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Cerrado Gold Announces Q4 Financials and Full-Year Production, Cashflow and Operating Cost Performance Results for Its Minera Don Nicolas Mine in Argentina

Jun 13, 2024

  • Filing of Annual Financial Statements satisfies conditions to receive the US$7 million Third Advance from Hochschild

  • 1st Quarter 2024 Financial Statements expected to be filed by the end of June

  • MDN production for March, April and May exceeded 17,000 ounces, supporting the ongoing turnaround of operations at MDN

TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / June 13, 2024 / Cerrado Gold Inc. (TSXV:CERT)(OTCQX:CRDOF) ("Cerrado" or the "Company") is pleased to announce operational and financial results for the fourth quarter ("Q4/23") and year-end 2023 at its Minera Don Nicolas ("MDN") gold project in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina and for its ongoing activities at the Monte Do Carmo gold project in Brazil and Mont Sorcier Iron Project in Quebec.

Production results for MDN were previously released on January 24, 2024. The Company's annual financial results are reported and available on SEDAR as well as on the Company's website (www.cerradogold.com). As previously disclosed, the filing of the company's operational and financial results were delayed due to the Company and its auditors, KPMG LLP, requiring additional time to complete the audit and quality control procedures. The Company notes that there have been no disagreements between the Company and the auditor regarding any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure, or auditing scope or procedures during this process. Filing of the Company's Q1/2024 results is anticipated by the end of June, 2024.

The Company is also pleased to announce it has appointed Santiago Abbruzzini as a Senior Accountant to supplement the existing accounting team at Minera Don Nicolas, Argentina. Mr. Abbruzzini has over 17 years of auditing experience with KPMG in Argentina.

Q4/23 and Full Year 2023 MDN Highlights:

  • 2023 Annual production of 52,230 Gold Equivalent Ounces ("GEO")

  • Q4 Adjusted EBITDA of $0.8 million and annual adjusted EBITDA of $13.8 million

  • Q4 AISC of $1,594 per ounce and annual AISC of $1,427 per ounce

  • Ramp-up of production from the Las Calandrias Heap Leach was delayed due to crusher commissioning issues; commercial production is expected Q2 2024.

  • Mining at Calandrias Norte is currently contributing higher-grade ore feed to the mill; which is expected to improve production levels moving forward.

  • Focus remains on delivering cashflow and rebuilding the balance sheet with exploration focusing on mine life extension and future growth opportunities.

The Company produced 15,744 gold equivalent ounces and sold 15,518 gold equivalent ounces during Q4 2023. The Company continues to progress the ramp up of its new heap leach project and is targeting full production rates by the end of June 2024. The planned ramp up was delayed due to crushing commissioning issues, which have now been largely resolved. The continued slow ramp up has delayed achieving full production targeted in the first quarter by approximately three months.

Stripping at Calandrias Norte continued during the quarter, with over 2.4 million tonnes of material moved. A further 2 million tonnes were stripped in the first quarter 2024. Production levels were lower than forecast during January and February and have stabilized since March 2024, when more than 5,255 gold equivalent ounces were produced for the month. Significant improvement and benefits from access and limited future stripping required for the Calandrias Norte material, combined with the further ramp up of the heap leach operations, are expected during Q2 2024. Production levels in April and May were very strong, averaging in excess of 6,000 gold equivalent ounces per month, supporting an ongoing turnaround at MDN.

At the new Calandrias Sur heap leach project, work continued as the operation remained in the commissioning phase during the quarter. Initial ramp up was impacted by commissioning issues with the crusher. The finalization of the crushing plant has now been completed, which should also see more consistent feed to the heap leach pad and improve overall performance moving forward. Approximately 531 ounces of gold were produced in Q4 2023. Production for the 1st quarter 2024 exceeded 1,000 ounces of gold and is set to achieve nameplate production rates from June thereafter.

Going forward into 2024 and beyond, Cerrado's MDN operations are positioned to benefit from the completion of its recent expansionary capital expenditure program and generate significant cash flows. As a result of improved operations and cashflow during the second quarter, as well as additional funds from the Monte Do Carmo ("MDC") transaction, we continue to strengthen the balance sheet by paying down payables and reducing our short-term notes.

As a result of events that led to the transaction related to the sale of the Monte Do Carmo project (see press release dated March 5, 2024), the company is currently reviewing its various operating plans, development programs, and capital allocation plans for 2024 and into 2025. The focus is to secure existing cashflows and generate sufficient cash to enhance the overall financial position of the Company. In the near term, the focus will be on maintaining production rates in Argentina, deleveraging the balance sheet, and reviewing the merits of repositioning the mine to solely a heap leach operation for the short-medium term. This will allow exploration programs to continue to grow the existing high-grade ore resources and more fully develop the underground potential that is already known at MDN. The lack of liquidity in 2023 resulted in reduced exploration expenditures, limiting available high-grade resources ready for near term mining. The company is targeting to release an NI 43-101 Resource Update and a Preliminary Economic Assessment for the revised mine plan at MDN in early Q3 of 2024

At the Mont Sorcier iron and vanadium project, operated by Cerrado's wholly owned subsidiary Voyager Metals Inc., work continued to advance the project with several workstreams related to permitting, the social license, and the feasibility study. Metallurgical test work resulted in an optimized flow sheet being designed and demonstrating the ability to deliver a 67% high grade iron ore concentrate. Work programs at Mont Sorcier have been placed on a care and maintenance approach pending additional funding being available. The company remains in discussions with various parties to support accelerating project development, however, at this time, the timeline to deliver the Feasibility study is under review.

Mark Brennan, CEO and Chairman commented, "The latter part of 2023 was very challenging for Cerrado. We commenced the year with an ambitious expansion program to build a new heap leach at MDN and open the Calandrias Norte Pit. Ramp-up delays in conjunction with market conditions and fiscal policy changes in Argentina led to the decision to option our MDC project early this year. However, with MDN now stabilized, we aim to significantly reduce debt levels and repair the balance sheet over 2024 and into 2025".

Table 1. Q4 and 2023 Annual Operational and Financial Performance

The Company generated revenue of $100.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, from the sale of 53,561 ounces of gold and 44,781 ounces of silver at an average realized price per gold ounce sold of $1,849 and an average realized silver price of $23.31 per ounce sold. For the year ended December 31, 2022, the Company generated revenue of $90.4 million from the sale of 50,668 ounces of gold and 95,795 ounces of silver at an average realized price per gold ounce sold of $1,742 and an average realized silver price of $21.99 per ounce sold. Revenue and sales of gold for the current period are higher than the year ended December 31, 2022, due to higher ounces sold and higher average realized price per gold ounce sold.

Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2023, were $86.3 million as compared to $70.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. The Company incurred $13.7 million higher production costs for the year ended December 31, 2023 due to higher costs of operational contractors and materials, and higher labor costs in 2023 as compared to 2022.

Total cash costs (including royalties) per ounce sold was $1,418 per ounce in the year ended December 31, 2023, as compared to $1,192 per ounce for the year ended December 31, 2022; a $226 per ounce or 19% increase (refer to reconciliation of Non-IFRS performance metrics). The increase is a result of higher production costs incurred in 2023 as compared to 2022.

Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2023, was $6.8 million as compared to a $5.9 million loss for the year ended December 31, 2022. The increase in net loss is primarily a result of an increase in deferred tax expense of $4.7 million.

The Company incurred general and administrative expenses of $13.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, as compared to $8.4 million of general and administrative expenses incurred during the year ended December 31, 2022.

Other income of $2.6 million during the year ended December 31, 2023, includes a foreign exchange gain of $10.3 million offset by finance costs of $7.8 million which includes $2.9 million of non-cash accretion expense.

Review of Technical Information

The scientific and technical information in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Sergio Gelcich, P.Geo., Vice President, Exploration for Cerrado Gold Inc., who is a Qualified Person as defined in National Instrument 43-101.

About Cerrado

Cerrado Gold is a Toronto-based gold production, development, and exploration company focused on gold projects in South America. The Company is the 100% owner of both the producing Minera Don Nicolás and Las Calandrias mine in Santa Cruz province, Argentina, and the highly prospective Monte Do Carmo development project, located in Tocantins State, Brazil. In Canada, Cerrado Gold is developing it's 100% owned Mont Sorcier Iron Ore and Vanadium project located outside of Chibougamou, Quebec.

In Argentina, Cerrado is maximizing asset value at its Minera Don Nicolas operation through continued operational optimization and is growing production through its operations at the Las Calandrias Heap Leach project. An extensive campaign of exploration is ongoing to further unlock potential resources in our highly prospective land package in the heart of the Deseado Masiff.

In Canada, Cerrado holds a 100% interest in the Mont Sorcier Iron Ore and Vanadium project, which has the potential to produce a premium iron ore concentrate over a long mine life at low operating costs and low capital intensity. Furthermore, its high grade and high purity product facilitates the migration of steel producers from blast furnaces to electric arc furnaces, contributing to the decarbonization of the industry and the achievement of SDG goals.

For more information about Cerrado please visit our website at: www.cerradogold.com.

Mark Brennan
CEO and Chairman

Mike McAllister
Vice President, Investor Relations
Tel: +1-647-805-5662
[email protected]

Disclaimer

NEITHER TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICES PROVIDER (AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN POLICIES OF THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE) ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.

This press release contains statements that constitute "forward-looking information" (collectively, "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. Any statement that discusses predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as "expects", or "does not expect", "is expected", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", "plans", "budget", "scheduled", "forecasts", "estimates", "believes" or "intends" or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results "may" or "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, without limitation, statements regarding the business and operations of Cerrado and the completion and filing of the Quarterly filings, the Interim Filings and the CTO. In making the forward- looking statements contained in this press release, Cerrado has made certain assumptions. Although Cerrado believes that the expectations reflected in forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that the expectations of any forward-looking statements will prove to be correct. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements and information contained in this press release. Except as required by law, Cerrado disclaims any intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions, changes in factors affecting such forward-looking statements or otherwise.

SOURCE: Cerrado Gold Inc.

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