VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - August 15, 2016) - Luna Gold Corp. (TSX: LGC), ("Luna" or the "Company") is pleased to announce changes in the senior leadership of the Company as it prepares to focus on finalizing feasibility studies, project construction, financing and growth. The new Luna senior management team includes:
- Christian Milau, CEO and Director - previously CEO and Director of True Gold Mining Inc. ("True Gold"), CFO of Endeavour Mining Corp. ("Endeavour Mining"), Treasurer of New Gold Inc. and VP Corporate Finance at BNP Paribas and Deloitte
- David Laing, COO and Director - previously COO of True Gold, COO of Quintana Resources Capital, EVP of Endeavour Mining, SVP of Endeavour Financial, President of MRDI USA and also roles at Billiton and Bema Gold Corp.
- Peter Hardie, CFO - previously CFO of True Gold and VP Finance and CFO of Nevsun Resources Ltd.
- Scott Heffernan, EVP Exploration - previously VP Exploration of True Gold, VP Exploration of Wealth Minerals Ltd. and Exploration Manager (Argentina) of Cardero Resource Corporation
- Sebastian D'Amici, SVP Finance - previously VP Finance of True Gold, and also senior finance and accounting roles with CHC Helicopters, Clarus Securities and PricewaterhouseCoopers
The new leadership team successfully brought True Gold's Karma Mine into production in early 2016. The team's focus was on a successful construction and ramp-up of the Karma Mine in Burkina Faso and the creation of shareholder value, taking the market value of True Gold from approximately C$70 million to over C$300 million at the time of the sale of True Gold to Endeavour Mining in April 2016. Furthermore, Christian and David were original executives as Endeavour Mining became a gold mining company and grew from 80,000 ounces of production to over 500,000 ounces per year. During this period they were instrumental in completing feasibility studies, mine construction, government and community negotiations and relations, financing, acquisitions and integrations of various mines and companies in West Africa.
The team will work closely with the board of directors of the Company (the "Board"), staff, stakeholders and supporting contractors and consultants of Luna to restart the Aurizona Gold Mine located in Maranhão State, Brazil.
The team brings a breadth of skills and experience for the next phase in Luna's growth and development and they will be based in Vancouver, close to key shareholders, investors and other advisers and stakeholders. As part of the team's commitment to the Company and alignment with the interests of shareholders, they will be investing C$2.3 million (approximately 4% of the outstanding share capital) as detailed below.
Marc Leduc, Martin Kostuik and Brad Blacketor have lead Luna since its challenges in early 2015 and will assist in the transition to the new team.
Steve Krause, Chairman, stated, "I would like to thank the senior management team for their hard work during challenging times. Marc, Martin and Brad have done an excellent job in stabilizing the Company and placing the Aurizona Gold Mine on care and maintenance in 2015 while continuing to explore and prepare the mine for expansion and a potential restart in 2018. Their commitment to the project and to its local communities, their technical excellence and strong financial stewardship of the Company over the past 18 months has positioned Luna very well for this exciting next stage. I would also like to welcome the new team, who have recently taken a construction project that was on hold through to successful production and an ultimate sale to a mid-tier acquirer within the span of 14 months. We look forward to their energy and focus to return Aurizona to production in the next couple of years."
"We are very excited to be joining Luna at this time, as the Company has been working hard to position itself for a re-start of the Aurizona Gold Mine in Brazil in a couple of years. The new team has a broad range of skills and significant experience operating in challenging situations and is keen to begin advancing Aurizona through its return to production. The team will be investing directly alongside a core group of technically focused shareholders, including Pacific Road and Sandstorm Gold Ltd., who are committed to a successful restart and operation of Aurizona and have shown unwavering support during challenging times," said Christian Milau, Chief Executive Officer.
David Laing, Chief Operating Officer, stated, "We are pleased to be joining Luna and are excited about the upside potential at Aurizona. We are impressed with the work done over the last year and look forward to building on it with the aim of unlocking the project's potential. The geology has many similarities to the gold-rich West African greenstone belts with excellent potential for new discoveries and an extended mine life, as demonstrated by AngloGold Ashanti's recent joint venture with Luna on the property around the Aurizona exploitation permits. We look forward to getting the technical report completed shortly and the mine back in to production."
Luna is pleased to announce a non-brokered private placement raising gross proceeds of C$2.3 million through the issuance and sale of 11,500,000 units, each consisting of one common share and one warrant of the Company at a price of C$0.20 per unit (the "Financing"). The warrants are exercisable into one common share of the Company at the exercise price of C$0.25 per share for a period of 60 months from the closing of the Financing. All securities issued in the private placement are subject to a 4-month hold period in Canada and such longer periods as may be required under other applicable securities laws.
Proceeds from the Financing will be used to complete technical work required to restart the Aurizona Gold Mine, as well as for general working capital purposes.
Closing of the Financing is scheduled to occur on or about August 29, 2016, subject to applicable regulatory and other approvals, including approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Senior Management Biographies
Christian Milau was most recently Chief Executive Officer of True Gold until it was acquired by Endeavour Mining for approximately $240 million in April 2016. At True Gold, Mr. Milau was a key part of the development of the Karma Gold Mine where, under his leadership, True Gold was able to successfully negotiate agreements with the government and community in Burkina Faso, recommence construction, complete development, and reach production, all in under 14 months. Mr. Milau is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CA) with over 20 years of experience in mining and finance. In addition to his background in finance and capital markets, Mr. Milau brings important operational, government and stakeholder relations experience, including successfully negotiating various community, security, fiscal and tax agreements. Prior to True Gold, Mr. Milau held senior positions at Endeavour Mining, New Gold Inc., BNP Paribas in London and Deloitte.
David Laing was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of True Gold, which developed a gold heap leaching operating in Burkina Faso and was acquired by Endeavour Mining in April 2016. Mr. Laing is a mining engineer with over 30 years of experience in the industry. Prior to joining True Gold, Mr. Laing was the Chief Operating Officer and led the origination and execution of stream financing transactions of Quintana Resources Capital, a base metals streaming company. He was also one of the original executives of Endeavour Mining, as the group grew from one mine in Burkina Faso to a 500,000 ounce gold producer in West Africa. He was an integral part of the acquisition and integration by Endeavour Mining of three junior gold producers, the construction of a fourth operation in Cote d'Ivoire and the preparation of a feasibility of a fourth project in Burkina Faso, which is currently under construction. Prior to these recent roles, Mr. Laing held senior positions in mining investment banking at Standard Bank in New York, technical consulting at MRDI in California, the Refugio project at Bema Gold Corp. and various roles at Billiton, Royal Dutch Shell's mining business, including operations at the Toquepala copper mine in Southern Peru, feasibility study, construction and operation of the Pering lead and zinc mine in South Africa, and the feasibility, construction and operation of the Choquelimpie gold and silver mine in northern Chile.
Peter Hardie was most recently Chief Financial Officer of True Gold until it was acquired by Endeavour Mining in April 2016. Mr. Hardie is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CA) with 17 years of finance, accounting, business development, government negotiation, construction, and operations experience. Before his time at True Gold, Mr. Hardie spent 10 years at Nevsun Resources Ltd., where he progressed through various management positions and spent several years as Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. He was involved in financing, construction and mine start-up, operations, government negotiations, and led all areas of finance, including treasury systems and reporting.
Scott Heffernan was most recently VP Exploration of True Gold until it was acquired by Endeavour Mining in April 2016. Mr. Heffernan is a registered professional geologist with 20 years of hands-on exploration and management experience throughout the Americas and Africa. Prior to joining True Gold, he held the dual positions of VP Exploration for Wealth Minerals Ltd., and Exploration Manager (Argentina) of Cardero Resource Corporation. Previous to that he was with Equity Exploration Ltd., a Vancouver-based consulting and contracting firm specializing in turn-key geological project management. Mr. Heffernan received his B.Sc. (Geology) from the University of Alberta and completed his M.Sc. (Geological Sciences) with the Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) at the University of British Columbia.
Sebastian D'Amici was most recently VP Finance of True Gold until it was acquired by Endeavour Mining in April 2016. Mr. D'Amici is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CA) with 13 years of finance, investment banking, accounting and business development experience. Prior to joining True Gold, he previously held senior finance and accounting roles with CHC Helicopters, Clarus Securities and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mr. D'Amici received his B.Sc. from the University of British Columbia.
About Luna Gold Corp.
Luna is engaged in the exploration and redevelopment of its past producing Aurizona Gold Mine, which was placed on care and maintenance in 2015. The Company expects to publish a National Instrument 43-101 compliant technical report for the Aurizona Gold Mine in 2016.
All dollar figures in US dollars, unless otherwise indicated.
On behalf of the Company
LUNA GOLD CORP.
Christian Milau, Chief Executive Officer and Director
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 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.