Dual-listed Orosur Mining has swung to a pretax loss of $27.18-million in the 2018 financial year, as the closing down of its operations in Uruguay, following lower-than-expected grades at its San Gregorio (SG) underground mine, put the company in a “difficult” financial position.
The loss compares with profit of $2.34-million in the previous June 30 financial year and includes an $11-million impairment charge and other write-downs. Orosur finished the 2018 financial year with net debt of $551 000, compared with net cash of $2.95-million a year earlier.
The company’s revenue fell from $44.23-million in 2017, to $37.10-million in the year under review, as gold production dropped from 35 371 oz to 274 586 oz. The SG underground mine continued to produce gold until the end of July, and was placed in care and maintenance this month. The mine’s production for the first quarter of the 2019 financial year would be between 2 500 oz and 3 500 oz.
Orosur in June applied for creditor protection for Loryser – its operating subsidiary in Uruguay.
Orosur is also pulling back activities in Chile, with the company having sold its remaining 25% interest in Talca for $120 000 and returned its interest in the Anillo project to Codelco.
The troubled firm’s main focus is now the Anza exploration project, in Colombia, for which it is raising finance to fund the next stage of exploration.
CEO Ignacio Salazar said that the Anza project was an exciting development for Orosur.
“The drilling campaign in Anzá resulted in a number of high grade gold intercepts, providing support for our geological model, as well as materially extending the known extent of mineralisation. The drilling started in October 2017 and was completed in early June 2018 and the company has been planning the next stages of exploration, as well as hosting advanced negotiations with a sophisticated senior mining company interested in progressing the Anzá project with the company,” he commented in a statement.
Orosur’s share price closed 10% down on the TSX on Thursday at C$0.04 a share and on London’s Aim market, the company traded 20% lower on Thursday at 2.45p a share.