CST: 01/07/2016 21:12:55   

Dundee Precious Metals Announces 2015 Fourth Quarter and Annual Results and 2016 Guidance

143 Days ago

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb 9, 2016) -

All monetary figures are expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated)

Dundee Precious Metals Inc. (TSX:DPM) -

Financial and Operating Highlights:

  • Metals production - Achieved annual record gold production including pyrites of 194,575 ounces; and copper production of 42.4 million pounds;
  • All-in sustaining cost per ounce of gold - Averaged $620 in 2015, a decrease of 10% relative to 2014;
  • Smelter - 196,107 tonnes of complex concentrate smelted in 2015. Acid plant fully operational with new copper converters expected to be online in the first quarter of 2016;
  • Near term growth opportunities - Final Detailed Development Plan for the Krumovgrad project approved during the quarter;
  • On-going cost reduction initiatives - Year over year reduction in general and administrative expenses of $10.7 million; and
  • Financial position - Exited 2015 with approximately $186.6 million of cash resources, including the undrawn portion of the Company's long-term revolving credit facility.

Dundee Precious Metals Inc. ("DPM" or the "Company") today reported a fourth quarter net loss attributable to common shareholders of $48.5 million ($0.34 per share) compared to net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $21.5 million ($0.15 per share) for the same period in 2014. The net loss attributable to common shareholders for 2015 was $47.0 million ($0.33 per share) compared to $58.9 million ($0.42 per share) for the same period in 2014.

Net (loss) earnings attributable to common shareholders for the fourth quarter and twelve months of 2015 and 2014 were impacted by several items not reflective of the Company's underlying operating performance, including impairment losses of $42.7 million and $70.0 million in respect of Kapan recognized in the fourth quarter of 2015 and second quarter of 2014, respectively, unrealized gains and losses attributable to hedging future copper and gold production and foreign denominated operating costs, net gains and losses attributable to DPM's equity settled warrants and net gains and losses on Sabina warrants. Excluding these items, adjusted net loss(1) during the fourth quarter of 2015 was $3.9 million ($0.03 per share) compared to adjusted net earnings of $16.3 million ($0.12 per share) for the corresponding period in 2014. This adjusted net loss was due primarily to lower volumes of payable metals in concentrate sold, lower metal prices, higher local currency operating expenses, higher deductions for estimated metals exposure at Tsumeb and higher depreciation. These unfavourable variances were partially offset by the favourable impact of a stronger U.S. dollar and higher third party toll rates at Tsumeb.

For 2015, adjusted net earnings were $0.3 million (nil per share) compared to $13.8 million ($0.10 per share) in 2014. This decrease was due primarily to lower metal prices, higher local currency operating expenses, higher deductions for stockpile interest and estimated metals exposure at Tsumeb, a higher proportion of third party concentrate smelted at Tsumeb resulting in a lower overall toll rate and higher depreciation. These unfavourable variances were partially offset by the favourable impact of a stronger U.S. dollar, lower general and administrative expenses and higher third party toll rates at Tsumeb.

"All operations performed as expected in the quarter and met 2015 production and cash cost guidance, however, weaker metal prices, higher deductions for estimated metals exposure and stockpile interest at Tsumeb and an impairment charge at Kapan, negatively impacted the Company's financial results," said Rick Howes, President and CEO. "Looking forward to 2016, the focus will remain on further optimizing operational performance, reducing costs at each of our operations, and securing the remaining permits for the Krumovgrad gold project."

Adjusted EBITDA

Adjusted EBITDA(1) during the fourth quarter and twelve months of 2015 was $21.8 million and $88.1 million, respectively, compared to $40.4 million and $97.9 million in the corresponding periods in 2014, driven primarily by the same factors affecting adjusted net (loss) earnings(1), except for depreciation.

The average market price for gold during both the fourth quarter and twelve months of 2015 decreased by 8% compared to the corresponding periods in 2014. The average market price for copper during the fourth quarter and twelve months of 2015 decreased by 26% and 20%, respectively, compared to the corresponding periods in 2014. The average realized gold price, including realized hedging gains and losses, for the fourth quarter and twelve months of 2015 was $1,111 per ounce and $1,162 per ounce, respectively, compared to $1,199 per ounce and $1,248 per ounce in the corresponding periods in 2014. The average realized copper price, including realized hedging gains, for the fourth quarter and twelve months of 2015 was $3.12 per pound and $3.18 per pound, respectively, compared to $3.18 per pound and $3.26 per pound in the corresponding periods in 2014.

Production

Production of copper and zinc concentrates in the fourth quarter of 2015 of 36,424 tonnes was 18% lower than the corresponding period in 2014 due primarily to lower copper grades in ore treated at Chelopech and lower volumes of ore processed. Production of copper and zinc concentrates for 2015 of 128,041 tonnes was 8% lower than the corresponding period in 2014 due primarily to lower copper grades in ore treated at Chelopech, partially offset by higher copper grades at Kapan.

Relative to the fourth quarter of 2014, gold contained in copper and zinc concentrates produced in the fourth quarter of 2015 decreased by 27% to 35,835 ounces, copper production decreased by 19% to 12.0 million pounds, silver production decreased by 7% to 184,167 ounces and zinc production decreased by 9% to 2.7 million pounds. The decreases in gold and copper production were due primarily to lower gold and copper grades and recoveries at Chelopech, and lower volumes of ore processed at Chelopech and Kapan. The decrease in silver production was due primarily to lower volumes of ore processed at Chelopech and Kapan and lower silver recoveries at Chelopech, partially offset by higher silver grades at Chelopech and Kapan. The decrease in zinc production at Kapan was due primarily to lower volumes of ore processed and lower recoveries, partially offset by higher zinc grades.

Relative to 2014, gold contained in copper and zinc concentrates produced in 2015 decreased by 4% to 139,801 ounces, copper production decreased by 9% to 42.4 million pounds and silver production increased by 6% to 703,277 ounces. Zinc production in 2015 of 11.9 million pounds was comparable to 2014. The decreases in gold and copper production were due primarily to lower recoveries and grades at Chelopech, partially offset by higher grades and recoveries at Kapan. The increase in silver production was due primarily to higher grades at Chelopech and Kapan, partially offset by lower recoveries at Chelopech.

Overall, gold, copper, zinc and silver production levels in 2015 were in line with the guidance provided on February 12, 2015.

Gold contained in pyrite concentrate produced in the fourth quarter and twelve months of 2015 was 13,656 ounces (2014 - 12,391 ounces) and 54,774 ounces (2014 - 36,466 ounces), respectively, consistent with increased production of pyrite concentrate.

Complex concentrate smelted at Tsumeb in the fourth quarter of 2015 of 55,833 tonnes was 4% higher than the corresponding period in 2014. Complex concentrate smelted in 2015 of 196,107 tonnes was comparable to 2014. Production for 2015 was within the guidance provided on February 12, 2015, albeit at the lower end of the range.

Deliveries

Deliveries of copper and zinc concentrates during the fourth quarter and twelve months of 2015 of 34,795 tonnes and 129,542 tonnes, respectively, were 11% and 5% lower than the corresponding periods in 2014 due primarily to the decrease in concentrate produced and the timing of shipments.

Relative to the fourth quarter of 2014, payable gold in copper and zinc concentrates sold in the fourth quarter of 2015 decreased by 26% to 32,105 ounces, payable copper in concentrate sold decreased by 15% to 10.6 million pounds, payable silver in concentrate sold decreased by 8% to 176,728 ounces and payable zinc in concentrate sold increased by 52% to 3.1 million pounds. The decreases in payable gold, copper and silver in copper and zinc concentrates sold were consistent with the decreases in gold, copper and silver contained in concentrate produced. The increase in payable zinc in concentrate sold was due primarily to the timing of deliveries and higher grades at Kapan.

Relative to 2014, payable gold in copper and zinc concentrates sold in 2015 decreased by 3% to 130,599 ounces, payable copper in concentrate sold decreased by 6% to 40.3 million pounds, payable silver in concentrate sold increased by 4% to 549,424 ounces. Payable zinc in concentrate sold in 2015 of 10.3 million pounds was comparable to the corresponding period in 2014. The decreases in payable gold and copper in copper and zinc concentrates sold were consistent with the decreases in gold and copper contained in copper and zinc concentrates produced. The increase in payable silver in concentrate sold was consistent with the increase in silver contained in concentrate produced.

Payable gold in pyrite concentrate sold in the fourth quarter and twelve months of 2015 was 9,779 ounces (2014 - 11,801 ounces) and 38,156 ounces (2014 - 26,514 ounces), respectively. The increase in 2015 was consistent with increased production of pyrite concentrate and above the guidance provided on February 12, 2015.

Cash cost per ounce of gold sold

Consolidated cash cost per ounce of gold sold, net of by-product credits(1), during the fourth quarter of 2015 was $485 compared to $259 during the corresponding period in 2014 due primarily to lower volumes of payable metals in copper and zinc concentrates sold, lower prices for by-products and higher local currency operating expenses, which have been partially offset by the favourable impact of a stronger U.S. dollar relative to the Euro and the Armenian dram.

Consolidated cash cost per ounce of gold sold, net of by-product credits, during 2015 of $377 was comparable to 2014 due primarily to higher local currency operating expenses and lower prices for by-products, partially offset by the favourable impact of a stronger U.S. dollar relative to the Euro and the Armenian dram.

All-in sustaining cost per ounce of gold

Consolidated all-in sustaining cost per ounce of gold(1) in the fourth quarter of 2015 was $758 compared to $419 in the corresponding period in 2014 due primarily to the same factors affecting cash cost per ounce of gold sold and higher cash outlays for sustaining capital expenditures.

Consolidated all-in sustaining cost per ounce of gold in 2015 was $620 compared to $690 in 2014. This decrease was due primarily to the same factors affecting cash cost per ounce of gold sold, as well as lower cash outlays for sustaining capital expenditures and lower general and administrative expenses.

Cash production cost per tonne of complex concentrate smelted

Cash production cost per tonne of complex concentrate smelted(1) during the fourth quarter of 2015 of $347 was comparable to 2014. The favourable impact of a weaker ZAR relative to the U.S. dollar has offset the increases in local currency operating expenses.

Cash production cost per tonne of complex concentrate smelted in 2015 of $377 was 7% higher than 2014 due primarily to increased maintenance activities and electricity rates, partially offset by the favourable impact of a weaker ZAR relative to the U.S. dollar.

Cash provided from operating activities

Cash provided from operating activities in the fourth quarter of 2015 of $33.0 million was $14.7 million lower than the corresponding period in 2014. This decrease was due primarily to lower volumes of payable metals in concentrate sold, lower metal prices and higher local currency operating expenses, partially offset by the favourable impact of a stronger U.S. dollar and higher volumes of complex concentrate smelted and toll rates at Tsumeb.

Cash provided from operating activities in 2015 of $87.7 million was $10.4 million lower than 2014. This decrease was due primarily to lower metal prices, higher local currency operating expenses, a higher proportion of third party concentrate smelted at Tsumeb resulting in a lower overall toll rate, and reduced cash inflow from changes in non-cash working capital, partially offset by the favourable impact of a stronger U.S. dollar and higher third party toll rates at Tsumeb.

Cash provided from operating activities, before changes in non-cash working capital(1), during the fourth quarter and twelve months of 2015 of $22.1 million and $80.5 million, respectively, compared to $39.0 million and $85.6 million in the corresponding periods in 2014.

Capital expenditures

Capital expenditures during the fourth quarter and twelve months of 2015 totaled $20.8 million and $87.4 million, respectively, compared to $25.9 million and $184.2 million in the corresponding periods in 2014. These decreases were due primarily to a lower rate of spending for the acid plant and copper converters at Tsumeb, and the completion of the pyrite recovery project and other growth projects at Chelopech in 2014.

Financial position

As at December 31, 2015, DPM maintained a consolidated cash position of $26.6 million, an investment portfolio valued at $13.9 million and $160 million of undrawn lines under its committed long-term revolving credit facility. These cash resources, together with the cash flow currently being generated, support the Company's ongoing operating and capital requirements.

2016 Guidance

The Company's production and cash cost guidance for 2016 is set out in the following table:

2016 Production & Cash Cost Guidance
Chelopech Kapan Tsumeb Consolidated
Ore mined/milled ('000s tonnes) 2,030 - 2,250 375 - 435 - 2,405 - 2,685
Complex concentrate smelted ('000s tonnes) - - 215 - 250 215 - 250
Metals contained in copper and zinc concentrates produced(1),(2)
Gold ('000s ounces) 95 - 108 24 - 31 - 119 - 139
Copper (million pounds) 33.2 - 37.8 2.1 - 2.7 - 35.3 - 40.5
Zinc (million pounds) - 9.0 - 14.0 - 9.0 - 14.0
Silver ('000s ounces) 204 - 234 384 - 474 - 588 - 708
Payable gold in pyrite concentrate sold ('000s ounces) 26 - 40 - - 26 - 40
Cash cost per tonne of ore processed ($)(3),(4) 32 - 36 80 - 90 - 40 - 45
Cash cost per ounce of gold sold, net of by-product credits ($)(1),(3),(4) 560 - 760 735 - 1,175 - 600 - 835
All-in sustaining cost per ounce of gold ($)(1),(3),(4) - - - 940 - 1,070
Cash cost per tonne of complex concentrate smelted, net of by-product credits ($)(3),(4) - - 305 - 400 305 - 400
Cash cost per ounce of gold sold in pyrite concentrate ($)(4) 790 - 890 - - 790 - 890
(1) Excludes metals in pyrite concentrate and, where applicable, the treatment charges, transportation and other selling costs related to the sale of pyrite concentrate, which is reported separately.
(2) Metals contained in concentrate produced are prior to deductions associated with smelter terms.
(3) Based on foreign exchange rates and metal prices that approximate current rates and prices. The assumed copper price reflects the impact of 64% of 2016 copper production being hedged at $2.32 per pound.
(4) Cash cost per tonne of ore processed, cash cost per ounce of gold sold, net of by-product credits, all-in sustaining cost per ounce of gold, cash cost per tonne of complex concentrate smelted, net of by-product credits, and cash cost per ounce of gold sold in pyrite concentrate have no standardized meaning under GAAP. Refer to the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section of the management's discussion and analysis for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2015 (the "MD&A") for further discussion of these items, including reconciliations to IFRS measures.

For 2016, the majority of the Company's growth capital expenditures(1) are focused on the completion of the new copper converters at Tsumeb and securing the remaining permits required to support the construction of the Krumovgrad Gold Project. In aggregate, these expenditures are expected to be between $27 million and $31 million. Sustaining capital expenditures(1) are expected to range between $35 million and $47 million.

The 2016 guidance provided above is not expected to occur evenly throughout the year. The estimated metals contained in concentrate produced and volumes of complex concentrate smelted are expected to vary from quarter to quarter depending on the areas being mined, the timing of concentrate deliveries and planned outages. Production in the second half of 2016 is expected to be higher than the first half based on the existing mine plans at Chelopech and Kapan and the commissioning of the new copper converters and annual maintenance shutdown at Tsumeb expected to occur in the first and second quarter of 2016, respectively. Chelopech 2016 ore production is expected to increase by up to 10% over 2015, while copper and gold grades are expected to be 14% and 13% lower than 2015, respectively, consistent with the current mine plan. Tsumeb 2016 throughput is expected to increase by approximately 10% to 28% over 2015 as a result of reduced construction activity with the completion of the acid plant and new copper converters and the associated increase in capacity. The rate of capital expenditures is also expected to vary from quarter to quarter based on the schedule for, and execution of, each capital project and, where applicable, the receipt of necessary permits and approvals. Further details can be found in the Company's MD&A under the section "2016 Guidance".

(1) Adjusted net (loss) earnings, adjusted basic (loss) earnings per share, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA"), cash provided from operating activities, before changes in non-cash working capital, cash cost per ounce of gold sold, net of by-product credits, all-in sustaining cost per ounce of gold, cash production cost per tonne of complex concentrate smelted, and growth and sustaining capital expenditures have no standardized meaning under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). Presenting these measures from period to period helps management and investors evaluate earnings and cash flow trends more readily in comparison with results from prior periods. Refer to the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section of the MD&A for further discussion of these items, including reconciliations to IFRS measures.

Key Financial and Operational Highlights

$ millions, except where noted Three Months Twelve Months
Ended December 31, 2015 2014 2015 2014
Revenue 64.5 89.3 260.1 324.0
Gross (loss) profit (1) (7.0) 21.9 (2.2) 61.8
(Loss) earnings before income taxes (45.9) 24.5 (40.9) (55.4)
Net (loss) earnings attributable to common shareholders (48.5) 21.5 (47.0) (58.9)
Basic (loss) earnings per share ($) (0.34) 0.15 (0.33) (0.42)
Adjusted EBITDA (2) 21.8 40.4 88.1 97.9
Adjusted net (loss) earnings (2) (3.9) 16.3 0.3 13.8
Adjusted basic (loss) earnings per share ($)(2) (0.03) 0.12 0.00 0.10
Cash provided from operating activities 33.0 47.7 87.7 98.1
Cash provided from operating activities, before changes in non-cash working capital (2) 22.1 39.0 80.5 85.6
Copper and zinc concentrates produced (mt) 36,424 44,508 128,041 139,378
Metals contained in copper and zinc concentrates produced:
Gold (ounces) 35,835 49,123 139,801 145,306
Copper ('000s pounds) 12,052 14,877 42,413 46,456
Zinc ('000s pounds) 2,671 2,938 11,887 12,048
Silver (ounces) 184,167 198,308 703,277 663,435
Gold contained in pyrite concentrate produced (ounces) 13,656 12,391 54,774 36,466
Tsumeb - complex concentrate smelted (mt) 55,833 53,782 196,107 198,346
Deliveries of copper and zinc concentrates (mt) 34,795 39,184 129,542 136,540
Payable metals in copper and zinc concentrates sold:
Gold (ounces) 32,105 43,409 130,599 134,220
Copper ('000s pounds) 10,620 12,487 40,272 42,749
Zinc ('000s pounds) 3,070 2,019 10,267 10,120
Silver (ounces) 176,728 192,239 549,424 528,336
Payable gold in pyrite concentrate sold (ounces) 9,779 11,801 38,156 26,514
Cash cost per ounce of gold sold, net of by-product credits ($)(2) 485 259 377 373
All-in sustaining cost per ounce of gold ($) (2) 758 419 620 690
Cash production cost per tonne of complex concentrate smelted at Tsumeb ($)(2) 347 350 377 351
(1) Gross (loss) profit is regarded as an additional GAAP measure and is presented in the Company's audited consolidated statements of loss. Gross (loss) profit represents revenue less cost of sales and is one of several measures used by management and investors to assess the underlying operating profitability of a business.
(2) Adjusted EBITDA; adjusted net (loss) earnings; adjusted basic (loss) earnings per share; cash flow provided from operating activities, before changes in non-cash working capital; cash cost per ounce of gold sold, net of by-product credits; all-in sustaining cost per ounce of gold; and cash production cost per tonne of complex concentrate smelted, are not defined measures under IFRS. Refer to the MD&A for reconciliations to IFRS measures.

DPM's audited consolidated financial statements, and MD&A for the fourth quarter and twelve months ended December 31, 2015, are posted on the Company's website at www.dundeeprecious.com and have been filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

The Company will be holding a call and a webcast to discuss its 2015 fourth quarter and annual results on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. (E.S.T.). Participants are invited to join the live webcast (listen/view only) at: http://www.gowebcasting.com/7161. Alternatively, participants can access a listen only telephone option at 416-340-2218 or North America Toll Free at 1-866-225-0198. A replay of the call will be available at 905-694-9451 or North America Toll Free at 1-800-408-3053, passcode 9479457. The audio webcast for this conference call will also be archived and available on the Company's website at www.dundeeprecious.com.

About Dundee Precious Metals

Dundee Precious Metals Inc. is a Canadian based, international gold mining company engaged in the acquisition of mineral properties, exploration, development, mining and processing of precious metals. The Company's principal operating assets include the Chelopech operation, which produces a copper concentrate containing gold and silver, located east of Sofia, Bulgaria; the Kapan operation, which produces a copper concentrate and a zinc concentrate, both containing gold and silver, located in southern Armenia; and the Tsumeb smelter, a concentrate processing facility located in Namibia. DPM also holds interests in a number of developing gold properties located in Bulgaria, Serbia, and northern Canada, including the Krumovgrad project and interests held through its 50.1% owned subsidiary, Avala Resources Ltd., and its 11.8% interest in Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward looking statements" that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the future price of gold, copper, zinc and silver, the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, the realization of such mineral estimates, the timing and amount of estimated future production and output, life of mine, costs of production, cash costs and other cash measures, capital expenditures, costs and timing of the development of new deposits, success of exploration activities, success of permitting activities, permitting time lines, currency fluctuations, requirements for additional capital, government regulation of mining operations, environmental risks, reclamation expenses, the potential or anticipated outcome of title disputes or claims and timing and possible outcome of pending litigation. Often, but not always, forward looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "outlook", "intends", "anticipates", or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or that state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made and they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any other future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward looking statements. Such factors include, among others: the actual results of current exploration activities; actual results of current reclamation activities; conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of gold, copper, zinc and silver; possible variations in ore grade or recovery rates; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities, uncertainties inherent with conducting business in foreign jurisdictions where corruption, civil unrest, political instability and uncertainties with the rule of law may impact the Company's activities; fluctuations in metal prices; unanticipated title disputes; claims or litigation; limitation on insurance coverage; as well as those risk factors discussed or referred to in the Company's MD&A under the heading "Risks and Uncertainties" and under the heading "Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements" which include further details on material assumptions used to develop such forward looking statements and material risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from forward looking statements, and other documents (including without limitation the Company's 2014 AIF) filed from time to time with the securities regulatory authorities in all provinces and territories of Canada and available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. There can be no assurance that forward looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Unless required by securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to update forward looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change. Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward looking statements.

Dundee Precious Metals Inc.
Rick Howes
President and Chief Executive Officer
(416) 365-2836
rhowes@dundeeprecious.com
Dundee Precious Metals Inc.
Hume Kyle
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
(416) 365-5091
hkyle@dundeeprecious.com
Dundee Precious Metals Inc.
Lori Beak
Senior Vice President, Governance, and Corporate Secretary
(416) 365-5165
lbeak@dundeeprecious.com