Nordgold Reports Q3 and 9m 2015 Operating Results
Amsterdam, Netherlands, October 21, 2015 - Nord Gold N.V. (“Nordgold” or the “Company”, LSE: NORD), the internationally diversified low-cost gold producer, announces its operating results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2015.
- Gold output for the first 9 months of 2015 decreased by 5% year-on-year (YoY) to 708.2 thousand ounces (koz) mainly due to an anticipated reduction in gold production at Taparko, to facilitate the extension of Pit 35 for future ore supply, and the impact of delays in refining doré in Q3 2015 at our Burkina Faso mines due to political instability in the country. That doré was refined and sold in October 2015.
- In Q3 2015, gold output decreased to 200.7 koz due to several temporary factors, which only affected Q3 2015 results, including an unusually severe wet season in West Africa, plant maintenance work at several mines, and the effect of delays in refining doré mainly at Bissa, Taparko and Suzdal mines during the quarter.
- Despite this volatility in gold production, Nordgold maintained its low-cost efficient performance and expects consolidated all-in sustaining costs for the first 9 months of 2015 of approximately US$760 per ounce, in line with full year 2015 AISC guidance range of US$750/oz — US$800/oz.
- In Q3 2015, production increased quarter-on-quarter at Neryungri, Aprelkovo, at Buryatzoloto underground mine Zun-Holba and doré production grew at Suzdal.
- Stronger performance in Q4 2015 is expected for the company overall and in particular at Bissa, Taparko, Lefa and Suzdal mines.
- With the increased Q4 2015 output, we expect full year (FY) gold production to be in the upper half of our FY2015 production guidance range of 925 — 985 koz.
- Lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) for Q3 2015 was 0.44, a 75% improvement compared with Q2 2015 (1.79) and of 72% compared with Q3 2014 (1.55).
- Bouly construction continued during the quarter on schedule and within budget despite political instability in Burkina Faso, with production expected to start in H2 2016.
- The main focus of our exploration programmes continued to be near-mine-drilling at key operating assets. In addition, in Q3 2015, field crews completed work on adjacent to Buryatzoloto mines’ brownfield tenements Onot Kitoy and Zhanok, as well as on the South Uguy area, where the Tabornoe and Gross deposits are located. The results of this work are still being analysed, but already provide some indication of targets to be actively pursued in 2016.
- Exploration results are also pending from the drilling programme at Pistol Bay project, where preliminary data suggest that they may exceed expectations.
- In Q3 2015, the average realised gold price decreased to US$1,120 per oz, compared with US$1,281 per oz for Q3 2014 and US$1,200 per oz for Q2 2015.The average realised gold price in 9m 2015 decreased to US$1,182 per oz, compared with US$1,290 per oz in 9m 2014.
- Revenue in Q3 2015 was US$225.0 million due to lower gold price and sales volumes. Revenue in 9m 2015 was US$865.3 million.
- Unaudited net debt at September 30, 2015 was approximately US$573.0 million compared with US$546.0 million at the end of Q2 2015 reflecting US$15.4 million of paid dividends and US$9.6 million spent on share buyback in Q3 2015, as well as Bouly construction capex.
- During the period, Nordgold has further strengthened its operating team with the appointment of David Thomas as Engineering, Procurement, Construction Manager for the Gross project, located in southwestern Yakutia, Russia and expected, when fully operational, to produce approximately 230 koz of gold per year at full production for 17 years. David has executed many successful world-class projects including at Kupol and Kubaka Mines in Russia and True North and Fort Knox Mines in Alaska for Kinross.
Despite challenging gold price environment and temporary decrease in refined gold production during the quarter, we have continued to successfully focus on costs, operational efficiencies and production improvements, giving us confidence to deliver on our targets and to firmly maintain our position at the lower end of the global cost curve.
We are well on track to pour first gold at our Bouly mine in H2 2016. With a successful ramping up of Bouly, we will add another high-quality low-cost mine to our portfolio and the Company will reach a Tier 1 status with a gold production of over 1 million ounces per year.
I am also pleased to welcome David Thomas to the operating team, who will strengthen Nordgold’s ability to execute our world-class Gross project.
Looking ahead, we remain committed to keeping a very close control over costs, and to continuing to further drive operational improvements. I am confident in the outlook for the Company and our ability to generate consistent growth and sustainable returns for our shareholders.
Nikolai ZelenskiChief Executive Officer of Nordgold