RESULTS FOR Q2 2011
August 15, 2011Back
August 15, 2011
Aureus Mining Inc.
TSX : AUE
AIM : AUE
RESULTS FOR Q2 2011
August 15, 2011 – Aureus Mining Inc. (TSX: AUE / AIM: AUE) (“Aureus Mining” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce its results for the quarter ended June 30, 2011. The following activities are highlighted during the quarter:
- Aureus Mining was simultaneously listed on the TSX and AIM stock exchanges on April 13, 2011.
- C$40.4 million was raised from public equity offering.
- Appointment of Jean-Guy Martin a Non-Executive director and Paul Thomson as Chief Financial Officer.
- Cash and cash equivalents of US$ 46.9 million.
- Total assets of US$ 87.9 million.
- The Company remains debt-free.
New Liberty Feasibility highlights
- Feasibility drilling substantially advanced with 157 holes and over 21,000 metres of the 180-hole, 25,000-metre infill programme completed to date. Four diamond drill rigs operating at site.
- Results from the first 25 holes returned good intercepts, and highlights include:
- 5.3 g/t over 13 metres
- 6.3 g/t over 10 metres
- 3.6 g/t over 33 metres
- 10.9 g/t over 4 metres
- 5.3 g/t over 11 metres
- 3.9 g/t over 20 metres
- The feasibility technical team finalised with the key consultant appointments of DRA Mineral Projects (Pty) Ltd (‘DRA’) for metallurgical test work and process design studies; Golders Associates Ghana Ltd (‘Golders’) for environmental studies and tailings facility design; and Australian Mining Consultants (‘AMC’) for resource classification, open pit and mining studies.
- Over half a tonne of core has been shipped to South Africa to complete carbon-in-leach (‘CIL’), flotation recovery and grind size optimisation studies. Pre-feasibility studies outlined average recoveries of 93%.
- New Liberty Environmental Social Impact Assessment (’ESIA’) on track for completion in Q4 2011.
- Feasibility study on track for completion by the end of Q4 2011.
- Exploration activity is focused on the definition of targets for drill testing. A 15,000 metre programme is planned to test multiple targets within the mining lease which will include Ndablama, Weaju, Gondoja and New Liberty extensions. This drilling programme will commence in early Q4 after the termination of the rainy season
- Exploration work at the Ndablama prospect has outlined multiple mineralised intervals within three zones referred to as the central, north and east zones. Diamond drilling and trench results returned encouraging intercepts of:
- o 14m at 2.9 g/t (Central Zone)
- o 10m at 2.8 g/t (Central Zone)
- o 16m at 2.4 g/t (Central Zone)
- o 79m at 2.2 g/t (Northern zone trench)
- o 11m at 3.8 g/t (Northern zone trench)
- o Eastern zone trenching intercepts of 10m at 7.8 g/t and 10m at 2.0 g/t.
- Diamond drilling 150 metres west of New Liberty deposit intersects 10m at 5.25 g/t and 9m at 1.25 g/t.
- A ground geophysics survey, involving magnetic and induced polarisation methods, has been completed over the western extension of the New Liberty deposit, and highlights further targets for drill testing.
- Regional soil sampling programmes are in progress covering an 11 kilometre structural corridor linking the Ndablama prospect with the Gondoja target. Previous reconnaissance diamond drilling at Gondoja returned an encouraging intercept of 36m at 3.3 g/t.
- Exploration work within Cameroon will commence after the end of the rains and staff recruitment is in progress. Geophysical data for the Ntem licence is currently being processed and interpreted.
Commenting on the results, David Reading, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aureus Mining, said:
“Having only been created in April this year, Aureus has aggressively ramped up its exploration and mine development campaign in Liberia, with over 20,000 metres of drilling completed. We have also strengthened the management team, and are making considerable steps in exploring the exciting high grade targets which lie within our Bea Mountain permit. We are confident that Aureus will continue to consolidate on its growth platform, with the completion of the feasibility study for the New Liberty mine this year, as well as delivering results from our drilling programme scheduled for the rest of 2011.”
The financial statements along with the accompanying Management’s Discussion and Analysis are available for review at the Company’s website, www.aureus-mining.com, as well as being available on www.sedar.com, and should be read in conjunction with this press release.
Aureus Mining will host a conference call on Monday, 15 August 2011 at 10:00am (London, UK time) to update investors and analysts on its quarterly results. Participants may join the call by dialling one of the following numbers, approximately 10 minutes before the start of the call.
|From UK: (toll free) 0800 368 1895||From US: (toll free) 1866 928 6049|
|From Canada: (toll free) 1866 561 8617||From rest of world: + 44 20 3140 0693|
The Participant pass code is 897300#
There will be a live audio webcast of the call which will be available at: http://mediaserve.buchanan.uk.com/2011/aureus150811/registration.asp
Aureus Mining was formed following the successful completion of a Plan of Arrangement with African Aura Mining Inc. (“African Aura”), upon which all African Aura’s gold and diamond interests were transferred to Aureus Mining along with $10.6 million in cash and African Aura was renamed Afferro Mining Inc.
Immediately following the listing of Aureus Mining, a public offering raising gross proceeds of C$40.4 million was completed, further strengthening the balance sheet and leaving the Company fully funded for its mid-term objectives of completing the feasibility study and exploration drilling programmes.
Evolution Securities has been appointed as the Company’s Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker with RBC Capital Markets as Joint Broker.
During the period the Company appointed Jean-Guy Martin as a Non-Executive Director and Paul Thomson as Chief Financial Officer. Jean-Guy recently retired as a senior partner at PwC Canada, where over the last fifteen years he held senior management and client service leadership responsibilities at Canadian, North American and global levels. Paul Thomson, whose appointment is effective from September 1, 2011 is a Chartered Accountant and has extensive accounting and corporate finance experience gained over 14 years with Ernst & Young and, more recently, as a Senior Manager within the Business Development Group at Kazakhmys Plc, where he was heavily involved in project financing and development along with significant mergers and acquisitions activity.
Financial summary for Q2 2011
The Company ends the second quarter of 2011 with US$ 46.9 million of cash, leaving it with a strong balance sheet. The loss for the quarter predominantly relates to share based payment charges and legal fees relating to the public offering. These are non-recurring charges. The current cash position of the Company is US$ 44.3 million.
The following table presents a summary of selected financial data:
|in thousands of US dollars except per share amounts|
|Statement of financial position||June 30,
|Available for sale investments||2,959|
|– Sierra Leone||3,016|
|– Corporate and other||49,879|
|Statement of comprehensive loss||Quarter ended June 30, 2011|
|Loss for the period||2,990|
|Comprehensive loss for the period||3,838|
|Loss per share (US$)||0.030|
New Liberty Feasibility Programme
Feasibility Study due by the end of 2011 – The Company expects to have completed its New Liberty Feasibility Programme and to have published the results by the end of 2011. These results will include detailed economics of the New Liberty Mine.
Infill Drilling Programme nears completion – The Company is continuing with the infill diamond drilling programme at the New Liberty deposit and to date over 21,000 metres (157 holes) of a 25,000 metre (180 hole) programme have been completed. With an optimal hole spacing of between 30 to 40 metres, the programme is designed to evaluate the total contained gold resources that could potentially fall within an open pit, covering a strike length of 1.75km and down to a depth in excess of 200 metres below surface. These are the approximate dimensions of the open pit design as defined within the Preliminary Economic Assessment (‘PEA’), based on the previous resource estimate, and filed by the Company in December 2010.
The present drill programme is designed to fill in the gaps within known mineralised ore body and outline potential extensions to the previous resource estimate, with the objective of trying to expand the resources that will fit within an optimized open pit.
Results from the first 25 holes (6,191m) of the New Liberty feasibility drill programme returned good intercepts and include reported highlights as of July 12, 2011 of:
- · 5.3 g/t over 13 metres
- · 6.3 g/t over 10 metres
- · 3.6 g/t over 33 metres
- · 10.9 g/t over 4 metres
- · 5.3 g/t over 11 metres
- · 3.9 g/t over 20 metres
The results to date confirm the tenor of the gold mineralisation outlined in the previous resource estimate, and are confirming and extending the continuity of the mineralisation system of this shear-hosted ore body.
A full summary of the all the borehole results to date is given in the Company’s press release of 12 July 2011 and is available for review at the Company’s website, www.aureus-mining.com.
Metallurgical Design – DRA have been appointed to undertake detailed metallurgical test work to definitive feasibility level, and then complete all design work and cost estimation studies for the capital build and operation of the process plant. This work has commenced with the shipment of over 500 kg of drill core to South Africa to undertake detailed test work on CIL, flotation recovery and optimisation of the grind size required from the milling process. DRA will investigate the viability of incorporating a flotation recovery process within the process design as part of the feasibility study. If successful, this would be a significant factor in the process design resulting in a smaller plant and a reduction in grinding requirements, lowering of capital and operating costs.
ESIA – The Company has retained the services of Golders for the environmental and social impact assessment of the New Liberty Project. Progress to date includes the completion of the ecology, surface water, air-quality and socio-economic base line studies within the area covering the New Liberty proposed mining infrastructure. Detailed baseline environmental studies for soils and ground hydrology are on-going and are planned to be completed in Q4 2011. It is planned to start the ESIA public consultation process in Q3.
Mining Design – The Company has retained AMC to undertake the NI 43-101 resource classification on completion of the infill drilling programme, and to undertake the open pit design and mining optimisation studies for the feasibility design work. As part of the in-fill drilling programme, a 23 borehole geotechnical and hydrology programme, designed by AMC, has been completed. The slope designs of the open pit are being assessed and optimised through this programme of geotechnical logging and rock strength assessments, together with the ground hydrology testing.
Tailings Facility – The Company has also retained the services of Golders for the design studies and capital build cost estimate of the tailings facility. Ground geotechnical and hydrology studies are currently being conducted as part of the design studies.
Sterilisation Drilling – A programme of sterilisation drilling is scheduled to be completed during Q3 2011 for the major infrastructure sites of the metallurgical process plant, tailings dam facility and the mine waste rock dump.
Power Supply – The Company is also carrying out an investigation into alternative power supply options for the project, in order to enhance the project economics. Current studies are focused on the potential use of a bio-mass power generation system, using wood chips supplied from rubber plantation regeneration projects within Liberia, as an alternative to diesel-fuel power generation. Both options will be investigated as part of the definitive feasibility study. It is planned to complete a capital and operating cost comparison review during Q3.
The definitive feasibility study will be co-ordinated and compiled by the Company under the supervision of the Chief Operating Officer, Dr Martin White, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.
New Liberty Extensions – An eight hole, diamond drill programme (K172 – K179) totalling 1,101 metres was completed to the west of the currently defined gold resources at New Liberty. Drilling covered a potential westerly strike extension of the mineralised systems for 500 metres. Encouraging drill intercepts of 9m at 1.25g/t and 10m at 5.25g/t were intersected some 150 metres west of the edge of the planned New Liberty open pit outlined in the Company’s Preliminary Economic Assessment reported by African Aura Mining Inc. in the press releases of 14 December 2010 and 21 December 2010.
The geology and mineralisation intercepted in these drill holes is identical to that encountered in the New Liberty deposit. The new area of mineralisation would appear to have a potential strike extent of 100 metres. Holes drilled west and east of this area did not return any significant intercepts.
Ground geophysical work and soil sampling is in progress over the western and eastern extensions to the New Liberty ore body. The geophysical survey, involving magnetic and induced polarisation methods, has been completed over the western portion of the New Liberty deposit and its western extensions. This work highlights that the New Liberty mineralisation has a strong geophysical signature, as defined by high chargeability and low resistivity readings from the induced polarisation method. Furthermore, the ultramafic host rock has a strong magnetic signature as defined by the ground and airborne magnetics. Work to date suggests a potential western extension of 500 metres and further drilling is required to test this potential target area. A number of additional chargeability targets have been outlined within the western portion of the ore zone and could represent new, potentially mineralised, shear structures. These targets will also require drill testing.
To date, 56.8 kilometres of line cutting has been undertaken along the potential western and eastern extensions to New Liberty and 956 soil samples have been collected with results pending. Ground magnetic surveys and gradient array IP work is presently in progress along the potential eastern extension to the New Liberty deposit.
Ndablama Prospect, multiple mineralised zones outlined –The Ndablama prospect (“Ndablama”) is located approximately 40 kilometres north east of the New Liberty project and within the Company’s 100% owned Bea Mountain Mining Licence of 457km². Over one kilometre of intensive artisanal activity has been worked over at Ndablama and includes associated gold in soil anomalies with values of between 150 and 3,000 ppb. Previously, the Company reported trench and diamond drill hole results which defined an area of 150 metres east – west by 900 metres north – south. This zone is referred to as the Central zone. Further trenching to the north and south east of the Central zone has highlighted additional mineralised zones, which are referred to as the North and East zones.The North and East zones both have approximate dimensions of 200 metres in a north – south direction. In all cases gold bearing rocks are associated with sheared, folded and altered amphibolites and talc-tremolite schists close to their contacts with granite dykes and pegmatites.
To date a total of 63 trenches and 15 drill holes have been completed at the Ndablama prospect. A full summary of the all the borehole and trench results at Ndablama are given in the company’s press releases of 19 April and 12 July 2011 as well as the July 2011 Corporate Presentation. All of these documents are available for review at the Company’s website, www.aureus-mining.com.
Further trenching and channel sampling has been undertaken and focused predominantly over the Central and Eastern zones and potential structural splays which may link these two zones. Once all the results from this comprehensive sampling programme have been received the Company will finalise the phase two diamond drilling programme of the Ndablama prospect.
Interpretation of all available information indicates both vertical and shallow dipping orientations to the zones of gold mineralisation. A ground magnetics survey is planned for September 2011 and a phase two diamond drilling programme is planned for Q4 2011.
Gondoja Target – Further soil sampling work is in progress to cover the area from the Ndablama prospect to the Gondoja target within a structural corridor approaching 11.5km strike length. Forty line kilometres of soil gridding has been completed, and to date, 1,501 soil samples have been collected and sent for analysis. Results are pending.
|Aureus Mining Inc.
David Reading / Jeremy Cave
Tel: +44(0) 20 7257 2930
Bobby Morse / James Strong
Tel: +44(0) 20 7466 5000
|Evolution Securities Limited
Nomad: Jeremy Ellis / Neil Elliot
Joint Broker: Tim Redfern
Tel: +44(0) 20 7071 4300
|RBC Capital Markets
Martin Eales / Richard Hughes
Tel: +44(0) 20 7653 4000
The Company’s Qualified Person responsible for preparing this release is David Reading, who holds a MSc in Economic Geology from University of Waterloo, Canada and is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. David Reading is the President and CEO of Aureus Mining Inc. and consents to the inclusion in the announcement of the matters based on their information in the form and context in which it appears and confirms that this information is accurate and not false or misleading.
Assay and sampling information are taken from the Company’s database as prepared on New Liberty site by the project geologists. Drill core is split on site and sent under custody to the Alex Stewart-OMAC sample preparation facility in Monrovia where pulps are prepared and dispatched to the OMAC laboratory in Ireland for analysis by fire assay with an atomic absorption finish.
Quality control and quality assurance procedures include the regular and methodical implementation of field duplicates, blank samples, standards and laboratory repeats as well as regular and specific programmes of re-assaying and umpire laboratory assaying.
About Aureus Mining
The Company’s assets include the New Liberty gold deposit in Liberia (the “New Liberty Gold Project”), which has an estimated Indicated Mineral Resource of 751,000 ounces of gold grading 4.17 g/t (contained in 5,599,000 tonnes) and an estimated Inferred Mineral Resource of 762,000 ounces of gold grading 3.40 g/t (contained in 7,040,000 tonnes). A preliminary economic assessment (“PEA”) of the New Liberty Gold Project filed in December 2010 outlined a robust open pit gold mine with a pre-tax NPV of US$234 million based on an $1100/oz. gold price and a 10% discount rate. The PEA outlined an 8.5 year mine life with approximate production of 100,000 ounces per year in the first five years. The New Liberty Gold Project is being advanced through to a definitive feasibility study.
The New Liberty Gold Project locates within the Bea Mountain mining license which covers 457 km² and has a 25 year, renewable, mineral development agreement. The Bea Mountain mining license also hosts the proximal gold targets of Ndablama, Weaju, Silver Hills and Gondoja, which are the focus of exploration programs during 2011.
The Company also has gold assets within exploration properties in Sierra Leone and Cameroon.
This press release contains certain forward-looking information. All information, other than information regarding historical fact, that addresses activities, events or developments that Aureus Mining believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future is forward-looking information. Forward-looking information contained in this press release includes, but may not be limited to, the future plans and objectives of Aureus Mining and their anticipated future growth, , mineral resource estimates and the anticipated exploration and development activities of Aureus Mining. The foregoing and any other forward-looking information contained in this press release reflects the current expectations, assumptions or beliefs of Aureus Mining based on information currently available to Aureus Mining. With respect to the forward-looking information contained in this press release, Aureus Mining has made assumptions regarding, among other things: general business, economic and mining industry conditions; and it has also been assumed that no material adverse change in the price of precious and/or base metals occurs, no unusual geological or technical problems occur and no significant events occur outside of the normal course of Aureus Mining’s respective business.
Such forward-looking information is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, including: risks normally incidental to exploration and development of mineral properties; uncertainties in the interpretation of results from drilling and test work; the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with expectations; uncertainty of mineral resources estimates; adverse changes in precious and/or base metal prices; and future unforeseen liabilities and other factors including, but not limited to, those listed under “Risk Factors” in the Preliminary Prospectus of Aureus Mining Inc. dated April 20, 2011, a copy of which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, and in the Aureus Mining Admission Document, a copy of which is available at www.aureus–mining.com.
Any mineral resource figures referred to in this press release are estimates and no assurances can be given that the indicated levels of minerals will be produced. Such estimates are expressions of judgment based on knowledge, mining experience, analysis of drilling results and industry practices. Valid estimates made at a given time may significantly change when new information becomes available. While Aureus Mining believes that the mineral resource estimates in respect of their respective properties are well established, by their nature mineral resource estimates are imprecise and depend, to a certain extent, upon statistical inferences which may ultimately prove unreliable. If such mineral resource estimates are inaccurate or are reduced in the future, this could have a material adverse impact on Aureus Mining, as applicable. Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to inferred mineral resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will be upgraded to an indicated or measured mineral resource as a result of continued exploration.
Forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable law, Aureus Mining disclaims any obligation to update or modify such forward-looking information, either as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason.