SOURCE: Gran Colombia Gold Corp.

Gran Colombia Gold Corp.

November 11, 2015 18:57 ET

Gran Colombia Gold Announces Third Quarter and First Nine Months 2015 Results; Reports Further EBITDA Improvement Driven by Production Increase and Reduction in AISC to $789 per Ounce

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 11, 2015) - Gran Colombia Gold Corp. (TSX: GCM) (OTC PINK: TPRFF) announced today the release of its unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements and accompanying management's discussion and analysis (MD&A) for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2015. All financial figures contained herein are expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.

Third Quarter and First Nine 2015 Highlights

  • The Company continued with the monthly interest payments in the third quarter of 2015 on its Senior Secured Gold-Linked Notes due October 2017 ("Gold Notes") and Senior Unsecured Silver-Linked Notes due August 2018 ("Silver Notes"). On September 29, 2015, the Company announced the details for a comprehensive debt restructuring proposal to be implemented under a Plan of Arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia). Materials mailed to holders of record as of October 26, 2015 for the November 27, 2015 meetings are available on the Company's SEDAR profile and website at www.grancolombiagold.com. Proposed forms of the amended and restated Gold Notes and Silver Notes indentures were also posted to the Company's website on November 9, 2015. In addition, certain Noteholders have requested the Collateral Trust Agreement relating to the Gold Notes and the Company has now made this available on its SEDAR profile.
  • Total gold production in the third quarter of 2015 benefited from strong head grades at the Company's Segovia Operations, increasing 20.5% over the second quarter of this year to 34,339 ounces, and bringing the total gold production for the first nine months of 2015 to 86,807 ounces, up 24.8% over the same period in 2014. Segovia's mining operations have been disrupted in October and November by external security challenges as outlined in this press release. Consequently, the Company expects that total annual gold production for 2015 will be at the low end of its guidance ranges at Segovia of between 90,000 and 110,000 ounces and for the total Company of between 114,000 and 136,000 ounces.
  • Revenue of $39.3 million in the third quarter of 2015 brought the first nine months total to $101.2 million, up 13% from the same period last year reflecting the increased gold production, offset partially by the impact of a 10% decrease in realized gold prices to an average of $1,142 per ounce in the first nine months of 2015.
  • Total cash costs decreased 39% to $644 per ounce in the third quarter of 2015 compared with $1,054 in the third quarter last year, bringing all-in sustaining costs ("AISC") down 35% to $789 per ounce in the third quarter of 2015 compared with $1,216 in the third quarter last year. See the Company's MD&A for the computation of these non-IFRS measures. The third quarter 2015 cost reductions were driven by improved production reducing fixed costs on a per ounce basis, the impact of further devaluation of the Colombian peso and cost savings achieved through a contract amendment with the primary contract miner at the Segovia Operations in the first quarter of 2015.
  • The Company continued to control its general and administrative ("G&A") expenses, which are running below the expected $1.5 million quarterly run rate in the first nine months of 2015.
  • Improved production together with the significant reduction in total cash costs and G&A expenses, as outlined above, increased adjusted EBITDA to $13.3 million in the third quarter of 2015 compared with $1.8 million in the third quarter last year. For the first nine months of 2015, adjusted EBITDA had increased to $28.4 million from $5.3 million in the same period last year. See the Company's MD&A for the computation and components of this non-IFRS measure.
  • The Company reported adjusted net income attributable to shareholders of $2.0 million, or $0.08 per share, in the third quarter of 2015 compared with an adjusted net loss of $5.6 million, or $0.23 per share, in the third quarter last year. For the first nine months of 2015, the adjusted net income attributable to shareholders was $1.8 million, or $0.08 per share, compared with an adjusted net loss of $15.1 million, or $0.71 per share, in the same period last year. The improvement in 2015's adjusted EBITDA is largely responsible for the year-over-year improvement in adjusted net income 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 net income attributable to shareholders for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2015 was $6.7 million and $6.4 million, respectively, compared with net income of $12.4 million in the third quarter of 2014 and a net loss of $14.9 million in the first nine months last year.

Lombardo Paredes Arenas, Chief Executive Officer of Gran Colombia, commenting on the Company's results for the third quarter of 2015, said, "We still have a lot of work ahead of us as we implement the optimized mine plan at Segovia. That being said, we are pleased with the improvement in our cash flow generation through the first nine months of this year driven by an increase in our production level at Segovia and continued reduction in our AISC. We have outlined a comprehensive debt restructuring proposal to be considered by the notes' holders and our shareholders at the forthcoming meetings on November 27, 2015. We urge all holders of our senior debt and shares to support the proposal as we believe this is the best option to normalize the Company's capital structure and to improve our liquidity, enabling us to use our internally generated cash flow to continue the development of our mining assets to increase free cash flow and enhance shareholder value, both of which are catalysts to the eventual settlement of our senior debt."

Financial and Operating Summary

A summary of the financial and operating results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2015 and 2014 is as follows:

  Third Quarter Nine Months
   2015  2014  2015  2014
                    
Operating data:                   
 Gold produced (ounces)   34,339   24,666    86,807   69,579  
 Gold sold (ounces)   35,501   24,203    87,356   69,341  
 Average realized gold price ($/oz sold)  $1,090  $1,256   $1,142  $1,265  
 Total cash costs ($/oz sold) (1)   644   1,054    737   1,072  
 All-in sustaining costs ($/oz sold) (1)   789   1,216    867   1,206  
Financial data ($000's, except per share amounts):                  
 Revenue  $39,267  $30,904   $101,198  $89,499  
 Adjusted EBITDA (1)   13,260   1,756    28,439   5,282  
 Net income (loss) attributable to shareholders   6,679   12,372    6,405   (14,920 )
 Basic and diluted income (loss) per share   0.28   0.52    0.27   (0.70 )
 Adjusted net income (loss) attributable to shareholders (1)   
 1,993
  
 (5,557
)  
 1,840
  
 (15,141
)
 Basic and diluted adjusted income (loss) per share (1)   
 0.08
  
 (0.23
)  
 0.08
  
 (0.71
)
                

   September 30,
2015
  December 31,
2014
Balance sheet ($000's):       
 Cash and cash equivalents $2,377  $767
 Gold and Silver Notes (2)  118,551   114,340
 Other debt, including current portion  3,400   5,958
        
(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, both of which are currently in default, are $100.0 million and $78.6 million, respectively.

Segovia Operations

Gold production at the Segovia Operations increased by 24% over the second quarter this year to 27,948 ounces in the third quarter of 2015, fuelled by a 13.8% increase in head grades mined by the contract mining cooperatives which averaged 29.12 g/t in the third quarter. This brought total gold production for the first nine months of 2015 to 69,026 ounces, up from 52,079 ounces in the first nine months last year.

The new mine plan at Segovia focuses current development activity in the Company-operated areas at the Providencia and El Silencio mines, providing access to higher grade stopes and improving efficiency through the construction of internal ramps to mechanize material handling, introducing scoops and jumbos into the mining process. While progress is being made in many respects in the Company-operated areas, development and preparation activities are going at a slower pace than initially expected in the optimized SRK mine plan, largely due to the continuing cash flow constraints affecting access to mining equipment, parts, explosives and other capital items essential to improving working conditions within the mines. The Company is continuing to work with SRK to fine tune its execution of the mine plan implementation. It is expected that the proposed comprehensive debt restructuring will improve the Company's liquidity while using its internally generated cash flow to continue development of its Segovia Operations to increase its free cash flow.

On October 9, 2015, the Company confirmed that its contract mining operations at Segovia had been disrupted by external security challenges from a local criminal organization during the first week of October, specifically targeting the contract miners at the Providencia and El Silencio mines. The dispute is linked to a request from the Colombian Attorney General's office to the Mayor of Segovia to enforce an order to close several illegal mines operating in the Company's Segovia mining title. For its part, the Company would like to formalize operations at these mines through contract mining cooperatives that provide continuing employment for the miners while improving mine safety and respecting all regulations regarding taxes, royalties and the environment. To address the security concerns, the local and national governments positioned additional officers and soldiers on site and in the town of Segovia. Production from the Company's contract miners resumed to relatively normal levels through the remainder of October with the Company producing a total of 7,405 ounces of gold at Segovia for the month, about 13% lower than expected. In early November, the situation worsened and production was again disrupted for several days. The Company continues to liaise with the local and national governments to get help in resolving the situation and restoring security in the area and mining operations to normal.

Total cash costs at the Segovia Operations decreased in the third quarter of 2015 to $614 per ounce, down 17% from the second quarter of 2015 and 42% lower than reported for the third quarter last year. Further devaluation of the Colombian peso in the third quarter of 2015 helped to reduce Segovia's total cash costs per ounce which also benefited from improved production that reduced fixed costs on a per ounce basis and from cost savings achieved through a contract amendment with the primary contract miner at the Segovia Operations in the first quarter of 2015.

Marmato Operations

At Marmato Underground, with head grades averaging 2.81 g/t in the third quarter of 2015, emphasis was placed on increasing tonnes mined and milled to increase gold production. An average of 871 tpd were milled in the third quarter of 2015, up 12% over the daily rate in the second quarter of 2015, made possible by development of additional fronts within the mine and a 10% increase in plant capacity as a result of the installation in the first half of 2015 of a new secondary cone crusher. Third quarter 2015 gold production increased to 6,391 ounces, up 7.5% over the second quarter of 2015, bringing total gold production for the first nine months of 2015 to 17,781 ounces, on par with the first nine months last year. Total cash cost was $778 per ounce in the third quarter of 2015, down 26% from the third quarter last year.

Outlook

The Company is continuing to focus in 2015 on the reorganization of its debt with the next step expected to take place at the meetings of the Gold and Silver Notes holders and common shareholders on November 27, 2015. While the Company remains optimistic that the debt restructuring proposal will be approved, not completing it would likely result in the commencement of insolvency proceedings in Canada and/or Colombia, and the outcome of any such proceedings involving assets that are located in Colombia would be highly uncertain and unpredictable. In the intervening period leading up to the meetings, the Company made interest payments on the Gold and Silver Notes on October 30, 2015 totalling approximately $1.1 million and has announced that it will make additional interest payments on November 30, 2015 totalling approximately $1.2 million.

The Company has been successful through the first nine months of 2015 in improving its year-to-date gold production to 86,807 ounces and reducing its AISC to a year-to-date average of $867 per ounce. In light of the recent security challenges at Segovia, the Company expects its 2015 total annual gold production will reach the lower end of its 2015 guidance range of 114,000 to 136,000 ounces and its annual AISC will fall within the lower end of its 2015 guidance range between $900 and $1,000 per ounce sold.

Webcast

As a reminder, the Company will host a conference call and webcast on Thursday, November 12, 2015 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/yo5iy4jp
Toronto & International: 1 (514) 841-2157
North America Toll Free: 1 (866) 215-5508
Colombia Toll Free: 01 800 9 156 924
Conference ID: 41077134

A replay of the webcast will be available at www.grancolombiagold.com from Thursday, November 12, 2015 until Saturday, December 12, 2015.

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, interest payments on senior debt, the debt restructuring proposal and the expected timing for the meetings of the Gold Notes, the Silver Notes and the Company's common shares. 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 31, 2015, 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.

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