Dundee Precious Metals Inc.
TSX : DPM
TSX : DPM.WT
TSX : DPM.WT.A

Dundee Precious Metals Inc.

May 10, 2011 19:41 ET

Dundee Precious Metals Reports First Quarter 2011 Results

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 10, 2011) -

(All monetary figures are expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated)

Dundee Precious Metals Inc. ("DPM" or the "Company") (TSX:DPM)(TSX:DPM.WT)(TSX:DPM.WT.A) today announced its unaudited results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011. DPM reported first quarter of 2011 net earnings attributable to equity holders of the Company of $14.0 million (basic earnings per share of $0.11 and diluted earnings per share of $0.10). This compares with a first quarter 2010 net loss attributable to equity holders of the Company of $49.0 million (basic and diluted loss per share of $0.48).

"Good performance at Chelopech and Deno Gold, combined with strong metal prices, contributed to a gross profit of $23 million in the quarter, a significant increase over last year", said Jonathan Goodman, President and CEO of DPM. "DPM continues to be well funded as we progress with the Chelopech and the smelter expansions, and the Deno open pit exploration program, which will lead to increased overall profitability for all our stakeholders."

The following table summarizes the Company's financial and operating results for the periods indicated:

$ millions, except per share amountsThree Months
Ended March 31,20112010
Revenue$68.4$20.5
Cost of sales45.821.7
Gross profit (loss)22.6(1.2)
Administrative and other expenses(9.7)(3.9)
Impairment loss on assets held for sale(0.1)(50.6)
Net finance cost(2.2)(1.6)
Other income5.13.0
Net earnings (loss)12.4(49.0)
Net earnings (loss) attributable to equity holders14.0(49.0)
Earnings (loss) per share attributable to equity holders:
Basic$0.11$(0.48)
Diluted$0.10$(0.48)
Net cash provided by operating activities17.55.0
Net cash used in investing activities(13.4)(1.1)
Net cash provided by financing activities36.060.6
Net increase in cash$40.1$64.5
Concentrate produced (mt)
Chelopech13,84617,702
Deno Gold5,2894,244
NCS – concentrate processed (mt)38,532-
Cash cost per tonne ore processed ($/t)1
Chelopech (excluding royalties)$51.43$55.90
Deno Gold (excluding royalties)$74.57$70.87

FIRST QUARTER 2011 - FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Commencing with the three months ended March 31, 2011, the interim unaudited consolidated financial statements of the Company were prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") applicable to the preparation of interim financial statements including IAS 34, Interim Financial Reporting, and IFRS 1, First-time adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards. For all periods up to and including the year ended December 31, 2010, the Company presented its financial statements in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("Canadian GAAP"). Note 29 to DPM's interim unaudited consolidated financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2011, explains the principal adjustments made to the Company's consolidated statement of financial position as at January 1, 2010 previously prepared in accordance with Canadian GAAP and its previously reported Canadian GAAP consolidated financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2010 and the year ended December 31, 2010.
  • In the first quarter of 2011, DPM reported net earnings attributable to equity holders of $14.0 million compared to a net loss attributable to equity holders of $49.0 million in the first quarter of 2010. The period over period increase in net earnings attributable to equity holders was primarily due to stronger metal prices, lower production costs at Chelopech, gains on sales of investments and higher deliveries of concentrates partially offset by higher general and administrative expenses and unrealized losses on copper derivative contracts. The net loss for the first quarter of 2010 included a net impairment provision of $50.6 million taken against the planned construction of a metal processing facility ("MPF") in Chelopech following the Bulgarian court's decision issued in April 2010 to revoke the MPF environmental impact assessment ("EIA").
  • DPM recorded a gross profit of $22.6 million in the first quarter of 2011 compared to a gross loss of $1.2 million in the corresponding prior year period. The period over period increase in gross profit was due primarily to higher copper, gold, zinc and silver selling prices, lower production costs at Chelopech and higher deliveries of concentrates. Deliveries of concentrates of 23,724 tonnes in the first quarter of 2011 were 64% higher than first quarter of 2010 deliveries of 14,471 tonnes. Gold in concentrate sold in the first quarter of 2011 of 21,582 ounces was 62% higher than the corresponding prior year period. Copper in concentrate sold of 6.7 million pounds was 55% higher than the corresponding prior year period. Zinc in concentrate sold of 5.0 million pounds was 161% higher than the corresponding prior year period. Silver in concentrate sold in the first quarter of 2011 of 135,136 ounces was 90% higher than the corresponding prior year period.
  • As at March 31, 2011, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $136.4 million (including Avala's cash and cash equivalents of $48.4 million), short-term investments of $4.1 million and investments at fair value of $178.1 million.

SIGNIFICANT ITEMS

Krumovgrad Gold Project

  • On February 9, 2011, the Council of Ministers ("CoM") of the Republic of Bulgaria announced that it had approved the granting of a 30 year concession to develop the Khan Krum Deposit in Krumovgrad. The CoM's resolution was published in the State Gazette on February 18, 2011 and was subject to appeal within 14 days. On March 22, 2011, the Company received notification of the filing of two appeals. The appeals have been filed jointly by: i) the Municipality of Krumovgrad; and ii) a group of three environmental non-governmental organizations. The first court hearing scheduled for April 27, 2011 was postponed on procedural grounds and a second hearing has not yet been scheduled. Exercise of the concession rights by the Company is subject to a positive EIA resolution being issued by the Bulgarian Minister of Environment and Waters.

Serbia

  • Pursuant to the certificates and indenture governing certain of the Avala warrants issued on July 30, 2010, Avala had the right to accelerate the expiry date on the 34,290,179 common share purchase warrants issued to DPM on July 30, 2010, as part of the consideration for its acquisition of DPM's Serbian subsidiary, Dundee Plemeniti Metali d.o.o., any time after January 26, 2011 if the closing price of its common shares was above Cdn$1.00 for 20 consecutive trading days. On February 25, 2011, having met this precondition, Avala issued notification of its decision to accelerate the expiry date of this portion of the share purchase warrants to March 28, 2011. In response, DPM exercised 34,290,179 full warrants to purchase the same number of Avala common shares at Cdn$0.50 per share for total consideration of $17.1 million (Cdn$17.1 million) on March 23, 2011. As at March 31, 2011, DPM held 110,156,036 common shares of Avala resulting in a direct controlling interest of 51.4%, on a non-diluted basis.

A complete set of DPM's interim unaudited consolidated financial statements, notes to the interim unaudited consolidated financial statements and management's discussion and analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2011 will be posted on the Company's website at www.dundeeprecious.com and will be filed on Sedar at www.sedar.com.

CONFERENCE CALL

An analyst conference call is scheduled for Wednesday May 11, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. (EST), in conjunction with the Company's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, to present these results and will be webcast live, audio only, at: http://www.gowebcasting.com/2407. Listen only dial-in numbers are 416-695-6617 or 1-800-396-7098.

The audio webcast for this conference call will be archived and available on the Company's website at www.dundeeprecious.com.

OVERVIEW

DPM is a Canadian-based, international mining company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, mining and processing of precious metal properties. Its common shares and share purchase warrants are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX"). DPM's business objectives are to identify, acquire, finance, develop and operate low-cost, long-life mining properties.

The Company's operating interests include a 100% ownership in Chelopech Mining EAD ("Chelopech"), a gold, copper, silver concentrates producer, owner of the Chelopech mine located approximately 70 kilometres east of Sofia, Bulgaria, a 100% ownership in Namibia Custom Smelters (Pty) Ltd. ("NCS"), its principal asset being the copper concentrate processing facility located in Tsumeb, Namibia, and a 100% ownership in Deno Gold Mining Company CJSC ("Deno Gold"), its principal asset being the Kapan mine, a gold, copper, zinc, silver concentrates producer located about 320 kilometres south east of the capital city of Yerevan in Southern Armenia. DPM's interests also include a 100% interest in the Krumovgrad development stage gold property located in south-eastern Bulgaria, near the town of Krumovgrad and a 100% ownership in DPM Assurance (Barbados) Inc. ("DPMA"), a qualifying insurance company in Barbados, principally to provide reinsurance coverage for surety risks originating from its affiliates. The Company presently holds a 51.4% controlling interest in Avala Resources Ltd. ("Avala"), a TSX Venture Exchange ("TSXV") listed company (TSX VENTURE:AVZ) focused on the exploration and development of the Timok and Potoj Cuka copper and gold projects in Serbia.

SUMMARIZED FINANCIAL RESULTS

Revenue

Revenue of $68.4 million in the first quarter of 2011 was $47.9 million higher than the corresponding prior year period revenue of $20.5 million due primarily to a 64% increase in deliveries of concentrates, a 25% increase in gold prices, a 34% increase in copper prices and an 87% increase in silver prices. Also contributing to the period over period increase in revenue was the inclusion of NCS revenue, which was acquired by DPM on March 24, 2010.

Deliveries of concentrate produced at Chelopech of 17,373 tonnes in the first quarter of 2011 were 47% higher than first quarter of 2010 deliveries of 11,831 tonnes. In the first quarter of 2010, there was a build-up of concentrate inventories due to congestion at the Port of Bourgas, Bulgaria, which resulted in a shipment originally scheduled for March 2010 being delayed to April 2010. Gold in concentrate sold in the first quarter of 2011 of 15,278 ounces was 54% higher than the corresponding prior year period. Copper in concentrate sold in the first quarter of 2011 of 5.9 million pounds was 50% higher than the corresponding prior year period. Silver in concentrate sold in the first quarter of 2011 of 23,982 ounces was 25% higher than the corresponding prior year period.

Deliveries of copper and zinc concentrates produced at Deno Gold of 1,836 tonnes and 4,515 tonnes in the first quarter of 2011 were, respectively, 104% and 159% higher than first quarter of 2010 deliveries due primarily to increased production. Gold and silver in concentrate sold in the first quarter of 2011 of 6,304 ounces and 111,154 ounces were, respectively, 87% and 114% higher than the corresponding prior year period. Copper and zinc in concentrate sold in the first quarter of 2011 of 0.8 million pounds and 5.0 million pounds were, respectively, 106% and 161% higher than the corresponding prior year period.

The average London Bullion gold price2 in the first quarter of 2011 of $1,386 per ounce was 25% higher than the first quarter of 2010 average price of $1,105 per ounce. The average London Metal Exchange ("LME") cash copper price2 in the first quarter of 2011 of $4.38 per pound was 34% higher than the first quarter of 2010 average price of $3.28 per pound. The average LME cash zinc price2 in the first quarter of 2011 of $1.09 per pound was 5% higher than the first quarter of 2010 average price of $1.04 per pound. The average London Bullion silver price2 in the first quarter of 2011 of $31.71 per ounce was 87% higher than the first quarter of 2010 average price of $16.92 per ounce.

Cost of sales

Cost of sales in the first quarter of 2011 of $45.8 million was $24.1 million higher than the corresponding prior year period due primarily to the inclusion of expenses related to the processing of concentrates at NCS and higher deliveries of concentrates partially offset by lower production costs at Chelopech.

Cash cost per tonne of ore processed1, excluding royalties, at Chelopech in the first quarter of 2011 of $51.43 was 8% lower than the corresponding prior year period cash cost per tonne of ore processed1, excluding royalties, of $55.90 due primarily to higher volumes of material mined, lower spending on materials and maintenance and lower spending on backfill as a result of increased use of paste fill which was less expensive than the hydraulic fill used in the first quarter of 2010. These favourable variances were partially offset by higher usage of power and diesel, higher prices for diesel and higher employment expenses. Cash cost per tonne of ore processed1, including royalties, at Chelopech in the first quarter of 2011 of $57.99 was 4% lower than first quarter of 2010 cash cost per tonne of ore processed1, including royalties, of $60.53.

Cash cost per tonne of ore processed1, excluding royalties, at Deno Gold in the first quarter of 2011 of $74.57 was 5% higher than the corresponding prior year period cash cost per tonne of ore processed1, excluding royalties, of $70.87 due primarily to an increase in headcount, increased salaries, one-time bonus payments, increased prices for and usage of explosives, fuel and reagents, higher vein drive development costs to access additional working spaces and increased maintenance costs. These unfavourable variances were partially offset by higher volumes of material processed. Cash cost per tonne of ore processed1, including royalties, at Deno Gold in the first quarter of 2011 was $78.86. Deno Gold did not pay a profit based royalty in the first quarter of 2010.

Gross profit (loss)

The following table shows the breakdown of gross profit (loss) by location:

$ thousandsThree Months
Ended March 31,20112010
Chelopech$17,344$(1,688)
Deno Gold6,432488
NCS(1,160)-
Total gross profit (loss)$22,616$(1,200)

Included in NCS gross loss in the first quarter of 2011 was a depreciation expense of $0.8 million related to the intangible asset acquired as part of the purchase of NCS in March 2010.

General and Administrative Expenses

General and administrative expenses of $5.6 million in the first quarter of 2011 were $2.7 million higher than the corresponding prior year period expenses of $2.9 million due primarily to an increase in employee related expenses.

Other Income

Other income in the first quarter of 2011 totalled $5.1 million compared to $3.0 million in the corresponding prior year period.

Unrealized favourable mark-to-market adjustments related to the Sabina special warrants totalled $4.5 million in the first quarter of 2011 compared to $3.0 million in the corresponding prior year period. Gains on sale of available-for-sale investments totalled $5.3 million compared to $nil in the corresponding prior year period. Unrealized losses related to the copper derivative contracts totalled $4.7 million in the first quarter of 2011.

Income Tax Expense (Recovery)

For the three months ended March 31, 2011, DPM reported an income tax expense of $3.3 million at an effective tax rate of 20.9% on earnings before income taxes of $15.7 million. At a 28.5% Canadian statutory tax rate for 2011, the expected income tax expense was $4.5 million. The variance was due primarily to the non-taxable portion of capital gains and unrealized gains on special warrants and lower rate on foreign earnings partially offset by the non-taxable portion of unrealized losses on derivative commodity contracts and an unrecognized tax benefit relating to foreign and Canadian losses.

For the three months ended March 31, 2010, the tax recovery rate of 9.8% was lower than the Canadian statutory rate of 31.0% due primarily to a lower tax rate on foreign losses and the unrecognized tax benefit relating to foreign and Canadian losses.

Summary of Cash Flow from Operating, Investing and Financing Activities

The following table summarizes the Company's cash flow (shortfall) activities for the periods indicated:

$ thousandsThree Months
Ended March 31,20112010
Net cash provided by operating activities$17,501$5,044
Net cash used in investing activities(13,339)(1,127)
Net cash provided by financing activities35,97760,591
Increase in cash and cash equivalents40,13964,508
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period96,22530,769
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period$136,364$95,277

Operating Activities

Cash provided by operating activities in the first quarter of 2011 of $17.5 million was $12.5 million higher than cash provided by operating activities of $5.0 million in the first quarter of 2010 due primarily to stronger metal prices and higher deliveries of concentrates partially offset by an increase in working capital requirements.

Investing Activities

Cash used in investing activities in the first quarter of 2011 was $13.4 million compared to cash used in investing activities of $1.1 million in the corresponding prior year period.

Proceeds on sale of short-term investments totalled $9.0 million in the first quarter of 2011 compared to $29.5 million in the corresponding prior year period. Short-term investments include bankers' acceptances, guaranteed investment certificates and treasury bills with original maturities between three months and less than one year at the time the investment is made.

Proceeds from sale of available-for-sale investments in the first quarter of 2011 totalled $7.3 million compared to $nil in the corresponding prior year period.

In the first quarter of 2011, there was an increase of $6.8 million in restricted cash held as collateral against the metal price derivative contracts.

On March 24, 2010, the Company completed the acquisition of NCS from Weatherly International plc ("WTI") through the purchase of 100% of the shares of NCS. The cash consideration provided to WTI by DPM was $17.0 million, net of cash acquired of $1.0 million.

Prior to its acquisition of NCS in March 2010, DPM advanced $3.0 million to NCS in accordance with the binding letter of intent signed in January 2010 with WTI for the purchase of NCS.

The following table provides a summary of the Company's capital expenditures:

$ thousandsThree Months
Ended March 31,20112010
Chelopech$(13,393)$(8,322)
Deno Gold(2,231)(1,809)
NCS(4,909)-
BMM(1,613)(537)
Other(1,023)18
Total capital expenditures$(23,169)$(10,650)

Capital expenditures at Chelopech in the first quarter of 2011 were 61% higher than the corresponding prior year period due to the ramp-up of the mine and mill expansion project. Capital expenditures at NCS in the first quarter of 2011 included the purchase of a used oxygen plant.

Financing Activities

Cash provided by financing activities in the first quarter of 2011 totalled $36.0 million compared to cash provided by financing activities of $60.6 million in the corresponding prior year period.

On December 3, 2010, DPM and Chelopech finalized a $66.75 million long-term loan agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Unicredit Bulbank to assist in the financing of its mine and mill expansion. The amount drawn under the facility in the first quarter of 2011 was $22.5 million (net proceeds of $22.0 million). As at March 31, 2011, the facility had been fully drawn.

Pursuant to the certificates and indenture governing certain of the Avala warrants issued on July 30, 2010, Avala had the right to accelerate the expiry date on 30,139,750 warrants if certain conditions were met. Having met the preconditions, in December 2010, Avala announced its decision to accelerate the expiry of such warrants to January 14, 2011 from July 30, 2013. On January 17, 2011, Avala issued 30,139,750 common shares to its non-controlling interest for the exercise of all their outstanding warrants for cash proceeds of $15.7 million.

In the first quarter of 2010, the Company completed an equity financing for gross proceeds of $64.8 million (Cdn$66.0 million). The equity financing consisted of the sale of 20,000,000 common shares at Cdn$3.30 per share. The proceeds, net of expenses and fees, were $62.0 million (Cdn$63.1 million).

AVERAGE METAL PRICES

The following table, summarizing the average metal prices for the London Bullion Market Association ("LBMA") gold, LME copper Grade A, LME special high grade ("SHG") zinc and LBMA silver, is used to illustrate the Company's average metal price exposures based on its key reference prices for the periods indicated.

Metal Prices (Average)Three Months
Ended March 31,20112010
London Bullion gold ($/oz)$1,386$1,105
LME settlement copper ($/lb)$4.38$3.28
LME settlement SHG zinc ($/lb)$1.09$1.04
LBMA spot silver ($/oz)$31.71$16.92

NON-IFRS FINANCIAL MEASURES

Cash cost per tonne of ore processed is referred to because it is understood that certain investors use this information to assess the Company's performance and also determine the Company's ability to generate cash flow for investing activities. This measurement captures all of the important components of the Company's production and related costs. In addition, management utilizes this metric as an important management tool to monitor cost performance of the Company's operations. This measurement, which is a non-IFRS measure, has no standardized meaning under IFRS and is therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. This measurement 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.

The following table provides, for the periods indicated, a reconciliation of the Company's cash cost measure and IFRS cost of sales:

$ thousands, unless otherwise indicated
For the quarter ended March 31, 2011ChelopechDeno GoldOtherTotal
Ore processed (mt)206,079123,862
Cost of sales$17,721$11,408$16,665$45,794
Deduct:
Amortization & Other(3,426)(1,541)
Change in concentrate inventory(2,344)(99)
Total cash cost of production$11,951$9,768
Cash cost per tonne of ore processed, including royalties$57.99$78.86
Cash cost per tonne of ore processed, excluding royalties$51.43$74.57
$ thousands, unless otherwise indicated
For the quarter ended March 31, 2010ChelopechDeno GoldOtherTotal
Ore processed (mt)252,88680,523
Cost of sales$16,448$5,221$-$21,669
Add/(deduct):
Amortization & Other(3,160)(1,079)
Change in concentrate inventory2,0181,564
Total cash cost of production$15,306$5,706
Cash cost per tonne of ore processed, including royalties$60.53$70.87
Cash cost per tonne of ore processed, excluding royalties$55.90$70.87

1 A reconciliation of the Company's cash cost per tonne ore processed to cost of sales under IFRS for the first quarters of 2011 and 2010 is shown in the table entitled "Non -IFRS Financial Measures."

2 Refer to the Average Metal Prices section for the average metal prices used to illustrate the Company's average metal price exposure based on its key reference prices.

To view the Financial Statements, please click the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/dpmfin510.pdf

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the future price of gold, copper, zinc and silver the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, the realization of mineral estimates, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, capital expenditures, costs and timing of the development of new deposits, success of exploration activities, permitting time lines, currency fluctuations, requirements for additional capital, government regulation of mining operations, environmental risks, unanticipated reclamation expenses, title disputes or claims, limitations on insurance coverage and timing and possible outcome of pending litigation. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made, and they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any other future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others: the actual results of current exploration activities; actual results of current reclamation activities; conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of gold, copper, zinc and silver; possible variations in ore grade or recovery rates; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities, fluctuations in metal prices, as well as those risk factors discussed or referred to in Management's Discussion and Analysis under the heading "Risks and Uncertainties" and other documents filed from time to time with the securities regulatory authorities in all provinces and territories of Canada and available at www.sedar.com.
Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Unless required by securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change. Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Contact Information

  • Dundee Precious Metals Inc.
    Jonathan Goodman
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (416) 365-2408
    jgoodman@dundeeprecious.com

    Dundee Precious Metals Inc.
    Lori Beak
    Senior Vice President, Investor & Regulatory Affairs
    and Corporate Secretary
    (416) 365-5165
    lbeak@dundeeprecious.com