VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/11/13 -- Aurcana Corporation (TSX VENTURE: AUN)(OTCQX: AUNFF) ("Aurcana" or the "Company") today is pleased to report its audited financial results for the fourth quarter and year end as of December 31, 2012.
The Q4 2012 Earnings Webcast and Conference Call has been scheduled at 10:30 am Pacific Time (1:30 pm Eastern Time) on Friday, April 12, 2013. See bottom of press release for details.
Mr. Lenic Rodriguez, Aurcana's President & CEO, said: "We are pleased to report that the company generated record revenues last year of about $57 million while producing 45% more silver equivalent than we did in 2011. Despite a slower than expected startup at Shafter and with an increase in production at La Negra, Aurcana is now in a position to grow organically for a few years, with just the support of our budgeted sustaining capital. Based on continued growth, the company remains strategically positioned to become a senior silver producer."
A video message from Mr. Lenic Rodriguez, talking about Aurcana's 2012 year end results and the plans to grow the company into a senior silver producer, can be watched at the following link:
Year ended Dec. 31, 2012 and fourth Quarter 2012 Highlights
-- Total revenues for 2012 were $56.9 million, up 20% from $47.5 million in 2011. Revenues in Q4, 2012 were $16.3 million a 48% increase from $11 million in Q4, 2011. -- Total silver ounces equivalent production for 2012 was 2,523,441, up 45% from 1,741,705 ounces produced in 2011. Silver ounces equivalent production for Q4, 2012 was 624,159 up 33% from 468,343 in Q4, 2011. -- Earnings from mining operation in 2012 were $25 million, up 8% from $23.2 million in 2011. Earnings from mining operation in Q4 2012 were $7.6 million, up 33% from $5.7 million in Q4 2011. -- The total cash cost per silver ounce net of by-products for 2012 was $6.43, down 16% from $7.63 in 2011. -- Net income in 2012 was $10 million up 30% from $7.7 million in 2011. -- Operating cash flow (after taxes before movements in working capital) for 2012 was $21.5 million up 10% from $19.5 million in 2011. -- Total ore milled in 2012 was 691,260 tonnes, up 37% from 505,965 in 2011. -- Total ore mined in 2012 was 670,930 tonnes, up 25% from 538,750 in 2011. -- The average revenue per payable equivalent silver ounce sold in 2012 was $25.45, 12% lower than $28.80 per ounce in 2011 due to lower metal prices.
The summary of the selected financial information should be read in conjunction with the audited financial statements and the related management's discussion and analysis dated April 11, 2013 together referred to as the "Financial Statements" filed on www.sedar.com and available on www.aurcana.com. All figures are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.
Outlook for 2013 and Beyond
For 2013 our focus will be on ramping up production at Shafter and increasing mill throughput at La Negra Mine.
Based on a well-defined action plan at Shafter and with the mill expansion to 3,000tpd at La Negra now complete, we feel confident that Aurcana is now in a position to grow organically for a few years with just the support of our budgeted sustaining capital.
While Aurcana anticipates funding the 2013 plans with cash flow generated from mining activities and in order to accelerate improvements at Shafter mine, the company has arranged a US$15 million non-dilutive credit facility with its concentrate buyer from the La Negra Mine. Under this facility US$15 million was received on March 28, 2013, to be reimbursed by Q4 2013. This cash management arrangement has increased Aurcana's current cash balance while the production is ramping up.
Operational Update on the La Negra Mine
The company is pleased to report that the La Negra mill upgrade to 3,000 tpd has been completed on time and on budget. For the first time ever, the mill is processing close to the new capacity since March 28, 2013.
As a follow up to recent discoveries of significant gold associated with strong silver, zinc and lead mineralization in the new areas tested at La Negra, a 5,000 meters drilling program has been initialized.
Fire assay for the gold samples announced on Feb. 11, 2013 are underway and initial results are starting to confirm the original findings.
While historically gold production has not been a major source of revenue at La Negra, the exploration program is aimed to evaluate the potential economic significance of these results.
In 2013 Aurcana will commence studies on how to best capitalize on the large resource base at La Negra and define its next growth objectives.
In recognition of Aurcana's commitment to environmental and social responsibility as an integral part of its corporate strategy, La Negra Mine operations in Mexico has been recently awarded the 2013 Environmental and Socially Responsible Company (ESR) Award by the Mexican Center for Philanthropy (CEMEFI).
Operational Update on the Shafter Mine
The underground mining at Shafter has been progressing. The main ramp continues to advance down dip at the rate of about 600 feet per month. The average ore grade currently being mined underground is over 5 oz Ag/t. As the ramp continues to advance down dip, the grades are expected to increase and be more in line with the average grade of our existing reserve.
The Company, however, still had its challenges during the commissioning efforts to date. While the mine development has been progressing, the Shafter mill has experienced a number of unanticipated technical issues with some pieces of equipment in the mill and processing plant that have in turn slowed down the ramp up efforts. As a result, Shafter mill has not yet reached its initial target of 600tpd on a continuous basis. While the mill is operating and is producing silver, the progress is dependent on the delivery times for additional pieces of equipment that are required to streamline the operations.
In order to achieve full production capacity during 2013, a number of improvements to the original plant design are necessary. Having been identified, an action plan developed by using outside consultants as well as in-house expertise has been finalized and set in motion to gradually move to full production.
Management has undertaken a number of key actions in order to achieve the planned production during 2013 including:
-- Additional filter presses have been ordered and are scheduled for delivery during Q2 2013 and to become operational during Q3 2013. -- The installation of a CCD circuit that will result in an increase of the overall recovery rate is underway and will be completed gradually during 2013. -- In order to meet the planned level of production, the addition of a second drying oven and a new furnace in the refinery is currently being designed and will be completed during Q3 2013. -- The engineering and construction work necessary to achieve design capacity at Shafter, is being engineered and built by Cimetta Engineering and Construction Company. -- SGS/Metcon a leading inspection, verification, testing and certification Company, has been retained to review and recommend process improvements that are aimed at optimizing metallurgical performance in the Shafter plant. -- Construction has been completed on the foundations and steel work of one additional thickener with a second one in progress. These tanks are being built as part of the project to achieve planned capacity. -- Staff hiring and training is continuing to strengthen the production team at Shafter. Additional people are being trained and will be added with the gradual increase in production to 1,500 tpd.
While the mill is operating and silver is being produced, with these improvements in place, Aurcana anticipates a gradual increase in silver output during 2013.
These issues are not uncommon in new mining operations, as the staff gain experience and familiarize themselves with the complexities of technical issues while the operations are ramping up.
Aurcana's objective is to have a positive contribution in the local economy and local community where it operates. Aurcana is the largest tax payer and the largest employer in the county through its wholly owned subsidiary, Rio Grande Mining Company (RGMC), operating the Shafter Mine.
In order to support the local community, Aurcana is committed to put to beneficial use any water not required by the mining operations. RGMC has applied for a water well permit in order to offer water free of charge to the local Shafter town residents.
In line with our environmental commitments, Aurcana is also working to improve the milling process in order to re-use the mill water and reduce the demand of fresh water.
Conference call details
Aurcana Corporation has scheduled a webcast and conference call to discuss the year end results and provide an operational update for continued growth at 10:30 am PST on Friday, April 12, 2013.
The webcast can be accessed via the following link:
Conference date: Friday, April 12, 2013 Conference time: 10:30 am PST / 1:30 pm EST Participant dial-in: Can: 416-340-2216 / US: 866-226-1792 / Int: 800- 9559-6849 Participant pass code: Not required
Financial Statements and MD&A
About Aurcana Corporation
La Negra Mine current installed capacity is 3,000tpd.
La Negra has a NI 43-101 M&I resource of 115.1 mm oz silver (at a grade of 131.3g/t), 1,418.7 mm lbs Zn (at a grade of 2.36%), 539.5 mm lbs Pb (at a grade of 0.91%) and 269.5 mm lbs Cu (at a grade of 0.49%) and an Inferred Resource of 56.5 mm oz silver (at a grade of 126.1g/t), 657.4 mm lbs Zn (at a grade of 2.14%), 263.0 mm lbs. Pb (at a grade of 0.88%) and 132.3 mm lbs Cu (at a grade of 0.42%).
The Shafter Mine mill was commissioned on April 1, 2012 and is expected to commence commercial production in late Q4 2012. The Shafter Silver Mine is scheduled to produce 3.8 million ounces of silver over 12 months when is operating at 1,500tpd capacity.
Shafter has a NI 43-101 M&I Resource of 23.9 mm oz of silver (at a grade of 267.1 g/t) and an Inferred Resource of 22.79 mm oz of silver (at a grade of 327.2 g/t).
(All National Instrument 43-101 technical reserve reports can be found on SEDAR at: www.sedar.com)
Aurcana continues to focus on its future growth.
The Company's shares are also traded in the United States on OTCQX under the symbol "AUNFF". Investors can find current financial disclosure and Real-Time Level 2 quotes for the Company on www.otcqx.com and www.otcmarkets.com.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF AURCANA CORPORATION
Lenic Rodriguez, President & CEO
The scientific and technical information contained in this news release regarding the Shafter Silver Mine has been reviewed by Ken Collison, P.Eng., Director of the Company, and a Qualified Person ("QP") and scientific and technical information contained in this news release regarding the La Negra Mine has been reviewed by Baltazar Solano, P.Eng., and a QP as defined by National Instrument 43-101 (Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Project).
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements, including statements regarding forecast silver production, silver grades, recoveries, potential mineralization, exploration result, future plans and objectives of the Company and the business and anticipated financial performance of the Company. These statements are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to mining and processing of mined ore, achieving projected recovery rates, anticipated production rates and mine life, operating efficiencies, costs and expenditures, changes in mineral resources and conversion of mineral resources to proven and probable reserves, and other information that is based on forecasts of future operational or financial results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable and assumptions of management.
Exploration results that include geophysics, sampling and drill results on wide spacings may not be indicative of the occurrence of a mineral deposit. Such results do not provide assurance that further work will establish sufficient grade, continuity, metallurgical characteristics and economic potential to be classified as a category of mineral resource. A mineral resource which is classified as "inferred" or "indicated" has a great amount of uncertainty as to its existence and economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that any or part of an "indicated mineral resource" or "inferred mineral resource" will ever be upgraded to a higher category of resource. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into proven and probable reserves.
Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", "plans", "estimates" or "intends" or stating that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to materially differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements.
Actual results may differ materially from results contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could differ materially from the Company's expectations include, among others, risks related to international operations, unsuccessful exploration results, conclusions of economic evaluations and changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined as well as changes in metal prices, changes in the availability of funding for mineral exploration and development, unanticipated changes in key management personnel and general economic conditions. When relying on forward-looking statements to make decisions, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, oral or written, made by itself or on its behalf. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.