‘Challenging but Successful’ Year for SilverCrest Mines

- March 25th, 2015

SilverCrest Mines Inc. (TSX:SVL,NYSEMKT:SVLC) released its audited consolidated financial results for Q4 2014, as well as 2014 as a whole, noting that it recorded a net loss of $1.5 million, or $0.01 per share, basic and diluted.

SilverCrest Mines Inc. (TSX:SVL,NYSEMKT:SVLC) released its audited consolidated financial results for Q4 2014, as well as 2014 as a whole, noting that it recorded a net loss of $1.5 million, or $0.01 per share, basic and diluted.

Scott Drever, CEO and director of SilverCrest, described the year as “challenging but successful,” noting that the company worked on moving from open-pit heap leaching at its Santa Elena mine to an underground mining and milling operation. He also said:

By the start of the fourth quarter, we had successfully commissioned both the underground mine and the 3,000 tonnes per day (‘tpd’) mill and processing facilities. SilverCrest achieved 93% of its 2014 metal production guidance, in spite of the early closure of the open pit and short-term delays encountered with underground stope production. Low metal prices and one-time impairment charges totaling $4.96 million impacted our financial performance in 2014. SilverCrest generated cash flow from operations of $13.8 million ($0.12 per share) in 2014 and is confident in Santa Elena’s ability to generate positive cash flows in 2015, notwithstanding the lower precious metals price environment. SilverCrest expects annual production for 2015 to range between 4.0 – 4.4 million ounces of AgEq (Ag:Au 66.7:1), a significant increase over 2014 production of 2.81 million AgEq ounces. SilverCrest continues to have a strong balance sheet through disciplined cost controls with $31.3 million in cash (at Dec 31, 2014) and undrawn credit facility of $15 million.

2014 highlights include:

Adjusted earnings for fiscal 2014 amounted to $5,238,021 ($0.04 per share, basic and diluted), compared to $16,147,593 ($0.15 per share, basic and diluted) in 2013. Net loss was $1,515,975 ($0.01 loss per share, basic and diluted) for fiscal 2014, compared with earnings of $8,479,263 ($0.08 per share, basic and diluted) in 2013. The loss recognized in fiscal 2014 was primarily driven by 1) a decrease in revenues from lower realized prices, 2) an increase in direct production costs as Santa Elena transitioned during 2014 from an open pit heap leach operation to an underground mining and milling operation, and 3) Q4 non-cash impairment charges totalling $4.96 million.

Silver and gold revenues totalled $45,132,599 (2013 – $54,893,651) for fiscal 2014. Silver sales amounted to 1,177,936 ounces (2013 – 751,633), which includes 206,323 (2013 – 13,881) capitalizedunces, 57% higher when compared to 2013. The foregoing, combined with a 21% lower average realized price of $18.23 (2013 – $22.97) per ounce, resulted in only 24% higher silver revenue. Total gold revenue reported during fiscal 2014 decreased 16% compared to the same period in 2013. Total gold sales were 28,678 ounces (2013 – 30,487), which includes 4,096 (2013 – 409) capitalized ounces, or 6% below the same period in 2013. The Company sold 23,162 (2013 – 24,389) ounces of gold at an average realized price of $1,256 (2013 – $1,392) per ounce, a 10% decline. The Company delivered 5,516 gold ounces (2013 – 6,097) under the Sandstorm Purchase Agreement at $353 cash (2013 – $350) per ounce.

Cost of sales amounted to $23,596,973 (2013 – $19,895,374). Cash operating cost per AgEq ounce sold during the year was $9.64 (Ag:Au 60.0:1) per ounce compared to $7.78 (Ag:Au 60.5:1) per ounce in 2013. All-in sustaining cash cost per AgEq ounce sold in fiscal 2014 was $14.35 (Ag:Au 60.0:1) per ounce compared to $13.04 (Ag:Au 60.5:1) per ounce in 2013. The primary drivers for the increase in cash operating cost and all-in sustaining cash cost are the same as those outlined above in the fourth quarter comparison.

General and administrative expenses decreased by 6% to $6,504,047 (2013 – $6,951,892). The decrease is primarily from a reduction in remuneration as lower annual bonuses were paid in Q4 to management and employees.

Impairment charges totalled $4,956,418 (2013 – $Nil) and current and deferred tax expense totalled $262,000 (2013 – $5,450,000) and $514,000 (2013 – $7,418,000) respectively. Refer to the fourth quarter comparison for explanations of the primary drivers.

Click here to read the full SilverCrest Mines Inc. (TSX:SVL,NYSEMKT:SVLC) press release.

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