Aris Gold Says Marmato Lower Mine Progressed in 1Q:22

(Aris Gold, 11.May.2022) — Aris Gold Corporation (TSX: ARIS) (OTCQX: ALLXF) reports financial and operating results for the three months ended 31 March 2022. All amounts are in US dollars, unless otherwise indicated.

Aris Gold CEO Neil Woodyer stated: “During Q1 we began to see positive results from our performance optimization initiatives at the Marmato Upper Mine, where free cash flows were allocated toward Lower Mine construction activities in the quarter. Our EPCM contractor is nearing completion of the front-end loading (FEL3) design work for the Lower Mine, and following this, we expect to release a new mineral reserve estimate.

“In April, our senior management team stepped into the operator role of the Soto Norte joint venture, and we are leading the work to successfully obtain a mining license extension from ANM, the Colombian National Mining Agency, as well as the drafting and advancing of a new environmental and social impact assessment for the Soto Norte gold project. We continue to be impressed by the quality of the Soto Norte project, and the social development opportunities it offers.”  Q1 2022 Highlights

  • Q1 2022 operating results, with quarterly gold sales of 7,698 ounces at AISC of $1,466 per ounce, compare favorably to average quarterly gold sales of 6,731 ounces at AISC of $1,656 per ounce in Q1 2021 and demonstrate some of the early benefits of the optimization activities. In Q1 2022, the Upper Mine generated $3.4mn free cash flow.
  • The company remains on track to meet full-year production guidance of 40,000 to 45,000 ounces, with gold production from the Upper Mine expected to increase in the second half of 2022 as the mine sequences into higher grade areas and processing rates increase.
  • Construction of the Marmato Lower Mine progressed in Q1 2022, including:
    • Working closely with Corpocaldas, the regional environmental authority, to finalize the Environmental Management Plan (PMA)
    • Starting construction of the El Higuerón decline and ventilation system in January 2022
    • Completing geotechnical and environmental studies
    • Advancing construction of the main camp site access road and accommodation facilities
    • Confirming all other critical path activities remain on schedule for first gold production from the Lower Mine in Q4 2023; these will be reconfirmed through the project FEL3 design works in Q2 2022
    • During 2022, the company expects to invest $85mn in the construction of the Lower Mine, of which $6.5mn was spent in Q1 2022.

Financial and Operating Highlights

In Q1 2022, Aris Gold recorded earnings from mining operations of $3.2mn and net earnings of $3.1mn (Q1 2021: net loss $7.3mn). A key driver of the improved financial performance was the cost reduction program as demonstrated by AISC per ounce of $1,437, which was 17% lower than Q1 2021.

Financial and operating highlights

Mar 31,
Operating data202220212
     Gold produced (ounces)7,4196,643
     Gold sold (ounces)7,6987,412
     Average realized gold price ($ per ounce sold)1,8831,802
     Total cash costs ($ per ounce sold) 11,2281,337
     AISC ($ per ounce sold) 11,4371,737
Financial data ($000s, except per share amounts)
     Earnings from mining operations3,2421,196
     Net earnings (loss)3,078(7,332)
    Net earnings (loss) per share – basic and diluted0.02(0.06)
     Adjusted (loss)/earnings 11,317(556)
Balance sheet, as at ($000s)Mar 31, 2022Dec 31, 2021
    Cash and cash in escrow134,785142,003
    Total assets301,389293,666
    Total long-term debt79,84779,614
(1)See “Non-IFRS Measures” on pages 11 to 13 of the Q1 2022 MD&A for full details on cash costs ($ per ounce sold), AISC ($ per ounce sold) and adjusted (loss)/earnings calculations.
(2)In Q3 2021, management determined that the nature of the services provided by the site administrative department at the Marmato Mine were shared between the Upper and Lower Mine and accordingly, certain immaterial costs previously allocated to cost of sales, should be capitalized to the Lower Mine expansion project. Refer to Summary of quarterly results for further details.

Aris Gold’s Q1 2022 financial statements and related MD&A are available on SEDAR and in the Investors section of Aris Gold’s website here.