SOURCE: Ventura Gold Corp.

March 03, 2008 08:30 ET

Ventura Reports Third Quarter Financial Results

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - March 3, 2008) - Ventura Gold Corp. (TSX-V: VGO) (the "Company") ended the third quarter at December 31, 2007 with approximately $6.4 million in cash, including $5.0 million in restricted cash representing share subscriptions received for a non-brokered private placement in progress. The Company also had approximately $1.5 million in long-term investments and $0.5 million in market value of securities held for trading for a total of $2 million in such strategic investments, compared with a total of approximately $1.5 million for long-term investments at the end of the second quarter at September 30, 2007.

For the third quarter, the Company reported a net loss of $482,695 ($0.01 per share) for the three months ended December 31, 2007. The Company has filed its interim unaudited financial statements and management discussion and analysis (MD&A) for the three and nine month period ended December 31, 2007 on SEDAR. (All amounts are reported in US dollars except as otherwise indicated).

Highlights during the third quarter ended December 31, 2007 and subsequent to the end of the quarter included:

--  The Company completed strategic investments totaling $816,133 in
    Colombian Mines Corporation, a private unlisted company with early stage
    gold properties in Colombia; Sumatra Copper and Gold Limited, a private
    unlisted company with a portfolio of early to mid-stage precious and base
    metal exploration projects on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia; and
    Continental Gold Limited, a private unlisted company with a portfolio of
    early to mid-stage precious metal exploration projects in Colombia.
    
--  On November 20, 2007, the Company announced that it had arranged a non-
    brokered private placement and, subsequent to the end of the quarter on
    February 15, 2008, the Company closed the financing and issued 17.26
    million shares and 8.63 million warrants, raising Cdn$ 7.25 million in
    gross proceeds (Cdn$6.9 million net of finders' fees).
    
--  Subsequent to the end of the quarter, the Company announced drill
    results from an initial 15 hole-program totalling 2,900 meters ("m") at the
    Quellopata target area of the Inmaculada gold-silver project in Southern
    Peru, which included a drill hole with an estimated true width intercept of
    3.7 meters at average uncut grades of 9.3 gpt gold and 476 gpt silver. The
    Inmaculada Project is a joint venture with a wholly-owned subsidiary of
    Hochschild Mining PLC, whereby the Company can acquire up to a 70% interest
    and is the exploration operator on the project.
    

Financial and Exploration Activities Overview

During the nine month period ended December 31, 2007, the Company incurred a net loss of $0.5 million primarily due to administrative expenses incurred from on-going exploration activities and an unrealized, non-cash loss of $43,464 on securities held for trading primarily from one publicly traded strategic investment. Capitalized expenditures totaled $2.1 million during the nine month period ended December 31, 2007 for capitalized mineral property expenditures at its properties: Cottonwood Peak and Del Oro in Nevada, Gold Gulch in Arizona and Inmaculada in Peru.

Net cash used in investing activities during the nine months was $3.5 million (2006 -- $1.3 million). This was mainly due to the following transactions: a) the Company incurred $2.0 million in mineral property and deferred exploration costs on the Cottonwood Peak, Gold Gulch, Inmaculada and Del Oro mineral properties; and b) the Company acquired $0.2 million in securities held for trading and $1.3 million in long-term investments through strategic investment transactions. During the previous year's comparative period, the Company incurred lower exploration expenditures totaling $1.1 million and received a $0.1 million repayment of the remaining balance of the exploration advance previously made for the Navelgas project in Spain from the Company's optionor and joint venture partner. The Company also acquired $0.4 million in marketable securities through strategic investment transactions in the prior year period.

Summary of Quarterly Results (unaudited except for periods ending March 31)
                                       Three Months Ended
                    =======================================================
                    December 31,  September 30,    June 30,     March 31,
                        2007          2007           2007          2007
                    ------------  ------------  ------------- -------------

Total assets        $ 12,327,657  $  7,780,828  $   7,920,382 $   7,595,403
Working capital        6,587,528     3,895,982      4,185,965     4,773,175
Shareholders'
 equity               12,010,409     7,313,707      7,567,855     7,213,269
Revenues, interest
 income                   27,531        61,717         24,954        54,995
Net income (loss)       (482,695)     (314,641)       273,626         1,035
Earnings (loss) per
 share                     (0.01)        (0.01)          0.03          0.01
                    ============  ============  ============= =============

Outlook

Ventura expects to invest approximately $1.5 million in exploration in calendar year 2008, mainly focusing on the Inmaculada and Del Oro projects. This expenditure assumes that the various programs will be successful and require immediate follow-up. It is anticipated that the Company's existing cash reserves will be sufficient to finance current planned exploration and investment activities.

The Company will continue to focus on its two-fold business plan:

--  Acquisition, evaluation and development of low-cost gold-silver and
    base-metal deposits with a view to establishing strategic alliances and/or
    joint ventures with larger companies;
--  Strategic investments and/or alliances with pre-IPO exploration
    companies and listed junior companies where Ventura believes those
    companies and management have the resources and expertise to optimize the
    potential value of their asset bases.
    

Toward executing and fulfilling this charter, the critical objectives for the immediate future are to:

--  Complete Phase II drilling on the Inmaculada silver-gold project in
    Peru;
--  Evaluate the pending drill results from the Gold Gulch copper-gold
    project and the recent drill results from the Cottonwood Peak gold project
    in the USA to determine how to optimize their value to the Company going
    forward;
--  Pursue new exploration project options and earn-ins to expand the
    exploration pipeline; and,
--  Continue to develop relationships with those companies and management
    that have unique capabilities that are complementary to those of the
    Company.
    

Ventura Gold Corp. is a United States-based precious metals exploration and development company. In addition to exploration properties in Peru, Arizona and Nevada, Ventura has approximately $2 million in strategic investments in emerging exploration companies with exposure to projects in the USA, Mexico, China, Indonesia, Africa, Colombia and Ecuador.

The TSX Venture Exchange neither approves nor disapproves the information contained in this News Release.

Cautionary Statement: Some of the statements contained in this release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Canadian securities law requirements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from that anticipated, expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results include risks and uncertainties such as: risks relating to obtaining mining and environmental permits; risk of commodity price fluctuations; political and regulatory risks; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in the Company's Renewal Annual Information Form for the year ended March 31, 2007 filed on SEDAR. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact Information

  • For additional information, contact:

    Investor Relations:
    Wendy Yang
    Tel: (303) 357-4863

    Eric Edwards
    President and CEO
    Tel: (303) 357-4861