. Achieves Annual Production and Cash Cost Guidance; AISC Below Guidance
.All amounts are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated
TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- February 18, 2021 – New Gold Inc. (“New Gold” or the “Company”) (TSX and NYSE American: NGD) reports fourth quarter and annual results as of December 31, 2020, achieving the mid-range of the revised annual production and cash cost guidance, with All-in Sustaining Costs ("AISC") below revised annual guidance. An earnings conference call and webcast will begin on February 19, 2021 at 8:30 am Eastern Time to discuss the fourth quarter and year-end financial results (details provided at the end of this news release).
The Company ended the year repositioned for long-term success and is expected to transition to positive free cash flow in 2021. Operational and cost performance has improved, strategic capital projects have been advanced, the balance sheet was restructured, and our liquidity position has significantly improved. The focus in 2021 has now shifted to driving further operational and cost optimizations at Rainy River and advancing B3 and C-Zone development at the New Afton Mine. Exploration drilling programs at Rainy River and New Afton are currently underway that could potentially increase resource inventory and extend mine life as we advance on our growth strategy. New Gold begins 2021 as a much stronger Company with a growing, higher-margin production profile from the Rainy River Mine and the Company now fully benefits from higher gold and copper prices.
"The recent tragic event at the New Afton Mine has further entrenched our commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, contractors and their families. Underground operations are ramping-up, B3 and C-Zone development has resumed, and the mill is currently processing ore from the mine as well as the surface stockpiles. We will continue to ramp-up the New Afton Mine in a safe, sequential and disciplined manner that underpins our commitment to putting people first," stated Renaud Adams, President and CEO. "During the year we made significant progress in transforming the Rainy River Mine, and the asset is now entering a phase of strong high-margin production growth and free cash flow generation along with the potential to further extend the life of the underground mine. We also continued to advance the B3 and C-Zone projects at the New Afton Mine that we expect will unlock the potential of this asset. New Gold is now repositioned for long-term success as we expect to transition to free cash flow generation in 2021."
Sustainability and ESG
New Gold has four sustainability focus areas: Indigenous Peoples, Tailings Management, Water and Climate. In 2020, New Gold adapted its sustainability efforts to align with the most pressing ESG reporting issues facing the mining industry. As such, our ESG approach continues to prioritize the health, safety and well-being of our people. The protection of our people is central to our success as we believe people are our greatest asset. New Gold is committed to providing training, opportunities and progression paths for our teams, and we actively seek to ensure we promote diversity within our teams at all levels of the organization. We have adopted an embedded approach that aligns with ESG reporting standards.
(For detailed information, please refer to the Company’s Fourth Quarter Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) and Financial Statements that are available to the Company’s website at www.newgold.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The Company uses certain non-GAAP financial performance measures throughout this news release. Please refer to the “Non-GAAP Financial Performance Measures” section of this news release and the MD&A.)
Consolidated Fourth Quarter and Annual Highlights
Total production for the fourth quarter was 120,567 gold equivalent1 ("gold eq.") ounces (83,096 ounces of gold, 199,428 ounces of silver and 18.5 million pounds of copper). For the year, production was 437,617 gold eq. ounces (293,139 ounces of gold, 636,952 ounces of silver and 72.1 million pounds of copper), achieving mid-range of the revised annual production guidance.
Revenues for the quarter were $199 million and $643 million for the year.
Operating expense for the quarter was $799 per gold eq. ounce and $794 per gold eq. ounce for the year.
Total cash costs for the quarter were $841 per gold eq. ounce and $840 per gold eq. ounce for the year, achieving the lower end of the revised annual production guidance.
AISC for the quarter were $1,491 per gold eq. ounce and $1,389 per gold eq. ounce for the year, below the revised annual production guidance due to lower cash costs and sustaining capital spend.
Net loss for the quarter was $21 million ($0.03 per share) and $79 million ($0.12 per share) for the year.
Adjusted net earnings for the quarter was $28 million ($0.04 per share) and adjusted net earnings of $19 million ($0.03 per share) for the year.
Cash generated from operations for the quarter was $98 million ($0.15 per share) and $295 million ($0.44 per share) for the year. Operating cash flow generated from operations for the quarter, before non-cash changes in working capital, was $95 million ($0.14 per share) and was $279 million ($0.41 per share) for the year.
The Company announced that a tragic mud-rush incident occurred at the New Afton Mine on February 2, 2021. Currently, surface operations such as mill and tailings operations have returned to normal levels. Underground operations are ramping up, and B3 and C-Zone development has resumed. Mining operations are being safely and sequentially ramped-up (refer to the Company's news releases dated February 2, 4, 5, and 8, 2021 for further information).
On February 10, 2021, the Company announced its annual operational outlook for the Rainy River Mine, as well as the Company's updated 2020 Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources (refer to the Company's news release dated February 10, 2021).
On February 18, 2021, annual consolidated operational estimates were released that incorporate estimates for the New Afton Mine that were delayed to allow the Company sufficient time to consider the impact of the tragic mud-rush incident of February 2, 2021 on the 2021 operating and cost estimates (refer to the Company's news release dated February 18, 2021).
The Company completed the partial redemption of $200 million of the principal amount of the outstanding 6.375% senior notes due in 2025 that was funded with cash on hand (refer to the Company's November 23, 2020 and December 24, 2020 news releases for further information).
The Company recently purchased low cost copper put options with a floor of $3.10 per pound, covering 1,700 tonnes per month (approximately 65% of anticipated production), over the period from April 2021 to September 2021, while maintaining full exposure to higher copper prices. At the end of 2020, all gold option contracts had expired and the Company is now fully exposed to current gold prices.
Exploration drilling programs at the Rainy River and New Afton mines were launched late in the fourth quarter and an update is expected to be released in the latter part of the first quarter of 2021.
At the end of the quarter, the Company had a cash position of approximately $185 million and a strong liquidity position of approximately $490 million.
Q4 2020 Q4 2019 2020 2019
Revenue ($M) 198.9 139.2 643.4 630.6
Net earnings (loss), per share ($) (0.03) 0.00 (0.12) (0.12)
Adj. net earnings (loss)1 per share ($) 0.04 (0.04) 0.03 (0.08)
Operating cash flow, per share ($) 0.15 0.07 0.44 0.43
Adj. operating cash flow1, per share ($)0.14 0.06 0.41 0.39
These are non-GAAP financial performance measures with no standardized meaning under IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures provided by other issuers. For more information, refer to the “Non-GAAP Financial Performance Measures” section of this press release below for additional details on these non-GAAP financial performance measures.
Revenues for the quarter were $199 million, an increase as compared to the prior-year quarter due to an increase in gold and copper prices and gold sales volume. Revenues were $643 million for the year, an increase as compared to the prior-year due to an increase in gold and copper prices which was partially offset by a decrease in sales volume which included the impact related to a voluntary two-week suspension due to COVID-19 at Rainy River.
Operating expenses for the quarter were lower than the prior year period due to improved operational and cost performance and an inventory write-down of $14.1 million in the prior year period. Operating expenses for the year were lower than the prior-year period due to improved operational and cost performance and lower production.
Net loss for the quarter was $21 million ($0.03 per share) and a net loss of $79 million ($0.12 per share) for the year, an increase in the net loss from the prior-year periods primarily due to the loss on the revaluation of the Rainy River gold stream obligation and the New Afton free cash flow obligation to the Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan, partially offset by higher income from operations. Other gains and losses for the year include a loss of $30 million on the sale of the Blackwater project.
Adjusted net earnings for the quarter were $28 million ($0.04 per share) and adjusted net loss of $19 million ($0.03 per share) for the year, which is an increase in earnings over the prior-year periods, primarily due to higher revenue, lower operating expenses and lower depreciation and depletion.
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