SOURCE: Gran Colombia Gold Corp.

Gran Colombia Gold Corp.

March 30, 2016 18:21 ET

Gran Colombia Gold Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2015 Results; Reports Stronger EBITDA, Meets Annual Production and Cost Guidance

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - March 30, 2016) -  Gran Colombia Gold Corp. (TSX: GCM) (OTC PINK: TPRFF) announced today the release of its audited consolidated financial statements and accompanying management's discussion and analysis (MD&A) for the year ended December 31, 2015. All financial figures contained herein are expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.

Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2015 Highlights

  • The Company completed the comprehensive restructuring of its Senior Secured Gold-Linked Notes due October 2017 (the "Gold Notes") and Senior Unsecured Silver-Linked Notes due August 2018 (the "Silver Notes) on January 20, 2016, bringing the Company out of default and improving its liquidity as it continues with its mine plan implementation at the Segovia Operations.
  • Improved production together with the significant reduction in total cash costs and G&A expenses, as outlined below, increased adjusted EBITDA to $10.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared with $5.6 million in the fourth quarter last year. For the full year 2015, adjusted EBITDA increased to $38.4 million from $10.8 million in 2014. See the Company's MD&A for the computation and components of this non-IFRS measure.
  • Total gold production in the fourth quarter of 2015 was 30,050 ounces, bringing the total gold production for the year to 116,857 ounces, within the Company's production guidance for 2015 and up 18% over 2014, driven by a 25% increase in Segovia's production to 92,894 ounces this year. As previously announced, Segovia's mining operations were disrupted in October and November last year by external security challenges, lowering its fourth quarter 2015 gold production to 23,868 ounces. The situation has since improved and operations have returned to normal.
  • Revenue of $33.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 brought the full year total to $134.9 million, up 10% over 2014 reflecting the increased gold production in 2015, offset partially by the impact of lower gold prices in 2015 that decreased the Company's realized gold prices by 9% to an average of $1,124 per ounce for the year.
  • Total cash costs decreased 22% to $705 per ounce in the fourth quarter of 2015 bringing all-in sustaining costs ("AISC") down 14% to $852 per ounce for the fourth quarter. For the full year 2015, total cash costs and AISC averaged $729 per ounce and $863 per ounce, respectively, both within the Company's guidance for 2015. See the Company's MD&A for the computation of these non-IFRS measures. The cost reductions achieved in 2015 were driven by the impact of the devaluation of the Colombian peso, improved production reducing fixed costs on a per ounce basis and cost savings achieved through a contract amendment with the primary contract miner at Segovia in the first quarter of 2015.
  • The Company continued to control its general and administrative ("G&A") expenses, which totalled $5.7 million in 2015, within the expected $1.5 million quarterly run rate throughout the year.
  • The Company reported an adjusted net loss attributable to shareholders of $3.0 million, or $0.12 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared with an adjusted net loss attributable to shareholders of $2.7 million, or $0.12 per share, in the fourth quarter last year. For the full year 2015, the adjusted net loss attributable to shareholders was $1.1 million, or $0.05 per share, compared with an adjusted net loss attributable to shareholders of $17.9 million, or $0.82 per share, in 2014. The improvement in 2015's adjusted EBITDA is largely responsible for the year-over-year improvement in adjusted net loss attributable to shareholders despite the decrease in realized gold prices. See the Company's MD&A for the computation of this non-IFRS measure.
  • The Company recorded after-tax impairment charges in the fourth quarter of 2015 in the amount of $27.2 million, or $1.15 per share, primarily related to the carrying value of its Segovia Operations. Like many of its peers, the Company lowered its long-term gold price estimates in its 2015 annual review of the carrying values of its cash generating units ("CGUs") to $1,200 per ounce from $1,300 per ounce used in last year's annual review. The impairment charges resulted in a net loss attributable to shareholders of $19.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2015 and $13.0 million for the full year 2015 compared with net income attributable to shareholders of $11.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 and a net loss attributable to shareholders of $3.3 million for the full year 2014.

Lombardo Paredes Arenas, Chief Executive Officer of Gran Colombia, commenting on the Company's results for 2015, said, "We are thankful that the debt restructuring came to a successful conclusion in January and we are pleased with the progress we made in 2015, meeting guidance for production and costs and improving our annual adjusted EBITDA significantly compared with the previous two years. In the coming year, we will continue the work in Segovia to implement our optimized mine plan and we will make further progress to improve our balance sheet by reducing our working capital deficit and, through holders' conversions or our own repurchases, reduce our senior debt."

Financial and Operating Summary

A summary of the financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2015 and 2014 follows:

          Fourth Quarter       Year  
    2015     2014     2015     2014     2013  
                                         
Operating data:                                        
  Gold produced (ounces)     30,050       29,043       116,857       98,622       102,792  
  Gold sold (ounces)     31,090       28,287       118,446       97,628       102,080  
  Average realized gold price ($/oz sold)   $ 1,074     $ 1,168     $ 1,124     $ 1,237     $ 1,416  
  Total cash costs ($/oz sold) 1     705       908       729       1,024       1,152  
  All-in sustaining costs ($/oz sold) 1     852       995       863       1,145       1,322  
                                         
Financial data ($000's, except per share amounts):                                          
  Revenue   $ 33,751     $ 33,528     $ 134,949     $ 123,027     $ 148,531  
  Adjusted EBITDA 1     9,984       5,554       38,423       10,836       13,045  
  Impairment charges, net of tax     27,246       16,659       27,246       16,659       146,684  
  Net (loss) income attributable to shareholders    
 (19,425
)    
 11,610
     
 (13,020
)    
 (3,310
)    
 (165,158
)
  Basic and diluted (loss) income per share    
 (0.82
)    
 0.49
     
 (0.55
)    
 (0.15
)    
 (10.81
)
  Adjusted net loss attributable to shareholders 1    
 (2,954
)    
 (2,741
)    
 (1,114
)    
 (17,882
)    
 (20,783
)
  Basic and diluted adjusted loss per share 1    
 (0.12
)    
 (0.12
)    
 (0.05
)    
 (0.82
)    
 (1.36
)
                                           
                                           
    As at December 31,
    2015   2014   2013
Balance sheet ($000's):                  
  Cash and cash equivalents   $ 3,004   $ 767   $ 1,609
  Gold and Silver Notes 2     100,740     114,340     152,074
  Other debt, including current portion     3,012     5,958     20,441
                   
                   
1   Refer to "Additional Financial Measures" in the Company's MD&A.
2   Represents estimated fair values plus arrears interest. Principal amounts of the Gold and Silver Notes were $100.0 million and $78.6 million, respectively.

Segovia Operations

Annual gold production at the Segovia Operations in 2015 increased by 25% over the prior year to 92,894 ounces, buoyed by improved head grades in material mined by the contract mining cooperatives operating within the Company's Providencia and El Silencio mines at Segovia. For the fourth quarter of 2015, Segovia produced 23,868 ounces of gold compared with 22,427 ounces in the fourth quarter last year. As previously announced, production from contract mining cooperatives was adversely impacted in the fourth quarter of 2015. The situation has since improved and contract mining operations at Providencia and El Silencio have returned to normal. The Company is continuing discussions with the hope that initiatives to formalize these illegal mines will ultimately be successful.

Total cash costs at the Segovia Operations decreased in the fourth quarter of 2015 to $670 per ounce, 27% lower than reported for the fourth quarter last year. A 32% devaluation of the Colombian peso in 2015 helped to reduce Segovia's total cash costs per ounce which also benefitted from improved production that reduced fixed costs on a per ounce basis and from cost savings of approximately $0.8 million per month achieved through a contract amendment with the primary contract miner at the Segovia Operations in the first quarter of 2015.

Marmato Operations

At the Marmato Underground mine, the Company developed additional fronts within the mine and installed a new secondary cone crusher to increase plant capacity by 10% in the first half of 2015. This resulted in a 9% increase in daily tonnes processed in the second half of the year. Fourth quarter and full year 2015 gold production of 6,182 ounces and 23,963 ounces, respectively, were on par with the prior year and met expectations for 2015. Total cash cost in the fourth quarter of 2015 was $817 per ounce, down 7% from the fourth quarter last year, benefitting from the Colombian peso devaluation in 2015 but impacted by a lower average head grade compared with the fourth quarter last year.

Outlook

With the successful completion of the comprehensive debt restructuring in January 2016, the Company will focus its attention in the coming year on the continued execution of the optimized mine plan at its Segovia Operations and improving its working capital deficit.

The Company expects to see an increase in total annual gold production in 2016 to approximately 120,000 to 138,000 ounces. This includes production at the Segovia Operations of 96,000 to 110,000 ounces and a total of 24,000 to 28,000 ounces at the Marmato Underground mine in 2016.

The Company anticipates that its all-in sustaining cost will be between $850 and $950 per ounce in 2016. This includes total cash cost per ounce ranging between $700 and $750 per ounce, which will be influenced by the exchange rate of the Colombian peso relative to the U.S. dollar and by production volumes. G&A expenses are expected to remain at approximately $5.5 million to $6 million for 2016 or approximately $40 to $50 per ounce. Sustaining capital expenditures, predominantly associated with development and modernization activities in the Company-operated areas within the Segovia Operations and the commencement of shafts at Providencia and El Silencio to improve access to the mines and ventilation, are projected to range from $125 to $170 per ounce in 2016.

The Company has a number of ongoing payment plans with suppliers and the local environmental authority in Segovia in addition to certain equity and wealth tax obligations in arrears at December 31, 2015. The Company will be continuing to address these obligations in 2016 as it strives to improve its working capital deficit.

Since the debt restructuring closed in January 2016, holders of the 2018 Debentures and the 2020 Debentures have elected to convert $1.1 million and $0.5 million, respectively, into a total of 12 million common shares, reducing the principal amounts of the 2018 Debentures and 2020 Debentures to $103.5 million and $70.1 million, respectively, and increasing the issued and outstanding common shares to a total of 125,528,369 at March 30, 2016. While the Company has a reasonable expectation that holders will continue to exercise their conversion rights over time, to the extent possible, the Company may also consider using its excess free cash flow, as permitted by the indentures for the 2018 Debentures and the 2020 Debentures, to make open market purchases or redemptions to reduce its future obligations under these senior debt instruments.

Webcast

As a reminder, the Company will host a conference call and webcast on Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss the results.

Webcast and call-in details are as follows:

Live Event link: http://edge.media-server.com/m/p/4a6ujycu
Toronto & International: 1 (514) 841-2157
North America Toll Free: 1 (866) 215-5508
Colombia Toll Free: 01 800 9 156 924
Conference ID: 42114135

A replay of the webcast will be available at www.grancolombiagold.com from Thursday, March 31, 2016 until Saturday, April 30, 2016.

About Gran Colombia Gold Corp.

Gran Colombia is a Canadian-based gold and silver exploration, development and production company with its primary focus in Colombia. Gran Colombia is currently the largest underground gold and silver producer in Colombia with several underground mines in operation at its Segovia and Marmato Operations. Gran Colombia is in the midst of an expansion and modernization project at its Segovia Operations.

Additional information on Gran Colombia can be found on its website at www.grancolombiagold.com and by reviewing its profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information:

This news release contains "forward-looking information", which may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to anticipated business plans or strategies. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "believes" or variations (including negative 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 involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Gran Colombia to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements are described under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form dated as of March 30, 2016, which is available for view on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this press release and Gran Colombia disclaims, other than as required by law, any obligation to update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, results, future events, circumstances, or if management's estimates or opinions should change, or otherwise. 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. Accordingly, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Contact Information