Condor Gold plc ('Condor Gold', 'Condor', the 'Group' or the 'Company'), (AIM:CNR)(TSX:COG) announces that it has today published its unaudited interim financial results for the six-month period to 30 June 2023.
It has been posted on the Company's websites www.condorgold.com and ca.condorgold.com. It is also available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Highlights for six months to 30 June 2023
There continues to be significant interest in the sale of the Company's assets The Company hosted 2 site visits in connection with the sale of the assets in Nicaragua during the first half of the year. There are currently 5 non-binding offers.
Land acquisition continued at the La India open pit and associated mine site infrastructure. To date, 99.6% of the core areas have been purchased.
Site clearance of 14 hectares has been completed for the processing plant location, including areas for offices, warehouses, a stockpile, and a buffer zone. 0.66 g/t gold from an isolated high-level chalcedonic rock chip sample 400 m west of Cacao deposit indicates continuity of the hidden, deep-seated high-grade mineralised Cacao deposit to the west.
Up to 6.29 g/t gold from a 0.5 m thick quartz breccia in artisanal mine workings at the Twin Hills (Dos Gemelos) prospect confirm mineralisation along the Cacao trend some 2 km east of the Cacao deposit. 26.1 g/t gold and 200 g/t silver from new artisanal mine working at the southern end of the main El Paraiso vein trend on the Rio Luna Concession extends the strike length of medium to high-grade mineralisation on the El Paraiso structure from 3.5 to over 4 km.
Post Period Highlights 4 July 2023 the Company announced it had raised GBP1 million by way of the exercise of warrants by Galloway Limited, a company wholly owned by Burnbrae Group Limited, which is, in turn, wholly owned by Jim Mellon, Condor's Chairman, increasing Galloway's shareholding to 23% of Condor Gold. 21 July 2023 the Company provide an update on the sales process.
Chairman's Statement for the Six Months to 30 June 2023
I continue to be impressed by the executive team' dedication to getting our project shovel ready, which is eliciting good interest in the current sales process.
We are very aware of the value of our assets and will not allow them to go at anything other than a fair price.
CEO'S Report for the Six Months to 30 June 2023
Dear Shareholder, I am pleased to present Condor Gold Plc's ('Condor', the 'Company' or the 'Group') interim report for the 6-month financial period to 30 June 2023 www.condorgold.com or, if you are viewing from Canada, ca.condorgold.com.
The focus during the 6 month period to 30 June 2023 has been on the sale of the Company's assets in Nicaragua. On 22 November 2022, the Company announced a strategy update and informed the market that it had appointed an advisor to sell its assets. The Board carefully reviewed the Company's options as the Project is 'construction ready' with an18 month construction timeline. The options included going through a financing and construction phase as a single asset, single jurisdiction company with no existing gold production experience. The Board concluded that it is in the best interests of the Company and all stakeholders to sell the assets of the Company to a gold producer with mine building expertise, thus ensuring a new mine at La India, a significant investment made in the local area, which will regenerate the local communities. As a result of this strategy, the Board has reclassified the Nicaraguan assets as held for sale within the Group and Company Statements of Financial Position. The focus for 2023 is to execute on a successful sale of the assets while maintaining a social license to operate at the fully permitted La India Project.
The last update on the sales process was on 21 July 2023, my quote in the RNS: 'There remains substantial interest from gold producers to acquire the Company's assets. Wholly owned, fully permitted, construction ready gold mines with potential production of 150,000 oz gold per annum, in major Gold Districts, with the land and a new SAG Mill package purchased and a construction period of only 18 months are rare. There are currently eight companies under NDAs, five non-binding offers received and three site visits completed. Companies under NDAs have access to a virtual data room, which includes all drill data, technical studies to Feasibility Study level, details of permits to construct and operate a mine and financial models. While the sales process is taking longer than anticipated, new enquires continue to be received and the Board is confident that a binding agreement will be reached. Investors will be updated in due course.'
The Company's strategy has been to develop the fully permitted La India Project in two stages using the new SAG Mill that has already been purchased. The delivery of a Feasibility Study Technical Report ('2022 FS') on 26 October 2022 on La India open pit, with an average of 81,524 oz gold per annum for the initial six years for a relatively low total upfront capital cost of US$106 million is a landmark and significantly de-risks the Project. At US$1,600 oz gold, the La India open pit Mineral Reserve produces total revenues of US$888 million, the total operating costs of mining, processing and G&A are US$480 million, leading to an operating profit of US$408 million or a 46% operating margin. After government and other royalties, but before sustaining capital, the operating profit is US$355 million, which in Condor's opinion is ample to repay any project debt on the relatively low upfront capex. At US$2,000 oz gold after paying royalties, but before sustaining capital the operating profit is US$563 million. In reality, two permitted high grade feeder pits will be added during the early years of production thus increasing production ounces of gold. Early production is targeted at 100,000 oz gold p.a.
The plan would be to materially expand production by converting existing Mineral Resources into Mineral Reserves and an associated integrated mine plan. On 25 October 2021, the Company announced the results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment and filed on SEDAR a technical report entitled 'Condor Gold Technical Report on the La Indian Gold Project, Nicaragua, 2021' detailing average annual production of 150,000 oz of gold over the initial nine years of production from open pit and underground Mineral Resources and providing an indication of production targets.
The 2022 MRE update was prepared by SRK Consulting (UK) Limited ('SRK') and uses the terminology, definitions and guidelines given in the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum ('CIM') Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (May 2014).
The updated Mineral Resource Estimate is 9,672 kt at 3.5g/t gold for 1,088,000 oz gold in the indicated mineral resource category and 8,642 kt at 4.3g/t gold for 1,190,000 oz gold in the inferred mineral resource category. The 2022 FS was conducted on La India Open Pit which has a Mineral Resource Estimate of 8,487 kt at 3.0g/t gold in for 827,000 oz gold in the indicated mineral resource category and 893 Kt at 2.4 g/t gold for 69,000 oz gold in the inferred mineral resource category. The La India Open Pit Mineral resource is inclusive of a Probable Mineral Reserve of 7.3Mt at 2.56g/t gold for 602,000 oz gold.
Outside the main La India open pit Mineral Reserve (the subject of the 2022 FS), there is a historical estimate, outlined in the 2021 Preliminary Economic Assessment, of additional open pit Mineral Resources on four deposits (America, Mestiza, Central breccia and Cacao) which represent an aggregate 206 Kt at 9.9 g/t gold for 66,000 oz in the indicated Mineral Resource category and 2.1Mt at 3.3 g/t gold for 223,000 oz gold in the inferred Mineral Resource category. In addition, there is an aggregate underground Mineral Resource (La India, America, Mestiza, Central Breccia San Lucas, Cristalito-Tatescame, and Cacao) of 979Kt at 6.2 g/t for 194,000 oz gold in the indicated mineral resource category and 5.6Mt at 5.0 g/t gold for 898,000 oz gold in the inferred mineral resource category.
Highlights: Feasibility Study La India Open Pit only
The 2022 FS demonstrates a robust and economically viable base case for the La India open pit: Probable Mineral Reserve of 7.3Mt at 2.56g/t gold for 602,000 oz gold Production averages 81,545 oz gold per annum for the first six years of an 8.4 year mine life An Internal Rate of Return ('IRR') of 23% and a post-tax, post upfront capital cost NPV of US$86.9 million using a discount rate of 5% and price of US$1,600 oz gold (Mineral Reserve Case).
An Internal Rate of Return ('IRR') of 43% and a post-tax, post upfront capital cost NPV of US$205.2 million using a discount rate of 5% and price of US$2,000 oz gold.
Low initial capital requirement of US$105.5 million (including contingency and EPCM contract) Low average Life of Mine All-in Sustaining cash costs US$1,039 per oz gold.
The Company's strategy of a two-stage approach to production is supported by a technical study released in October 2021, when Condor Gold announced the key findings of a technical report on the La India Gold Project prepared by SRK. This technical report (the 'Technical Report') presented the results of a strategic mining study to Preliminary Economic Assessment ('PEA') standards. The strategic study covers two scenarios: Scenario A, in which the mining is undertaken from four open pits, termed La India, America, Mestiza and Central Breccia Zone ('CBZ'), which targets a plant feed rate of 1.225 million tonnes per annum ('Mtpa') and Scenario B, where the mining is extended to include three underground operations at La India, America and Mestiza, in which the processing rate is increased to 1.4 Mtpa. The 2021 Technical Report was issued in October 2021 and filed on SEDAR and the Company's websites for public disclosure to NI 43-101 standards.
Highlights 1.225 Mtpa PEA La India Open Pit + Feeder Pits: IRR of 58% and a post-tax Net Present Value ('NPV') of US$302 million, at a discount rate of 5% and gold price of US$1,700/oz.
Average annual production of 120,000 oz of gold over the initial 6 years of production. 862,000 oz of gold produced over 9-year Life of Mine.
Initial capital requirement of US$153 million (including contingency).
Payback period 12 months.
All-in Sustaining Costs ('AISC') of US$813 per oz gold.
Robust Base Case presents an IRR of 48% and a post-tax NPV of US$236 million at a discount rate of 5% and gold price of US$1,550/oz.
Highlights: 1.4Mtpa PEA Open Pit + Underground Operations
IRR of 54% and a post-tax NPV of US$418 million, after deducting upfront capex, at a discount rate of 5% and gold price of US$1,700/oz.
Average annual production of 150,000 oz of gold over the initial 9 years of production. 1,469,000 oz of gold produced over 12-year Life Of Mine.
Initial capital requirement of US$160 million (including contingency), where the underground development is funded through cash flow.
Payback period 12 months.
All-in Sustaining Costs of US$958 per oz gold over Life Of Mine.
The Company remains convinced that the 587 sq km La India Project is a major gold district with the potential for significant future discoveries. Condor's geologists have identified two major north-northwest-striking mineralised basement feeder zones traversing the Project, the 'La India Corridor', which hosts 90% of Condor's gold mineral resource and the 'Andrea Los Limones Corridor'. Numerous geophysics, soil geochemistry and surface rock chips indicate the possibility for further mineralisation along strike. The updated MRE 2022 for the Cacao deposit increased the MRE in the inferred mineral resource category by 69% to 101,000 oz gold at 2.5 g/t gold, the interpretation is that drilling has clipped the top of a fully preserved epithermal vein system with a strike length of at least 1km with the potential to host over 1 million oz gold.
The Company continues to enhance its social engagement and activities in the community, thereby maintaining its social licence to operate. Condor has strengthened its community team and stepped-up social activities and engagement programmes. The main local focus is the drinking water programme, implemented in April 2017. A total of 740 families are currently benefiting from the program and currently receive five-gallon water dispensers each week. In May 2021, the Company installed a water purification plant at a cost of approximately US$250,000 to provide drinking water to the local communities.
In January 2018 Condor initiated 'Involvement Programmes', which now extend to six groups in the local village to benefit communities which may be affected by the mine. Taking the Elderly Group as an example, a committee of six people has been formed. The Company allocates monthly support to the Elderly Group, which decides how this money is spent to benefit the elderly in the Community. Projects include a garden for medicinal herbs which are made into products which are used by group members and sold to others in the community.
Condor continues to have very constructive meetings with key Ministries that granted the Environment Permit (EP) for the La India, La Mestiza and America open pits. The Company has been operating in Nicaragua since 2006 and, as a responsible gold exploration and development company, continues to add value to the local communities and environment by generating sustainable socio-economic and environmental benefits. This includes skills training. The new mine would potentially create approximately 1,000 jobs during the construction period, with priority to be given to suitably skilled members of the local community. The upfront capital cost of approximately US$106 million as detailed in the 2022 FS will have a significant positive impact on the economy. The Government and local communities will benefit significantly from future royalties and taxes.
On 4 July 2023 the Company announced it had raised GBP1 million by way of the exercise of warrants by Galloway Limited, a company wholly owned by Burnbrae Group Limited, which is, in turn, wholly owned by Jim Mellon, Condor's Chairman, increasing Galloway's shareholding to 23% of Condor Gold.
Turning to the financial results for the 2023 interims, the Group's loss for the period was GBP565,8159 (2022: GBP1,372,390). The Company raised a total of GBP73,438 after expenses during the financial period (2022: GBP3,304,002). The net cash balance of the Group at 30 June 2023 was GBP584,837 (2022: GBP2,453,607). During the period, there was a GBP2,294,117 foreign exchange loss (2022 GBP3,270,705 gain). This is as a result of significant changes in USD against GBP. The Board is aware of currency fluctuations and is working to mitigate any further losses.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7493 2784
About Condor Gold plc
Condor Gold plc was admitted to AIM in May 2006 and dual listed on the TSX in January 2018. The Company is a gold exploration and development company with a focus on Nicaragua.
The Company's principal asset is La India Project, Nicaragua, which comprises of a large, highly prospective land package of 588 sq km comprising of 12 contiguous and adjacent concessions. The Company has filed a feasibility study technical report dated 25 October 2022 and entitled 'Condor Gold Technical Report on the La India Gold Project, Nicaragua, 2022' (the '2022 FS') which is available on the Company's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com and was prepared in accordance with the requirements of NI 43-101. The 2022 FS indicated that La India Project hosts a high grade Mineral Resource Estimate ('MRE') of 9,672 kt at 3.5g/t gold for 1,088,000 oz gold in the indicated mineral resource category and 8,642 kt at 4.3 g/t gold for 1,190,000 oz gold in the inferred mineral resource category. The open pit MRE is 8,693 kt at 3.2 g/t gold for 893,000 oz gold in the indicated mineral resource category and 3,026 kt at 3.0 g/t gold for 291,000 oz gold in the inferred mineral resource category. Total underground MRE is 979 kt at 6.2 g/t gold for 94,000 oz gold in the indicated mineral resource category and 5,615 kt at 5.0 g/t gold for 98,000 oz gold in the inferred mineral resource category.
The 2022 FS replaces the previously reported Preliminary Economic Assessment ('PEA') as presented in the Technical Report filed on SEDAR in October 2021 as the current technical report for the La India project.
The 2021 PEA considered the expanded Project inclusive of the exploitation of the Mineral Resources associated to the La India, Mestiza, America and Central Breccia deposits. The strategic study covers two scenarios: Scenario A, in which the mining is undertaken from four open pits, termed La India, America, Mestiza and Central Breccia Zone ('CBZ'), which targets a plant feed rate of 1.225 million tonnes per annum ('Mtpa') and Scenario B, where the mining is extended to CONDOR GOLD PLC. Registered in England and Wales No 5587987 Registered Office: 7/8 Innovation Place, Douglas Drive, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1JX include three underground operations at La India, America and Mestiza, in which the processing rate is increased to 1.4 Mtpa. The 2021 PEA Scenario B presented a post-tax, post upfront capital expenditure NPV of US$418 million, with an IRR of 54% and 12 month pay-back period, assuming a US$1,700 per oz gold price, with average annual production of 150,000 oz gold per annum for the initial 9 years of gold production. The open pit mine schedules were optimised from designed pits, bringing higher grade gold forward resulting in average annual production of 157,000 oz gold in the first 2 years from open pit material and underground mining funded out of cashflow. The 2021 PEA Scenario A presented a post-tax, post upfront capital expenditure NPV of US$302 million, with an IRR of 58% and 12 month pay-back period, assuming a US$1,700 per oz gold price, with average annual production of approximately 120,000 oz gold per annum for the initial 6 years of gold production. The Mineral Resource estimate and associated Preliminary Economic Assessment contained in the 2021 PEA are considered a historical estimate within the meaning of NI 43-101, a qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify such historical estimate as current, and the Company is not treating the historical Mineral Resource estimate and associated studies as current, and the reader is cautioned not to rely upon this data as such. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The Company believes that the historical Mineral Resource estimate and Preliminary Economic assessment is relevant to the continuing development of the La India Project.
In August 2018, the Company announced that the Ministry of the Environment in Nicaragua had granted the Environmental Permit ('EP') for the development, construction and operation of a processing plant with capacity to process up to 2,800 tonnes per day at its wholly-owned La India gold Project ('La India Project'). The EP is considered the master permit for mining operations in Nicaragua. Condor has purchased a new SAG Mill, which has mainly arrived in Nicaragua. Site clearance and preparation is at an advanced stage.
Environmental Permits were granted in April and May 2020 for the Mestiza and America open pits respectively, both located close to La India. The Mestiza open pit hosts 92 Kt at a grade of 12.1 g/t gold (36,000 oz contained gold) in the Indicated Mineral Resource category and 341 Kt at a grade of 7.7 g/t gold (85,000 oz contained gold) in the Inferred Mineral Resource category. The America open pit hosts 114 Kt at a grade of 8.1 g/t gold (30,000 oz) in the Indicated Mineral Resource category and 677 Kt at a grade of 3.1 g/t gold (67,000 oz) in the Inferred Mineral Resource category. Following the permitting of the Mestiza and America open pits, together with the La India open pit Condor has 1.12 M oz gold open pit Mineral Resources permitted for extraction.
Forward Looking Statements
All statements in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are 'forward-looking information' with respect to the Company within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including statements with respect to: future development and production plans, projected capital and operating costs, mine life and production rates, metal or mineral recovery estimates, Mineral Resource, Mineral Reserve estimates at the La India Project, the potential to convert Mineral Resources into Mineral Reserves. the Company's plans to sell the assets of the Company or seek alternatives to an asset sale and the construction timeline of the La India project upon receipt of financing. Forward-looking information is often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as: 'seek', 'anticipate', 'plan', 'continue', 'strategies', 'estimate', 'expect', 'project', 'predict', 'potential', 'targeting', 'intends', 'believe', 'potential', 'could', 'might', 'will' and similar expressions. Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and is based upon a number of estimates and assumptions of management at the date the statements are made including, among others, assumptions regarding: future commodity prices and royalty regimes; availability of skilled labour; timing and amount of capital expenditures; future currency exchange and interest rates; the impact of increasing competition; general conditions in economic and financial markets; availability of drilling and related equipment; effects of regulation by governmental agencies; the receipt of required permits; royalty rates; future tax rates; future operating costs; availability of future sources of funding; ability to obtain financing and assumptions underlying estimates related to adjusted funds from operations. Many assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of the Company and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct.
Such forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, which may cause the actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including, risks related to: mineral exploration, development and operating risks; estimation of mineralisation and resources; environmental, health and safety regulations of the resource industry; competitive conditions; operational risks; liquidity and financing risks; funding risk; exploration costs; uninsurable risks; conflicts of interest; risks of operating in Nicaragua; government policy changes; ownership risks; permitting and licencing risks; artisanal miners and community relations; difficulty in enforcement of judgments; market conditions; stress in the global economy; current global financial condition; exchange rate and currency risks; commodity prices; reliance on key personnel; dilution risk; payment of dividends; as well as those factors discussed under the heading 'Risk Factors' in the Company's annual information form for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 dated March 29, 2022 and available under the Company's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.
Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise unless required by law.