Mr. Neil Woodyer reports
ENDEAVOUR MINING DELIVERS 466,000 OZ IN 2014 TO EXCEED GUIDANCE AND GENERATES POSITIVE CASH IN Q4
Endeavour Mining Corp. had 2014 gold production of 466,000 ounces, which include 120,000 ounces during fourth quarter 2014. The cash balance as of Dec. 31, 2014, of $62-million demonstrates positive cash generation during fourth quarter 2014. Endeavour has now completed its major capital investment programs of 2013 and 2014, which have resulted in increased production and reduced all-in sustaining cost per ounce. In 2015, Endeavour expects to produce 475,000 to 500,000 ounces, with further cost improvements, and plans to use its projected surplus cash flow to reduce debt.
Highlights from 2014 and 2015:
Production and AISC-per-ounce guidance:
- Endeavour has exceeded 2014 production guidance of 400,000 to 440,000 ounces with full-year production of 465,770 ounces, which represent a 44-per-cent increase over the 324,275 ounces produced in 2013. The increase is a result of the Tabakoto and Nzema mines exceeding their prior-year production levels and the addition of the Agbaou mine in 2014 as the company's fourth and newest operation. Gold production results by mine are provided in the attached gold production table.
- Endeavour is providing 2015 production guidance of 475,000 to 500,000 ounces at an all-in sustaining cost per ounce of $930 to $980. Guidance details by mine are provided in the attached production guidance and AISC-per-ounce guidance tables.
- At a $1,200 gold price and using the midpoint of 2015 production and AISC-per-ounce guidance ranges, Endeavour is expecting to generate an AISC margin of approximately $120-million in 2015.
- Non-sustaining capital is planned to be $20-million in 2015 that is mostly related to the completion of 2014 projects. Over 2013 and 2014, Endeavour invested approximately $300-million in new mine construction and improvements to its operating mines, which include approximately $90-million spent in 2014.
The preliminary fourth quarter 2014 production and other financial information provided in this news release are approximate figures and may differ from the final results included in the 2014 annual audited statements and management's discussion and analysis.
FULL-YEAR 2014 AND QUARTERLY
Agbaou Youga Tabakoto Nzema Total
Q1 2014 24,086* 19,867 33,472 28,487 105,912
Q2 2014 31,878* 18,285 36,408 35,946 122,517
Q3 2014 43,428* 18,432 30,866 24,886 117,612
Q4 2014 47,365* 19,977 26,577 25,810 119,729
Total 146,757* 76,561 127,323 115,129 465,770
* Includes 9,148 preproduction ounces
from January, 2014
Neil Woodyer, chief executive officer, stated: "We are very pleased to report our above-guidance production performance for the group, which was achieved with an excellent health and safety record for the year. Cash cost and all-in sustaining cost per ounce will be reported in the 2014 financial results to be released in early March; however, it is expected that the group all-in sustaining cost for the fourth quarter of 2014 will be similar to the $991 per ounce achieved in Q3 2014. As a result, we anticipate the full-year 2014 AISC per ounce to be just below the midpoint of the $985-to-$1,070 guidance range.
"Our focus on cost reductions during the year has resulted in the improvement of our AISC from over $1,100 per ounce in 2013 to under $1,000 per ounce. For 2015, we are expecting continued cost improvements with an AISC-per-ounce guidance range of $930 to $980 while our gold production is forecast to be 475,000 to 500,000 ounces.
"We have a stable production outlook for the Agbaou and Nzema mines and some production growth and operational efficiencies expected from the Tabakoto mine. As of January, 2015, we have three higher-grade sources of ore for the Tabakoto mill, allowing it to operate at its optimal capacity. We have now commenced mining from the Kofi C open pit, the Segala underground mine now has six stopes available and the Tabakoto underground mine performance continues to improve.
"The cash balance at the end of the year was approximately $62-million, which increased from $55-million at the end of Q3 2014 -- a clear sign that we have completed our major capital spending programs and are now generating positive free cash flow. We anticipate using a portion of the available free cash flow forecast for 2015 to reduce outstanding debt as we focus on strengthening our financial position."
PRODUCTION AND AISC GUIDANCE BY MINE FOR 2015
(ounces, 100-per-cent basis)
Actual Actual Actual Guidance range
2012 2013 2014 2015
Agbaou -- 6,132 146,757 150,000-155,000
Nzema 109,447 103,464 115,129 110,000-115,000
Tabakoto 110,301 125,231 127,323 155,000-165,000
Youga 91,030 89,448 76,561 60,000-65,000
Total 310,778 324,275 465,770 475,000-500,000
AISC-PER-OUNCE GUIDANCE BY MINE FOR 2015
Guidance range ($/oz)
Mine-level AISC/ounce $883-$933
Plus corporate G&A (about $18-million) $37
Plus exploration (sustaining) and other
(about $5-million) $10
At Dec. 31, 2014, the key components of Endeavour's balance sheet included $62-million in cash and $300-million of debt drawn from the $350-million revolving corporate facility, and the corporation had 413.1 million common shares outstanding. As part of its annual year-end financial review, Endeavour assesses the carrying value of its assets. This assessment takes into account, among other things, the impact of lower gold prices, as well as current mineral reserves and resources and updated mine plans. This process will be completed in connection with the release of the corporation's fourth quarter and full-year 2014 financial results, scheduled for early March, 2015. A preliminary assessment, including lower gold prices and current market conditions, indicates that non-cash impairment charges are likely.
Adriaan (Attie) Roux, PrSciNat, Endeavour's chief operating officer, is a qualified person under NI 43-101, and has reviewed and approved the technical information related to mining operations in this news release.
We seek Safe Harbor.
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