High River Gold Mines Ltd.

High River Gold Mines Ltd.

November 14, 2006 20:33 ET

High River Gold Reports Third Quarter 2006 Results

'All currency figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted'

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 14, 2006) - High River Gold Mines Ltd. ("High River" or the "Company")(TSX:HRG) today reported its financial results and operational highlights for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2006. The Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes along with the Management's Discussion and Analysis have been filed with SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and can be viewed on the Company's website at www.hrg.ca.


Financial Results

- Net Income for Q3/06 of $33.7 million ($0.14 per share)

- Attributable gold production of 36,269 ounces for the quarter at a cash operating cost of US $349 per ounce (total cash cost of US $390 per ounce)

- Cash flow from operations before working capital changes of $4.9 million

- Elimination of future non-cash interest expense of approximately $2 million per year associated with the New Britannia Mine.


- Taparko-Bouroum Development Project: revised capital costs, including working capital of US $10 million, now projected to total US $98 million.

- Berezitovy Development Project: revised capital costs, including working capital of US $3 million, now projected to total US $108 million.

- Bissa Advanced Exploration Project: Extensive surface exploration programme on the Bissa area properties identified twelve drill target areas. US $10 million drill programme, to start in the fourth quarter, announced.

- Prognoz Advanced Exploration Project: Initial drilling confirms historical Russian drill results.


Selected Financial Results

(in thousands of Canadian
dollars except per share Three Months Ending Nine Months Ending
amounts) September 30, September 30,
2006 2005 2006 2005
Gold revenue $ 30,551 $ 19,796 $ 71,372 $ 59,317
Net (loss) income (1) 33,666 (554) 33,266 (2,023)
Net (loss) income per share
(basic) 0.14 (0.00) 0.14 (0.01)
Cash flow from operations
(2) 4,933 1,775 13,993 9,649
Weighted average number of
outstanding (basic) 233,889,139 195,415,663 230,082,986 179,124,346

1. The net income in the third quarter of 2006 includes non-cash accounting
adjustments of $32.2 million (compared to a negative adjustment of $1.0
million in Q3 2005).

2. Before changes in non-cash working capital.

Gold revenue for the quarter was up 54% to $30.6 million (from $19.8 million last year) due to higher gold prices and ounces sold. The average gold price realized on sales was US $626 per ounce during Q3/06, up from US $439 per ounce last year. Ounces sold increased by 16%.

Net Income was $33.7 million in Q3/06, up significantly from the loss of $554,000 last year. The increase was predominantly due to the recognition during the quarter of a non-cash gain of $32.9 million on the transfer of High River's interest in the New Britannia Mine to a third party (excluding the effect of the non-cash gain, earnings would be positive at $726,000). Going forward, earnings will benefit from the elimination of non-cash interest expense, associated with the New Britannia Mine, of approximately $2 million per year.

Attributable gold production was 36,269 ounces for the quarter at a cash operating cost of US $349 per ounce (total cash cost of US $390 per ounce), compared to 38,156 ounces at a cash operating cost of US $285 per ounce (total cash cost of US $313 per ounce) a year ago. The higher cash costs were due to a combination of energy and materials price inflation (approximately 12% year-to-date), a new employee bonus system in Russia to retain skilled personnel, and a stronger Russian Rouble.

During the quarter, Kinross Gold Corporation, the operator of the New Britannia Mine, entered into a definitive agreement to sell the mine to an arms-length party, Pegasus Mines Ltd. High River also agreed to transfer its 50% joint venture interest in the New Britannia Mine to Pegasus Mines Ltd. As consideration for the aforementioned transaction, High River's non-recourse project debt associated with its interest in the New Britannia Mine was cancelled, and all liabilities and obligations were assumed.


Operating Mines

Zun Holba (Russia)

Zun Holba's third quarter production of 17,559 ounces and year-to-date production of 52,671 ounces remained virtually unchanged from last year. Cash operating costs for the quarter increased to US $385 per ounce (total cash costs of US $430 per ounce) from US $313 (total cash costs of US $341 per ounce) last year due to wage inflation, a new employee performance bonus program, materials and energy price inflation, and a stronger Rouble.

Irokinda (Russia)

Production levels at the Irokinda mine (22,731 ounces this quarter versus 23,525 last year) remained roughly the same, dipping slightly due to fewer tonnes of stock-piled lower grade ore processed. Cash operating costs of US $255 per ounce (total cash costs of US $288 per ounce) during the quarter were higher than the US $206 per ounce (total cash cost of US $233 per ounce) last year due to the cost and currency effects mentioned above for Zun Holba.

Mines under Construction

Taparko-Bouroum (Burkina Faso)

Construction at Taparko is advancing well, and the project is scheduled for a gold pour at the beginning of Q2/07. Major accomplishments during the quarter include: completion of the CIL tanks, gabion wall and main administration building; filling of the process water reservoir to two thirds capacity, as planned; and advancement of pre-stripping of the main 3/5 pit to the point where mining of ore has begun.

Berezitovy (Amur Oblast, Russia)

Construction is also progressing nicely with the first gold pour anticipated towards the end of Q2/07, as planned. Notable accomplishments during the quarter include: completion of most foundations, significant progress on assembly of the SAG and ball mills, and receipt of both electric shovels and assembly of one.

The revision of capital costs for both projects, as indicated in the Highlights section, reflects increased labour, material, and energy costs, as well as the increase in costs associated with a longer construction period.

Advanced Exploration Projects

Bissa Project

The Bissa Project consists of 1,000 square kilometres of exploration permits in Burkina Faso. High River has established a NI 43-101 resource of 1.3 million ounces (680,000 ounces inferred) over just 6 kilometres of a 30 kilometre-long anomalous regional structural trend called the Sabce Deformation Corridor. High River believes that the Bissa Project has tremendous upside potential which exists along the Sabce Corridor and adjacent structures.

Recently completed surface exploration, together with past exploration work, has identified 12 target areas for drilling. During the quarter, High River announced a US $10 million drill programme, budgeted at US $2 million per quarter. This programme, due to start in the fourth quarter of 2006, has an initial objective of expanding the National Instrument 43-101 resource estimate to over 2 million ounces of gold from the current 1.3 million ounces.

Prognoz Project

Early in 2006, High River's subsidiary, Buryatzoloto, acquired a 50% interest in and operatorship of the world-class Prognoz Silver Project. Prognoz has historic Russian classified (not NI 43-101 compliant and must not be relied upon) reserves and resources containing 194 million ounces grading 830 g/t on average (see September 25, 2006 news release), making it one of the largest and highest grade undeveloped silver projects in the world. The historical reserves and resources calculation was based on extensive past work over the period 1987 to 2000 by the Russian State Exploration Company (17,805 metres of diamond drilling and 17,756 metres of trenching).

There are over 30 veins on the Prognoz property. Most exceed a kilometre in length, and are, on average, two to four metres wide and several hundred metres deep. The aforementioned reserves and resources are based on data from only two of these veins, the Glavnoye (4.1 kilometres long and open along strike) and the Boloto (2.4 kilometres long and open along strike) silver veins.

A US $15 million exploration programme was established for the period 2006 to 2008, and includes 13,000 metres of diamond drilling and 10,000 cubic metres of trenching in 2006. The objective of the programme is to confirm, upgrade and expand the historical Russian reserves and resources indicated above. Assay results for the first 35 drill holes confirmed horizontal and vertical continuity along the strike length tested, and confirmed grade-widths obtained from historical Russian drill hole assays.

For 2007, over 30,000 metres of infill and step out drilling is planned. During the first half of 2007, High River hopes to upgrade the current Russian classified historic reserves and resources to NI 43-101 standards.

About High River

High River is currently constructing two open-pit gold mines which are scheduled to commence production in the first half of 2007, the Taparko-Bouroum Project in Burkina Faso and the Berezitovy Project in Russia. Annual gold production from Taparko-Bouroum is planned at 100,000 ounces in year one increasing to over 140,000 ounces in the third year of operation, with annual production from Berezitovy averaging more than 100,000 ounces. Combined with gold production from High River's 85%-owned Russian subsidiary, OJSC Buryatzoloto, High River's attributable annualized gold production rate is expected to exceed 325,000 ounces by mid-2007, establishing the Company as a mid-tier gold producer.


This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations. These forward-looking statements entail various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected. Risk and uncertainties about the Company's business are more fully discussed in the Management's Discussion and Analysis published in the Company's Annual Report and in the Annual Information Form.

Contact Information

  • High River Gold Mines Ltd.
    Dan Hrushewsky
    (416) 947-1440
    (416) 360-0010 (FAX)
    Email: info@hrg.ca
    Website: www.hrg.ca