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SEMAFO: Cash Flow from Operations of $18.4 Million in First Quarter 2018

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Completion of Process Plant Construction, 57% of Commissioning at Boungou

 

MONTREAL, May 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SEMAFO Inc. (TSX:SNF) (OMX:SMF) today reported its financial and operational results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2018.  All amounts are in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

First Quarter 2018 - in Review

· Gold production of 45,500 ounces compared to 55,400 ounces for the same period in 2017

· Gold sales of $62.7 million compared to $66.9 million for the same period in 2017

· Cash flows from operating activities1 of $18.4 million or $0.06 per share2 compared to $23.1 million or $0.07 per share2 for the same period in 2017

· Net loss attributable to equity shareholders of $4.7 million or loss of 0.01 per share compared to net loss of $2.7 million or loss of 0.01 per share for the same period in 2017

· Ranked in Corporate Knights' 2018 Future 40 Responsible Corporate Leaders in Canada

Boungou Mine

As at April 30, 2018:

· Commissioning 57% complete

· Construction of process plant is 100% complete

· Pre-stripping 87% completed with 15.6 million of the projected 18 million tonnes extracted

1 Cash flows from operating activities exclude changes in non-cash working capital items.
2 Operating cash flows per share is a non-IFRS financial performance measure with no standard definition under IFRS. See the "Non-IFRS financial performance measures" section of the Corporation's MD&A, note 19.

 

Mana, Burkina Faso
Mining Operations
  Three-month period
  ended March 31,
   
  2018   2017   Variation
Operating Data      
Mining      
Waste mined (tonnes) 5,205,800   4,638,400   12 %
Ore mined (tonnes) 592,300   479,400   24 %
Operational stripping ratio 8.8   9.7   (9 %)
Capitalized Stripping Activity      
Waste material - Siou (tonnes) -   3,805,900   (100 %)
Waste material - Wona (tonnes) 3,204,200   1,131,300   183 %
  3,204,200   4,937,200   (35 %)
Total strip ratio 14.2   20.0   (29 %)
       
Processing      
Ore processed (tonnes) 612,000   636,300   (4 %)
Low grade material (tonnes) 39,700   95,500   (58 %)
Tonnes processed (tonnes) 651,700   731,800   (11 %)
Head grade (g/t) 2.24   2.55   (12 %)
Recovery (%) 97   92   5 %
Gold ounces produced 45,500   55,400   (18 %)
Gold ounces sold 46,900   54,700   (14 %)
       
Statistics (in dollars)      
Average realized selling price (per ounce) 1,336   1,223   9 %
Cash operating cost (per tonne processed)¹ 54   52   4 %
Cash operating cost, including stripping (per tonne processed)1 67   63   6 %
Total cash cost (per ounce sold)¹ 848   699   21 %
All-in sustaining cost (per ounce sold)¹ 1,083   892   21 %
Depreciation (per ounce sold)² 540   460   17 %

 

1 Cash operating cost, total cash cost and all-in sustaining cost are non-IFRS financial performance measures with no standard definition under IFRS. See the "Non-IFRS financial performance measures" section of the Corporation's MD&A, note 19. 
2 Depreciation per ounce sold is a non-IFRS financial performance measure with no standard definition under IFRS and represents the depreciation expense per ounce sold.

2018 First Quarter Results

As expected, during the first quarter of 2018, the tonnes processed decreased by 11% compared to the same period in 2017 due to the hardness of the ore. The ore mined in the quarter increased by 24% compared to the first quarter of 2017, in accordance with the mine plan. The 12% decrease in head grade reflects the mine plan and the ore mix at the plant. In the first quarter of 2017, a significant portion of ore processed was sourced from the Fofina pit compared to lower grade ore sourced from Wona pit and the stockpile in the same period in 2018. As expected, the gold ounces produced and sold decreased by 18% and 14% respectively, compared to the same period in 2017.

In the first quarter of 2018, the all-in sustaining cost reached $1,083 per ounce sold compared to $892 per ounce sold in the same period in 2017. This is due to a lower head grade and higher cash operating cost per tonne, the latter being mainly caused by negative foreign exchange fluctuations.

The Corporation expects to attain its 2018 production outlook of between 235,000 and 265,000 ounces of gold, and to meet its all-in sustaining cost outlook of between $900 and $940 per ounce.

Boungou Mine

Construction of the Boungou Mine continues to advance on budget, and we are still in line to achieve first gold pour early in the third quarter of 2018. The following achievements have been made:

As at March 31, 2018:
· Development on budget, with $194 million of the $231 million capital expenditure incurred

· Recruitment of key operational management near complete

· Recruitment of mine operator employees is proceeding to schedule

  • Training began in April for completion in May

· 1,643 personnel including contractors were employed on site, 87% of whom are Burkinabe

· 4.9 million man-hours (485 days) have been worked without lost-time injury

As at April 30, 2018

· Commissioning 57% complete

· Construction of process plant is 100% complete

· Pre-stripping 87% complete with 15.6 million of the projected 18 million tonnes extracted

  • First ore hauled to the ROM pad at end of March

Since launch of commissioning at the end of February, the crushing circuit equipment and water services have been tested and commissioned. The reclaim and grinding circuits, reagent and oxygen plants are also undergoing testing. Wet commissioning began at the end of March with the Corporation pumping water from the water storage facility to the raw water tanks for the processing plant.

Siou Underground Development

By the end of the first quarter of 2018, the Corporation had made steady progress with regard to Siou underground development and continues to target full production in the first quarter of 2020. To date, the following milestones have been achieved:

· NI 43-101 technical report finalized

· Recruitment of key personnel well advanced

· Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) study initiated

Exploration

Tapoa (Boungou Mine)

One reverse circulation ("RC") drill rig was active at Boungou in the first quarter of 2018. Drilling on Boungou Proximal began late in the quarter with a total of nine holes (1,502 meters) completed. The 10,000-meter program at Boungou Proximal is designed to follow up on the encouraging 2017 results within a five-kilometer radius of the mine. RC drilling continues at Boungou Proximal in the second quarter, and results will be released when available.

Additionally, during the first three months of 2018, the final delineation drilling program was completed on the West Flank Zone.  A total of 10,623 meters of drilling was carried out in order to maintain the option of a future underground mining operation. Results are in line with our expectations.

Mana Project

Two drill rigs, one diamond drill ("DD") and one RC rig, were active on the Mana property in the first quarter of 2018.

Mana - Siou
The DD rig completed a total of five holes (1,972 meters) on the Siou Deep South area to better define the limits of underground stope reserves blocks and help refine the planned development. To date, values of 3.61 g/t Au over 33.0 meters (WDC-966), 6.51 g/t Au over 28.9 meters (WDC-967) and 4.98 g/t Au over 24.8 meters (WDC-968) are in line with expectations.

Following completion of the DD program at Siou Deep South in April, the drill moved to the Siou Deep North target with the goal of increasing resources at depth.

Mana Regional

In the first quarter, 93 RC holes (13,955 meters) were completed in the Bara area located 15 kilometers north of the Siou deposit. The program continued testing auger anomalies located along the regional Boni-Siou Shear Zone and commenced follow-up drilling on intersections returned in the fourth quarter of 2017 and early 2018. Drill results continue to confirm auger anomalies, including 3.02 g/t Au over 7 meters and 2.10 g/t Au over 5 meters in hole MRC18-4986. A follow-up hole located 125 meters south returned 2.16 g/t Au across 5 meters. Other RC results include 2.94 g/t Au over 5 meters (MRC18-5012) and 5.25 g/t Au across 4 meters (MRC18-5047). The Bara area is a seven-kilometer long gold anomaly running north-south.

To date, the lateral continuity appears to be challenging. The 15,000-meter RC program will be completed and compiled in the second quarter of 2018 with the goal of keying into more continuous mineralization along strike and at depth.

Yactibo (Nabanga Project)

Nabanga has inferred mineral resources of 590,000 ounces at a grade of 10.0 g/t (1.84 million tonnes at a 5 g/t Au cut-off grade). The objective of the 2018 Nabanga drilling program is to extend the known mineralization along a newly interpreted trend. Drilling commenced late in March, and assays remain pending. The program is expected to be completed in the third quarter.

The new interpretation suggests a shallower plunge of the mineralization that could extend beyond 200 meters. Based on the new interpretation, the Corporation believes that the Nabanga deposit could remain open at depth and along strike. Historic resource interpretation had implied a certain mineral orientation that stopped at around 200 meters of vertical depth.

Kongolokoro (Houndé Greenstone Belt Permits)

In the latter part of the quarter, a RC rig was mobilized on the Dynikongolo permit hosting the Bantou mineralized Zone. At quarter-end, two holes had been completed (204 meters). The 13,000-meter program on the permit has the objective of testing targets along the Bantou Zone and elsewhere on the property.

SEMAFO's Management's Discussion and Analysis, Consolidated Financial Statements and related financial materials are available in the "Investor Relations" section of the Corporation's website at www.semafo.com. These and other corporate reports are also available on www.sedar.com.

First Quarter Conference Call

A conference call will be held tomorrow, May 9, 2018, at 8:00 EDT to discuss this press release. Interested parties are invited to call the following telephone numbers to participate in the call:

Tel. local & overseas:  +1 (647) 788 4922   
Tel. North America: 1 (877) 223 4471 
Webcast: www.semafo.com
Replay number: 1 (800) 585 8367 or +1 (416) 621 4642  
Replay pass code: 9457847
Replay expiration: May 30, 2018

Annual General Meeting of Shareholders

SEMAFO's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. EDT at Club Saint-James, Salon Midway, 1145 avenue Union, in Montreal, Quebec. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and meet the management team and members of the board of directors.

About SEMAFO

SEMAFO is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa.  The Corporation operates the Mana Mine in Burkina Faso, which includes the high-grade satellite deposit of Siou, and is targeting production start-up of the Boungou Mine in the third quarter of 2018.  SEMAFO's strategic focus is to maximize shareholder value by effectively managing its existing assets as well as pursuing organic and strategic growth opportunities.

CAUTION CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include words or expressions such as "expects", "outlook", "continues to advance", "in line to", "development", "target", "designed to", "encouraging", "will", "with the goal of", "believes", "could", "objective", "pursuing", "growth", "opportunities" and other similar words or expressions. Factors that could cause future results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include the ability to attain our 2018 production outlook of between 235,000 and 265,000 ounces of gold and to meet our all-in sustaining cost outlook of between $900 and $940 per ounce, the ability to achieve first gold pour at Boungou early in the third quarter of 2018, the ability to develop the Siou underground to achieve full production in the first quarter of 2020, the ability of the Siou Deep North DD program to increase resources at depth, the ability of the Mana Regional 15,000-meter RC program to key into more continuous mineralization along strike and at depth, the ability to complete the drilling program at Nabanga in the third quarter of 2018, the ability of our new interpretation at the Nabanga deposit to confirm that it remains open at depth and along strike, the ability to execute on our strategic focus, fluctuation in the price of currencies, gold prices and operating costs, mining industry risks, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves and resources, delays, political and social stability in Africa (including our ability to maintain or renew licenses and permits) and other risks described in SEMAFO's documents filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities.You can find further information with respect to these and other risks in SEMAFO's 2017 Annual MD&A, as updated in SEMAFO's 2018 First Quarter MD&A, and other filings made with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available at www.sedar.com. These documents are also available on our website at www.semafo.com. SEMAFO disclaims any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law.

The information in this release is subject to the disclosure requirements of SEMAFO under the Swedish Securities Market Act and/or the Swedish Financial Instruments Trading Act. This information was publicly communicated on May 8, 2018 at 5:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time.

For more information, contact

John Jentz
Vice-President, Corporate Development & Investor Relations
Email: John.Jentz@semafo.com 

Ruth Hanna
Analyst, Investor Relations
Email: Ruth.Hanna@semafo.com 

Tel. local & overseas: +1 (514) 744 4408
North America Toll-Free: 1 (888) 744 4408
Website: www.semafo.com

 
Consolidated Results and Mining Operations
 
Financial and Operating Highlights
 
  Three-month period
 
  ended March 31,
 
  2018   2017   Variation  
           
Gold ounces produced 45,500   55,400   (18% )
Gold ounces sold 46,900   54,700   (14% )
         
(in thousands of dollars, except amounts per share)        
Revenues - Gold sales 62,698   66,886   (6% )
         
Mining operation expenses 36,634   35,565   3%  
Government royalties 3,144   2,692   17%  
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment 25,428   25,268   1%  
Share-based compensation 1,418   1,219   16%  
Other 4,139   3,927   5%  
         
Operating loss (8,065 ) (1,785 ) (352% )
       
Finance income (641 ) (736 ) (13% )
Finance costs 313   324   (3% )
Foreign exchange gain (428 ) (829 ) 48%  
Income tax expense (recovery) (2,409 ) 1,840   -  
         
Net loss for the period (4,900 ) (2,384 ) (106% )
       
       
Net loss attributable to equity shareholders (4,710 ) (2,691 ) (75% )
Basic loss per share (0.01 ) (0.01 ) -  
Diluted loss per share (0.01 ) (0.01 ) -  
         
Adjusted amounts        
Adjusted operating loss¹ (7,968 ) (1,889 ) (322% )
Adjusted net loss attributable to equity shareholders¹ (6,548 ) (4,374 ) (50% )
Per share¹ (0.02 ) (0.01 ) (100% )
         
Cash flows        
Cash flows from operating activities² 18,391   23,147   (21% )
Per share¹ 0.06   0.07   (14% )

 

1 Adjusted operating loss, adjusted net loss attributable to equity shareholders, adjusted basic loss per share and operating cash flows per share are non-IFRS financial performance measures with no standard definition under IFRS. See the "Non-IFRS financial performance measures" section of the Corporation's MD&A, note 19.
2 Cash flows from operating activities exclude changes in non-cash working capital items.

 

Interim Consolidated Statements of Financial Position
(Expressed in thousands of US dollars - unaudited)

 

  As at   As at  
  March 31,   December 31,  
  2018   2017  
  $   $  
     
Assets    
     
Current assets    
Cash and cash equivalents 139,420   198,950  
Trade and other receivables 28,884   22,649  
Income tax receivable 4,361   3,186  
Inventories 66,311   66,409  
Other current assets 4,789   4,094  
  243,765   295,288  
Non-current assets    
Advance receivable 2,784   2,867  
Restricted cash 23,422   23,237  
Property, plant and equipment 734,708   703,341  
Intangible asset 1,345   1,374  
Other non-current financial assets 3,309   2,256  
  765,568   733,075  
Total assets 1,009,333   1,028,363  
     
Liabilities    
     
Current liabilities    
Trade payables and accrued liabilities 64,100   72,720  
Current portion of long-term debt 15,310   310  
Current portion of finance lease 4,786   4,703  
Share unit plan liabilities 4,049   6,404  
Provisions 3,063   3,069  
  91,308   87,206  
Non-current liabilities    
Long-term debt 100,750   115,247  
Finance Lease 17,780   19,008  
Share unit plan liabilities 1,640   3,138  
Provisions 13,301   12,258  
Deferred income tax liabilities 28,704   30,944  
  162,175   180,595  
Total liabilities 253,483   267,801  
     
Equity    
     
Equity Shareholders    
Share capital 623,419   622,294  
Contributed surplus 6,836   7,220  
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) (17,897 ) 2,256  
Retained earnings 112,600   97,710  
  724,958   729,480  
Non-controlling interests 30,892   31,082  
     
Total equity 755,850   760,562  
Total liabilities and equity 1,009,333   1,028,363  
     

 

Interim Consolidated Statements of Loss
(Expressed in thousands of US dollars, except per share amounts - unaudited)

 

  Three-month period  
  ended March 31,
 
  2018   2017  
  $   $  
     
Revenue - Gold sales 62,698   66,886  
     
Costs of operations    
Mining operation expenses 39,778   38,257  
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment 25,428   25,268  
General and administrative 3,917   3,542  
Corporate social responsibility expenses 222   385  
Share-based compensation 1,418   1,219  
     
Operating loss (8,065 ) (1,785 )
     
Other expenses (income)    
Finance income (641 ) (736 )
Finance costs 313   324  
Foreign exchange gain (428 ) (829 )
     
Loss before income taxes (7,309 ) (544 )
     
Income tax expense (recovery)    
Current 527   1,721  
Deferred (2,936 ) 119  
  (2,409 ) 1,840  
     
Net loss for the period (4,900 ) (2,384 )
     
Attributable to:    
Equity shareholders (4,710 ) (2,691 )
Non-controlling interests (190 ) 307  
  (4,900 ) (2,384 )
     
Loss per share    
Basic (0.01 ) (0.01 )
Diluted (0.01 ) (0.01 )

 

Interim Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Loss
(Expressed in thousands of US dollars - unaudited)

 

  Three-month period
 
  ended March 31,
 
  2018   2017  
  $   $  
     
     
Net loss for the period (4,900 ) (2,384 )
     
Other comprehensive income (loss)    
Item that will be reclassifed to profit or loss    
Changes in fair value of available-for-sale assets (net tax of nil) n/a   818  
Item that will not be reclassified to profit or loss    
Changes in fair value of equity investments at FVOCI (net of tax of nil) (553 ) n/a  
Total comprehensive loss for the period, net of tax (5,453 ) (1,566 )
Attributable to:    
Equity shareholders (5,263 ) (1,873 )
Non-controlling interests (190 ) 307  
  (5,453 ) (1,566 )

 

Interim Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(Expressed in thousands of US dollars - unaudited)

 

  Three-month period
 
  ended March 31,
 
  2018   2017  
  $   $  
Cash flows from (used in):    
     
     
Operating activities    
Net loss for the period (4,900 ) (2,384 )
Adjustments for:    
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment 25,428   25,268  
Share-based compensation 1,418   1,219  
Unrealized foreign exchange gain (552 ) (1,008 )
Deferred income tax expense (recovery) (2,936 ) 119  
Other (67 ) (67 )
  18,391   23,147  
Changes in non-cash working capital items (15,636 ) (5,752 )
Net cash provided by operating activities 2,755   17,395  
     
Financing activities    
Repayment of equipment financing (77 ) (76 )
Payments of finance lease (1,145 ) -  
Proceeds on issuance of share capital, net of expenses 741   49  
     
Net cash used in financing activities (481 ) (27 )
     
Investing activities    
Investment (1,606 ) -  
Acquisition of property, plant and equipment (61,156 ) (37,232 )
     
Net cash used in investing activities (62,762 ) (37,232 )
     
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents 958   1,253  
Change in cash and cash equivalents during the period (59,530 ) (18,611 )
Cash and cash equivalents - beginning of period 198,950   273,772  
Cash and cash equivalents - end of period 139,420   255,161  
Interest paid 2,330   888  
Interest received 710   439  
Income tax paid 1,356   2,161  



This announcement is distributed by Nasdaq Corporate Solutions on behalf of Nasdaq Corporate Solutions clients.
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: SEMAFO Inc. via Globenewswire

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