Serafino Iacono reports
GRAN COLOMBIA GOLD'S 2018 ANNUAL PRODUCTION REACHES 218,001 OUNCES, UP 25% OVER 2017; ANNOUNCES DETAILS FOR THE FORTHCOMING QUARTERLY REPAYMENT OF ITS GOLD NOTES ON JANUARY 31, 2019
Gran Colombia Gold Corp. produced a total of 55,260 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter of 2018, up 7 per cent over the fourth quarter of 2017. This brings the total annual gold production for 2018 to 218,001 ounces, up 25 per cent over 2017 and surpassing the company's initial guidance for 2018.
Serafino Iacono, executive co-chairman of Gran Colombia, commenting on the company's latest production results, said: "We are very pleased to report another strong year of operating performance for 2018. Our exploration, mine development and capital investment programs at our high-grade Segovia operations are continuing to pay dividends. We have established a solid foundation of internally generated operating cash flow to fund our ongoing programs, including another 20,000 metres of exploration currently planned for 2019 at Segovia. The 2019 campaign will focus more on stepout drilling at El Silencio, Providencia and Sandra K along with brownfield drilling on the Cogote vein system as we increasingly shift our attention toward the blue-sky potential within our Segovia mining title. At this level of production, we are also comfortably meeting our obligations with respect to servicing the gold notes, with the aggregate principal amount outstanding decreasing to $83.4-million (U.S.) following the quarterly payment coming up at the end of January. In addition, we have continued to strengthen our cash position, which stood at $33.0-million (U.S.) at Dec. 31, 2018. For 2019, we are expecting another solid year with total annual gold production ranging between 210,000 and 225,000 ounces."
The Segovia operations continued to be the key catalyst for growth in Gran Colombia's gold production with 48,809 ounces of gold produced in the fourth quarter of 2018, up 7 per cent over the fourth quarter of 2017. In 2018, Gran Colombia processed an average of 1,015 tonnes per day (tpd) (2017 average was 762 tpd) with an overall average head grade of 17.1 grams per tonne (2017 average was 16.2 g/t), benefiting from an increase in tonnes mined in 2018 from its high-grade Providencia mine. This brings the total gold production for the Segovia operations for 2018 to 193,050 ounces, up 30 per cent over 2017 and above initial guidance for 2018. For 2019, Gran Colombia expects total gold production for the year from the Segovia operations will range between 186,000 and 199,000 ounces.
At the Marmato operations, gold production in the fourth quarter of 2018 amounted to 6,451 ounces, up 6 per cent over the fourth quarter of 2017. This brings the full-year total for 2018 to 24,951 ounces, almost on par with total production in 2017 and within its guidance range for 2018. For 2019, Gran Colombia expects total gold production for the year from the Marmato operations will range between 24,000 and 26,000 ounces.
Gran Colombia expects to release its 2018 fourth quarter and annual financial results on or about March 27, 2019.
Quarterly gold note repayment on Jan. 31, 2019
Gran Colombia Gold also announced today the details for the forthcoming quarterly repayment of its 8.25 per cent senior secured gold-linked notes due 2024 as follows:
- Payment date: Jan. 31, 2019;
Record date: Jan. 24, 2019;
Cash payment amount: approximately 5.71985 U.S. cents per $1 (U.S.) principal amount of gold notes representing an amortization payment of the principal amount issued and outstanding of approximately 5.52407 U.S. cents per $1 (U.S.) principal amount of gold notes and a gold premium of approximately 0.19578 U.S. cent per $1 (U.S.) principal amount of gold notes; the aggregate amount of the cash payments on the payment date will be $5,047,770 (U.S.), of which $4,875,000 (U.S.) will be applied to reduce the aggregate principal amount of the gold notes issued and outstanding; the company sold the 3,900 ounces accumulated in the gold trust account during the past quarter at the London p.m. fix on Jan. 15, 2019, of $1,294.30 (U.S.) per ounce to realize the proceeds required for this cash payment;
Principal amount issued and outstanding: as of today's date, a total of $88.25-million (U.S.) principal amount of gold notes issued and outstanding; after this quarterly repayment, the aggregate principal amount of the gold notes will be reduced to $83,375,000 (U.S.).
About Gran Colombia Gold Corp.
Gran Colombia is a Canada-based gold and silver exploration, development and production company with its primary focus in Colombia. Gran Colombia is currently the largest underground gold and silver producer in Colombia with several underground mines in operation at its Segovia and Marmato operations. Gran Colombia is continuing to focus on exploration, expansion and modernization activities at its high-grade Segovia operations.
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