VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 17, 2012) - Petaquilla Minerals Ltd. (TSX:PTQ)(OTCBB:PTQMF)(FRANKFURT:P7Z) ("Petaquilla" or the "Company") announces its first quarter operating and financial results for its Molejon gold mine, located in Panama. Currency is reported in United States dollars unless otherwise indicated.
Molejon Mine Operating and Financial Highlights for First Quarter of Fiscal 2013
- Gold production at 17,882 ounces, an increase of 1% from prior quarter
- Gold equivalent production at 18,459 ounces, an increase of 2% from prior quarter
- Gold stockpiled at 112,266 ounces, an increase of 17% from prior quarter
- Revenue at $25.9 million, an increase of 8% from prior quarter
- Cash cost per ounce of gold equivalent sold at $524, a decrease of 14% from prior quarter
- Operating margin at $10.6 million, an increase of 30% from prior quarter
- Adjusted EBITDA at $12.7 million, an increase of 182% from prior quarter
Adjusted EBITDA reflects increased revenues relating to the termination of Petaquilla's existing prepaid forward minerals agreements, which have required the Company to deliver a specified amount of gold and silver ounces each month below then-prevailing spot prices. As previously announced, the Company intends to offer, on a private placement basis, US$210 million in senior secured notes due in 2017. The Company intends to use a portion of the proceeds of this offering to terminate its obligations under its existing prepaid forward minerals purchase contracts. By selling gold and silver at prevailing spot prices, the Company anticipates that it will realize significant increases in its sales prices, and, as a consequence, a significant increase in its EBITDA.
During the first quarter of fiscal 2013, work on the Molejon plant expansion progressed and the Company is on schedule to commission the expansion equipment during the second quarter of fiscal 2013. The new equipment will enhance plant throughput capacity at Molejon by 1,100 tonnes per day and increase production capacity by approximately 30%. In addition to the equipment acquired for the plant expansion, a second mobile crushing system was acquired by the Company's infrastructure subsidiary, Panama Desarrollo de Infraestructuras, S.A. (PDI). Upon commissioning, this crushing system will increase aggregate production and add approximately 10,000 tons per day to the Company's crushing capacity.
Further, on September 1, 2012, a resource and reserve estimate was completed by Behre Dolbear & Company (USA) Inc. ("Behre Dolbear") for the Botija Abajo deposit, associated with the Molejon gold operations. As a result of this estimate, the Company reported additional reserves of 210,000 gold equivalent ounces at its Molejon Project.
About Petaquilla Minerals Ltd. - Petaquilla is a growing, diversified gold producer committed to maximizing shareholder value through a strategy of efficient production, targeted exploration and select acquisitions. The Company operates a surface gold processing plant at its Molejon Gold Project, located in the south central area of Panama - a region known historically for gold content. In addition, the Company has exploration operations at its wholly-owned Lomero-Poyatos project located in the northeast part of the Spanish/Portuguese (Iberian) Pyrite Belt and several other exploration licenses in Iberia.
Disclaimer. Certain statements in this press release constitute forward-looking statements or forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws ("forward-looking statements"). Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, potentials, future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as "believes", "expects", "plans", "estimates" or "intends" or stating that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might", "will" or "are projected to" be taken or achieved) are not statements of historical fact, but are forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, the estimation of mineral resources and the realization of mineral resource estimates; all aspects of the development and future operation and production of the Molejon gold mine and the development of other deposits; the outcome and timing of decisions with respect to whether and how to proceed with such development and production; the timing and outcome of any such development and production; estimates of future capital expenditures; estimates of permitting time lines; statements and information regarding future feasibility studies and their results; production forecasts; future transactions; future metal prices; the ability to achieve additional growth; future production costs; future financial performance, including the ability to increase cash flow and profits; future financing requirements; and mine development plans.
Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the Company as of the date of such statements, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. The estimates and assumptions of the Company contained or incorporated by reference in this news release, which may prove to be incorrect, include, but are not limited to, the various assumptions set forth herein as well as: there being no significant disruptions affecting operations, whether due to labour disruptions, supply disruptions, power disruptions, political change, protests by native or environmental groups, damage to equipment or otherwise; permitting, development, operations, expansion and acquisitions at the Molejon gold mine and other deposits being consistent with the Company's current expectations; prices for gold and silver and costs of labour and supplies being consistent with expectations; and the accuracy of the Company's current mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates.
A variety of inherent risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond the Company's control and may be known or unknown, affect the operations, performance and results of the Company and its business, and could cause actual events or results to differ materially from estimated or anticipated events or results expressed or implied by forward looking statements. Some of these risks, uncertainties and factors include fluctuations in the price of gold and silver; the need to recalculate estimates of resources based on actual production experience; the failure to achieve production estimates; variations in the grade of ore mined; variations in the cost of operations; the availability of qualified personnel; the Company's ability to obtain and maintain all necessary regulatory approvals and licenses; the Company's ability to use cyanide in its mining operations; risks generally associated with mineral exploration and development, including the Company's ability to develop its deposits; the Company's ability to acquire and develop mineral properties and to successfully integrate such acquisitions; the Company's ability to obtain financing when required on terms that are acceptable to the Company; challenges to the Company's interests in its property and mineral rights; and current, pending and proposed legislative or regulatory developments or changes in political, social or economic conditions in the countries in which the Company operates; and general economic conditions worldwide.
Forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this document. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions and, except as required by law, the Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements should assumptions related to these plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions change. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of PETAQUILLA MINERALS LTD.
Ezequiel Sirotinsky, Chief Financial Officer
No stock exchange has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.