Tue, 18 Jun 2019

VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / May 24, 2019 / FIORE GOLD LTD. (TSXV: F) (OTCQB: FIOGF) ('Fiore' or the 'Company') is pleased to announce that its financial statements and management's discussion and analysis for the second fiscal quarter ('Q2 2019') ended March 31, 2019, have been filed with the securities regulatory authorities and are available at www.sedar.com and on the Company's website at www.fioregold.com.

Q2 2019 Operating, Financial and Organic Growth Highlights
(all figures in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated)

Operating Highlights

  • Record quarterly gold production of 10,759 ounces, a 10% increase over the preceding quarter
  • Gold sales of 10,737 ounces, a 10% increase over the preceding quarter
  • Mined ore production in fiscal Q2 slightly below plan at approximately 13,211 tons per day ('tpd'), with the stripping ratio at 1.6
  • 20,843 man-hours worked, achieving our goal of zero reportable incidents, zero reportable accidents, and zero lost-time injuries. Currently the operation is at 1,047 consecutive days of attaining this Triple-Zero achievement
  • Q2 2019 Pan Mine AISC1 per ounce sold of $899 and cash costs per ounce sold1 of $847, compared to Q2 2018 Pan Mine AISC per ounce sold of $898 and cash costs per ounce sold1 of $807
  • Q2 2019 Fiore consolidated AISC1 of $986 compared to Q2 2018 Fiore consolidated AISC1 of $1,052

Financial Highlights

  • Recorded quarterly revenues of $14.01 million with mine operating income of $3.69 million
  • Generated Pan operating cash flow1 of $3.67 million and consolidated operating cash flow of $2.87 million, compared to Pan operating cash flow1 of $2.79 million and consolidated operating cash flow of $1.71 million during Q2 of 2018. Relative to Q2 2018, this represents a 68% increase in consolidated operating cash flow.
  • Continued to maintain a strong balance sheet with working capital of $21.61 million as of March 31, 2019
  • Consolidated operating income of $2.55 million
  • We entered into gold option collars for 9,600 ounces over a six-month period out to mid-September 2019, securing a floor of $1,300 per ounce for hedged production and a ceiling ranging from $1,345 to $1,350 per ounce. The remainder of our expected production remains unhedged

Organic Growth Highlights

  • Reported updated Proven and Probable mineral reserves of 18.5 million tons at a gold grade of 0.015 oz/st (0.51 g/t) containing 275,600 ounces of gold
  • Under the updated Life of Mine ('LOM') plan, the mine life at Pan was extended by eight months at 14,000 tpd of ore while maintaining a low life of mine strip ratio of 1.6:1
  • A plan to advance the adjacent Gold Rock project towards production is being finalized, with the first phase of work expected to include resource expansion drilling, metallurgical testing, and completion of the access road between Pan and Gold Rock
  • Installation of the primary crushing circuit was well advanced and on schedule to be operational by June 30th, 2019

Tim Warman, Chief Executive Officer of Fiore, commented: 'Q2 2019 saw our highest quarterly gold production ever driving another strong operating quarter for the Pan Mine with 10,759 gold ounces produced at Pan Mine with all-in sustaining costs below $900 per gold ounce sold for the third consecutive quarter. A further increase in gold production is expected once the crusher is in full operation in our fourth fiscal quarter of 2019, although the real impact will be seen in its first full year of operation in FY2020. We are also finalizing the development plan for the adjacent Gold Rock project, with preliminary metallurgical work underway and drilling expected to begin this summer as part of a work program to advance Gold Rock towards a production decision.'

Review of Operating Results



Three Months Ended
March 31,
Operating Results
2019

2018
Ore Mined
(t)
1,188,974

1,319,796
Waste Mined
(t)
1,941,370

1,316,183
Total Mined
(t)
3,130,344

2,635,979
Gold Ounces Mined
(oz)
17,250

16,869
Ore Grade Mined
(oz/t)
0.015

0.013
Strip Ratio
waste/ore
1.6

1.0





Gold Ounces Produced
(oz)
10,759

8,695
Gold Ounces Sold (Payable)
(oz)
10,737

8,673





Average Realized Price1
$/oz
1,305

1,327
Total Cash Costs per Ounce1
$/oz
847

807
Cost of Sales per Ounce1
$/oz
961

893
Pan Mine AISC per Ounce1
$/oz
899

898
Fiore Consolidated AISC per Ounce1
$/oz
986

1,052

With a 17% increase in revenue over Q1 2019 and 22% over Q2 2018, the second quarter of 2019 proved to be the Company's highest revenue generating quarter to date. Q2 2019 also represented our highest quarter to date for gold ounce production and gold ounces sold while being the fifth consecutive quarter of gold production above 8,500 ounces and third out of the last five quarters of gold production above 9,500 ounces. Earnings from operations of $2.55 million was also a record for the Company. We mined 1,188,974 ore tons, with 531,210 ore tons from the South pit and 657,764 ore tons from the North pit which equated to a mining rate of 13,211 ore tpd, mined slightly below our 14,000 ore tpd target, however we remain ahead of target on a YTD basis. During the comparable period of 2018, we mined 1,319,796 ore tons at a mining rate of 14,664 ore tpd. The strip ratio increased to 1.6 during the quarter. Importantly, Pan maintained its strong safety record achieving our goal of zero reportable incidents, zero reportable accidents, and zero lost-time injuries through Q2 2019.

1 This is a non-IFRS financial measure. Please refer to 'Non-IFRS Financial Measures' at the end of this news release for a description of these non-IFRS financial measures and to the Non-IFRS Financial measures in the March 31, 2019 Management's Discussion and Analysis for a reconciliation to operating costs from the Company's interim financial statements.

Key Developments

Pan Mine

An updated resource estimate released during Q1 2019 (refer to news release dated December 3, 2018) showed almost complete replacement of M+I resources mined in the 19 months since declaring commercial production (which averaged approximately 12,500 ore tons mined per day), and a significant growth in Inferred resources even after allowing for mining depletion. Subsequently in early 2019, we reported updated Proven and Probable mineral reserves of 18.5 million tons at a gold grade of 0.015 oz/st (0.51 g/t) containing 275,600 ounces of gold. (refer to news release dated April 9, 2019).

The 2018 drilling program also highlighted several areas in the vicinity of the Pan North Pit where mineralization remains open with the potential to further increase the near-mine resource base with additional drilling. Numerous additional targets remain to be tested along strike from the existing Pan deposit. Work is ongoing to plan and cost the next phase of resource and reserve expansion drilling at Pan.

An updated LOM plan completed during Q2 2019 shows the mine life at Pan extended by eight months at 14,000 tpd of ore while maintaining a low life of mine strip ratio of 1.6:1. Fiore had previously advised that the strip ratio would rise to approximately 2.2:1 through much of Q4 2018 and into FY 2019, however the actual strip ratio has so far been less than anticipated (1.3:1 in Q4 2018 rising to 1.6 in Q2 2019) due to several factors including:

  • The conversion of Inferred resources to ore based on grade-control results during mining operations. The economic model treats any Inferred material within the pit as waste because of the lower confidence level. However, grade-control drilling showed Inferred resource blocks to be above the cutoff grade, therefore that material was treated as ore and placed on the leach pad. This has a double effect on the stripping ratio, simultaneously increasing ore tons while decreasing waste tons. While this has had a positive effect on the stripping ratio over the past three quarters, there is no guarantee that this will continue going forward.
  • Actual waste tons moved have been below plan due to below target availability and utilization for key mining equipment provided by the mining contractor.
  • The updated LOM plan has an average strip ratio of 1.6:1.0. The plan has optimized required stripping to account for the effects of the new geologic model, improved costs used in generating the economic pit shells and the contract mining shortfall.

As previously noted, the Pan Mine is in the process of converting from a run of mine operation to operating with a primary crushing circuit capable of handling the current 14,000 tpd ore mining rate. This is expected to enhance recoveries and produce an additional 6,000-7,000 ounces of gold per year at current mining rates.

Capital requirements for the crushing circuit, which total approximately $3.5 million, will come in part from a $2.3 million finance lease secured with First National Capital, LLC, with the remainder funded internally by Fiore. Installation of the crushing circuit is proceeding well, with earthworks substantially completed and all major components onsite as of mid-May 2019. The crusher is on track to be operational by June 30th, 2019.

With an updated resource and reserve estimate, an updated LOM plan, and the installation of a new primary crushing circuit mid-way through the year, it was somewhat difficult to provide accurate production and financial guidance prior to this point. With FY 2019 now more than halfway behind us, we are providing the following guidance metrics for the remainder of the year:

  • Gold production in the second half of FY 2019 will be similar to that seen in the first half, with total gold production for FY 2019 expected to be in the range of 40,000 - 43,000 troy ounces. With the crusher in operation by the end of fiscal Q3 2019, the benefits from crushing will only begin to be seen in Q4 2019 and is not anticipated to have a major impact on this year's gold production. The full benefit of the crushing circuit is expected in FY 2020.
  • Mining rates are expected to stay at approximately 14,000 tpd ore with the stripping ratio somewhat above the current LOM strip ratio of 1.6. Mined ore grade is forecast to be in the range of 0.014 - 0.016 oz/t.
  • Total cash costs per ounce are expected in the range of $870 - $900/oz, Pan Mine AISC1 in the range of $925 - $950/oz, and Fiore Consolidated AISC1 in the range of $1,025 - $1,050/oz for the full FY 2019.

1 This is a non-IFRS financial measure. Please refer to 'Non-IFRS Financial Measures' at the end of this news release for a description of these non-IFRS financial measures and to the Non-IFRS Financial measures in the March 31, 2019 Management's Discussion and Analysis for a reconciliation to operating costs from the Company's interim financial statements.

Gold Rock

During Q4 2018, the United States Bureau of Land Management issued the Record of Decision for the Company's 100%-owned Gold Rock project, located approximately 8 km southeast of our Pan Mine, marking the completion of the federal permitting process required for the construction of a mine on the Gold Rock property.

On October 25, 2018, we filed a current technical report for Gold Rock. Gold Rock currently hosts an Indicated resource of 238,700 gold ounces (9.0 million tonnes at 0.82 g/t gold), and an Inferred resource of 180,900 gold ounces (7.8 million tonnes at 0.72 g/t gold). We also completed eight exploration holes targeting three of nine previously-identified areas north of the Gold Rock resource area. All eight holes intercepted the targeted Joanna Limestone unit, with six of the eight holes encountering anomalous gold mineralization. Having demonstrated that gold mineralization is present for a considerable distance along the EZ fault and anticline structure, we also increased our coverage along this structure through the acquisition of the Ely Gold claims during Q1 2019. Fiore now controls approximately 16.5 km of strike length along the prospective EZ structure.

A development plan for Gold Rock will be finalized in early calendar Q2 2019 outlining the drilling, metallurgical testing, engineering, state permitting, and other activities required to advance the project towards a production decision. The next steps in this process will include:

  • Additional core and reverse circulation drilling to expand the existing resource, upgrade Inferred resources to Measured and Indicated, and collect samples for orebody characterization and metallurgical testing. A priority target will be the central portion of the 2018 resource area, between the two resource pits. This area was not included in the current resource and has seen only limited, widely-spaced, vertical holes that in many cases stopped in the upper portion of the mineralization. The deposit also remains open to the north of the existing resource area, where drilling density drops off rapidly.
  • Metallurgical testing to determine the most economical recovery method(s) and establish expected gold recoveries; and
  • Collecting additional data to support a Preliminary Economic Assessment.

Q2 2019 Financial Results


Three Months Ended March 31,
Financial Results of Operations
2019

2018
Select Items - On a Consolidated Basis
$000's

$000's
Revenue
14,010

11,512
Mine Operating Income
3,687

3,765
Income from Operations
2,550

2,013
Operating Cash Flow
2.872

1,706
Unrealized Gain on Derivatives, net
295

1,678
Net Income
1,995

3,282

Financial Position as of:
March 31,
2019

September 30,
2018
Select Items - On a Consolidated Basis
$000's

$000's
Cash
8,298

6,167
Inventories
16,879

13,201
Total Current Assets
26,105

20,397
Mineral Property, Plant and Equipment, net
19,129

16,801
Total Assets
52,693

43,603
Total Current Liabilities
(4,500)

(2,274)
Long-Term Liabilities
(8,661)

(4,833)




Working Capital Surplus
21,605

18,123


The second quarter of 2019 marked our highest quarter of gold ounces sold to date with 10,737, Q3 2018 being the next closest with 10,584. Revenue for the quarter was $14.01 million, also marking our highest revenue generating quarter to date. Revenue was 17% higher than Q1 2019 and 22% higher than Q2 of 2018. We recognized a 26% gross margin on revenue based upon cost of sales per gold ounce sold of $961. We recognized income from operations of $2.55 million and net income of $2.00 million.

The cash balance increased relative to September 30, 2018 by $2.13 million driven by Pan cash flows provided by operations of $3.67 million. Pan cash flows were used to fund corporate general and administrative expenses of $0.84 million (excluding share-based compensation expense of $0.09 million) and exploration expense of $0.21 million. As of March 31, 2019, we continue to have a strong working capital surplus of $21.61 million, consisting of current assets of $26.11 million and current liabilities of $4.50 million. Refer to the Company's MD&A and Financial Statements for additional information.

Engagement of Red Cloud

The Company announces that it will engage Red Cloud Klondike Strike Inc. and its affiliate Red Cloud Financial Services Inc. (collectively 'Red Cloud') to provide marketing services, including non-deal roadshows and social and traditional media support, to the Company for an initial term of six months and continuing month to month thereafter. Red Cloud will assist the Company's efforts to grow investor awareness and expanding exposure to retail and institutional investors. The engagement is subject to certain approvals, including approval of the TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V), at a cost C$10,000 per month. The Company will also grant Red Cloud 175,000 stock options to purchase shares of the Company for a period of three years at a price equal to the greater of C$0.40 per share or the closing price of the Company's shares on the TSX-V date of grant ('Options'). The Options will vest over 12 months beginning with 25% vesting three months after the date of grant and an additional 25% vesting every three months thereafter such that all shares would vest in 12 months. Red Cloud does not currently have any interest, direct or indirect in the Company or its securities, or a right to acquire such an interest other than such Options.

Corporate Strategy

Our corporate strategy is to grow Fiore Gold into a 150,000 ounce per year gold producer. To achieve this, we intend to:

  • grow gold production at the Pan Mine while also growing the reserve and resource base;
  • advance exploration and development of the nearby Gold Rock project; and
  • acquire additional production or near-production assets to complement our existing operations

*Note on AISC Presentation

The presentation of Pan Mine all-in sustaining costs as shown is consistent with prior quarters' measures of all-in sustaining costs. We have added Fiore Consolidated all-in sustaining costs to layer in corporate general and administrative costs, including share-based compensation and corporate sustaining capital expenditures, when applicable. A reconciliation from prior presentations of all-in sustaining costs per ounce sold has been presented in the table below to the current Pan Mine AISC and Fiore Consolidated AISC per ounce sold presentations.


Three Months Ended March 31,

2019

2018
AISC per Ounce Sold as previously defined
$
899

$
989
Adjustments to Pan Mine AISC per Ounce Sold:





Non-Sustaining Exploration Costs per Ounce Sold

-


(39)
Corporate Share Based Compensation per Ounce Sold

-


(33)
Reclassification of Mining Taxes to Income Taxes

-


(19)
Pan Mine AISC per Ounce Sold
$
899

$
898
Adjustments to Fiore Consolidated AISC per Ounce Sold:





Corporate General & Administrative Costs per Ounce Sold

78


121
Corporate Share Based Compensation per Ounce Sold

9


33
Fiore Consolidated AISC per Ounce Sold
$
986

$
1,052


Qualified Person

The scientific and technical information relating to Fiore Gold's properties contained in this news release was approved by J. Ross MacLean (MMSA), Fiore Gold's Chief Operating Officer and a 'Qualified Person' under National Instrument 43-101.

On behalf of FIORE GOLD LTD.

'Tim Warman'

Chief Executive Officer

Contact Us:

info@fioregold.com
1 (416) 639-1426 Ext. 1
www.fioregold.com

Non-IFRS Financial Measures

The Company provides some non-IFRS measures as supplementary information that management believes may be useful to investors to explain the Company's financial results.

We have adopted 'all-in sustaining costs' measures for the Pan Mine and Fiore as a consolidated group, consistent with guidance issued by the WGC on June 27, 2013. We believe that the use of all-in sustaining costs is helpful to analysts, investors and other stakeholders in assessing our operating performance, our ability to generate free cash flow from current operations and our overall value. These measures are helpful to governments and local communities in understanding the economics of gold mining. The 'all-in sustaining costs' measure is an extension of existing 'cash cost' metrics and incorporates costs related to sustaining production. The WGC definition of all-in sustaining costs seeks to extend the definition of total cash costs by adding reclamation and remediation costs, exploration and study costs, capitalized stripping costs, corporate general and administrative costs and sustaining capital expenditures to represent the total costs of producing gold from current operations. All-in sustaining costs exclude income tax, interest costs, depreciation, non-sustaining capital expenditures, non-sustaining exploration expense and other items needed to normalize earnings. Therefore, these measures are not indicative of our cash expenditures or overall profitability.

'Total cash cost per ounce sold' is a common financial performance measure in the gold mining industry but has no standard meaning under IFRS. The Company reports total cash costs on a sales basis. We believe that, in addition to conventional measures prepared in accordance with IFRS, certain investors use this information to evaluate the Company's performance and ability to generate cash flow. Accordingly, it is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. The measure, along with sales, is considered to be a key indicator of a Company's ability to generate operating earnings and cash flow from its mining operations. 'Costs of sales per ounce sold' adds depreciation and depletion and share based compensation allocated to production to the cash costs figures.

Total cash costs figures are calculated in accordance with a standard developed by The Gold Institute, which was a worldwide association of suppliers of gold and gold products and included leading North American gold producers. The Gold Institute ceased operations in 2002, but the standard is considered the accepted standard of reporting cash cost of production in North America. Adoption of the standard is voluntary, and the cost measures presented may not be comparable to other similarly titled measure of other companies.

'Total cash costs per ounce', 'cost of sales per ounce', 'all-in sustaining costs per ounce', 'Corporate G&A and SBC per ounce', 'Non-sustaining exploration per ounce', 'Pan operating income' and 'Pan operating cash flow' are intended to provide additional information only and do not have any standardized definition under IFRS and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. The measures are not necessarily indicative of operating profit or cash flow from operations as determined under IFRS. Other companies may calculate the measure differently. The following table reconciles non-IFRS measures to the most directly comparable IFRS measure.

'Average realized price' is a financial measure with no standard meaning under IFRS. Management uses this measure to better understand the price realized in each reporting period for gold sales. Average realized price excludes from revenues unrealized gains and losses, if applicable, on non-hedge derivative contracts. The average realized price is intended to provide additional information only and does not have any standardized definition under IFRS; it should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. Other companies may calculate this measure differently.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains 'forward-looking statements' and 'forward looking information' (as defined under applicable securities laws), based on management's best estimates, assumptions and current expectations. Such statements include but are not limited to, statements with respect to future operations at the Pan Mine, development plan for Gold Rock, drilling plans, expected drilling results, expected production, expected costs, expected mining rates, strip ratios, all production and financial guidance, amount of future hedged and unhedged production, estimates of mineral resources and reserves, addition of crushing circuit at the Pan Mine, estimates and expectation that the crushing circuit will produce additional gold ounces and increase gold recoveries, the crusher system will be in operation by the second calendar of 2019, capital requirements for the crushing circuit, statement regarding expected performance of the crushing system, financing for capital requirement for the crushing circuit,, all of the future planned development, construction and operations described in the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision for the Gold Rock Mine project, developing a preliminary economic assessment for Gold Rock, metallurgical testing for Gold Rock, engagement of Red Cloud and its expected services, ability to maintain balance sheet strength, future financial performance, company outlook, goal to become a 150,000 ounce producer, goal to acquire additional production or near production assets, and other statements, estimates or expectations. Often, but not always, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as 'expects', 'expected', 'budgeted', 'targets', 'forecasts', 'intends', 'anticipates', 'scheduled', 'estimates', 'aims', 'will', 'believes', 'projects' and similar expressions (including negative variations) which by their nature refer to future events. By their very nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond Fiore Gold's control. There can be no assurance that we will meet all the requirements to access the funds under the finance lease transaction with First National Capital. These statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. Forward looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, as well as a number of assumptions made by, and information currently available to, the Company concerning, among other things, anticipated geological formations, potential mineralization, future plans for exploration and/or development, potential future production, ability to obtain permits for future operations, drilling exposure, and exploration budgets and timing of expenditures, all of which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievement of Fiore Gold to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from results anticipated by such forward looking statements include, but not limited to, risks related to the Pan Mine performance, risks related to the company's limited operating history; risks related to international operations; risks related to general economic conditions, actual results of current or future exploration activities, unanticipated reclamation expenses; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; fluctuations in prices of metals including gold; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; increases in market prices of mining consumables; possible variations in ore reserves, grade or recovery rates; uncertainties involved in the interpretation of drilling results, test results and the estimation of gold resources and reserves; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; the possibility that capital and operating costs may be higher than currently estimated; the possibility of cost overruns or unanticipated expenses in the work programs; availability of financing; accidents, labour disputes, title disputes, claims and limitations on insurance coverage and other risks of the mining industry; delays in the completion of exploration, development or construction activities; the possibility that required permits may not be obtained on a timely manner or at all; possibility that the Gold Rock Record of Decision will be appealed and that such an appeal may be successful; changes in national and local government regulation of mining operations, tax rules and regulations, and political and economic developments in countries in which Fiore Gold operates, and other factors identified in Fiore Gold's filings with Canadian securities authorities under its profile at www.sedar.com respecting the risks affecting Fiore and its business. Although Fiore has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The forward-looking statements and forward-looking information are made as of the date hereof and are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Fiore disclaims any obligation to revise or update any such factors or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements or forward-looking information contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as require by law. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and information.

Guidance projections used in this document are considered 'forward-looking statements' and represent management's good faith estimates or expectations of future production results as of the date hereof. Guidance is based upon certain assumptions, including, but not limited to, metal prices, oil prices, certain exchange rates and other assumptions. Additional details of these assumptions can be found in the Company's Management's Discussion and Analysis. Such assumptions may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Consequently, Guidance cannot be guaranteed. As such, investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon Guidance as there can be no assurance that the plans, assumptions or expectations upon which they are based will occur.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

SOURCE: Fiore Gold Ltd.



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