Crocodile Gold Corp.

Crocodile Gold Corp.

May 12, 2014 18:00 ET

Crocodile Gold Reports Revenue of $70 Million and Operating Cash Flow of $12.5 Million from Production of 53,583 oz in Q1 2014

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 12, 2014) - Crocodile Gold Corp. (TSX:CRK)(TSX:CRK.DB)(TSX:CRK.WT)(OTCQX:CROCF)(FRANKFURT:XGC) ("Crocodile Gold" or the "Company") today announces its financial and operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2014. All figures are in U.S. dollars, unless stated otherwise.

Q1 2014 Financial Highlights

  • Crocodile Gold generated over $70 Million in revenue from production of 53,583 ounces of gold from its three operating mines, a 9.5% increase in production over Q1 2013.

  • Gold production is on track to meet guidance of 200,000 - 210,000 ounces for 2014.

  • Operating cash costs per ounce* have decreased over 15% from Q1 2013. Average operating cash costs per ounce* are on target to meet the $900 - $950/oz guidance for 2014.

  • The all-in sustaining cash costs per ounce* have decreased over 12% compared to Q1 2013; the Company continues to focus on cost reduction initiatives.

  • Crocodile Gold generated cash flow from its operations of $12.5 Million.

  • Crocodile Gold ended the quarter with a cash balance of $38.0 Million and working capital of $26.0 Million.

  • The Company made payments of $4.96 Million to fully settle the outstanding credit facility with Credit Suisse.

2014 Q1 Financial Results

Q1 2014 Q1 2013
Revenue ($) 70,387,636 83,780,492
Cost of operations, including depletion and depreciation (63,089,969 ) (83,988,182 )
Mine operating income (loss)($) 7,297,667 (207,690 )
Net income (loss)($) (3,325,737 ) 17,621,570
Net income (loss) per share ($/share) (0.01 ) 0.04
Cash from operating activities ($) 12,459,464 17,559,642
Investment in mine development, property, plant and equipment:
Cosmo Gold Mine 5,312,713 9,600,650
Fosterville Gold Mine 10,459,332 8,683,613
Stawell Gold Mine / Big Hill Project 1,060,643 900,290
Total Investment (CAPEX) 16,832,688 19,184,553
Gold ounces produced 53,583 48,953
Gold ounces sold 54,735 49,720
Average realized gold price ($) 1,280 1,664
Operating cash cost per ounce sold ($)* 971 1,151
All In sustaining Cash Costs per ounce sold ($)* 1,307 1,490

* Refer to non-IFRS measures below

Commenting on the financial results, Rod Lamond, President and CEO, said: "I am very pleased with the strong results in the first quarter of 2014 and particularly happy with the successful transition of the mining contractor at Cosmo and the updated drilling results from Fosterville. The Company is continuing on the positive path that was established in 2013. From a consolidated view, our consistent production base and decreasing cash costs have allowed Crocodile Gold to maintain a strong cash position of over $38 million. During the quarter, we have repaid $4.9 million of debt and kicked off new exploration programs at all three of our operating mines. The Crocodile Gold Management Committee has developed process and controls for value-driven capital investments like the ventilation and tailing facility upgrades at Fosterville and the continuation of our commitment to the Big Hill project at Stawell. These investments, plus the commitment of our team, are what will drive the future success of the Company."

Financial Discussion

Total revenues in Q1 2014 were $70,387,636, down from Q1 2013 despite higher ounce production as the average realized gold price sold was $1,280/oz compared to $1,664/oz in the prior year. Despite the drop in the realized gold price, Crocodile Gold was still able to generate $12,459,464 of cash from operations as a result of strong gold production and reduced operating cash costs. Operating cash costs per ounce have decreased as a result of productivity gains at Fosterville and sustainable production at Cosmo compared to Q1 2013.

The Company invested $14,005,838 into mine development and resource definition at Fosterville and Cosmo, and $975,788 to progress the permitting of the Big Hill Project. A further $1,851,062 was also spent on property, plant and equipment.

As at December 31, 2013, the Company began publishing all-in sustaining cash costs per ounce to provide transparency to the operating and capital expenditures to support the Company's current and future production profile. All-in sustaining cash costs were $1,307/oz in Q1 2014, down significantly from $1,490/oz in Q1 2013. Current all-in sustaining costs include significant investments for ventilation and tailings facility upgrades at Fosterville, which will sustain the operation into future years. The Company continues to review costs across all its operations and departments, and expects to see savings at Cosmo from the mining contractor change over in late March.

The Company reported a net loss for Q1 2014 of $3,325,737 or $0.01 per share, compared to net income of $17,621,570 or $0.04 a share in Q1 2013. Net income for Q1 2013 included a non-cash gain on the revaluation of derivative liabilities of $21,500,928 and a gain from the change in fair value of the contingent payments liability of $5,763,994. The net loss in the current quarter was impacted by the lower gold price and the loss on the revaluation of the contingent payments liability. It also included higher care and maintenance costs associated with the environmental reclamation of a low-grade stockpile in the Northern Territory.

Financial Position

Crocodile Gold ended the period with a cash balance of $38,013,759 and working capital of $25,941,392. In addition, the Company made $4,962,285 in payments to Credit Suisse during Q1 2014 to fully settle the outstanding credit facility. The Company's working capital was strengthened during the quarter with the closing of a private placement in February for net proceeds of $15,494,409.

The working capital for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 has changed from the amount provisionally disclosed by the Company in its Q1 2014 Production press release (see release dated April 23, 2014). As disclosed in the December 31, 2013 audited annual financial statements, the Company and AuRico Gold Inc. engaged an independent expert to determine the treatment of certain financial transactions in the net free cash flow sharing arrangement that exists between the two parties. On April 14th, the independent expert concluded that such items were to be included in the calculation of contingent payments. After reviewing the independent expert's report, the Company initially determined that no contingent payments were currently payable, however, after further analysis as part of the finalization of the Q1 2014 financial statements it was determined that C$2,693,000 was currently due and payable. Other than the aforementioned payable amount, based on current mine plans and gold prices, no further portion of the contingent consideration has been classified as current.

Operational Discussion

Q1 2014 Q1 2013
Northern Territory
Ore Milled (Tonnes) 230,815 152,128
Average Grade (g/t Au) 2.79 3.12
Recovery (%) 85.9 86.4
Gold Produced (Ounces) 17,841 13,169
Gold Sold (Ounces) 19,416 12,309
Ore Milled (Tonnes) 220,379 190,026
Average Grade (g/t Au) 4.32 4.74
Recovery (%) 84.3 81.4
Gold Produced (Ounces) 25,786 23,556
Gold Sold (Ounces) 25,809 24,270
Ore Milled (Tonnes) 227,627 213,132
Average Grade (g/t Au) 1.71 2.06
Recovery (%) 79.4 86.5
Gold Produced (Oz) 9,956 12,228
Gold Sold (Oz) 9,510 13,141
Consolidated Gold Produced (Oz) 53,583 48,953
Consolidated Gold Sold (Oz) 54,735 49,720

Crocodile Gold produced 53,583 ounces of gold in Q1 2014, a 9.5% increase over Q1 2013. The increase year over year reflects consistent production from the Fosterville Gold Mine and sustainable production from the Cosmo Gold Mine which has contributed more ounces and ore tonnes milled compared to the previous year, when commercial production had only been declared on March 1, 2013. Production from Cosmo has more than offset reduced ounces from the Stawell Gold Mine which had begun to wind down its underground operations in the first quarter of 2013. At that time, Stawell was projected to close its underground operations by the third quarter of 2013. However Stawell continues to produce ore from the underground resource in the upper levels of the mine, contributing 9,956 ounces of gold in the first quarter, and is expected to do so until late 2014.

Cosmo Gold Mine

Cosmo continued to operate at a consistent level, posting underground ore production of 180,047 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 3.36 g/t Au during Q1 2014, despite a mining contractor changeover in March. While there were some operational challenges in the early part of the transition which impacted mine productivity, all critical gear and staffing are now in place and operating at targeted levels. The new contractor has quickly met or exceeded performance indicators with target run rates achieved by the third day after changeover.

Tonnes milled in the first quarter were 230,815 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 2.79 g/t Au and recovery rate of 85.9%, for total gold production of 17,841 ounces of gold. Underground ore was supplemented with approximately 56,000 tonnes of lower-grade oxide material from an exploration property for environmental reclamation purposes. The stockpile had a lower than estimated grade, which also impacted the recovery rate. The material was fully processed in Q1.

Fosterville Gold Mine

Fosterville started the year strong with underground production of 206,540 tonnes at an average grade of 3.76 g/t Au, as higher tonnes offset lower grades. Mine grade is expected to improve in coming quarters as mining fronts progress into higher grade zones of the ore body and design changes to reduce dilution take effect. Fosterville drew on higher grade stockpiles to process 220,379 tonnes of ore at a grade of 4.32 g/t Au with a recovery rate of 84.3%, resulting in gold production of 25,786 ounces in the first quarter. Mine development continued at an average advance rate of 618 metres per month with a strong advance of 662 metres in March as the site pushes to open up more mining fronts. Exploration on the Phoenix and Central ore bodies had encouraging results (see news release of March 12, 2014) and the Company is preparing an updated Mineral Resource and Reserve Estimate in Q2 2014 with the anticipation that additional mineral resources identified will continue to extend the mine life of Fosterville.

Stawell Gold Mine

Stawell continues to focus on the upper levels of the mine, producing from remnant underground mining zones and defining other areas of opportunity. During the quarter Stawell mined 141,126 tonnes of underground ore at an average grade of 2.49 g/t Au. Stawell processed a total of 227,627 tonnes at an average grade of 1.71 g/t Au, as underground ore was supplemented by lower grade surface oxide stockpiles. An average recovery rate of 79.4% resulted in gold production of 9,956 ounces for the quarter. The recovery rate is consistent with the underground ore source and is being managed through more selective mining methods which limit the mining of preg-robbing material, allowing the mill to maintain recoveries closer to 80% levels.

About Crocodile Gold

Crocodile Gold is a Canadian gold mining and exploration company with three operating mines in Australia, in the State of Victoria and the Northern Territory. The Company has a combined land package in excess of 4,000 sq. km. The objective of Crocodile Gold is to continue production from its three operating mines, Cosmo, Fosterville, and Stawell, while also exploring and developing the Company's resources to ensure sustainable production in the future.

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

Qualified Person

F. W. Nielsen P.Geo, Technical Consultant to 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 confirms 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 cost per ounce are reconciled to the consolidated statement of operations as follows:

Q1 2014 Q1 2013
Operating expense per the consolidated statement of operations, including royalties 53,224,374 57,367,448
By-product silver sales credit (79,360 ) (126,435 )
Operating Cash Costs 53,145,014 57,241,013
Sustaining mine development (1) 14,005,838 10,616,262
Sustaining capital expenditures, including capital lease payments 2,957,570 3,059,260
General and administration costs 974,675 1,926,708
Rehabilitation - accretion and amortization (operating sites) 266,993 547,975
In-mine exploration expense 196,264 713,857
All-in Sustaining Cash Costs 71,546,354 74,105,075
Gold ounces sold 54,735 49,720
Operating Cash cost per ounce 971 1,151
All-in sustaining cash cost per ounce 1,307 1,490

(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 for the quarters ending March 31, 2014 and 2013 is calculated as follows:

Expenditure on mine development per the statement of cash flows 14,981,626 17,857,245
Less: Cosmo development before commercial production - (6,353,689 )
Less: Big Hill Project Development costs (975,788 ) (887,294 )
14,005,838 10,616,262

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.

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