gold reserve base through organic growth and acquisition. Our Camp Caiman and La Arena projects are two of our most existing greenfield projects"

Additional information regarding this drilling campaign is laid out in a separate press release made public on November 3rd, 2005.


We are pleased that Mr. Gaston Cote joined Cambior in early September as Vice President, Organizational Development. Mr. Cote joins Cambior after more than 30 years of progressive leadership roles within the Canadian armed forces.

Consolidated Financial Statements

The unaudited consolidated financial statements and the Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) along with explanatory notes for the third quarter are available in PDF format on Cambior's website at or through the CCNMatthews website at (

Reminder for the Third Quarter 2005 Results Conference Call

Cambior will host a conference call on Friday, November 4, 2005 at 10:00 a.m., local time, to discuss its third quarter 2005 results.

Financial analysts are invited to participate in the call by dialling 1-800-470-5906 in North America. Outside of North America, please dial (416) 641-6683. Media and all other interested individuals are invited to listen to the live webcast on the Company's website at or CCNMatthews' at

The conference call will be available for replay for a period of 48 hours by calling (416) 626-4100, reservation #21265704. The webcast will also be archived on the Company's website.

Cambior Inc. is an international gold producer with operations, development projects and exploration activities throughout the Americas. Cambior's shares trade on the Toronto (TSX) and American (AMEX) stock exchanges under the symbol "CBJ". Cambior's warrants, "CBJ.WT.C" and "CBJ.WT.D", trade on the TSX.

Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors -- The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") allows mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. We use certain terms in this press release, such as "mineral resources", that the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in our filings with the SEC. U.S. investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in Cambior's Annual Report on Form 40-F. A copy of the 2004 Form 40-F is available to shareholders, free of charge, upon written request addressed to the Investor Relations Department.

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements", including, but not limited to, the statements regarding the Company's strategic plans, its anticipated benefits and the use of proceeds resulting thereof, in particular, the reduction of hedging, future commercial production, sales and financial results, construction and production targets and timetables, the evolution of mineral reserves and resources, mine operating costs, in particular, the continued impact of the fuel price, the strength of the Canadian currency and the cost of raw materials, capital expenditures, work programs, development plans, and exploration programs, objectives and budgets, the statements regarding the assumptions underlying the Camp Caiman feasibility study, calculation of its mineral resources and reserves, the capital expenditure estimates, the timetables (including the timetable to obtain all permits), the estimates regarding eventual gold production (tonnes, grade, recovery and ounces), the possible grant of investment incentives (including those under Loi Girardin) and, generally, the meeting of conditions relating to the Company's board approval, the statements regarding the due completion of the sale of the Carlota copper project, its anticipated benefits for Cambior and Cambior's use of proceeds thereof, the receipt of each deferred payment in gold on its due date and the dollar value of such gold at the time of delivery or, in other words, the effect of Cambior's full exposure to the gold price in connection with such deferred payments, the eventual commencement of construction of the Carlota project and its impact on the timing of gold payments, the possible determination of additional reserves and its resulting additional cash
consideration, and Cambior's eventual success to execute its strategy to focus on building its gold portfolio. Forward-looking statements express, as at the date of this press release, the Company's plans, estimates, forecasts, projections, expectations or beliefs as to future events and results. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate. Therefore, actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Risks and uncertainties that could cause results or future events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, factors associated with fluctuations in the market price of precious metals, mining industry risks, exploration risks, risks associated with foreign operations, environmental risks and hazards, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves, requirement of additional financing or additional permits, authorizations or licences, risks of hedging strategies, risks of delays in construction and production and other risks referred to in Cambior's 2004 Annual Information Form filed with the Securities Commissions of all provinces in Canada, and with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (under Form 40-F), as well as the Toronto Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange.


Third Quarter ended Nine months ended
(unaudited) September 30, September 30,
(All amounts are
in US dollars) 2005 2004 2005 2004
RESULTS (in millions of $)
Revenues 91.7 80.7 272.0 219.0
Cash flow from operating
activities 11.7 16.9 34.6 34.2
Net earnings (loss) (2.2) (6.1) 0.4 2.9
Net earnings (loss) (0.01) (0.02) (0.00) 0.01
Basic weighted average
number of common shares
outstanding (in
millions) 274.4 244.5 274.3 242.4
Number of ounces
produced (000) 158 174 497 519
Realized gold price
($ per ounce) 427 365 409 363
Mine operating costs
($ per ounce) 314 263 284 242

September 30, December 31,
2005 2004
FINANCIAL POSITION (in millions of $)
Cash and short-term investments 13 55
Total assets 588 590
Shareholders' equity 382 375
Total number of shares outstanding (in millions) 274.5 274.2

GOLD PRODUCTION Third Quarter Nine months
STATISTICS ended September 30, ended September 30,
(unaudited) 2005 2004 2005 2004
Rosebel (100%) (1)
Production (ounces) 82,000 79,000 259,600 180,400
Tonnage milled (t) 1,805,400 1,501,500 5,410,100 3,487,200
Grade milled (g Au/t) 1.51 1.72 1.58 1.80
Recovery (%) 94 95 94 93
Mine operating costs
($ per tonne milled) 10 10 10 9
Mine operating costs
($ per ounce) 226 195 201 176
depletion and
($ per ounce) 71 86 66 83

OMAI (100%)(2)
Production (ounces) 28,800 58,400 96,900 197,400
Tonnage milled (t) 1,141,400 1,356,500 3,703,200 4,130,900
Grade milled (g Au/t) 0.89 1.44 0.91 1.60
Recovery (%) 88 93 90 93
Mine operating costs
($ per tonne milled) 11 11 10 11
Mine operating costs
($ per ounce) 433 263 374 230
depletion and
($ per ounce) 35 38 35 38

Doyon Division (3)
Production (ounces) 37,700 28,900 114,200 115,200
Tonnage milled (t)
Underground mines 199,500 211,200 584,800 784,100
Pit and low grade
stockpile 13,000 112,000 18,700 186,000
Total 212,500 323,200 603,500 970,100
Grade milled (g Au/t)
Underground mines 6.0 3.6 6.3 4.4
Pit and low grade
stockpile 1.0 1.5 1.0 1.5
Average 5.8 2.9 6.1 3.9
Recovery (%) 96 96 96 96
Mine operating costs
($ per tonne milled) 64 40 68 43
Mine operating costs
($ per ounce) 360 442 359 359
Depreciation, depletion
and amortization
($ per ounce) 89 105 84 92

Sleeping Giant(4)
Production (ounces) 9,800 8,200 26,100 26,000
Tonnage milled (t) 32,800 24,900 80,600 73,900
Grade milled (g Au/t) 9.7 10.6 10.5 11.2
Recovery (%) 97 97 97 97
Mine operating costs
($ per tonne milled) 158 92 147 99
Mine operating costs
($ per ounce) 525 279 451 281
Depreciation, depletion
and amortization
($ per ounce) 96 68 103 64
(ounces) 158,300 174,500 496,800 519,000
($ per ounce) 314 263 284 242
Direct mining costs 313 257 283 234
Deferred stripping costs - 6 - 8
Refining and
transportation 2 2 2 2
By-product credits (1) (2) (1) (2)
Mine operating costs 314 263 284 242
Royalties 13 12 12 12
Total operating costs 327 275 296 254
Depreciation, depletion
and amortization 70 72 66 67
Restoration 3 2 3 2
Total production costs 400 349 365 323

(1) Production began in February 2004.
(2) Production at the Omai mine ended in September 2005.
(3) Includes the Doyon and Mouska mines. Production from Mouska was
temporarily suspended in late December 2003 to allow for shaft
deepening. Production resumed in October 2004.
(4) On April 30, 2005, Cambior purchased the remaining 50% interest
in the Sleeping Giant mine. Before that date, it was a 50%
ownership through a joint venture.

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