From the Wires
Agnico-Eagle Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 REsults; Record Annual Production and Operating Cash Flows; Provides Three Year Production Guidance and Reserve and Resource Update
By: PR Newswire
Feb. 13, 2013 06:15 PM
(All amounts expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted)
AEM (NYSE and TSX)
TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited ("Agnico-Eagle" or the "Company") (NYSE: AEM) (TSX: AEM) today reported a quarterly profit of $82.8 million, or $0.48 per share for the fourth quarter of 2012. This result includes a $16.5 million ($0.10 per share) gain on the sale of Queenston Mining Inc. shares and a non-cash foreign currency translation gain of $4.5 million ($0.03 per share). These items were partly offset by stock option expense of $7.1 million ($0.04 per share) and a $1.1 million ($0.01 per share) partial write-down of the Creston Mascota heap leach pad. Excluding these items wssould result in normalized net income of $69.9 million ($0.41 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2012. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the Company reported net quarterly loss of $601.4 million (loss of $3.53 per share).
Fourth quarter 2012 cash provided by operating activities was $106.0 million ($175.0 million before changes in non-cash components of working capital), down from cash provided by operating activities of $132.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 ($179.2 million before changes in non-cash components of working capital), primarily due to larger increases in working capital related to inventory and accounts payable in 2012.
"Congratulations are due to all of our employees as our safety and operating performance company-wide was excellent during 2012. Targets were met, and in many cases, exceeded", said Sean Boyd, President and Chief Executive Officer. "In 2013, we anticipate continuing our solid execution at the current operations and advancing construction on our three near-term growth projects, La India, Goldex and the LaRonde Extension. The new projects, combined with the forecast of higher grades at LaRonde are expected to result in growth of approximately 20% in our gold production from 2013 to 2015. The gold production growth is expected to result in improvements in the unit cost profile through 2015 as well." added Mr. Boyd.
Fourth quarter and full year 2012 highlights include:
Agnico-Eagle is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors has approved the payment of a quarterly cash dividend of $0.22 per common share. The next dividend will be paid on March 15, 2013 to shareholders of record as of March 1, 2013. Agnico-Eagle has now declared a cash dividend to its shareholders for 31 consecutive years.
For the full year 2012, the Company recorded net income of $310.9 million, or $1.82 per share. In 2011, Agnico-Eagle recorded a net loss of $568.9 million, or a loss of $3.36 per share (a $1.2 billion write-down of mining assets was recorded in 2011 following a re-evaluation of the mining plan at Meadowbank and the suspension of production from the GEZ deposit at Goldex). Compared with the prior year, 2012 earnings were positively impacted by consistent performance at all operating mines and significant year over year improvement at Meadowbank.
For 2012, the Company realized a record amount of cash provided by operating activities of $696.0 million ($737.9 million before changes in non-cash components of working capital). This represents an increase over 2011, when cash provided by operating activities totaled $667.2 million ($705.1 million before changes in non-cash components of working capital). The increase was primarily due to significant improvement in cash flow generation from the Meadowbank mine, as well as continued strong performance at Pinos Altos. The overall improvement was in spite of significantly lower by-product revenues and the absence of production from the Goldex mine in 2012.
Payable gold production2 in the fourth quarter of 2012 was 236,535 ounces compared to 227,792 ounces in the fourth quarter of 2011. A detailed description of the production and cost performance by mine may be found in the respective sections later in this document.
Total cash costs for the fourth quarter of 2012 were $769 per ounce versus $671 per ounce for fourth quarter 2011. The increase in total cash costs per ounce in the fourth quarter of 2012 is mainly due to higher costs at LaRonde, Meadowbank and the temporary suspension of operations at Creston Mascota. At LaRonde, the ramp up of tonnage from the higher grade, deeper levels continues to be challenging due to heat and congestion. Higher total cash costs were realized at Meadowbank as the mine production was from lower grade ore (as expected) during the quarter. The temporary suspension of the relatively low cost Creston Mascota heap leach operation in October of 2012 also negatively impacted total cash costs.
The Company's payable gold production for the full year 2012 was a record 1,043,811 ounces at total cash costs per ounce of $640. This compares to the full year 2011 level of 985,460 ounces at total cash costs per ounce of $580 (which included 135,478 ounces from the low cost Goldex mine; excluding Goldex, 2011 total cash costs from currently operating mines were $609 per ounce). The significant improvement in gold production in 2012 was a result of strong operating results from all of the mines. The increase in total cash costs per ounce in 2012 was primarily due to the impact of lower byproduct credits at LaRonde, offset only partly by better cost profiles at Meadowbank and Kittila, when compared to 2011.
Conference Call Tomorrow
The Company's senior management will host a conference call on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM (E.S.T.) to discuss financial and operating results.
Cash Position Remains Strong
Cash and cash equivalents increased to $332.0 million at December 31, 2012, from the September 30, 2012 balance of $320.8 million. The Company drew on its bank facilities in the fourth quarter of 2012 during the normal course of inter-Company fund flows. The $30 million which was drawn was repaid in early 2013.
Capital expenditures in the fourth quarter of 2012 were $154.6 million including $29.3 million at La India, $24.0 million at LaRonde, $23.4 million at Meadowbank, $16.2 million at Kittila, $13.5 million at Meliadine, $9.1 million at Lapa and $7.3 million at Pinos Altos. For the full year 2012, capital expenditures totaled $448.3 million.
With its cash balances, anticipated cash flows and available bank lines, management believes that Agnico-Eagle remains fully funded for the development and exploration of its current pipeline of gold projects in Canada, Finland, Mexico and the USA.
Available credit lines as of December 31, 2012 were approximately $1.2 billion and were entirely undrawn as of the time of writing.
Three Year Plan Outlines Further Production Growth
The Company is announcing its production and cost guidance for the three-year period of 2013 through 2015.
In 2013, payable gold production is expected to be within the range of 970,000 ounces to 1,010,000 ounces. Total cash costs per ounce in 2013 are expected to be in the range of $700 to $750.
During 2013, several factors are expected to have a positive impact on production in the second half of the year. At Creston Mascota, stacking of ore has resumed, and the Company expects to resume heap leaching in the second quarter, with full production rates likely to be achieved by year end. At LaRonde, additional cooling capacity, which is expected to be installed in the fourth quarter of 2013, is anticipated to have a positive impact on operating flexibility and production at the mine going forward. Furthermore, as LaRonde ramps up production at the deeper mine, the Company expects its gold grade to improve gradually over the course of the year. In addition, gold grades at Meadowbank are expected to trend higher in the fourth quarter. As a result, the second half of the year is likely to make a larger contribution to the overall 2013 gold production forecast.
In 2014, Agnico-Eagle expects to have significant production growth from LaRonde (improving grades), Goldex (second quarter start up) and La India (second quarter start up). The Company expects payable gold production to be in the range of 1,100,000 ounces to 1,140,000 ounces.
In 2015, further production growth is expected from LaRonde (improving grades) and Pinos Altos (improving grades) with payable gold production expected to exceed 1,200,000 ounces.
For 2014 and 2015, total cash costs per ounce are expected to be near the bottom of the range forecast for 2013, or approximately $700 per ounce.
In an effort to provide more transparency into costs, Agnico-Eagle is providing guidance with respect to its all-in sustaining costs3 for 2013. All-in sustaining costs are defined as:
Cash costs (net of by-product credits) + sustaining capital + corporate, general and administrative expense (net of stock option expense) + exploration expenditures.
To reflect the full cost of gold production from current operations, development capital for new projects is not included in the calculation. All-in sustaining costs for 2013 are expected to be approximately $1,075 per ounce.
In 2014, an updated feasibility study is expected to be completed regarding the large Meliadine project located in Nunavut, Canada. While first gold production is unlikely before 2018, this project has the potential to be Agnico-Eagle's largest single gold producer. Concurrent with the updated study, project permitting is currently proceeding on schedule.
Improvement In Three Year Gold Production Forecast
Since the prior three-year production guidance of February 16, 2012, there have been a number of key operating developments, resulting in an improvement to the overall rolling three-year production profile. Descriptions of the major factors that contributed to these changes are detailed below.
At LaRonde, challenges associated with heat and congestion in the deeper part of the mine, have effectively delayed the ramp up of production as previously outlined in February 2012. Despite the delay, overall gold production and throughput at LaRonde remains unchanged over the life of mine.
At Lapa, 2013 and 2014 are the last two years of full production based on the current life of mine. In 2015, production is expected to exhibit a decline from the current levels. Additional exploration results expected in 2013, however, could have the potential of extending the mine life at Lapa into 2016.
At Kittila, the forecast production profile is essentially unchanged from what was previously disclosed, but lower than the 175,878 ounces produced in 2012 as a result of gold grades that are expected to gradually decline towards the average reserve grade. Minesite costs per tonne in 2013 are anticipated to be higher than in 2012 as the mine is now processing ore entirely from the relatively higher cost underground (the open pits were depleted in the fourth quarter of 2012).
The Company's Board of Directors has approved a 750 tonne per day expansion at Kittila, with the aim of increasing the throughput at the mine to 3,750 tonnes per day starting in the second half of 2015. The current guidance for 2015 at Kittila includes approximately 10,000 ounces resulting from this expansion. Additional details on the expansion can be found in the capital expenditures section of this news release.
At Meadowbank, the new guidance is considerably higher than previously stated as a result of the consistent operating performance achieved in 2012. In particular, the Company expects throughput of approximately 11,000 tonnes per day to be sustainable over the long run. Following two difficult startup years, Meadowbank exceeded expectations in 2012 primarily due to improved operating efficiencies, higher sustained throughput, better equipment availability and improvements in dilution. The current mine life now extends partially into 2018, a slight extension of the previously disclosed mine life, in spite of the plan for much higher throughput rates due to xxx (exploration success?).
At Pinos Altos, the new guidance for 2013 is higher than previously stated, as a result of the consistently strong performance (tonnes? Grade? What made us raise 2013?) experienced in 2012. In 2014, production is expected to decline as a result of planned lower grades in the life of mine. In 2015, mill optimization initiatives are expected to result in higher throughput levels and increased production.
The Company expects production from Phase 2 of the Creston Mascota heap leach to commence in the second quarter of 2013 and to ramp up over the remainder of the year. Production guidance for 2013 reflects the expected buildup of inventory on the heap required before steady state is achieved. In 2014 and 2015, the production guidance for Creston Mascota reflects normal steady state operations.
At the La India project, construction continues with commercial production now anticipated in the second quarter of 2014, or approximately three months ahead of the original plan. On average, the mine is expected to produce approximately 90,000 ounces of gold annually at total cash costs per ounce of approximately $500 over a mine life of approximately 9 years.
The Goldex mine is expected to resume operations from the M and E zones, starting in the second quarter of 2014. On an annualized basis, Goldex is expected to produce approximately 80,000 ounces of gold at total cash costs of approximately $900 per ounce over a mine life of approximately three to four years. Exploration on several other satellite zones, including the deeper D zone has the potential to extend the mine's life.
New Capital Allocated to Growth Projects in 2013
The Company's balance sheet is well positioned to fund the Company's growth initiatives. At current spot input prices, Agnico-Eagle expects to generate free cash flow in 2013, after capital expenditures which are expected to total approximately $596 million in 2013. It is a goal of the Company to increase its dividend to shareholders, over time, on a sustainable basis.
The estimated capital expenditures include approximately $201 million of sustaining capital at the mines and $358 million on new projects, as broken out in the table below. Additionally, approximately $38 million is expected to be spent on capitalized exploration.
The Company's Board of Directors has approved a 750 tonne per day expansion at Kittila, with the aim of increasing the throughput capacity at the mine to 3,750 tonnes per day starting in the second half of 2015. The total expenditure on the project is expected to be approximately $103 million over a three-year period, with $30 million scheduled to be spent in 2013. The after-tax internal rate of return is expected to be approximately xxx%. The expansion is expected to offset a gradual decline in grade towards the reserve grade over the next several years.
Projects Not Yet Considered in Production and Capital Investment Plan
The current three year plan lays out estimated annual gold production which rises each year through 2015 to more than 1.2 million ounces. However, these forecasts do not currently include the following expansion and development projects:
Kittila - Production Shaft
A study is underway which is considering the construction of a production shaft at Kittila. This shaft would provide operating cost savings and sustain long-term production at higher throughput levels from multiple zones, especially at depths below the 700 metres.
Meliadine - High Grade Project Continues To Grow
The Meliadine project, acquired in 2010, is one of Agnico-Eagle's largest gold deposits in terms of reserves and resources. It is currently in the permitting phase with first production possible by 2018. With the expectation of an updated study in 2014 defining a medium sized operation on a multi-million ounce gold deposit, Meliadine is considered to be a long-term cornerstone asset for the Company.
First production at Meliadine is anticipated for 2018 with capital expenditures expected to be distributed over the 2013 to 2018 period. While this project has not yet been approved for construction, estimated company-wide capital expenditures of approximately $600 million per year, over the next five or six years, does include estimates for this, and several other projects which are yet to be approved.
Gold Reserves Maintained in 2012 and Improving in Quality
At year-end 2012, the Company's proven and probable gold reserves totaled 18.7 million ounces, essentially unchanged from 2011 levels. The Company's year-end 2012 gold reserves, net of the 1,043,811 ounces of gold production in 2012 (or 1,146,727 ounces before mill recovery), are set out below:
Amounts presented in the table and in this press release have been rounded to the nearest thousand. See Detailed Mineral Reserve and Resource Data (as at December 31, 2012) set out the end of this news release for more details.
The Company continues to focus on improving the quality of its reserve base. In the case of long life assets, like LaRonde, Pinos Altos and Kittila, a higher cut off grade for calculating the reserves was used than at assets with short lives. This decision, all else being equal, results in fewer tonnes and ounces, but higher grade and higher operating margins. At shorter life assets, the cut off grades and subsequent mine plans are focused on maximizing operating cash flow. The gold price assumptions used in generating the cut off grades are shown with the detailed reserve and resource tables at the end of this news release.
Due to ongoing industry-wide cost pressure, combined with more conservative assumptions at some mines, some assets had reserve declines greater than depletion. Conversely, Meadowbank reserves grew, and increased in grade, in spite of record gold production and mining above reserve grade in 2012. This was due to xxx
It is the Company's goal to maintain its gold reserves to between 15 and 20 times its annual gold production rate. Currently, this amounts to approximately 18 years of reserve life.
In addition to proven and probable gold reserves of 18.7 million ounces, Agnico-Eagle's byproduct reserves include approximately 96 million ounces of silver, 220,000 tonnes of zinc and 73,000 tonnes of copper.
For a 10% change in the gold price (leaving all other assumptions unchanged), there would be an estimated 4% change in proven and probable gold reserves.
Gold Resources Grow Significantly at Core Properties
Exploration drilling during 2012 resulted in more than two million ounces of gold being discovered. As noted above, approximately one million ounces of gold were converted from the resource category into the reserve category, essentially replacing the ore that was mined during 2012, while the majority of the new two million ounces were added into the inferred category.
Exploration drilling was most successful at the Meliadine project, where xxx tonnes, grading xxx g/t, or 0.5 million ounces of gold, was added in indicated resources category and an additional xxx tonnes grading xxx g/t, or 0.5 million ounces of gold, was added in the inferred resources category.
Approximately xxx tonnes grading xxx g/t, or 0.8 million ounces of gold, were added to the inferred resource category at Tarachi as well. Tarachi, on the La India property remains one of the most intriguing exploration targets for 2013.
Kittila / Rimpi - what to say?
2013 Exploration Program and Budget
The 2013 exploration program will be primarily focused on accelerating the drilling programs at Kittila, Meliadine and La India/Tarachi, which is expected to convert resources and extend the regional and mine site exploration. These programs will form part of the feasibility studies at each of these properties, which represent significant upside potential to the Company's near term growth production profile. In 2013, Agnico-Eagle's exploration budget is approximately $97 million, with approximately 70% expected to be spent on mine-site and advanced project exploration.
LaRonde Mine - Ramp Up At Lower Mine Continues; Heat And Congestion To Ease in 2013
The 100% owned LaRonde mine in northwestern Quebec achieved commercial production in 1988.
The LaRonde mill processed an average of 6,379 tonnes per day ("tpd") in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with an average of 6,767 tpd in the corresponding period of 2011. Milling performance for the full year 2012 was approximately 6,462 tpd versus 6,592 tpd in 2011. The lower throughput was largely due to the transition to the lower mine, and previously mentioned challenges with heat and congestion at the deepest levels. These issues are expected to be largely mitigated by the installation of additional cooling capacity in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Minesite costs per tonne were approximately C$98 in the fourth quarter of 2012, higher than the C$79 per tonne experienced in the fourth quarter of 2011. The 24% increase in costs over the prior-year period is partly due to fewer processed tonnes, as well as general cost inflation combined with variations in underground ore inventory????.
Minesite costs per tonne for the full year 2012 were approximately C$95, approximately 13% higher than in 2011 (C$84) mainly due to the lower throughput and cost pressure as mentioned above.
On a per ounce basis, net of byproduct credits, LaRonde's total cash costs per ounce were $756 in the fourth quarter of 2012 on production of 36,911 ounces of gold. This compares with the fourth quarter of 2011 when total cash costs per ounce were $375 on production of 30,686 ounces of gold. The increase in total cash costs was expected and is largely due to significantly lower by-product revenue.
For the full year 2012, LaRonde's total cash costs per ounce were $569 on gold production of 160,875 ounces. This compares to total cash costs per ounce of $77 on gold production of 124,173 in 2011. Higher gold production in 2012 is a result of an improvement in grade, consistent with more of the ore being mined from the lower mine. The increase in total cash costs over 2011 is primarily due to significantly lower byproduct revenues, and general cost inflation.
In 2012, the LaRonde mine also produced approximately 39,000 tonnes of zinc (30% less than in 2011), 2.2 million ounces of silver (29% less than in 2011), and 4,100 tonnes of copper (28% more than in 2011), as byproducts to the gold production, all as expected.
Kittila Mine - Record Annual Gold Production And Mill Recoveries
The 100% owned Kittila mine in northern Finland achieved commercial production in 2009.
The Kittila mill processed an average of 3,029 tonnes per day in the fourth quarter of 2012 (60%-70% of the tonnes were from underground), in line with its 3,000 tonne per day design rate. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the Kittila mill processed 2,627 tonnes per day.
Minesite costs per tonne at Kittila were approximately €69 in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to €80 in the fourth quarter of 2011. The meaningful improvement in Kittila's cost performance compared to the prior period is largely due to optimized use of contractors, higher autoclave availability in 2012, as well as exclusively underground operations for the majority of the fourth quarter in 2012 (compared to cost from both open pit and underground in the 2011 period). I suspect there was a shutdown in q4 2011….
For the full year 2012, the mill processed an average of 2,986 tpd as compared with 2011 when the mill processed an average of 2,824 tpd. The increase in full year throughput is largely due to higher autoclave availability. For the full year 2012, the minesite costs per tonne were €69, compared to €75 in 2011. The improvement in full year costs is due to the reasons explained above.
Fourth quarter 2012 gold production at Kittila was 45,273 ounces with a total cash cost per ounce of $569. In the fourth quarter of 2011 the mine produced 34,508 ounces at total cash costs per ounce of $751. Significantly higher production and lower total cash costs were largely the result of higher grades and mill recoveries during 2012, further assisted by improvements in the cost structure described above.
For the full year 2012, payable gold production from Kittila was a record 175,878 ounces at total cash costs of $565 per ounce. In 2011, the mine produced 143,560 ounces of gold at total cash costs of $739 per ounce. The higher production in 2012 was largely due to improvements in throughput, grades and recoveries compared to 2011. Total cash costs were 24% lower than in 2011 largely due to autoclave availability, improved usage and economics of consumables and explosives, as well as an optimized usage of contractors.
In 2012, the Kittila mill realized average mill recoveries of 88.3%, an annual record.
Lapa - Steady Performance During 2012
The 100% owned Lapa mine in northwestern Quebec achieved commercial production in May 2009.
The Lapa circuit, at the LaRonde mill, processed an average of 1,746 tpd in the fourth quarter of 2012. This compares with an average of 1,598 tpd in the fourth quarter of 2011, as Lapa has continued to exceed its design rate of 1,500 tpd. For the full year 2012, Lapa averaged 1,754 tpd, compared with 1,701 tpd in 2011. The improvements in throughput compared to 2011 periods are a result of an optimized maintenance schedule in 2012, as well as mill optimization.
Minesite costs per tonne were C$113 in the fourth quarter of 2012, slightly better than the C$117 realized in the fourth quarter of 2011. Considering the general cost pressures in the industry, this is viewed as a positive result.
Full-year minesite costs in 2012 were C$115 per tonne, slightly above the C$110 achieved in 2011.
Payable production in the fourth quarter of 2012 was 24,621 ounces of gold at total cash costs per ounce of $742. This compares with the fourth quarter of 2011, when production was 23,721 ounces of gold at total cash cost per ounce of $723. Slightly lower grades and recoveries during the fourth quarter of 2012, that were mainly a result of mining sequence, were offset by better throughput, when compared to the 2011 period.
For the full year 2012, payable production was 106,191 ounces of gold at total cash costs of $697 per ounce. The prior year production was 107,068 ounces of gold at total cash costs of $650 per ounce. General industry cost pressure was the primary driver of the cost differences between periods.
Pinos Altos - Record Annual Gold Production at Low Costs
The 100% owned Pinos Altos mine in northern Mexico achieved commercial production in November 2009.
The Pinos Altos mill processed an average of 5,122 tpd in the fourth quarter of 2012. This compares favourably with 4,924 tonnes per day in the fourth quarter of 2011, and well above its initial design capacity of 4,000 tpd.
Payable production in the fourth quarter of 2012 was 52,492 ounces of gold (including residual drain-down production from Creston Mascota of 3,558 ounces) at total cash costs per ounce of $295. This compares with production of 40,103 ounces at total cash costs per ounce of $281 in the fourth quarter of 2011. The higher production in 2012 was largely due to higher grade ore being processed in the 2012 period.
Full year 2012 production at Pinos Altos (including Creston Mascota) was a record 234,837 ounces of gold at total cash costs per ounce of $286, compared to 2011 production of 204,380 ounces at total cash cost per ounce of gold of $299. For the full year period, Pinos Altos benefitted from a 25% increase in silver grades in 2012, as well as improved throughput performance compared to 2011.
Minesite costs per tonne were $46 in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to $24 in the fourth quarter of 2011. The increase in minesite costs per tonne over the prior year period is primarily due to the lack of production from the Creston Mascota heap leach in the 2012 period, as well as significantly fewer lower-cost heap leach tonnes being processed in 2012.
For the full year 2012, minesite costs per tonne were $31, compared to $28 in 2011. The minesite costs at Pinos Altos for 2012 were higher than the prior year primarily due to the factors described above. Total production costs at Pinos Altos (including Creston Mascota) during 2012 were largely in line with 2011 levels, while the mine operating margin was a record $298 million. This compares to $233 million in 2011.
The Company produced 2.3 million ounces of silver byproduct at Pinos Altos in 2012.
Meadowbank - Biggest Contributor To Strong Company Performance in 2012
The 100% owned Meadowbank mine in Nunavut, northern Canada, achieved commercial production in March 2010.
The Meadowbank mill processed an average of 11,193 tpd in the fourth quarter of 2012, 26% more than the 8,866 tpd achieved in the fourth quarter of 2011. The improved mill throughput is due to significant improvements in equipment availability and maintenance, and the Company believes this level of throughput is sustainable. Since the June 2011 startup of the permanent secondary crusher, the design rate of 8,500 tpd has been consistently exceeded.
Minesite costs per tonne were C$90 in the fourth quarter and C$88 for the full year of 2012. These costs were lower than the C$98 and C$91 per tonne in the fourth quarter and full year 2011, respectively. The improvement in cost per tonne was primarily driven by less waste tonnes being moved in the new mine plan.
Payable production in the fourth quarter of 2012 was 77,238 ounces of gold at total cash cost per ounce of gold of $1,200. This compares with the fourth quarter of 2011 when 71,547 ounces were produced at total cash costs per ounce of $1,088. The higher cost in 2012 was due to a lower grade cycle (only 79% of the 2012 average grade) in the fourth quarter, as previously announced by the Company.
Full year 2012 production was a record 366,030 ounces of gold at total cash costs per ounce of gold of $913. In 2011, the mine produced 270,801 ounces at total cash costs per ounce of $1,000. The improvements in production and costs at Meadowbank in 2012 were a result of a successful implementation of the new mine plan developed in the beginning of the year. Meadowbank's operating performance has been a key contributor to the overall operating success of the Company in 2012.
Agnico-Eagle expects its 2013 amortization expense to be in the range of $280 to $310 million.
General & Administrative Cost Guidance
Agnico-Eagle expects 2013 General and Administration expense on its income statement to amount to $70 - $75 million, net of stock option expense. The stock option expense (which is non-cash) has averaged $xxx million over the past xxx years.
Please see the supplemental financial data section of the Financial and Operating Database on the Company's website for additional historical financial data.
Annual General Meeting
Friday April 26, 2013 at 11:00 am
Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel (Dominion Ballroom)
123 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5J 1A6
Expected Dividend Record and Payment Dates for the Remainder of 2013
Dividend Reinvestment Program
Please follow the link below for information on the Company's dividend reinvestment program.
Agnico-Eagle is a long established, Canadian headquartered, gold producer with operations located in Canada, Finland and Mexico, and exploration and development activities in Canada, Finland, Mexico and the United States. The Company has full exposure to higher gold prices consistent with its policy of no forward gold sales. It has declared a cash dividend for 31 consecutive years. www.agnico-eagle.com
(i) Includes Creston Mascota deposit at Pinos Altos except for fourth quarter 2012 total cash costs per ounce of gold produced and minesite costs per tonne as suspension of as heap leach operations at Creston Mascota were suspended effective October 1, 2012.
(ii) Under the Company's revenue recognition policy, revenue is recognized on concentrates when legal title passes. As total cash costs are calculated on a production basis, this inventory adjustment reflects the sales margin on the portion of concentrate production not yet recognized as revenue.
(iii) Total cash cost per ounce of gold produced is not a recognized measure under US GAAP and this data may not be comparable to data presented by other gold producers. The Company believes that this generally accepted industry measure is a realistic indication of operating performance and is useful in allowing year over year comparisons. As illustrated in the tables above, this measure is calculated by adjusting production costs as shown in the Consolidated Statements of Income for net byproduct revenues, inventory adjustments, non-cash reclamation provisions, deferred stripping costs (as described in iv below) and other adjustments. This measure is intended to provide investors with information about the cash generating capabilities of the Company's mining operations. Management uses this measure to monitor the performance of the Company's mining operations. As market prices for gold are quoted on a per ounce basis, using this per ounce measure allows management to assess the mine's cash generating capabilities at various gold prices. Management is aware that this per ounce measure of performance can be impacted by fluctuations in byproduct metal prices and exchange rates. Management compensates for the limitation inherent with this measure by using it in conjunction with the minesite costs per tonne measure (discussed below) as well as other data prepared in accordance with US GAAP. Management also performs sensitivity analyses in order to quantify the effects of fluctuating metal prices and exchange rates.
(iv) The Company reports total cash costs using the common industry practice of deferring certain stripping costs that can be attributed to future production. The methodology is in line with the Gold Institute Production Cost Standard. The purpose of adjusting for stripping costs is to enhance the comparability of total cash costs to the majority of the Company's peers within the mining industry.
(v) This inventory adjustment reflects production costs associated with unsold concentrates.
(vi) Minesite costs per tonne is not a recognized measure under US GAAP and this data may not be comparable to data presented by other gold producers. As illustrated in the tables above, this measure is calculated by adjusting production costs as shown in the Consolidated Statements of Income for inventory, non-cash reclamation provisions and deferred stripping costs (as described in iv above), and then dividing by tonnes of ore processed. As total cash costs data can be affected by fluctuations in byproduct metal prices and exchange rates, management believes minesite costs per tonne provides additional information regarding the performance of mining operations and allows management to monitor operating costs on a more consistent basis as the per tonne measure eliminates the cost variability associated with varying production levels. Management also uses this measure to determine the economic viability of mining blocks. As each mining block is evaluated based on the net realizable value of each tonne mined, in order to be economically viable the estimated revenue on a per tonne basis must be in excess of the minesite costs per tonne. Management is aware that this per tonne measure is impacted by fluctuations in production levels and thus uses this evaluation tool in conjunction with production costs prepared in accordance with US GAAP. This measure supplements production cost information prepared in accordance with US GAAP and allows investors to distinguish between changes in production costs resulting from changes in production versus changes in operating performance.
Note Regarding Production Guidance
The gold production guidance is based on the Company's mineral reserves but includes contingencies, assumed metal prices and foreign exchange rates that are different from those used in the reserve estimates. These factors and others mean that the gold production guidance presented in this disclosure does not reconcile exactly with the production models used to support these mineral reserves.
Note Regarding Certain Measures of Performance
This news release presents measures including "total cash costs per ounce," "minesite costs per tonne" and "all-in sustaining costs" that are not recognized measures under US GAAP. This data may not be comparable to data presented by other gold producers. The Company believes that these generally accepted industry measures are realistic indicators of operating performance and useful for year-over-year comparisons. However, both of these non-GAAP measures should be considered together with other data prepared in accordance with US GAAP. These measures, taken by themselves, are not necessarily indicative of operating costs or cash flow measures prepared in accordance with US GAAP. A reconciliation of the Company's total cash costs per ounce and minesite costs per tonne to the most comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with US GAAP for the Company's historical results of operations is set out above.
The mineral reserve and resource contents of this news release have been prepared under the supervision of, and reviewed by, Alain Blackburn P.Eng., Senior Vice-President, Exploration and a "Qualified Person" for the purposes of NI 43-101.
Detailed Mineral Reserve and Resource Data (as at December 31, 2012)
The information in this news release has been prepared as at February 13, 2013. Certain statements contained in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and "forward looking information" under the provisions of Canadian provincial securities laws and are referred to herein as "forward-looking statements". When used in this document, words such as "anticipate", "expect", "estimate", "forecast", "planned", "will", "likely", "schedule" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.
Such statements include without limitation: the Company's forward-looking production guidance, including estimated ore grades, project timelines, drilling results, orebody configurations, metal production, life of mine trends, production estimates, total cahs costs per ounce, all-in sustaining costs, minesite costs per tonne, cash flows, the estimated timing of scoping and other studies, the methods by which ore will be extracted or processed, recovery rates, mill throughput, and projected exploration and capital expenditures, including costs and other estimates upon which such projections are based; the Company's goal to increase its mineral reserves and resources; the Company's goal to increase its dividends; the Company's goal to build a mine at La India, Meliadine and Goldex; the Company's plan to expand capacity at Kittila and other statements and information regarding anticipated trends with respect to the Company's operations, exploration and the funding thereof. Such statements reflect the Company's views as at the date of this news release and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of factors and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Agnico-Eagle as of the date of such statements, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. The factors and assumptions of Agnico-Eagle contained in this news release, which may prove to be incorrect, include, but are not limited to, the assumptions set forth herein and in management's discussion and analysis and the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2011 ("Form 20-F") as well as: that there are no significant disruptions affecting operations, whether due to labour disruptions, supply disruptions, damage to equipment, natural occurrences, equipment failures, accidents, political changes, title issues or otherwise; that permitting, production and expansion at each of Agnico-Eagle's mines and growth projects proceeds on a basis consistent with current expectations, and that Agnico-Eagle does not change its plans relating to such projects; that the exchange rate between the Canadian dollar, European Union euro, Mexican peso and the United States dollar will be approximately consistent with current levels or as set out in this news release; that prices for gold, silver, zinc, copper and lead will be consistent with Agnico-Eagle's expectations; that prices for key mining and construction supplies, including labour costs, remain consistent with Agnico-Eagle's current expectations; that Agnico-Eagle's current estimates of mineral reserves, mineral resources, mineral grades and metal recovery are accurate; that there are no material delays in the timing for completion of ongoing growth projects; that the Company's current plans to optimize production are successful; and that there are no material variations in the current tax and regulatory environment. Many factors, known and unknown, could cause the actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks include, but are not limited to: the volatility of prices of gold and other metals; uncertainty of mineral reserves, mineral resources, mineral grades and metal recovery estimates; uncertainty of future production, capital expenditures, and other costs; currency fluctuations; financing of additional capital requirements; cost of exploration and development programs; mining risks; risks associated with foreign operations; governmental and environmental regulation; the volatility of the Company's stock price; and risks associated with the Company's byproduct metal derivative strategies. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors, see the Form 20-F, as well as the Company's other filings with the Canadian Securities Administrators and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements and information, except as required by law. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Certain of the foregoing statements, primarily related to projects, are based on preliminary views of the Company with respect to, among other things, grade, tonnage, processing, recoveries, mining methods, capital costs, total cash costs, minesite costs, and location of surface infrastructure. Actual results and final decisions may be materially different from those currently anticipated.
Notes to Investors Regarding the Use of Resources
Cautionary Note to Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured and Indicated Resources
This news release uses the terms "measured resources" and "indicated resources". Investors are advised that while those terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the SEC does not recognize them. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into reserves.
Cautionary Note to Investors Concerning Estimates of Inferred Resources
This press release also uses the term "inferred resources". Investors are advised that while this term is recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the SEC does not recognize it. "Inferred resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies, except in rare cases. Investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of an inferred resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable.
Scientific and Technical Data
Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited is reporting mineral resource and reserve estimates in accordance with the CIM guidelines for the estimation, classification and reporting of resources and reserves.
Cautionary Note To U.S. Investors - The SEC permits U.S. mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. Agnico-Eagle uses certain terms in this press release, such as "measured", "indicated", and "inferred", and "resources" that the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit U.S. registered companies from including in their filings with the SEC. U.S. investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20-F, which may be obtained from us, or from the SEC's website at: http://sec.gov/edgar.shtml. A "final" or "bankable" feasibility study is required to meet the requirements to designate reserves under Industry Guide 7.
Estimates for all properties were calculated using historic three-year average metals prices and foreign exchange rates in accordance with the SEC Industry Guide 7. Industry Guide 7 requires the use of prices that reflect current economic conditions at the time of reserve determination, which the Staff of the SEC has interpreted to mean historic three-year average prices. The assumptions used for the mineral reserves and resources estimates at the Lapa, Meadowbank and Creston Mascota mines and the Goldex and Meliadine projects reported by the Company on February 13, 2013 are based on three-year average prices for the period ending December 31, 2012 of $1,490 per ounce gold, $29.00 per ounce silver, $0.95 per pound zinc, $3.67 per pound copper, $1.00 per pound lead and C$/US$, US$/Euro and MXP/US$ exchange rates of 1.00, 1.34 and 12.75, respectively. The assumptions used for the mineral reserves and resources estimates at the LaRonde, Pinos Altos and Kittila mines and the La India and Tarachi projects reported by the Company on February 13, 2013 were based on three-year average prices for the period ending June 30, 2012 of $1,345 per ounce gold, $25.00 per ounce silver, $0.95 per pound zinc, $3.49 per pound copper, $0.99 per pound lead and C$/US$, US$/Euro and MXP/US$ exchange rates of 1.00, 1.30 and 13.00, respectively.
The Canadian Securities Administrators' National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") requires mining companies to disclose reserves and resources using the subcategories of "proven" reserves, "probable" reserves, "measured" resources, "indicated" resources and "inferred" resources. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
A mineral reserve is the economically mineable part of a measured or indicated mineral resource demonstrated by at least a preliminary feasibility study. This study must include adequate information on mining, processing, metallurgical, economic and other relevant factors that demonstrate, at the time of reporting, that economic extraction can be justified. A mineral reserve includes diluting materials and allows for losses that may occur when the material is mined. A proven mineral reserve is the economically mineable part of a measured mineral resource demonstrated by at least a preliminary feasibility study. A probable mineral reserve is the economically mineable part of an indicated and, in some circumstances, a measured mineral resource demonstrated by at least a preliminary feasibility study.
A mineral resource is a concentration or occurrence of natural, solid, inorganic material, or natural, solid fossilized organic material including base and precious metals in or on the Earth's crust in such form and quantity and of such a grade or quality that it has reasonable prospects for economic extraction. The location, quantity, grade, geological characteristics and continuity of a mineral resource are known, estimated or interpreted from specific geological evidence and knowledge. A measured mineral resource is that part of a mineral resource for which quantity, grade or quality, densities, shape and physical characteristics are so well established that they can be estimated with confidence sufficient to allow the appropriate application of technical and economic parameters, to support production planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. The estimate is based on detailed and reliable exploration, sampling and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes that are spaced closely enough to confirm both geological and grade continuity. An indicated mineral resource is that part of a mineral resource for which quantity, grade or quality, densities, shape and physical characteristics can be estimated with a level of confidence sufficient to allow the appropriate application of technical and economic parameters, to support mine planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. The estimate is based on detailed and reliable exploration and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes that are spaced closely enough for geological and grade continuity to be reasonably assumed. An inferred mineral resource is that part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality can be estimated on the basis of geological evidence and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not verified, geological and grade continuity. The estimate is based on limited information and sampling gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes. Mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
Investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of an inferred resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable.
A feasibility study is a comprehensive technical and economic study of the selected development option for a mineral project that includes appropriately detailed assessments of realistically assumed mining, processing, metallurgical, economic, marketing, legal, environmental, social and governmental considerations together with any other relevant operational factors and detailed financial analysis, that are necessary to demonstrate at the time of reporting that extraction is reasonably justified (economically mineable). The results of the study may reasonably serve as the basis for a final decision by a proponent or financial institution to proceed with, or finance, the development of the project. The confidence level of the study will be higher than that of a Pre-Feasibility Study.
The mineral reserves presented in this disclosure are separate from and not a portion of the mineral resources.
The effective date for all of the Company's mineral resource and reserve estimates in this press release is December 31, 2012. Additional information about each of the mineral projects that is required by NI 43-101, sections 3.2 and 3.3 and paragraphs 3.4 (a), (c) and (d) can be found in the Technical Reports referred to above, which may be found at www.sedar.com. Other important operating information can be found in the Company's Form 20-F and this news release dated February 13, 2013.
SOURCE Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited
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