Serabi Gold sees EBITDA surge in first quarter

15 May 2019

(Sharecast News) - Brazil-focussed gold mining and development company Serabi Gold reported a 47% improvement in its EBITDA for its first quarter on Wednesday, to $4.3m.
The AIM-traded firm said its profit after tax for the three months ended 31 March was $1.5m, with earnings per share standing at 2.63 US cents.

Cash holdings at the end of March totalled $12.1m, which was an increase of $2.9m since the end of 2018.

Serabi's all-in sustaining costs for the quarter were $1,021 per ounce, with a cash cost of $796 per ounce.

Operational cash flow for the period was $6.5m, or $5.7m after mine development costs, compared with $3.1m, or $2.1m after mine development costs for the same period in 2018.

On the operational front, Serabi Gold reported first quarter gold production of 10,164 ounces of gold, maintaining the momentum it saw at the end of 2018.

It was the second successive quarter of production above 10,000 ounces for the first time.

Mine tonnage totalled 42,609 tonnes at 7.47 grams per tonne of gold, with 43,451 tonnes of run of mine ore processed through the plant from the combined Palito and Sao Chico orebodies, with an average grade of 7.69 grams per tonne of gold.

A total of 1,868 metres of horizontal development was completed during the period.

During the quarter, Serabi completed and announced its updated mineral resource estimate for its Coringa gold project, which represented a 37% increase over the previously-disclosed estimation as of May 2017.

Production guidance for 2019 was maintained in the range of between 40,000 ounces and 44,000 ounces, which the board said was a "significant" improvement on 2018 production of 37,108 ounces.

"The last two quarters have been excellent from an operational perspective and represent the first occasion that the company's operations have achieved two successive quarters with gold production in excess of 10,000 ounces," said chief executive officer Mike Hodgson.

"These financials results reflect the operational improvements that we have enjoyed with revenue, profit and cash generation all having significantly improved over the same quarter in 2018.

"Most pleasing, however, is to see a reduction in the unit costs of production, with a reported all-in sustaining cost of $1,021 compared with $1,166 for the same quarter in 2018 and an average all-in sustaining cost for the 2018 calendar year of $1,093."

Hodgson said that, given the nature of the operations, Serabi had a "fairly fixed" level of monthly costs, in the form of labour, power and consumable costs.

"With the mine and plant producing and processing broadly consistent tonnages of ore, the key to profitability is maximising the grade of the ore mined and processed.

"Whilst the improvements in the last six months to the processed grade have been relatively small, the benefits have been quite significant."

The financial results for the first quarter benefitted from the high level of gold inventory held at the end of 2018, and which was sold during the quarter, Hodgson explained.

"A total of 12,309 ounces were sold during the period compared with production of 10,164 ounces and with inventory levels now back to more normal levels we would expect sales and production volumes to more closely track each other over the rest of the year."