Crocodile Gold Corp.

Crocodile Gold Corp.

April 10, 2015 07:30 ET

Crocodile Gold Announces Strong Start to 2015 Producing 59,676 Ounces of Gold in Q1; On Track to Achieve Top End of 2015 Production Guidance

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 10, 2015) - Crocodile Gold Corp. ("Crocodile Gold" or the "Company") (TSX:CRK)(TSX:CRK.DB)(TSX:CRK.WT)(OTCQX:CROCF)(FRANKFURT:XGC) today is announcing production results for the three months ended March 31, 2015. Full financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2015 will be released Monday, May 11, 2015. All dollar amounts are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

First Quarter 2015 Highlights

  • Consolidated gold production of 59,676 ounces increased 11.4% compared to Q1 2014 and represented the seventh consecutive quarter of gold production above 53,000 ounces.
  • Average consolidated mill grade of 3.58 g/t increased 22.6% compared to Q1 2014.
  • Improved consolidated mill recovery of 86.4% on strong recoveries at the Fosterville and Cosmo Gold Mines
  • On track to achieve the top end of 2015 production guidance of 220,000 ounces of gold and lower end of 2015 all-in sustaining cash costs ("AISC") guidance of $1,020 per ounce.
  • Completed the termination of the Net Free Cash Flow Sharing Arrangement with AuRico Gold Inc. in January with a one-time payment of $16.7M (C$20M) in cash, without incurring debt, and the grant of a NSR royalty over Fosterville and Stawell Gold Mines as previously disclosed.
  • Preliminary Q1 2015 ending cash balance of $27.7M and working capital of approximately $16.5M at March 31, 2015.

Rodney Lamond, President and Chief Executive Officer commented: "We are very pleased with the strong operating results accomplished during the first quarter of 2015. We continued to build on the momentum we experienced throughout 2014 and successfully increased first quarter 2015 consolidated production by 11.4% to 59,676 ounces of gold compared to the prior year. The quarter also marked a seventh consecutive quarter of gold production above 53,000 ounces as we executed on our strategy for sustainable production and clearly demonstrated our ability to deliver consistent physical performance. Our strategy for sustainable production, which starts with a fundamental understanding of our geological models, aims to extend the reserve mine life at all of our operations by replacing depleted Mineral Resources in a timely manner through the execution of targeted exploration programs. As a result of our strong start to 2015, the Company is on track to meet the top end of our full year 2015 production guidance of 220,000 ounces and the lower end of our AISC cost guidance of $1,020 per ounce."

Mr. Lamond continued: "Our first quarter performance was highlighted by a significant improvement in consolidated average grade to 3.58 g/t, a 22.6% increase year-over-year, which also contributed to a solid increase in year-over-year production results from Fosterville and Cosmo. Stawell continued to deliver value by maintaining consistent production levels from its underground operations and successfully produced 9,929 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2015. The first quarter also marked Stawell's seventh consecutive quarter of gold production above 9,500 ounces and is a notable achievement for a mine that was previously expected to end operations in early 2013."

Mr. Lamond concluded: "In early January, the Company closed on a transformational agreement that terminated the net free cash flow sharing arrangement with AuRico Gold. Our solid cash balance at the end of 2014, combined with the confidence in our ability to deliver strong physical and financial results for Q1 2015, enabled us to fund the related one-time payment of $16.7 million, (C$20 million), without incurring debt. As a result of our first quarter performance, we are extremely pleased to end the first quarter of 2015 with a preliminary cash balance of $27.7 million.

First Quarter Consolidated Results

Q1 2015 Q1 2014 Q4 2014
Ore Milled (tonnes) 585,720 678,821 648,580
Grade (g/t Au) 3.58 2.92 3.21
Recovery (%) 86.4 83.2 85.4
Total Production (oz) 59,676 53,583 58,796

First Quarter 2015 Operational Summary

  • Fosterville Gold Mine produced 29,135 ounces of gold, a 13% increase compared to Q1 2014, and achieved its third consecutive quarter of mill feed grade improvement to 5.75 g/t resulting in record quarterly mill recovery of 89.2%.
  • Cosmo Gold Mine produced 20,612 ounces, up 15.5% to, compared to Q1 2014, with higher milled feed grade of 3.7 g/t resulting in mill recovery of 91%.
  • Stawell Gold Mines produced 9,929 ounces and achieved its seventh consecutive quarter of gold production above 9,500 ounces.
Q1 2015 Q1 2014 Q4 2014
Fosterville Gold Mine
Ore Milled (tonnes) 175,327 220,379 190,823
Grade (g/t Au) 5.75 4.32 5.26
Recovery (%) 89.2 84.3 88.5
Gold Production (oz) 29,135 25,786 29,045
Cosmo Gold Mine
Ore Milled (tonnes) 190,306 230,815 225,601
Grade (g/t Au) 3.70 2.79 3.05
Recovery (%) 91.0 85.9 90.9
Gold Production (oz) 20,612 17,841 20,112
Stawell Gold Mines
Ore Milled (tonnes) 220,087 227,627 232,157
Grade (g/t Au) 1.75 1.71 1.67
Recovery (%) 80.2 79.4 77.6
Gold Production (oz) 9,929 9,956 9,639
Total Production (oz) 59,676 53,583 58,796

First Quarter 2015 Production Highlights

Fosterville Gold Mine

Fosterville had a successful start to the year with mine production focused exclusively on underground ore sources during 2015. In Q1 2015, the mine produced 178,676 tonnes at an average grade of 5.85 g/t compared to 185,750 tonnes at 5.27 g/t in Q4/14 and 206,540 tonnes at 3.76 g/t in Q1 2014. The decrease in tonnage was driven by the transition of the operation to receive a lower contribution from the Harrier zone and a proportionately larger contribution from Central and Phoenix lodes, including the higher grade Lower Phoenix area. Grade performance helped to offset lower mine production and has continued to strengthen. Grade increased 11% from Q4 2014 and 56% from Q1 2014 when the mine experienced lower grades due to dilution challenges and model variations in higher transitional levels. Mine development advanced at an average rate of 634 metres for a total of 1,903 metres. This result is essentially in line with the previous quarter and 2.6% ahead of Q1 2014.

In Q1 2015, Fosterville processed 175,327 tonnes through the mill at an average grade of 5.75 g/t compared to 190,823 tonnes at 5.26 g/t in Q4 2014 and 220,379 tonnes at 4.32 g/t in Q1 2014. Mill throughput was driven by availability of mine tonnes plus a small increase in stockpile for the quarter of (+3kt) compared to a drawdown last quarter of (-5kt). Fosterville achieved a new quarterly record recovery of 89.2%, eclipsing the previous record recovery rate of 88.5% achieved in Q4 2014. This performance continued to be driven by focus on improved blending practices and optimization of the leaching circuit.

As a result, Fosterville achieved gold production of 29,135 ounces in Q1 2015 which represents the highest quarterly total since Q3 2011 and the third highest ever.

During the quarter, Fosterville reported 2014 exploration results which established the continuation of gold mineralization down-plunge and mineralized faults below the Phoenix and Lower Phoenix Faults that demonstrate the potential to extend Mineral Resources. Following these positive exploration results, Fosterville increased Measured and Indicated ("M&I") Mineral Resources by 3.9% year-over-year to over 2.1 million ounces as discussed in the press release dated March 31, 2015.

Cosmo Gold Mine

In Q1 2015, Cosmo achieved its second highest production quarter, producing 20,612 ounces of gold up 15.5% compared to the first quarter of 2014. Q1 2015 underground mine production was 190,306 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 3.66 g/t compared to 180,046 tonnes mined at an average grade of 3.36 g/t in Q1 2014. This represents a 9.7% improvement from Q1 2014. During the quarter, the mine encountered a slight change in ground condition, in a portion of the new mining block, which the technical team is taking action to ensure stope performance is maintained at expected rates. Mine development advanced 1,047 metres in Q1 compared to 1,196 metres in Q1 2014. Looking ahead to the second quarter, development is expected to ramp up to establish drill locations in order to maintain current diamond drilling rates, from the current three rigs in use, and drill priority targets established for this year.

Q1 2015 mill production was 190,306 tonnes at an average grade of 3.70 g/t compared to 230,815 tonnes at an average grade of 2.79 g/t in Q1 2014. The year-over-year decrease in milled tonnes was attributable to higher milled tonnes processed in Q1 2014 which included 56,549 tonnes of low-grade stockpiles from an exploration property for reclamation purposes. The stockpile was fully processed in Q1 2014 which also impacted recoveries during the same quarter. Lower mill production in Q1 2015 was offset by better than expected mill feed grade resulting in solid recovery of 91% compared to 86% in Q1 2014. As a result, mill recovery achieved a marked improvement year-over-year and was in line with performance at the end of 2014.

Also during the quarter, Cosmo announced its M&I Mineral Resources increased 7.8% year-over-year to 539,000 ounces of gold following successful exploration results in 2014 as discussed in the press release dated March 31, 2015.

Stawell Gold Mines

Stawell produced 9,929 ounces of gold in Q1 2015 and delivered a sixth consecutive quarter of production above 9,500 ounces. During the quarter, Stawell continued to build on the success experienced throughout 2014 with mine production focused on its program of combining underground ore and surface oxide for mill feed. In Q1 2015, Stawell produced a combined throughput of 220,087 tonnes (123,584 tonnes underground ore, 96,503 tonnes oxide) at 1.75 g/t with a recovery of 80.2%, compared to 232,157 tonnes at 1.67g/t and 77.6% recovery during Q4 2014, and 227,627 tonnes at 1.71 g/t and recovery of 79.5% during Q1 2014.

In 2013, when resource and reserves were depleted at depth, Stawell commenced its transition from the deep levels of the mine to the upper levels of the mine where the extraction of remnant and other ore materials is currently in progress. During 2014, Stawell implemented a targeted drill program to focus on the middle to upper portion of the strongly mineralized Magdala system. Drill results identified areas for potential resource growth and provided upside for potential extension of the life of Stawell's underground operations. Current and extensive historical mining of the upper levels in the mine will allow target areas to be readily accessed in the future.

As a result, during the quarter, Stawell reported its first Mineral Reserve and Resource update, since 2012, which included M&I Resources of 243,000 ounces, with an average grade of 1.81 g/t, as discussed in the press release dated March 31, 2015. Moving forward in 2015, work will continue in the upper levels of the mine with ongoing drilling programs. Mine production is presently being realized from U1 and Upper Level Magdala ore sources with mine development now accessing Federal Albion South.

2015 Production and Cash Cost Guidance

As previously announced in Crocodile Gold's press release dated January 12, 2015, the Company's production and cash cost guidance for fiscal 2015 is as follows:

(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. Please refer to press release dated January 12, 2015 available the Company's website at

About Crocodile Gold

Crocodile Gold is a Canadian-listed 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 Five Year Strategy of Crocodile Gold.

For additional information, please visit our website or follow us on Twitter @crocgold_crk or on Facebook at CrocodileGoldCorp.

Qualified Person

Mark Edwards, MAusIMM (CP), MAIG, General Manager Exploration and Business Development for Crocodile Gold, is a "qualified person" as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the technical information and data included in this press release.

Forward Looking Information

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 for 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 "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.

Contact Information

  • Laura Lepore
    Director, Investor Relations
    Crocodile Gold Corp.
    Tel: 416-847-1847