DENVER, Feb. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Vista Gold Corp. (TSX & NYSE American: VGZ) ("Vista" or the "Company") today announced its audited financial results and highlights for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018. Management's quarterly conference call to discuss these results is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. MST on February 27, 2019. The Company's consolidated audited financial statements, Management's Discussion and Analysis together with other important disclosures can be found in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian securities regulatory authorities.
Vista Gold (PRNewsfoto/Vista Gold Corp.)
2018 Mt Todd Highlights
Vista is focused on the Mt Todd gold project in Northern Territory, Australia where the Company completed and announced a number of important project economic and permitting milestones in 2018, including:
In January 2018, Vista was notified that its request for authorization of a controlled activity, as required under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, had been approved. With this approval, Vista holds all major environmental approvals necessary for the development of the Mt Todd gold project.
Also in January 2018, Vista announced the results of an updated Mt Todd preliminary feasibility study ("PFS") which demonstrated significant economic improvements resulting from the inclusion of ore sorting, a newly designed two-stage grinding circuit and improved gold recoveries estimated to be 86.4%.
In August 2018, the Company announced that additional fine-grinding and leaching tests completed on low-grade samples (averaging 0.66 grams gold per tonne) demonstrated that with a modified PFS grinding circuit, including fine grinding capability, it was possible to produce a finer final product with improved gold recoveries in excess of 90%, with no increase in process area power requirements.
In November 2018, the Company filed the Mine Management Plan (mine operating permit) for the Mt Todd gold project with the Northern Territory Department of Mines.
Additionally, in January 2019 Vista announced that high pressure grinding roll crusher and ore sorting tests on 5 tonnes of high-grade samples confirmed previous ore sorting test results. The material from those tests is now being used to confirm the Company's expectation of gold recoveries above 90% over a broad range of ore head grades. Analysis indicates that each 1% improvement in gold recoveries could add approximately 0.5% to Mt Todd's after-tax IRR, and approximately $25 million to after-tax NPV5%.
Frederick H. Earnest, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "2018 was a productive year for Vista. We successfully demonstrated the positive economic impact of the testing programs and design changes completed over the previous 16 months. Subsequently, we identified new optimization opportunities that we expect will have additional positive impacts on the Mt Todd project economics. With the project optimization testing programs coming to a conclusion, we plan to release an updated PFS for the Mt Todd gold project in the second quarter of this year. We expect this study will further demonstrate the positive impacts of the recently improved gold prices, weaker Australian dollar, and improved gold recovery resulting from a finer final grind size than was thought to be achievable in January 2018."
Summary of 2018 Financial Results
We reported a net loss of $8.7 million or $0.09 per share for the year ended December 31, 2018. The principal components of this loss are: $10.8 million of operating expenses which include a $1.0 million asset impairment charge related to our used mill equipment; a $1.7 million mark-to-market gain on our investment in Midas Gold Corp; and interest and other income of $0.4 million.
Our working capital at December 31, 2018 totaled approximately $13.2 million, including cash and short-term investments (comprised of government securities) of approximately $8.1 million. The Company currently has no debt.
Management Conference Call
A conference call with management to review our financial results for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018 and to discuss corporate and project activities is scheduled for Monday February 27, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. MST.
Participant Toll Free: 844-898-8648
Conference ID: 2155425