Rio Novo Gold Announces Second Quarter 2012 Results and Provides Update on its Almas Gold Project
Rio Novo Gold (TSE:RN)
Wednesday 15 August 2012
Rio Novo Gold Inc. (TSX:RN)(TSX:RN.WT) ("Rio Novo" or the "Company") has today filed its interim operational and financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2012. Interim Financial Statements and the accompanying Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") have been filed on SEDAR.
During the second quarter of 2012, the Company incurred a loss of US$3.8 million (US$0.03 per share) compared to a net income of US$7.1 million (US$0.06 per share) in the corresponding period of 2011. Among the factors that contributed to the net loss in the period were differences in foreign exchange due to US dollar and Brazilian real exchange rate fluctuations, which resulted in a loss of $1.4 million, and a gain of $1.1 million resulting from a share purchase warrant revaluation.
As at June 30, 2012, the Company had working capital of US$15.1 million, including cash of US$16.3 million.
Corporate Development Highlights
-- Development drilling was completed at the Vira Saia deposit to support
resource modeling for the Almas Gold Project definitive feasibility
-- Exploration activities continue to delineate additional mineralization
west and northwest of Vira Saia. A second pass follow-up drilling
program is planned for 2013. The program will focus on proving up the
continuity of the higher grade areas, as well as testing open edges of
-- Deep core drilling was initiated at the Paiol Deposit to test for higher
grade extensions of the main gold zone. Based on geologic modeling and
previous deep drilling (10.0m @ 8.0 g/t Au in FD-81 and 8.0m @ 9.2 g/t
Au in FD-66), the Company believes higher grade gold mineralization
extends beyond the currently identified resource, and two deep drill
holes were completed with this in mind (a third hole was attempted but
lost). Both holes hit the main gold zone penetrating up to 17m thickness
(down hole). However, the +500m holes experienced major deviation (up to
60m from the target) and appear to have missed the higher grade shoot.
On this basis, and considering the difficulty and expense of the deep
drilling, the Company has decided to discontinue further drilling on
this target at this time and focus on the DFS completion.
-- Regional exploration initiatives continued to define new prospects
within the Almas Greenstone Belt. Mapping and sampling have been
conducted at the Jacobina Target, with results from rock chip sampling
indicating the presence of gold in concentrations of up to 17 g/t.
Similar activities are planned for eight new targets located on the Nova
Prata trend, a 25 km greenstone belt parallel to the Paiol trend.
-- At the Guaranta Project, the company plans to complete initial
engineering and scoping studies for the X1 Deposit by early 2013. As
previously noted, the Company views X1 as a strong deposit, but believes
that additional resources will be necessary to satisfy its corporate
goals at the project. Work at the Guaranta Project will therefore be
concentrated on adding these additional resources to increase the
overall size of the project. The main focus for exploration is expected
to be the nearby Matupa Target, which is located in one of the largest
placer gold mining districts in Brazil, with at least eight porphyry
centres identified. The Company recently commenced exploration on this
target. Mapping has been completed and trenching is in progress, with
drilling expected in Q4 2012.
-- A first-pass core drilling program was initiated at the Toldafria
Project in Caldas, Colombia. As of June 30, 2012, approximately 3,500m
had been drilled, representing ten completed drill holes. The program is
expected to total 5,000m of diamond drilling, and is scheduled for
completion in late August 2012.
Almas Gold Project Update
-- The development of the DFS continues and the timeline has been extended
to incorporate additional studies, particularly relating to pit slopes
angles, final pit optimization and final capital expenditure and
operating expenditure estimates. These studies are being conducted in
coordination with Rio Novo's independent consultant engineering firms,
Conestoga-Rovers Associates ("CRA") and Pincock Allen & Holt - Brasil
-- In particular, pit slope angles in saprolite for Cata Funda and Paiol
are being reviewed to incorporate new data from hydrologic studies and
geotechnical drilling completed in Q2.
-- The Paiol and Cata Funda mine plans are being optimized, mostly due to
the revision of the pit slopes currently underway. A phased pit plan,
optimized production schedule, and different bench heights are part of
the planned pit optimization that could potentially increase grade and
decrease waste stripping, particularly in the early years of the mine
-- Initial DFS capital expenditure estimates are significantly higher than
those contained in the Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") due to
cost inflation, higher production rates, more accurate engineering, and
project scope changes since the date of the PEA. The company is
reviewing the capital expenditure estimates for improvement.
-- These additional studies, while improving the overall understanding of
the Almas Project, will delay the final decision by about three months.
The company now expects to be in a position to make a final decision on
Almas during the last quarter of this year.
-- The Company has finalized the detailed engineering for the power supply
required by the Almas Project, and has moved on to the acquisition of
the necessary licenses for construction of the power line.
-- The Company continues to progress in its efforts to secure sufficient
project finance for the Almas Project, and will continue to work with
its financial advisor, Endeavour Financial, towards this end. By the end
of the second quarter, Rio Novo had received six indicative offers for
senior debt based on the PEA cash flow. Five of these offers were made
by international banks, while the remaining offer was put forward by a
Brazilian bank. A positive construction decision and finalization of
project finance will remain conditional upon receiving the final results
from the DFS process.
Mr. Brian Arkell, Senior Vice President of Exploration at Rio Novo Gold Inc., is a Qualified Person asset out in the Canadian National Instrument 43-101, and has reviewed and verified the technical content of the information contained in this release.
About Rio Novo
Rio Novo is focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of gold properties in Brazil and Colombia. The Company has Measured & Indicated Resources of 1,143,427 oz and 1,105,201 Inferred oz of gold at two projects in Brazil (Almas and Guaranta), and one in Colombia (Toldafria).
The Company's goal is to become a producer of gold by bringing into production the Almas Gold Project, located in the State of Tocantins, in 2013. The Almas Project enjoys both established infrastructure and main grid hydropower in a proven and mining-friendly jurisdiction, and is permitted for construction.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements, other than of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without limitation, statements regarding the estimation of mineral resources, exploration results, potential mineralization, potential mineral resources and mineral reserves) are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often identifiable by the use of words such as "anticipate", "believe", "plan", may", "could", "would", "might" or "will", "estimates", "expect", "intend", "budget", "scheduled", "forecasts" and similar expressions or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, without limitation, failure to establish estimated mineral resources, the possibility that future exploration results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations, the price of gold and other risks identified in the Company's most recent annual information form filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities on SEDAR.com. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement.
Rio Novo Gold Inc.
Chief Executive Officer
+1 (416) 368-8288
Rio Novo Gold Inc.
+55 (21) 3956-5028