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

Crocodile Gold Corp.

March 16, 2015 07:00 ET

Crocodile Gold Reports Record Operating Results in 2014; Company on Track to Achieve Strong Production, Lower Cost Targets, and Strong Cash Flow in 2015

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 16, 2015) - Crocodile Gold Corp. ("Crocodile Gold" or the "Company")(TSX:CRK)(OTCQX:CROCF)(FRANKFURT:XGC) today is announcing financial results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2014. Full Financial Statements and Management Discussion & Analysis documents can be found at www.sedar.com and the Company's website, www.crocgold.com.

Key highlights of the fourth quarter and yearend results include:

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

Fourth Quarter 2014 ("Q4/14") Highlights Full Year 2014 ("FY/14") Highlights
Record quarterly consolidated production of 58,796 ounces Record consolidated production of 222,312 ounces, up 5.5%
17.6% decrease in operating cash costs per ounce sold to $793 from $963 in Q4/13 11.9% decrease in operating cash costs per ounce sold to $905 from $1,027 in FY/13
12.6% decrease in all-in sustaining cash costs per ounce sold to $1,098 from $1,257 in Q4/13 with average realized gold price of $1,202 in Q4/14 10.8% decrease in all-in sustaining cash costs per ounce sold to $1,236 from $1,386 in FY/13 with average realized gold price of $1,268 for FY/14
Strong operating cash flow of $25.3 million, up 23.4% from Q4/13 Record operating cash flow of $74.2 million a 9.9% improvement from $67.5 million in FY/13
$69.8 million in revenue from 58,070 ounces sold $282.7 million in revenue from 222,903 ounces sold with a 4.8% increase in ounces sold from FY/13
Net income of $10.7 million versus a net loss of $23.3 million in Q4/13 Net income of $19.9 million compared to net loss of $92.8 million in FY/13
Cash and gold bullion balance at December 31, 2014 was $37.1 million and working capital was $12.6 million

Management Commentary

Rodney Lamond, President and CEO, Crocodile Gold commented: "2014 was a successful and transformational year for Crocodile Gold. We established consistent production from our current operating assets at a higher sustainable level and reduced operating cash costs year-over-year by 12% enabling the Company to generate record operating cash flows of $74.2 million. We implemented controls and procedures for the disciplined allocation of sustaining capital that decreased all-in sustaining cash costs year-over-year by 11%. The year was highlighted by the agreement to terminate the net free cash flow sharing arrangement with AuRico Gold Inc. ("AuRico") which allows the Company to fully benefit from the strong cash flows we currently generate from our Fosterville and Stawell Gold Mines. Our strong fourth quarter performance resulted in a solid cash balance at year end that enabled us to fund a one-time payment as part of the consideration to close the termination agreement without the addition of debt."

"We entered 2015 with a solid mineral resource base providing a firm foundation that will maintain current annual production levels on a consolidated basis between 205,000 and 220,000 ounces. We expect further improvements to our operating and all-in sustaining cash costs this year as we benefit from continuing cost reductions and productivity initiatives we implemented during 2014. In addition, we expect to benefit from a weakening Australian currency as we continue to be significantly leveraged to the Australian gold price."

"Looking ahead, our detailed geological understanding of our deposits, coupled with our large resource base, provides confidence in our mine plans which will allow us to deliver on our Five Year Strategy for sustainable production and future growth."

2014 Annual and Q4 Financial Results

Financial Results Q4 2014 Q4 2013 FY 2014 FY 2013
Revenue ($) 69,783,228 73,277,197 282,739,079 300,825,156
Cost of operations, including depletion and depreciation ($) (56,510,956 ) 70,149,129 (241,457,959 ) 295,756,866
Mine operating income ($) 13,272,272 3,128,068 41,281,120 5,068,290
Net income (loss) ($) 10,759,442 (23,304,791 ) 19,951,933 (92,766,331 )
Net income (loss) per share ($/share) 0.02 (0.06 ) 0.04 (0.23 )
Cash generated from operating activities ($) 25,280,962 20,532,491 74,156,884 67,462,666
Investment in mine development, property, plant and equipment ($) 15,287,570 15,048,558 66,742,892 72,760,548
Gold ounces produced 58,796 58,276 222,312 210,696
Gold ounces sold 58,070 57,503 222,903 212,723
Average realized gold price ($) 1,202 1,273 1,268 1,407
Average quoted gold price ($) 1,201 1,275 1,266 1,410
Operating cash costs per ounce sold ($)* 793 963 905 1,027
All-in sustaining cash costs per ounce sold ($)* 1,098 1,257 1,236 1,386

*Refer to non-IFRS measures below

Three months ended December 31, 2014

Consolidated gold production in the fourth quarter of 2014 was a record 58,796 ounces and marked a sixth consecutive quarter of gold production above 53,000 ounces from the Fosterville, Cosmo, and Stawell Gold Mines. Gold ounces sold increased 1.0% to 58,070 ounces for the quarter, up from 57,503 ounces in Q4 2013. Reported quarterly revenues decreased 4.8% to $69.8 million as the impact of higher gold ounces sold was offset by a 5.6% decrease in the average realized gold price.

Mine operating income was $13.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, a significant increase from $3.1 million in the corresponding quarter of 2013. This increase was due in large part to a 17.7% decrease in operating cash costs per ounce sold to $793, and also a result of lower depletion and depreciation due to the impact of impairment charges in 2013 on carrying values.

Net income was $10.8 million, or $0.02 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to a net loss of $23.3 million, or $0.06 per share in the fourth quarter of 2013. The significant increase in net income was largely due to improved operational performance and the impact of an $8.4 million impairment reversal on Fosterville. The impairment was reversed due to an increase in the resource reported at Fosterville in May 2014 and the increase in the projected gold price in Australian dollar terms. This was partially offset by a loss on the revaluation of the contingent liability with AuRico of $6.1 million, based on the terms implied in the agreement to terminate the net free cash flow agreement. Net income in the fourth quarter of 2013 was mainly impacted by an impairment charge of $25.5 million, resulting from a lower gold price environment.

Cash generated from operating activities increased 23% to $25.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 despite a lower gold price in the most recent quarter. Fourth quarter 2014 capital expenditures totalled $15.3 million, including $1.7 million of plant and equipment, and were consistent with the fourth quarter of 2013.

Due to a significant decrease in operating cash costs and robust gold production, all-in sustaining cash costs decreased 12.6% to $1,098 per ounce from $1,257 as reported in Q4 2013, reflecting the Company's focus on cost reduction initiatives and a weakening Australian dollar.

Year ended December 31, 2014

For the year ended December 31, 2014, consolidated gold production increased 5.5% to a record 222,312 ounces. Reported revenues decreased 6% from 2013 to $282.7 million generated from 222,903 ounces of gold sold in 2014. Gold ounces sold in 2014 were up 5% from 2013; however, higher gold ounces sold were offset by a 9.8% decrease in the realized gold price in 2014 compared to the prior year.

For the year ended December 31, 2014, operating income was $41.3 million, versus $5.1 million in 2013. The increase in operating income was due to lower depletion and depreciation, from the impact of impairment charges from 2013 on book values, and a significant decrease in operating cash costs from 2013 of $16.8 million, despite gold ounces sold being up 5% from 2013.

Operating cash costs per ounce sold decreased 12% from $1,027 in 2013 to $905 in 2014, at the lower end of the range for the Company's 2014 guidance, and represented the fourth consecutive quarter of decreasing operational cash costs.

All-in sustaining cash costs per ounce sold decreased 11% from $1,386 in 2013 to $1,236 in 2014. The decrease is attributable to significantly lower operating costs, lower capital spending while maintaining sustainable operations, and record gold production.

Net income for the year ended December 31, 2014 was $20.0 million or $0.04 per share versus the net loss of $92.8 million, or $0.23 per share in 2013. The current year net income is reflective of the strong operating results as noted above, while the 2013 net loss was impacted by a non-cash impairment charge of $177.1 million as a result of the lower gold price environment, a corresponding gain of $19.9 million from the revaluation of the AuRico contingent liability, and the gain from the close-out of the gold swap agreements with Credit Suisse. Net income for 2014 included an $8.4 million reversal of impairment on Fosterville, as a result of the increase in the resource reported in May 2014 and the increase in the projected gold price in Australian dollar terms. This was offset by a loss on the revaluation of the contingent liability with AuRico of $9.7 million, which was revalued based on the terms implied in the agreement to terminate the net free cash flow sharing arrangement. This contingent liability was terminated subsequent to year end.

Operating cash flow was $74.2 million in 2014 versus $67.5 million in 2013. This increase was largely due to a $16.8 million decrease in operating cash costs, despite higher mine physical results, due to productivity improvements, reduced operating costs at Cosmo from new mining and drilling contracts, and general cost reduction initiatives. Additionally, corporate costs decreased 25%, and included lower management salaries, consulting fees, and general and administrative costs.

For the year ended December 31, 2014, capital expenditures of $71.0 million included $59.4 million for sustainable mine development and resource definition drilling at Fosterville and Cosmo. Mine development expenditures in 2014 decreased significantly compared to $67.6 million in 2013. This was largely due to a 32% decrease in expenditures at Cosmo, compared to 2013 when Cosmo was ramping up operations, and lower development expenditures at Stawell as a result of the completion of much of the Big Hill feasibility study and permitting process. Investment in property, plant and equipment was $7.3 million, up $2.1 million from 2013 due to the timing of the fleet management program.

Investing cash flows in 2014 included a $2.5 million payment in June 2014 to AuRico under the net free cash flow sharing arrangement, based on the cumulative free cash flow of the Fosterville and Stawell operations; no such payments were made in 2013 and of January 2015 the net free cash flow sharing agreement has been terminated.

Foreign Exchange

The average annual Australian dollar foreign exchange rate decreased 6.8% from 2013 to 2014. While the weakening Australian dollar positively had some impact on operational and all-in sustaining cash costs per ounce sold in 2014, the significant decrease is largely reflective of the Company's efforts to reduce costs and improve productivity at an operational level in a sustainable way. The marked decrease of the Australian dollar at year end and the subsequent further drop will have a more pronounced impact comparatively on the Company's cash costs per ounce sold in 2015.

Financial Position

As at December 31, 2014, the cash and gold bullion balance was $37.1 million and working capital was $12.6 million.

Operational Discussion

2014 Annual and Fourth Quarter Operational Results

Q4 2014 Q4 2013 FY 2014 FY 2013
Fosterville Gold Mine
Ore Milled (Tonnes) 190,823 200,140 814,837 792,166
Average Grade (g/t Au) 5.26 4.63 4.62 4.53
Recovery (%) 88.5 87.4 86.4 85.2
Gold Produced (Ounces) 29,045 26,039 105,342 98,424
Gold Sold (Ounces) 28,703 25,997 103,538 99,847
Cosmo Gold Mine
Ore Milled (Tonnes) 225,601 202,743 868,399 719,337
Average Grade (g/t Au) 3.05 3.74 3.14 3.57
Recovery (%) 90.9 89.9 88.9 89.6
Gold Produced (Ounces) 20,112 21,915 77,740 74,106
Gold Sold (Ounces) 19,835 21,131 80,127 73,451
Stawell Gold Mines
Ore Milled (Tonnes) 232,157 215,062 926,987 888,860
Average Grade (g/t Au) 1.67 1.81 1.67 1.66
Recovery (%) 77.6 82.3 78.8 79.5
Gold Produced (Ounces) 9,639 10,322 39,230 38,166
Gold Sold (Ounces) 9,532 10,375 39,238 39,425
Consolidated Gold Produced (Ounces) 58,796 58,276 222,312 210,696
Consolidated Gold Sold (Ounces) 58,070 57,503 222,903 212,723

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.

Conference Call Details

Rodney Lamond, Crocodile Gold President and Chief Executive Officer and Robert Dufour, Crocodile Gold Chief Financial Officer, will also host a conference call and webcast to discuss fourth quarter and full year 2014 financial results on Monday, March 16, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). Participants may listen to the call by dialing toll free 1-800-319-4610 or 1-416-915-3239 at approximately 9:50 a.m. (EDT) and ask to join the Crocodile Gold conference call. International or local callers should dial 1-416-915-3239 at approximately 9:50 a.m. (EDT) and ask to join the Crocodile Gold conference call.

The webcast will be live at http://services.choruscall.ca/links/crocgold150316.html and at www.crocgold.com. The live audio webcast will be archived and made available for replay at www.crocgold.com.

Presentation slides which accompany the conference call will be made available in the Investors section of the Crocodile Gold website under Presentations prior to the conference call.

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 www.crocgold.com 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.

Cautionary Notes

Non-IFRS Measures

The Company believes that, in addition to conventional measures prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"), certain investors use non-IFRS information to evaluate the Company's performance and ability to generate cash flow. Accordingly, the following measurements are 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.

Operating Cash Costs per Ounce of Gold

The Company calculates operating cash costs per ounce 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.

All-In Sustaining Costs per Ounce of Gold

Effective December 31, 2013, the Company has adopted an all-in sustaining cost ("AISC") 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 expenditure related to projects to mine expansion, 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.

The operating cash costs per ounce and all-in sustaining costs per ounce are reconciled to the consolidated statement of operations as follows:

Q4 2014 Q4 2013 FY 2014 FY 2013
Operating expense per the consolidated statement of operations, including royalties 46,140,092 55,495,066 202,034,165 218,900,282
By-product silver sales credit (85,230 ) (96,701 ) (358,355 ) (410,501 )
Operating cash costs ($) 46,054,862 55,398,365 201,675,810 218,489,781
Sustaining mine development (1) 13,457,709 12,410,542 56,373,549 56,110,221
Sustaining capital expenditures, including capital lease payments 2,313,076 2,319,145 10,843,962 10,059,838
General and administration costs 1,519,308 1,286,318 4,709,819 6,301,291
Rehabilitation - accretion and amortization (operating sites) 312,351 883,342 1,254,918 2,757,672
In-mine exploration expense 108,574 7,434 664,509 1,125,620
All-in sustaining cash costs ($) 63,765,880 72,305,146 275,522,567 294,844,424
Gold ounces sold 58,070 57,503 222,903 212,723
Operating cash costs per ounce sold ($ / ounce) 793 963 905 1,027
All-in sustaining cash costs per ounce sold ($ / ounce) 1,098 1,257 1,236 1,386

(1) Sustaining mine development are defined as those expenditures which do not increase annual gold production at a mine operation and exclude expenditures for growth projects and mine development to commercial production. Total sustaining capital is calculated as follows:

Q4 2014 Q4 2013 FY 2014 FY 2013
Expenditure on mine development per the statement of cash flows 13,586,763 13,555,400 59,437,465 67,577,906
Less: Cosmo development before commercial production - - - (6,353,689 )
Less: Big Hill Project development costs (129,054 ) (1,114,858 ) (3,063,916 ) (5,113,996 )
13,457,709 12,410,542 56,373,549 56,110,221

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.
    416-847-1847
    info@crocgold.com