SOURCE: Luna Gold Corp.

Luna Gold Corp.

November 13, 2015 18:23 ET

Luna Gold Announces Results for the Third Quarter 2015

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - November 13, 2015) - Luna Gold Corp. (TSX: LGC) (OTCQX: LGCUF) ("Luna" or the "Company") today announced its operational and financial results for the third quarter ("Third Quarter") ended September 30, 2015. This news release should be read in conjunction with the condensed consolidated financial statements and the Management's Discussion and Analysis for the quarter ended September 30, 2015.

THIRD QUARTER 2015 HIGHLIGHTS

   Q3 2015  YTD 2015
Gold production (ounces)   9,872   41,492
Gold sales, including sales to Sandstorm (ounces)   10,560   50,310
Finished gold inventory at September 30, 2015 (ounces)   2,405   2,405
Net realized gold price received, including gold sales to Sandstorm (USD per ounce)  $968  $1,075
Total cash cost of production (USD per ounce)  $870  $810
All-in sustaining cost of production (USD per ounce)  $1,023  $874
All-in cost (1) (USD per ounce)  $1,192  $1,005
Gross profit (USD millions)  $(0.3)  $8.6
Net loss (USD millions)  $(0.2)  $(6.3)
Loss per share - basic and fully diluted (USD)  $(0.00)  $(0.03)
Cash flow per share from operating activities before changes in non-cash working capital (USD)  $(0.01)  $(0.01)
Cash flow from operating activities before changes in working capital (USD millions)  $(1.6)  $(1.5)
Cash flow from operating activities after changes in working capital (USD millions)  $(1.1)  $6.8
Cash flow from financing activities (USD millions)  $(0.2)  $5.0
Cash flow from investing activities (USD millions)  $0.3  $(3.7)
Cash balance at September 30, 2015 (USD millions)  $10.7  $10.7

President and CEO, Marc Leduc stated, "Since joining Luna in February of this year, significant improvements have been made at the Aurizona Gold Mine, our streaming commitment has been restructured, we have restructured our debt and obtained new financing enabling us to move forward on our plan to upgrade our processing facility to treat all ore types and ultimately restart operations at Aurizona. Additionally, a new prefeasibility study for this plan is in the final stages of preparation. The Aurizona project has significant exploration potential and we look forward to seeing the results of the 20,000 meter infill and exploration drill program that commenced last quarter."

AURIZONA GOLD MINE - MARANHAO STATE, BRAZIL

   Three months ended September 30  Nine months ended September 30
(tabled monetary amounts are expressed in thousands of US dollars)  2015  2014  2015  2014
Mined waste - tonnes   -   3,498,544   396,784   5,467,097
Mined ore - tonnes   -   500,081   432,128   1,193,375
Ratio of waste to ore   -   7.0   0.9   4.6
Ore grade mined (g/t)   -   1.38   1.49   1.48
Cost per tonne mined (USD)   -  $3.09  $5.37  $3.78
Processed ore - tonnes   231,612   582,040   1,010,295   1,475,023
Average grade processed (g/t)   1.16   1.30   1.34   1.29
Average recovery rate %   90%   88%   89%   88%
Gold produced (ounces)   9,872   20,188   41,492   53,864
Gold sales (ounces)   10,560   17,535   50,310   54,419
Cash costs of production USD per
ounce
USD per
tonne
proc-
essed
USD per
ounce
USD per
tonne
proc-
essed
USD per
ounce
USD per
tonne
proc-
essed
USD per
ounce
USD per
tonne
proc-
essed
 Mining  $218  $9  $561  $21  $257  $11  $447  $17
 Processing   558   24   364   11   452   18   400   14
 Administration   67   3   89   3
  69   3   90   3
 Refining and transport   15   1   20   1   20   1   21   1
 Royalties   12   -   7   1   12   -   11   -
Total cash costs of production  $870  $37  $1,041  $37  $810  $33  $969  $35
 Sustaining capital   18       55       16
      56    
 Brownfield exploration   135       22       48       44    
All-in sustaining costs  $1,023      $1,118      $874      $1,069    

Mining production

Mine operations were suspended at the end of Q1 2015, therefore, there was no ore or waste mined since that period. The availability of soft Saprolite ore has been depleted and the current plant is not capable of economically processing the transition and harder material contained in the current mineral resource estimate.

Mining operations in Q1 2015 were focused on extracting ore, while minimizing waste removal prior to the suspension of mining activities. The year to date mining production is significantly lower than the comparative period due to the suspension of mine activities in 2015.

The cost per tonne mined for 2015 was 8% lower than the same period in 2014 due primarily to the impact of the strengthening US dollar relative to the BRL in 2015.

Mill processing

Gold production in Q3 2015 was 51% lower than the comparative quarter of 2014 due to a 60% decrease in tonnes fed to the mill and a decrease in the ore grade processed in Q3 2015. The ore processed in Q3 2015 was the last of the available ore from the stockpile, which was fully exhausted at the end of August, with the process plant being placed on care and maintenance. Approximately 2,900 ounces of gold were recovered from the decommissioning and cleaning of the processing circuit during September and October.

Cash costs of production

The Company's results are subject to seasonal variation, in particular the wet season in Northeastern Brazil. The wet season generally starts in January and continues through June, with the heaviest rainfall normally experienced in the months of March to May. As a result of the wet season, pit access and the ability to mine ore is typically lower in this period than other periods of the year and the unit cost of production is generally higher. To address this issue, the Company mined ore and waste at higher elevations within the pit in the wet season and stockpiled ore in the dry season ahead of the wet season for processing.

Mining operations were suspended at the end of Q1 2015 and effective September 2015, the processing facility was placed on care and maintenance.

Total cash costs of production were lower for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2015 compared to the same periods in 2014 due to a significant strengthening of the USD against the BRL in 2015 and due to the shutdown of mining operations. The cash costs for 2015 reflect costs to process the remaining ore stockpile that was built up at the end of 2014 and costs associated with placing both mining operations and the process plant under care and maintenance. The comparative period costs of 2014 include higher stripping and full mine and process plant operations. The average US dollar to BRL rate strengthened by 55% for the nine month period and 38% for Q3 compared to the same periods in 2014. Any negative cost per ounce impact related to lower throughput volumes and shut down costs were negated by the strengthening of the US dollar. Q3 2015 cash costs are not indicative of future cash costs that may be incurred if our goal of restarting the mine is successful.

OUTLOOK AND STRATEGY

The Company finished processing the remaining ore stockpile at the Aurizona mine at the end of August 2015 and placed the facilities and equipment on care and maintenance. Cleaning and repairs to the processing facility and equipment are underway. Recovery of gold contained in the processing circuit continued during September and October resulting in an additional 2,900 ounces of gold recovered from the circuit.

As a result of the suspension of mining and processing operations, the Company is required to obtain and has applied for a care and maintenance permit for the Aurizona mine. The anticipated future restart of operations at Aurizona will reflect a new mine plan and require the Company to amend its existing and/or obtain new Federal and State operating permits and licenses.

The Company is using proceeds from the June 2015 Pacific Road and Sandstorm Gold transactions to fund a work program that involves producing an updated prefeasibility study, infill and exploration drilling, updating the geological model, calculating a new mineral resource estimate, preparing a new mine plan and mineral reserve estimate, and continuing the on-going licensing and permitting process to ultimately secure the required permits to restart the Aurizona mine.

The planned drilling program is expected to include 20,000 meters of drilling, of which 15,400 meters will be infill core drilling in the Piaba open pit area that will be used to update the mineral resource estimate for the Aurizona mine, and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016. The remaining 4,600 meters of drilling will be reverse circulation drilling and will include condemnation drilling in areas of potential new mine infrastructure and exploration drilling to test the Jenipapo target.

The Company will require additional capital to construct a hard rock processing facility, expand capacity of the tailings storage facility, and for general working capital purposes to achieve our goal of restarting the Aurizona mine in late 2017. A prefeasibility study that reflects these capital requirements is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015. The updated mineral resource estimate, along with updated operating cost parameters, will be the basis for a new mineral reserve estimate and mine plan, and life-of-mine economic model for the Aurizona mine. This work is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2016. Management intends to pursue debt and equity financing to secure the funding required to restart operations at the Aurizona mine. Although the Company has been successful at raising capital in the past, there can be no assurance that we will be able to do so on terms that are acceptable to us, if at all.

About Luna Gold Corp.

Luna was a gold production company that suspended its mining operations at the end of Q1 2015 and its processing operations in August 2015. The Company is currently engaged in the exploration and development of gold projects in Brazil, including the development of an upgraded processing facility to process hard rock at the Aurizona mine.

On behalf of the Board of Directors

LUNA GOLD CORP.
Marc Leduc - President and CEO

Website: www.lunagold.com

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains certain "forward looking statements" and certain "forward looking information" as defined under applicable Canadian and U.S. securities laws. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may", "will", "expect", "intend", "estimate", "anticipate", "believe", "continue", "plans" or similar terminology. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to future gold production and/or the results of analysis on gold production. Forward-looking statements are based on forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable and assumptions that while believed by management to be reasonable, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors identified in Luna Gold Corp.'s periodic filings with Canadian Securities Regulators. These factors include the inherent risks involved in the mechanical completion and commissioning of the Aurizona Phase I expansion, preparation and delivery of the Aurizona Phase II expansion prefeasibility study, exploration and development of mineral properties, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drill results and other exploration data, the potential for delays in exploration or development activities, the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits, the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations, accidents, equipment breakdowns, title matters, labor disputes or other unanticipated difficulties with or interruptions in production and operations, fluctuating metal prices, unanticipated costs and expenses, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, the inherent uncertainty of production and cost estimates and the potential for unexpected costs and expenses, commodity price fluctuations, currency fluctuations, regulatory restrictions, including environmental regulatory restrictions and liability, competition, loss of key employees, and other related risks and uncertainties. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking information except as required by applicable law. Such forward-looking information represents management's best judgment based on information currently available. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual future results may vary materially. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information.

Contact Information

  • For further information contact:
    Investor Relations
    +1 604 568 7993