Crocodile Gold Corp.
TSX : CRK
TSX : CRK.DB
TSX : CRK.WT
OTCQX : CROCF
FRANKFURT : XGC

Crocodile Gold Corp.

January 12, 2015 20:51 ET

Crocodile Gold Achieves Record Gold Production in 2014 With 222,312 Ounces Produced and Announces 2015 Production Guidance

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 12, 2015) - Crocodile Gold Corp. ("Crocodile Gold" or the "Company") (TSX:CRK)(TSX:CRK.DB)(TSX:CRK.WT)(OTCQX:CROCF)(FRANKFURT:XGC) today reported 2014 annual and fourth quarter production results. The Company also announced its gold production and cost guidance for the fiscal year 2015. Full financial results for the year ended December 31, 2014 will be released Monday, March 16, 2015.

2014 Annual Production Highlights

  • Second consecutive year of record consolidated gold production.
  • Record gold production of 222,312 ounces, up 5.5% compared to prior year, in line with increased annual production guidance.
  • Record annual gold production of 105,342 ounces at Fosterville Gold Mine, up 7% compared to prior year, with record annual mill recovery of 86.4%.
  • Record annual gold production of 77,740 ounces at Cosmo Gold Mine, up 4.9% compared to prior year, with greater tonnes milled up 20.7% compared to the prior year.
  • Strong gold production of 39,230 ounces at Stawell Gold Mines in line with increased annual production guidance.

Fourth Quarter Production Highlights

  • Record consolidated gold production of 58,796 ounces and sixth consecutive quarter of gold production above 53,000 ounces.
  • Fosterville Gold Mine achieved its highest gold production quarter for 2014 with 29,045 ounces, a second consecutive quarter of strong mill feed grade improvement at 5.26 g/t Au, and record mill recovery of 88.5%.
  • Cosmo Gold Mine increased underground ore mined 8.8% and posted mill recovery of 90.9%.
  • Stawell Gold Mines underground mining program continues to deliver consistent results with gold production of 9,639 ounces for the quarter.

(All figures are in United States ("U.S.") dollars, unless stated otherwise)

Year End Cash Balance and Working Capital Position

  • As at December 31, 2014, preliminary unaudited cash and gold bullion (at fair market value) balance was $37.0 million and working capital was approximately $12.5 million.

2015 Production and Cash Cost Guidance

(U.S.) $ Fosterville Cosmo Stawell Consolidated 2015
Gold Production oz 100,000-105,000 75,000-85,000 ~30,000 205,000-220,000
Operational Cash Costs per ounce* $670-$750 $850-$930 $945-$1,025 $780-$860
AISC per ounce*(1) $1,020-$1,100
* See Non-IFRS Disclosures
(1) All-In Sustaining Cash Costs per Ounce ("AISC") Includes Corporate General and Administrative Expenses.

Rodney Lamond, President and CEO of Crocodile Gold, commented: "We are very pleased to have achieved record production of 222,312 ounces of gold for 2014, in line with our increased production guidance. Fosterville and Cosmo Gold Mines both achieved record annual gold production and Stawell continued to deliver impressive results from its underground mining program."

"The solid operating performance during the fourth quarter demonstrates our ability to deliver and maintain a sustainable production level. Our fourth quarter consolidated gold production set a new quarterly record with 58,796 ounces produced and marked a sixth consecutive quarter of consolidated gold production above 53,000 ounces."

"During the year, we strategically managed our capital allocation and delivered cost efficiencies to drive down operating costs throughout our business. Furthermore, although lower gold prices remained a challenge in 2014, consistent production and our effective management of costs enabled us to generate positive cash that strengthened our treasury. We are extremely pleased to have ended 2014 with a solid cash and gold bullion balance of $37 million."

Mr. Lamond continued, "2014 was also an important year for the Company as we have reached an agreement to terminate our Net Free Cash Flow Sharing arrangement with AuRico Gold. We look forward to announcing the completion of the agreement soon."

"We have entered 2015 with strong momentum and confidence in our plans to improve shareholder value through consistently delivering positive physical and financial performance from operations. Our 2015 guidance represents our expectations for achievable and sustainable results from operations, a critical step in supporting the future growth toward the 5 Year Strategy of Crocodile Gold."

Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2014 Operating Summary
Q1 2014 Q2 2014 Q3 2014 Q4 2014 FY 2014
Fosterville Gold Mine
Ore Milled (tonnes) 220,379 202,927 200,708 190,823 814,837
Grade (g/t Au) 4.32 3.95 5.02 5.26 4.62
Recovery (%) 84.3 85.7 86.8 88.5 86.4
Gold Production (oz) 25,786 22,198 28,313 29,045 105,342
Cosmo Gold Mine
Ore Milled (tonnes) 230,815 213,815 198,168 225,601 868,399
Grade (g/t Au) 2.79 3.69 3.03 3.05 3.14
Recovery (%) 85.9 86.3 92.8 90.9 88.9
Gold Production (oz) 17,841 21,845 17,942 20,112 77,740
Stawell Gold Mines
Ore Milled (tonnes) 227,627 234,363 232,840 232,157 926,987
Grade (g/t Au) 1.71 1.69 1.62 1.67 1.67
Recovery (%) 79.4 78.8 79.5 77.6 78.8
Gold Production (oz) 9,956 9,981 9,654 9,639 39,230
Total Production (oz) 53,583 54,024 55,909 58,796 222,312

Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2014 Operational Highlights

Fosterville Gold Mine

Fosterville achieved a very strong year in 2014 with record annual gold production up 7% to 105,342 ounces, compared to the prior year, due to a 2.9% increase in total annual milled tonnes to 814,837 tonnes and a 2% improvement in grade to 4.62 g/t Au, reinforced by a record annual mill recovery of 86.4%. Full year recovery performance exceeded the previous record of 85.2% set in 2013 and was driven by a focus on continuous improvement in all areas of the plant. In particular, a strategy to improve blending practices implemented to deal with carbonaceous ore and ongoing optimization of the leaching circuit contributed to the improvement. Full year underground ore mined declined 4.9% to 786,382 tonnes, compared to the prior year. The decline is attributable to the operation transitioning to a proportionately lesser contribution from the Harrier area and a larger contribution from the Central and Phoenix lodes, including the higher-grade Lower Phoenix area. Underground development also performed well with a total of 7,540 metres of development completed, 4.6% higher than the prior year.

Fourth quarter results helped lift full year performance and represented the highest quarterly gold production for the year at 29,045 ounces. This was the highest quarterly total for more than three years and the third highest ever. Fourth quarter underground mine production was 185,750 tonnes at an average grade of 5.27 g/t Au. Grade performance continued to strengthen sequentially and improved significantly from 4.09 g/t Au in the second quarter 2014, when the mine experienced dilution challenges and model variation in a transitional area at the upper section of the Lower Phoenix zone. Mill recovery for the quarter was 88.5%, eclipsing the previous highest of 87.4% achieved in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Looking ahead, Fosterville Gold Mine remains an exciting growth asset for the Company. As previously announced, terminating the Net Free Cash Flow Sharing arrangement with AuRico Gold provides Crocodile Gold the full economic benefit of developing Fosterville.

Cosmo Gold Mine

Strong fourth quarter performance resulted in record annual gold production of 77,740 ounces, a 4.9% improvement from 2013. Milled tonnes increased 20.7% to 868,399 tonnes with grade of 3.14 g/t Au in 2014 compared to the prior year. Annual underground ore production increased 8.8% to 793,156 tonnes with a grade of 3.30 g/t Au, compared to the prior year, due to the successful transition to a new mining contractor, Downer EDI, in early 2014. The new partnership with Downer EDI resulted in record monthly and quarterly underground stoping tonnes. The variation between ore mined and milled was the result of the processing of a small oxide stockpile in connection with rehabilitation work conducted on a closed site in the first quarter of 2014.

Fourth quarter underground ore production of 201,509 tonnes, with grade of 3.08 g/t Au, fell short of record tonnes mined in the second quarter of 2014. Strong production was in line with expectations as work advanced to the next mining block. In the fourth quarter, the Union Reefs Mill processed 225,601 ounces, inclusive of mined tonnes carried over from the third quarter, at an average grade of 3.05 g/t Au. Fourth quarter recovery of 90.9% at Union Reefs Mill helped improve average recovery in the second half of 2014 compared to the first half of the year when average recovery fell to 86%. Average mill recovery in the second half of 2014 improved to 91.7%, noting record recovery of 92.8% in the third quarter, due to improved monitoring and adjustment of oxygen ratios in the milling process. In addition, cyanide, an important reagent used during the milling process and cost driver, was reduced by 50% while this optimization program progressed.

Stawell Gold Mines

Stawell achieved solid full year results as it continues to focus on the upper levels of the mine. The underground mining program for 2014 produced 39,230 ounces of gold in 2014. Total underground ore mined was 560,815 tonnes at an average grade of 2.58 g/t Au.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, Stawell produced 144,991 tonnes of underground ore from the upper levels of the mine at an average grade of 2.72 g/t Au as the mine plan presented the first of the U1 production, and Mariners production was completed. Remnant ore sources from the Magdala zones also continued to contribute to the overall underground production profile.

The mill processed 232,157 tonnes of ore, at an average grade of 1.67 g/t Au and recovery of 77.6%, which resulted in gold production of 9,639 ounces for the quarter.

Big Hill Development Project Update

Stawell Gold Mines is presently addressing issues raised on the Big Hill Project by the Ministerial Advisory Panel during the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) process that began in early 2014. In early 2015, the newly elected Victorian State Government acknowledged Stawell Gold Mines' willingness to address the Ministerial issues raised. The State Government also advised that key agencies are in consultation over the process required for responsible consideration of a modified project plan and will instruct Stawell on the next steps of the process accordingly.

A modified plan for the Big Hill Project would include several new initiatives, primarily relating to proximity buffering, additional noise mitigation and further controls for dust mitigation, with the intent to go above and beyond best practice and to also satisfy the Ministerial key recommendations and issues. Stawell Gold Mines is confident in its ability to develop a modified Big Hill Project Plan and deliver it to State Government in the first half of 2015.

Upcoming Conferences

In addition, the Company announced its participation at the following upcoming investor conferences:

  • Vancouver Resource Investment Conference, January 18 - 19, 2015 in Vancouver
  • PDAC Investor Conference, March 1 - 4, 2015 in Toronto

Presentation slides, when applicable, will be made available to prior to the start of each conference at www.crocgold.com under the Investor Relations section.

Non-IFRS Disclosures

The Company believes that investors use certain non-IFRS measures as indicators to assess gold mining companies, specifically Operating Cash Costs per Ounce and All-In Sustaining Cash Costs per Ounce. In the gold mining industry, these are common performance measures but do not have any standardized meaning. The Company believes that, in addition to conventional measures prepared in accordance with IFRS, certain investors use this information to evaluate the Company's performance and ability to generate cash flow. Accordingly, it is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS.

(1) Operating Cash Costs per Ounce of Gold are calculated by deducting silver sales revenue as a by-product from operating expenses per the consolidated statement of operations, then dividing by the gold ounces sold during the applicable period. Operating expenses include mine site operating costs such as mining, processing and administration as well as royalties, however excludes depletion and depreciation, share-based payments and rehabilitation costs.

(2) All-In Sustaining Cash Costs per Ounce of Gold ("AISC") is a performance measure that reflects all of the expenditures that are required to produce an ounce of gold from current operations. While there is no standardized meaning of the measure across the industry, the Company's definition conforms to the AISC definition as set out by the World Gold Council in its guidance dated June 27, 2013. The World Gold Council is a non-regulatory, non-profit organization established in 1987 whose members include global senior mining companies. The Company believes that this measure will be useful to external users in assessing operating performance and the ability to generate free cash flow from current operations. The Company defines AISC as the sum of operating cash costs (per above), sustaining capital (capital required to maintain current operations at existing levels), capital lease repayments, corporate general and administrative expenses, in-mine exploration expenses and rehabilitation accretion and amortization related to current operations. AISC excludes capital expenditures for significant improvements at existing operations deemed to be expansionary in nature, exploration and evaluation related to growth projects, rehabilitation accretion and amortization not related to current operations, financing costs, debt repayments, share-based compensation not related to operations, and taxes.

About Crocodile Gold

Crocodile Gold is a Canadian gold mining and exploration company with three operating mines in Australia. The objective of Crocodile Gold is to continue to focus on the safe and profitable operating performance from its three operating mines, Fosterville and Stawell Gold Mines in the state of Victoria and Cosmo Gold Mine in the Northern Territory. Our primary goal of sustainable operating performance is achieved through building confidence in our mine plans, continuing with prudent cost management controls and targeted exploration and resource development. Sustainable operating performance from our current assets is a critical step in supporting the future growth toward the 5 year Strategy of Crocodile Gold.

For additional information, please visit www.crocgold.com.

Follow us on Twitter @crocgold_crk or Facebook facebook.com/CrocodileGoldCorp.

Cautionary Note

Certain information set forth in this press release contains "forward-looking statements", and "forward-looking information under applicable securities laws. Except for statements of historical fact, certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements, which include the Company's expectations about the termination of the net free cash flow sharing arrangement with AuRico, future performance based on current drill results and past production, expected gold prices, and mineral resource estimates, and are based on Crocodile Gold's current internal expectations, estimates, projections, assumptions and beliefs, which may prove to be incorrect. Some of the forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as "will", "expects", "anticipates", "believes", "projects", "plans", and similar expressions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and undue reliance should not be placed on them. Such forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause Crocodile Gold's actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: liabilities inherent in mine development and production; geological, mining and processing technical problems; Crocodile Gold's inability to obtain required mine licences, mine permits and regulatory approvals required in connection with mining and mineral processing operations; competition for, among other things, capital, acquisitions of reserves, undeveloped lands and skilled personnel; incorrect assessments of the value of acquisitions; changes in commodity prices and exchange rates; currency and interest rate fluctuations; various events that could disrupt operations and/or the transportation of mineral products, including labour stoppages and severe weather conditions; the demand for and availability of rail, port and other transportation services; the ability to secure adequate financing and management's ability to anticipate and manage the foregoing factors and risks. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Crocodile Gold 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.

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