SOURCE: La Mancha Resources

November 08, 2011 10:04 ET

La Mancha Posts Its Strongest Quarter to Date: Record Net Earnings and Cash Flow From Operating Activities

PARIS--(Marketwire - Nov 8, 2011) - All amounts are in CA dollars, unless otherwise indicated.
Unaudited

THIRD QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Gold production of 27,330 oz
  • Average cash costs per ounce down 1% to US $680/oz
  • Net earnings up 167% to a record $13.2 million
  • Cash flow from operating activities nearly triples to a record $28.1 million
  • Cash and short-term investments grow by $66.4 million to reach $91.5 million
  • Total revenues up 61% to a record $52.1 million

Dominique Delorme, President and CEO of La Mancha, stated that: "Even if the financial performance of the entire gold mining industry is being buoyed by current gold prices, there aren't many producers who can claim that their improved margins are also the result of good cost management. I am very proud of the fact that, not only did La Mancha manage to control its cash costs per ounce during the quarter ended September 30, 2011, it managed to cut them by one percent, despite the inflationary pressures weighing on the mining industry. The record cash flow from operating activities generated in the last quarter and La Mancha's resulting $91.5 million cash position as of September 30 are giving us yet more flexibility to deliver growth to the equivalent of 350,000 oz of gold per year by 2015."

The table below highlights La Mancha's record third quarter performance:

Quarter ended September 30, Change:
2011 vs. 2010
2011 2010
Attributable production (in oz) 27,330 27,317 +0%
Average realized gold price (US $/oz) 1,740 1,220 +43%
Average cash cost (US $/oz) 680 687 -1%
Cash margin (US $/oz) 1,060 533 +99%
Operating cash flow ($'000) 28,128 9,612 +193%
Cash position at quarter-end 91,489 25,066 +265%

La Mancha Resources Inc. (TSX: LMA) (FRANKFURT: LMA) (hereinafter "La Mancha" or the "Company") is pleased to report that its consolidated production reached 27,330 ounces of gold at an average cash cost of US $680 per ounce during the third quarter of 2011, compared to 27,317 ounces of gold at an average cash cost of US $687 per ounce in the same quarter last year. Boosted by the reopening of the Ity mine in May 2011, the two African mines saw their combined production increase by 21% to 12,371 ounces of gold in the quarter ended September 30, more than compensating for lower White Foil production. Production at Frog's Leg remained essentially stable.

Consequently, La Mancha's production remains in line with its 2011 guidance of 115,000 to 135,000 attributable ounces of gold for the year, as its output during the first nine months of the year totalled 94,387 ounces at a cash cost of US $662 per ounce. Production for the corresponding period in 2010 was 91,827 ounces of gold at an average cash cost of US $620 per ounce.

La Mancha's third quarter consolidated net earnings reached a record $13.2 million, marking a 167% increase over the corresponding quarter of 2010 as the Company profited from stronger gold prices while resisting inflationary pressure on costs. Revenues for the third quarter totalled $52.1 million, compared to $32.3 million for the same quarter of 2010.

The Company generated a record $28.1 million in cash flow from operating activities during the third quarter of 2011, 193% more than the $9.6 million generated in the third quarter of 2010.

"Due to the minimal sustaining capital investments required by our existing operations, a large portion of our cash flow from operating activities translates directly into an increase in our cash position. In the third quarter of 2011, we therefore added $20.8 million to our cash and short-term investment position," Mr. Delorme added.

La Mancha's cash and short-term investment position has increased by $66.4 million since September 30, 2010, to stand at $91.5 million as of September 30, 2011. In addition to its cash and short-term investments, La Mancha's sources of funds available as of September 30, 2011, included $6.6 million invested in Master Asset Vehicle II ("MAV 2") and an AREVA debt facility available for its full amount of AU $22.0 million. The Company is debt-free.

La Mancha is pleased to also report record results for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2011, with net earnings of $31.9 million and cash flow from operating activities of $69.3 million. This compares to net earnings of $16.6 million and cash flow from operating activities of $38.2 million for the same period of 2010.

AUSTRALIAN OPERATIONS
Production at the Frog's Leg mine remains in line with the 2011 forecast, with toll-milling generating 13,614 ounces of gold net to La Mancha in the third quarter of 2011 compared to 13,871 ounces in the corresponding period of 2010. Gold production remained fairly stable, with higher gold grades compensating for lower toll-mill throughput. However, it should be noted that gold production does not fully reflect the true performance of the mine itself, due to the cyclical effect of toll-processing campaigns.

The table below highlights the fact that mining generated an ore stockpile representing in excess of 4,000 ounces of gold that remained unprocessed during the quarter due to the limited availability of the plant.

Three-month period ended
Sept. 30, 2011
Gold content in oz
attributable to LMA
Stockpile, beginning of the quarter 400
+ Gold content of ore mined 18,587
- Gold content of ore milled 14,307
Stockpile, end of the quarter 4,680

Due to the above-mentioned cyclical volume effect of toll processing, La Mancha expects to process all the stockpiled material shown in the table during the fourth quarter in addition to the ore mined, thereby finishing the year with minimal ore stockpiles. This should have a favourable impact on Frog's Leg's fourth quarter production.

Cash costs for the third quarter of 2011 averaged US $599 per ounce (AU $574 per ounce), compared to US $631 per ounce (AU $697 per ounce) in the corresponding period of 2010. Increased mining efficiency caused cash costs per ounce in Australian dollars to decrease by 18% from the corresponding period of 2010; however, due to an unfavourable change in the foreign exchange rate, per ounce cash costs in US dollars only decreased by 5%.

For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2011, the Frog's Leg mine generated 51,280 ounces of gold for La Mancha at a cash cost of US $581 per ounce (which includes an amendment to the second quarter's cash costs for an inventory adjustment), compared to 48,365 ounces of gold at a cash cost of US $546 per ounce generated in the first nine months of 2010.

During the third quarter of 2011, La Mancha continued to top off excess mill capacity at the nearby Greenfields plant with stockpiled White Foil ore. Consequently, 11,663 tonnes of stockpiled White Foil ore were processed during the quarter, yielding a production of 1,345 ounces of gold at an average cash cost of US $978 per ounce (AU $912 per ounce). This compares to 3,230 ounces of gold produced in the third quarter of 2010 at an average cash cost of US $843 (AU $931 per ounce), as this year's higher processed gold grades partially offset the reduced mill throughput.

The White Foil mine produced 9,388 ounces of gold during the nine months ended September 30, 2011, at a cash cost of US $821 per ounce, compared to 9,189 ounces of gold produced in the first nine months of 2010 at a cash cost of US $868 per ounce. White Foil's gold production for the fourth quarter of 2011 could continue to suffer, as it did in the first nine months of the year, from the limited availability of the Greenfields plant, as no capacity is currently allocated to White Foil for the rest of this year.

AFRICAN OPERATIONS
Gold production for the Hassaï mine remains in line with the 2011 forecast, as third quarter output totalled 16,971 ounces of gold (6,788 ounces attributable to La Mancha) at an average cash cost of US $866 per ounce. This compares to 15,517 ounces of gold (6,207 ounces attributable to La Mancha) produced in the third quarter of 2010 at a cash cost of US $803 per ounce. Gold output increased due mainly to a higher gold recovery rate, and to a lesser degree to higher processed gold grades and increased mill throughput. It is important to note that more than half the increase in cash costs per ounce over the corresponding period of 2010 was due to increased royalty charges arising from higher gold prices.

The Hassaï mine produced 57,563 ounces of gold (23,025 ounces attributable to La Mancha) in the nine-month period ended September 30, 2011, at a cash cost of US $784 per ounce, compared to 53,287 ounces of gold (21,315 ounces attributable to La Mancha) at a cash cost of US $725 per ounce for the first nine months of 2010.

Gold production at the Ity mine continued to gain momentum in the third quarter of 2011, as output nearly double over the previous quarter to reach a total production of 12,163 ounces of gold (5,583 ounces attributable to La Mancha) at an average cash cost of US $578 per ounce. This compares to production of 8,733 ounces of gold (4,008 ounces attributable to La Mancha) at an average cash cost of US $577 per ounce in the corresponding quarter of 2010, when the operation was negatively impacted by frequent heavy rainfalls and the commissioning of the new leaching pads.

Ity's strong third quarter means that production for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2011, is almost in line with last year's production for the same period, despite a difficult first half of the year with a cumulative 10-week shut down due to political tensions. The Ity mine produced 23,298 ounces of gold (10,694 ounces attributable to La Mancha) in the first nine months ended September 30, 2011, at a cash cost of US $651 per ounce (which includes an amendment to the cash costs for the first six months to reflect a stockpile valuation adjustment), compared to 28,233 ounces of gold (12,959 ounces attributable to La Mancha) at a cash cost of US $550 per ounce for the first nine months of 2010.

HASSAÏ VMS PROJECT
PHASE 1
The initial development stage at the Hassaï mine in Sudan involves the upgrade of the present heap leach plant to Carbon-In-Leach ("CIL") technology. On May 16, 2011, La Mancha announced positive results of its Definitive Feasibility Study. For additional information, please refer to the May 16, 2011, press release titled "Positive Feasibility Study for the Hassaï Mine", available on La Mancha's website at www.lamancha.ca and through SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

La Mancha has set two conditions to be met before this first phase of the project can move forward: a) an agreement on the ownership of the property with its partners and b) conclusion of a proper financing structure for the project. With respect to the agreement on the Hassaï ownership structure, the political transition underway in Khartoum following the independence of South Sudan has not allowed the Company to make significant progress since August. The upcoming appointment of the government should allow significant discussions between La Mancha and its Sudanese partner to resume in the coming weeks. In terms of financing, the project's funding gap has considerably decreased in light of the significant strengthening of both La Mancha's and its Sudanese subsidiary's balance sheets, over the course of the past nine months. The Company anticipates that an 18-month detailed engineering and construction period will be required from the time an agreement is signed with the Sudanese partner until the start of production.

PHASE 2
The second stage of development at the Hassaï mine involves the mining of the volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits underlying the mined-out pits. The Hassaï property is a mining complex consisting of 18 mined pits, six of which have visually-identified VMS potential. Following the publication of a positive PEA on September 7, 2010, a 100,000-metre drilling program was launched with the intent of upgrading the Inferred resource to the Measured and Indicated categories, increasing the current resource at the first two targets, and testing the potential of the VMS structure identified at the third target.

On September 12, 2011, La Mancha reported the drill results for the first 70,000 metres of the program. The Company also indicated that the information compiled through this drilling program would be used to generate an updated resource estimate scheduled for release in early 2012. For additional information, please refer to the September 12, 2011, press release titled "La Mancha's Hassaï VMS Drilling Update", available on La Mancha's website at www.lamancha.ca and through SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT
Investor Relations Calendar
La Mancha will be at the following upcoming events:
Mines and Money London 2011 on December 6 & 7, 2011, at the Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London.
La Mancha will also be hosting corporate presentation seminars in the following locations:

Calgary on November 30, 2011
Vancouver on December 1, 2011

These presentation seminars are open to the public, and La Mancha invites all investors to attend. For event details and reservations, please contact John Boidman of Renmark at (514) 939-3989 or jboidman@renmarkfinancial.com.

Consolidated Financial Statements
The management discussion and analysis and unaudited consolidated financial statements with explanatory notes for the quarter ended September 30, 2011, are available in PDF format on La Mancha's website at www.lamancha.ca and through SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

ABOUT LA MANCHA RESOURCES INC.:
La Mancha Resources Inc. is an international gold producer based in Canada with operations, development projects and exploration activities in Africa, Australia and Argentina. La Mancha's shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol "LMA". More information on the Company can be found on its website at www.lamancha.ca.

CAUTION CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain information contained or incorporated by reference in this press release, including any operating performance of La Mancha, may constitute forward-looking information or statements ("Forward-Looking Statements"). All statements other than statements reporting results or statements of historical facts are Forward-Looking Statements. The words "projected", "set", "potential", "will", "would", "should", "plans", "expects", "anticipates", "believes", "predicts" and similar expressions identify Forward-Looking Statements. This press release contains certain Forward-Looking Statements, including, but not limited to, the statements regarding the Company's strategic plans, future production and profitability, production targets and timetables; statements regarding an expected increase in Australian toll-milling capacity and its positive impact on La Mancha's fourth quarter production and cash costs; statements regarding the Frog's Leg mine's ore mill schedule and grades. Forward-looking statements express, as at the date of this press release, the Company's plans, estimates, forecasts, projections, expectations or beliefs as to future events and results. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate. Therefore, actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Risks and uncertainties that could cause results or future events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, factors associated with fluctuations in the market price of precious metals, mining industry risks, exploration risks, risks associated with foreign operations, environmental risks and hazards, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves, requirement of additional financing or additional permits, authorizations or licenses, risks of delays in construction and production and other risks referred to in La Mancha's 2010 Annual Information Form filed with the Securities Commissions, as well as the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Please follow this link to the PDF including graph: http://hugin.info/145163/R/1561837/483461.pdf

Contact Information

  • For additional information, please contact:
    La Mancha Resources Inc.
    Martin Amyot
    Vice President Corporate Development
    Tel: (514) 987-5115
    Email: Email Contact


    Nicole Blanchard
    Investor Relations
    (514) 961-0229
    Email Contact