NGEx Reports First Quarter 2017 Results
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - May 8, 2017) -NGEx Resources Inc. (TSX:NGQ)(OMX:NGQ) ("NGEx" or the "Company") is pleased to announce its results for the three months ended March 31, 2017.
FIRST QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
- The Company continues to take advantage of opportunities to add value to Project Constellation at modest costs by evaluating lower cost development options including testing the heap leach potential of the oxide cap at Josemaría, continuing baseline environmental studies, and better defining a number of earlier stage exploration targets between Los Helados and Josemaría.
- As part of the ongoing initiative to add value to Project Constellation, the Company initiated a series of metallurgical tests and studies on the gold oxide material at Josemaría during Q1 2017. The oxidized leached cap at Josemaría contains approximately 450,000 ounces of gold within an Indicated resource of 43 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.32 g/t gold. This material was considered as waste in the Project Constellation mine plan. A series of bottle-roll and column leach tests are currently in progress in order to confirm that the material is amenable to heap leaching. Results are expected in Q2 2017. The leach test results could potentially contribute to improving Project Constellation's economics.
- The Company also carried out exploration work at Cerro Blanco, a promising exploration target located 2 kilometres from Los Helados during Q1 2017. Exploration activities conducted include construction of an access road to the site, geological mapping, and geochemical sampling. Cerro Blanco is one of several early stage exploration targets located in the vicinity of the proposed Project Constellation processing plant. The results were encouraging and further work is being considered for next field season.
- The Company is actively working on building its project portfolio with a focus on copper-gold projects in Chile and Argentina and evaluating a number of exploration projects in Argentina for potential acquisition.
Mr. Wojtek Wodzicki, President and CEO commented, "We made steady progress de-risking and optimizing Project Constellation while maintaining a focus on controlling costs. We continue to engage with potential partners to lay the groundwork for either the eventual development by the Company and its partners or through a sale to a third party. At the same time we are actively pursuing opportunities to add high quality new copper-gold exploration projects to our portfolio. NGEx has one of the most successful exploration track records in South America and we intend to build on that success."
During 2017, the Company will focus on advancing Project Constellation by continuing to optimize and de-risk the Project and explore options to advance the Project toward eventual development, including more active engagement with potential development partners or acquirers.
In its continual efforts to lay the groundwork for the development of this significant flagship project, work is planned to explore the varied development options that the Project provides in this new mining region. Specifically, the Company will seek opportunities to add value, at modest costs, by:
- Evaluating high potential exploration targets within a few kilometers of the existing deposits and the proposed plant site;
- Continuing ongoing environmental baseline data collection surveys; and
- Exploring potential regional synergies and cooperative development plans with other regional operators to use spare capacity of processing plants and infrastructure, including port facilities. Innovative development concepts, such as those used at Teck & Goldcorp's Nueva Unión Project, open up the potential for sharing infrastructure on a regional scale by connecting deposits via long distance conveyor systems.
The Company continues to pursue these de-risking opportunities and will seek to engage with potential partners to lay the groundwork for either the eventual development by the Company and its partners or through a sale to a third party. Efforts will be focused on exploring all potential development scenarios for the Project Constellation assets while keeping costs to a minimum.
The Company will continue to pursue opportunities to add high quality new copper-gold exploration projects to our portfolio.
SELECTED FINANCIAL INFORMATION
|(in thousands)|| ||March 31, 2017|| ||December 31, 2016|
|Cash|| ||8,141|| ||11,185|
|Working capital|| ||7,444|| ||10,746|
|Mineral properties|| ||6,753|| ||6,322|
|Total assets|| ||16,296|| ||18,968|
|Long-term liabilities|| ||805|| ||815|
|(in thousands, except per share amounts)|| ||Three months ended |
| || ||2017|| ||2016|
|Exploration expenses|| ||1,937|| ||2,275|
|General and administration ("G&A")|| ||1,431|| ||943|
|Net loss|| ||3,250|| ||3,371|
|Basic and diluted loss per share|| ||0.02|| ||0.02|
| || || || || |
The Company's net loss for the three months ended March 31, 2017 was $3.3 million or $(0.02) per share, compared to $3.4 million or $(0.02) per share for the three months ended March 31, 2016. The slight decrease in net loss of $0.1 million was impacted by the exclusion of Filo del Sol costs from the Company's 2017 results following completion of the spin out of Filo del Sol in August 2016. The resulting reduction in exploration expenditures was partially offset by a US$0.5 million land access payment in support of surface access and other expenditures on the Los Helados property.
General and administration costs for the first quarter of 2017 totaled $1.4 million, compared to $0.9 million for the first quarter of 2016. The increase was mainly attributed to $0.6 million in performance incentive payments made to senior management and staff in recognition of their success in completing the spinout of Filo Mining Corp., delivery of a positive PEA for Project Constellation, and achieving other exploration milestones over the past few years. A stock based compensation charge arising from stock options granted during the first quarter of 2017 totaled $0.3 million, which is consistent with the prior period.
The Company also recognized a $0.1 million foreign exchange gain by holding its excess cash in US currency, which strengthened against the Canadian dollar during the three months ended March 31, 2017.
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
At March 31, 2017, the Company had cash and working capital of $8.1 million and $7.4 million, respectively, as compared to cash and working capital of $11.2 million and $10.7 million, respectively, at December 31, 2016. The decrease in cash and working capital was due to usage of funds towards ongoing exploration activities and corporate working capital purposes during the first quarter of 2017.
With the completion of several financings in 2016 and through prudent management of its finances, coupled with cost synergies from sharing certain corporate and administrative costs during the first quarter of 2017, the Company maintains a strong cash balance in excess of $8 million in its treasury as at March 31, 2017. Management expects its available cash on hand will be sufficient to support current operations and the land surface access contractual obligation for at least the next twelve months.
Technical disclosure for the Company's projects included in this press release, with the exception of the technical disclosure related to ongoing engineering studies, has been reviewed and approved by Bob Carmichael, P. Eng. (BC). Mr. Carmichael is NGEx's Vice-President of Exploration and a Qualified Person ("QP") under National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (NI 43-101). Technical disclosure related to the engineering studies has been reviewed and approved by James Beck, P. Eng. (ON). Mr. Beck is the Company's Vice-President of Corporate Development and Projects and a QP under National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (NI 43-101).
NGEx is a Canadian mineral exploration company with exploration projects in Chile and Argentina. The Company's shares are listed on the TSX and on Nasdaq Stockholm under the symbol "NGQ". The Company's focus is on advancing its Project Constellation which contemplates the integrated development of two large copper-gold deposits, the Los Helados and the Josemaria deposits, located in Chile's Region III and adjacent San Juan Province, Argentina. Both Los Helados and Josemaría are subject to separate Joint Exploration Agreements with joint exploration partners. The Company is the majority partner and operator for both projects.
For further details with regards to the Project Constellation, please refer to the technical report with an effective date of February 12, 2016 and titled "Project Constellation incorporating the Los Helados Deposit, Chile and the Josemaria Deposit, Argentina NI 43-101 Technical Report on Preliminary Economic Assessment", prepared by Amec Foster Wheeler International Ingeniería y Construcción Limitada ("AMEC"). The Technical Report is available for review under the Company's profile on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and on the Company's website (www.ngexresources.com).
This information is information that NGEx Resources Inc. is obliged to make public pursuant to the Swedish Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out below, on May 8, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.Pacific Time.
On behalf of the board
President and CEO
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements made and information contained herein in the press release constitutes "forward-looking information" and forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable securities legislation (collectively, "forward-looking information"). The forward-looking information contained in this press release is based on information available to the Company as of the date of this press release. Except as required under applicable securities legislation, the Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update this forward looking information. Generally, this forward-looking information can frequently, but not always, be identified by use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events, conditions or results "will", "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" or the negative connotations thereof. All such forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of the relevant management as of the date such statements are made and are subject to important risk factors and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company's ability to control or predict.
All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking information is necessarily based on estimates and assumptions that are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to: risks and uncertainties relating to, among other things, the inherent uncertainties regarding cost estimates, changes in commodity and metal prices, currency fluctuation, financing, unanticipated resource grades and recoveries, infrastructure, results of exploration activities, cost overruns, availability of materials and equipment, timeliness of government approvals, taxation, political risk and related economic risk and unanticipated environmental impact on operations as well as other risks and uncertainties more fully described under "Risks Factors", and elsewhere, in the Company's most recent Annual Information Form available under the Company's profile at www.sedar.com and the Company's website.
The Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements and information included in this press release are reasonable but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements and information should not be unduly relied upon. This statement and information speaks as of the date of the press release. In particular, this press release contains forward-looking statements or information pertaining to the potential development or sale to a third party of the Constellation Project; cost estimates and other assumptions used in the Constellation PEA and expectations from the Constellation PEA; assumptions used in the mineral resources estimates for the Los Helados and Josemaria projects; exploration and development expenditures; the timing and nature of any potential development scenarios, including active engagement with potential development partners or acquirers; opportunities to improve project economics; potential regional synergies and cooperative development plans with other regional operators, exploration targets, the potential recovery of gold from the oxide cap at Josemaria, estimation of commodity prices, mineral resources, costs and the success of exploration activities; expectations with regard to adding to mineral resources through exploration; permitting time lines; ability to obtain and maintain surface rights and property interests; currency exchange rate fluctuations; requirements for additional capital; government regulation of mining activities; environmental risks; unanticipated reclamation expenses; title disputes or claims; limitations on insurance coverage; and other risks and uncertainties.
Forward-looking information is based on certain assumptions that the Company believes are reasonable, including that the current price of and demand for commodities will be sustained or will improve, the supply of commodities will remain stable, that the general business and economic conditions will not change in a material adverse manner, that financing will be available if and when needed on reasonable terms and that the Company will not experience any material labour dispute, accident, or failure of plant or equipment. These factors are not, and should not be construed as being, exhaustive. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that would cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated, or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All of the forward-looking information contained in this document is qualified by these cautionary statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information due to the inherent uncertainty thereof.
Statements relating to "mineral resources" are deemed to be forward looking information, as they involve the implied assessment, based on certain estimates and assumptions that the mineral resources described can be profitably produced in the future.