La Mancha Resources Inc.
TSX : LMA

La Mancha Resources Inc.

August 07, 2009 13:06 ET

La Mancha Posts Record Quarterly Net Earnings as Gold Production Rises 47%

All amounts are in CA dollars, unless otherwise indicated. Unaudited

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Aug. 7, 2009) - La Mancha Resources Inc. (TSX:LMA)

SECOND QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS

- Net earnings of $6.1 million

- Cash flow from operating activities of $6.6 million

- Corporate debt decreases to $12.2 million while cash and short term investments grow to $18.4 million

- Record quarterly gold production of 27,755 ounces at an average cash cost of US $484 per ounce

- Gold production up 47% and cash costs per ounce down 21% year over year

- Company reaffirms its 2009 gold production target of 100,000 ounces

- Michel Cuilhe to step down as CEO and Chairman of the Company

La Mancha Resources Inc. (TSX:LMA)(hereinafter "La Mancha" or the "Company") is pleased to report that its second quarter production totalled 27,755 ounces of gold at an average cash cost of US $484 per ounce, compared to 18,915 ounces of gold at an average cash cost of US $612 per ounce for the same quarter last year. This represents a 47% increase in production which is mainly due to the start-up of the Australian Frog's Leg mine, with the African mines continuing to operate in line with expectations.

Consolidated cash costs per ounce for the second quarter of 2009 were down 21% from the same quarter of 2008, at US $484 per ounce. This decrease reflects improved cash costs per ounce at both African mines and the positive influence of the lower cash costs at the Frog's Leg mine.

The table below tracks La Mancha's steady operational and financial improvement over the last twelve months.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Three-month Three-month Three-month Three-month
period ended period ended period ended period ended
Sept. 30, Dec. 31, March 31, June 30,
2008 2008 2009 2009
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Attributable
production (in oz) 15,390 20,985 18,515 27,755
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Revenues ($'000) 12,151 14,935 24,660 28,365
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Operating margin
($'000) (423) 1,293 6,229 8,449
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Operating cash flow(i)
($'000) 1,613 2,989 7,706 7,948
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Net earnings ($'000) (1,638) 1,188 3,477 6,100
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(i) Before changes in working capital


Michel Cuilhe, President and CEO of La Mancha, stated: "Within merely a year we have significantly improved the company's operational and profitability indicators by quickly putting the Frog's Leg mine into production, optimizing the African operations, increasing production, constantly improving operating margins, and by becoming increasingly profitable while keeping a focus on the Company's huge exploration potential. Moreover, the fact that our Australian operation is increasing in importance as it is expected to represent approximately 45% of this year's consolidated production and that it is responsible for most of the Company's cash flow generation, should be positively acknowledged by the investment community. Equally exciting are the future prospects of our African properties, led by our rapidly evolving VMS story at Hassai. Given the trend seen in the first half of the year, we are confident that we will meet our 2009 production target of up to 100,000 ounces while delivering profitability and further growth in 2010."

La Mancha's second quarter revenues rose to $28.4 million this year from $13.1 million last year, due mainly to significantly stronger production and, to a lesser degree, favourable changes in exchange rates.

La Mancha generated $6.6 million in cash flow from operating activities in the second quarter of 2009, while having used cash flow of $1.8 million in the same quarter of 2008. Due to its growing ability to generate cash, the Company's cash and short-term investments remains strong at $18.4 million as of June 30, 2009, while corporate debt was down $2.7 million since March 31, 2009 to $12.2 million. While remaining on the lookout for potential new growth opportunities, La Mancha plans to repay a significant portion of its outstanding debt over the coming months.

La Mancha recorded net earnings of $6.1 million for the second quarter of 2009, as each mine continued to post positive results. This compares to a net loss of $2.6 million registered in the second quarter of 2008. This significant improvement is mostly due to the higher operating margin, but also to a $1.8 million non-cash adjustment related to the latest evaluation of the Company's hedge positions and asset backed commercial paper holdings.

For the first half of 2009, La Mancha posted net earnings of $9.6 million while its attributable gold production totalled 46,451 ounces of gold. This compares to a net loss of $5.0 million and gold production of 35,175 ounces in the same period of 2008.

OPERATIONS

Having celebrated the Frog's Leg mine's first gold pour just over a year ago in May 2008, La Mancha can boast having quickly achieved profitability with two consecutive profitable quarters. Our Australian operation generated its highest net earnings to date, $5.0 million, in the second quarter of 2009. The Frog's Leg mine generated a record production of 15,933 ounces of gold net to La Mancha at an average cash cost of US $467 per ounce in the second quarter of 2009, compared to 6,275 ounces generated in the same quarter the previous year.

This increase in production was mainly due to the greater milling capacity available to La Mancha in the second quarter of the year. Despite an ore production of 72,840 tonnes in the first quarter, only 38,595 tonnes could be processed under the Company's milling agreement, creating a large stockpile of ore by the end of the quarter. Milling capacity increased to 119,089 tonnes in the second quarter, allowing all of the ore mined during the quarter and a significant portion of the stockpile to be processed. At quarter end, 37,261 tonnes of ore attributable to La Mancha at 4.35 g/t Au (for 5,211 contained ounces) were still stockpiled and awaiting processing.

As shown in the following table, underground ore production continued to gain pace, with a steady increase in underground tonnage mined per quarter.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Data provided for Three-month Three-month Three-month Three-month
100% of the mine period ended period ended period ended period ended
Sept. 30, Dec. 31, March 31, June 30,
2008 2008 2009 2009
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Underground ore mined (t) 75,154 116,861 142,834 149,764
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Apparent grade mined
(g Au/t) 3.86 4.46 4.23 4.22
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Apparent gold content
of ore mined (oz) 9,325 16,753 19,403 20,348
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On July 20, La Mancha announced that the Frog's Leg proven and probable reserves had increased by 37% since the 2007 final feasibility study in light of an upgraded mine design incorporating the significant resource increase of May 2008. With the upgraded mine plan, gold output for the mine is expected to average 113,388 ounces of gold per annum (57,828 ounces attributable to La Mancha) from 2010 onwards, representing a 29% increase over the December 2007 feasibility study average annual gold production estimate. The mine life is also extended by 1.2 years.

The following table highlights the changes in the mine's operational and economic profile from 2010 onward:



------------------------------------------------------------------------
December July 2009
(Attributable to La Mancha) 2007 Feasibility New Mine
Study Plan(i)
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Production:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gold reserves (in situ) (oz) 232,503 366,244
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tonnes of ore mined 2,650,256 4,385,014
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Average grade (g/t Au) 5.35 5.09
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Gold contained mined (oz) 232,503 366,244
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gold recovered (oz) 293,772 402,467
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Metallurgical recovery 94.9% 94.0%
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual production rate (oz) 45,000 57,828
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mine life 5.2 years 6.3 years
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Cash costs per ounce(i) US $552/oz
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(i) Excluding royalties


The project's proven and probable reserves now stand at 789,504 ounces of gold (402,647 oz attributable to La Mancha), up 45% from the December 31, 2008, estimate of 582,918 ounces of gold (297,288 oz attributable to La Mancha). The 43-101 technical report describing this new reserve estimate should be issued within the coming weeks.

The Hassai mine's gold production remains in line with the 2009 forecast, as output totalled 16,280 ounces of gold (6,512 ounces attributable to La Mancha) at an average cash cost of US $593 per ounce for the second quarter of 2009. This compares to 18,650 ounces of gold (7,460 ounces attributable to La Mancha) produced in the second quarter of 2008 at a cash cost of US $705 per ounce. The decrease in gold output is essentially due to a change in the composition of the total ore milled, which resulted in lower gold grades and lower gold recovery rates.

In 2008, milling activities shifted towards prioritizing the quartz ore given the reduced availability of siliceous-baritic rock (SBR) reserves. In order to fill the availability of the SBR circuit, a total of 34,337 tonnes of tailings at a grade of 1.28 g/t Au were reprocessed during the second quarter of 2009, reducing the average total gold grade and recovery rates.

The quartz circuit continues to operate at an on-target pace, with more than 100,000 tonnes processed for the third consecutive quarter, despite minor breakdowns due to dust accumulation. At quarter-end, the quartz stockpile stood at 571,786 tonnes at 3.7 g/t Au for 67,963 contained ounces.

Cash costs per ounce during the second quarter of 2009 decreased 19% compared to the same period in 2008, with the significant reduction in milling costs per tonne and favourable changes in currency exchange rates more than compensating for the lower gold grades and recovery rate.

The Ity mine delivered another strong quarter as production increased and cash costs decreased relative to last year. Second quarter gold production totalled 11,568 ounces of gold (5,310 ounces attributable to La Mancha) at an average cash cost of US $398 per ounce. This compares to 11,285 ounces of gold (5,180 ounces attributable to La Mancha) produced in the second quarter of 2008 at a cash cost of US $477 per ounce.

In the second quarter of 2009, the cash cost decreased 17% compared to the same period of 2008 due to a reduction in mining and milling costs per tonne and favourable changes in currency exchange rates.

DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

Due to advanced discussions with various mill operators, La Mancha is now confident of signing a satisfactory milling agreement before the end of August. This would quickly push the White Foil project into production, as it is already fully permitted and requires minimal development. On February 17, 2009, La Mancha announced its intention to put the first phase of the Australian White Foil project into production, which is expected to yield 69,160 ounces of gold production over a 27-month period.

CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT

The board of directors of La Mancha, today, has formally accepted Mr. Michel Cuilhe's wishes to step down and retire from his position as Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of La Mancha, effective August 7, 2009, and has appointed Mr. Dominique Delorme to serve as interim President and CEO of La Mancha while the Company conducts an international search for Mr. Cuilhe's successor and Mr. William Hess to hold the position of Chairman of the Board. Bill Hess has been director of the board and lead director of La Mancha since February 2007. The board of directors of La Mancha would like to thank Mr. Cuilhe for his valuable contributions to the Company as his vision and leadership have permitted the Company to transform itself and prosper into what it has become today. Under Mr. Cuilhe's leadership, the Company has returned to profitability and positive cash flow.

Mr. Delorme, who will act as interim President and CEO of La Mancha, has extensive gold mining knowledge. Delorme has worked in the mining industry for 34 years. He was graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Géologie (Nancy, France).He worked as an exploration and a mining geologist in Africa and France. He was then in charge of exploration for uranium and gold in AREVA and contributed largely to the development of the Company in new countries specially in Central Asia. He was then General Manager of worldwide AREVA gold assets. After that Mr Delorme was VP Technical and Projects and more recently VP Strategy for the Mining activity of the AREVA Group. He is a Director of La Mancha since 3 years and in charge of Resources Comitee.

Investor Relations Calendar September: Denver Gold Forum

Consolidated Financial Statements

The management discussion and analysis and unaudited consolidated financial statements with explanatory notes for the quarter ended June 30, 2009, 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 (TSX) under the symbol "LMA". For more information on the Company, visit its website at http://www.lamancha.ca/.

ABOUT AGORACOM:

For all La Mancha investor relations needs, investors are asked to visit the La Mancha IR Hub at http://www.agoracom.com/IR/lamancha where they can post questions and receive answers within the same day, or simply review questions and answers posted by other investors. Alternatively, investors can email all questions and correspondence to lma@agoracom.com, where they can also ask to be added to the investor email list to receive all future press releases and updates in real time.

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 commercial production, production targets and timetables, statements regarding the start of production of the White Foil mine and its expected production, as well as the Company's ability to sign a milling agreement before the end of August. 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 2008 Annual Information Form filed with the Securities Commissions, as well as the Toronto Stock Exchange.



HIGHLIGHTS
Second Quarter First 6 months
(unaudited) ended ended
(All amounts are in CDN dollars June 30, June 30 June 30 June 30
unless otherwise noted) 2009 2008 2009 2008
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

RESULTS (consolidated,
in thousands of $)
Revenues 28,365 13,132 53,025 26,553
Cash flow from operating activities 6,624 (1,842) 17,637 (835)
Net earnings (loss) 6,100 (2,580) 9,577 (4,958)
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PER SHARE ($)

Net earnings (loss) 0.04 (0.02) 0.07 (0.04)
Basic weighted average number of
common shares outstanding
(in thousands) 142,035 142,008 142,035 142,008
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ATTRIBUTABLE GOLD PRODUCTION

Number of ounces produced 27,755 18,915 46,451 35,175(1)
Mine operating costs (US$ per ounce) 484 612 464 571
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June 30 December 31
2009 2008
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FINANCIAL POSITION
(in thousands of $)

Cash and short-term investments 18,395 10,607
Total assets 162,349 147,683
Shareholders' equity 118,005 108,999
Total number of shares outstanding
(in thousands) 142,035 142,008
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For the 2nd quarter For the 6 months
ended ended
GOLD PRODUCTION STATISTICS June 30 June 30 June 30 June 30
2009 2008 2009 2008
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Frog's Leg (51%)(2)
Attributable Production (ounces) 15,933 6,275 22,226 6,275
Tonnage milled (t) 119,089 74,000 155,667 74,000
Grade milled (g Au/t) 4.5 2.8 4.8 2.8
Recovery rate (%) 93 93 93 93
Cash costs (US$ per ounce) 467 n/a 431 n/a
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Hassai (40%)
Attributable Production (ounces) 6,512 7,460 13,002 16,720
Tonnage milled (t)(3) 184,745 168,250 348,552 406,120
Grade milled (g Au/t) 4.3 4.6 4.6 4.3
Recovery rate (%) 63 75 63 75
Cash costs (US$ per ounce) 593 705 581 613
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ITY (45.9%)
Attributable Production (ounces) 5,310 5,180 11,223 10,270
Tonnage milled (t)(3) 116,920 112,780 240,327 233,866
Grade milled (g Au/t) 3.8 3.9 3.9 3.9
recovery rate (%) 80 79 80 75
Cash costs (US$ per ounce) 398 477 393 502
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(1) Including 1,910 ounces of pre-production following the de-watering of
the White Foil mine
(2) Frog's Leg mine started its operations in May 2008
(3) On a 100% basis

Contact Information

  • La Mancha Resources Inc.
    Martin Amyot
    Vice President Corporate Development
    514-987-5115
    info@lamancha.ca