SOURCE: La Mancha Resources

August 05, 2011 05:00 ET

La Mancha Posts Record Net Earnings for the Second Quarter

PARIS--(Marketwire - Aug 5, 2011) - La Mancha Resources Inc. (TSX: LMA) (FRANKFURT: LMA)

All amounts are in CA dollars, unless otherwise indicated.

Unaudited

SECOND QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Net earnings up 40% to $11.3 million
  • Cash and short-term investments grow 259% to reach $70.7 million
  • Strong production of 34,632 ounces of gold at an average cash cost of US $657 per oz
  • Cash flow from operating activities of $14.6 million
  • Total revenues of $46.0 million
  • Release of a positive feasibility study for the CIL plant upgrade at the Hassaï mine

Dominique Delorme, President and CEO of La Mancha, stated that: "With a cumulative production of more than 67,000 ounces of gold in the first six months of 2011 alone, La Mancha is not only delivering in line with its production targets for the year, but is doing so while resisting inflationary pressures on costs. Although US$ cash costs per ounce have increased by 8% year over year, it is worth noting that cash costs expressed in local currency have decreased for roughly two thirds of our production. The combination of production growth, good cost control and current record high gold prices has allowed La Mancha to significantly strengthen its balance sheet, preparing itself for the next phase of growth. With over $70 million cash in hand and solid projects supporting short-term growth, La Mancha is ideally positioned to quickly join the ranks of the intermediate producers."

La Mancha Resources Inc. (TSX: LMA, FSE: LMA, hereinafter "La Mancha" or the "Company") is pleased to report that its consolidated production remains in line with its 2011 guidance of 115,000 to 135,000 attributable ounces of gold, as its output during the first half of the year totalled 67,058 ounces at a cash cost of US $637 per ounce.

La Mancha produced 34,632 ounces of gold at an average cash cost of US $657 per ounce during the second quarter of 2011, compared to 42,857 ounces of gold at an average cash cost of US $581 per ounce in the same quarter last year. While Hassaï's gold production increased slightly, the Company's consolidated production decreased, mainly due to quarterly fluctuations in the toll-milling schedule at its Australian mining complex, and to a lesser degree to the suspension of production at the Ity mine. Consolidated cash costs increased mainly due to the depreciation of the U.S. dollar against the Australian currency and the euro.

La Mancha's second quarter consolidated net earnings reached a record $11.3 million, marking a 40% increase over the corresponding quarter of 2010 as the Company profited from stronger gold prices. Due to the aforementioned changes in production and a discrepancy between the ounces sold and produced, La Mancha's revenues totalled $46.0 million in the second quarter of 2011, compared to revenues of $54.5 million in the corresponding quarter of 2010.

The Company's cash and short-term investment position increased by 259% since June 30, 2010, to reach $70.7 million as of June 30, 2011, as the Company generated $14.6 million in cash flow from operating activities during the second quarter of 2011. This compares to $18.9 million in cash flow from operating activities generated in the corresponding quarter of 2010.

In addition to its cash and short-term investments, La Mancha's sources of funds available as of June 30, 2011, included $7.3 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 has been debt-free since June 30, 2010.

For the first half of 2011, La Mancha posted net earnings of $18.8 million and generated $41.2 million in cash flow from operating activities, while its attributable gold production totalled 67,058 ounces of gold. This compares to net earnings of $11.7 million, cash flow from operating activities of $28.7 million and gold production of 64,511 ounces during the same period of 2010.

AUSTRALIAN OPERATIONS
Production at the Frog's Leg mine remains in line with the 2011 forecast, with the mine generating 15,376 ounces of gold net to La Mancha at an average cash cost of US $565 per ounce (AU $531 per ounce) in the second quarter of 2011, compared to 24,706 ounces at an average cash cost of US $488 per ounce (AU $551 per ounce) in the corresponding period of 2010. Gold production decreased over the comparative quarter due to quarterly changes in the toll-milling schedule, but this was partially offset by higher grades.

Increased mining efficiency has allowed the cash cost per ounce expressed in Australian dollars for Frog's Leg to decrease by 4% from the corresponding period of 2010; however, due to unfavourable foreign exchange rate variations, the cash cost expressed in US dollars per ounce increased by 16%. The paste backfilling that started in 2010 has resulted in improved mine stability and consequently reduced dilution during mining, which explains the higher gold grades obtained.

As expected, toll mill availability at the nearby Greenfields plant allowed 86,140 tonnes of stockpiled White Foil ore to be processed during the second quarter of 2011, yielding 7,963 ounces of gold at an average cash cost of US $792 per ounce (AU $746 per ounce). This compares to 89,678 tonnes of ore processed at the Three-Mile-Hill plant in the second quarter of 2010, which yielded 5,959 ounces of gold at a cash cost of US $882/oz (AU $997 per ounce).

Due to higher gold grades, the cash cost per ounce in Australian dollars for White Foil decreased by 25% from the corresponding period of 2010; however, the cash cost in US dollars per ounce decreased by 11% due to unfavourable foreign exchange rate variations.

La Mancha is still in negotiation with FMR Investments with respect to the extension and upgrading of its milling agreement. La Mancha's current milling agreement runs until April 2012.

AFRICAN OPERATIONS
The Hassaï mine's gold production remains in line with the 2011 forecast, as output totalled 21,000 ounces of gold (8,400 ounces attributable to La Mancha) at an average cash cost of US $703 per ounce for the second quarter of 2011. This compares to 20,021 ounces of gold (8,008 ounces attributable to La Mancha) produced in the second quarter of 2010 at a cash cost of US $658 per ounce.

It is important to note that roughly 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, while the remainder was mainly due to unfavourable foreign exchange rate variations.

During the weekend of June 25, a fire partially damaged two electrowinning cells. As both cells were replaced and commissioned faster than anticipated, the incident is expected to have a minimal impact on the third quarter's production.

After a 10-week shut down, the Ity mine resumed operations on May 9 with a rapid ramp up in production. Despite operating for only eight weeks, the mine produced a total of 6,302 ounces of gold (2,893 ounces attributable to La Mancha) at an average cash cost of US $646 per ounce during the second quarter of 2011, compared to 9,115 ounces of gold the previous year (4,184 ounces attributable to La Mancha) at an average cash cost of US $552 per ounce.

The mine has now reached its expected mill run rate, and management expects third quarter gold production to reflect this good performance as the leaching process catches up with the tonnage milled. The Ity mine is forecast to produce 32,700 to 37,000 ounces of gold in 2011 (15,000 to 17,000 ounces attributable to La Mancha), in line with its 2010 production level.

VMS PROJECT
On May 16, 2011, La Mancha announced positive results on the feasibility study for the first stage of developing the Hassaï mine into the Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide ("VMS") project. The initial development stage is the upgrade of the present heap leach plant to Carbon-In-Leach ("CIL") technology. Despite the strong economics of the project, the Company highlighted when disclosing the results of the feasibility study that its development would be conditional to two elements, namely a) the conclusion of successful ownership discussions with its partners and b) the completion of full project financing. Although the Company views the recent transition in Sudan that saw the birth of South Sudan confirmed on July 9, 2011, positively, this political evolution did not facilitate the holding of conclusive discussions on ownership. As these discussions are only set to resume in September, the start of project development will most likely be delayed into early 2012. This would still allow the commissioning of the plant in 2013.

The second stage of development of 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, of which six have visually-identified VMS potential. Following the publication of a positive PEA on September 7, 2010, a 12-month, 100,000-metre drilling program was launched with the intent of upgrading the Inferred resource to the Measured and Indicated category, increasing the current resource at the first two targets, and testing the potential of the VMS structure identified at the third target. As of July 31, 2011, the campaign remained on schedule, with a total of 65,077 metres drilled. A total of seven drill rigs are currently in operation. A detailed update on the drilling program can be expected in the month of September.

CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT
Investor Relations Calendar
La Mancha's management will be present at the following upcoming investment conferences:

Rodman & Renshaw Annual Global Investment Conference
September 11-13, 2011, The Waldorf-Astoria, New York, USA

Denver Gold Forum 2011
September 18-21, 2011, Broadmoor Hotel and Resort, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Presentation-11:10 AM, September 21, 2011

In addition, La Mancha will also be hosting Company presentation seminars in the following locations:

Ottawa August 8, 2011, 12:00 pm, at Sheraton Ottawa Hotel - O'Conner room, 150 Albert Street
Ottawa, Canada
Toronto August 9, 2011, 12:00 pm, at Hilton Hotel - Toronto - Tom Thomson room, 145 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Canada
Ste-Foy August 11, 2011, 12:00 pm, at ALT Hotel Quebec City - Salon Germain, 1200 Avenue Germain des Pres, Ste-Foy, Canada

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 from 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 June 30, 2011, are available in PDF format through SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Please see tables in attachment.

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 Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire and Australia. La Mancha's shares trade on the Toronto (TSX) under the symbol "LMA". For more information on the Company, visit its website at http://www.lamancha.ca/.

CAUTION CONCERNING 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 the Frog's Leg mine's ore mill schedule and grades; statements regarding White Foil's production and the possibility to treat its stockpiled ore at the Greenfields treatment plant; statements regarding the resumption on White Foil toll-mining; statements regarding the positive impact of Ity's new leaching pads on production; statements regarding the upgrade to CIL at Hassaï, its associated timetable and production schedules; statements regarding the outcome of the exploration program at Hassaï. 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.

Contact Information

  • For additional information, please contact:
    La Mancha Resources Inc.
    Martin Amyot
    Vice President Corporate Development
    Tel: (514) 987-5115 ext 25
    Email: Email Contact


    Nicole Blanchard
    Investor Relations
    (514) 961-0229