East Africa-focused gold producer, developer and explorer Shanta Gold generated revenue of $147.4-million for the year ended December 31, 2020, which is up from the $112.8-million generated in 2019, as a result of an average realised gold price of $1 495/oz.
The miner produced 82 978 oz of gold, falling within its guidance of between 80 000 oz and 85 000 oz.
Shanta also milled an all-time company record of 712 945 t of ore, with the average grade of 4 g/t.
The miner’s gross profit for the period is $56.7-million, up from the $14.4-million in 2019; while its operating profit rose from $5.1-million in 2019, to $43.8-million for the period under review.
With key assets being the New Luika gold mine and Singida Project in Tanzania, and the West Kenya Project, in Kenya, Shanta achieved earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $63.9-million, compared with adjusted Ebitda of $47.7-million in 2019.
As such, the miner’s profit after tax is $17.2-million, which compares with the 2019 loss after tax of $9.5-million, thereby leading the miner to propose a dividend of 0.10p apiece, payable in April.
At the end of the period, Shanta was left with net cash of $37.3-million, with available liquidity of $53.5-million.
Falling within its guidance, the miner's cash costs in the period under review were $579/oz, while all-inclusive sustaining costs were $841/oz.
Capital expenditure for the year totalled $13.6-million.
Meanwhile, in 2020, Shanta also managed to find new probable gold reserves totalling 173 000 oz through exploration drilling, representing a net increase of 37 000 oz after production depletion and resource enhancement.
Shanta CEO Eric Zurrin says 2020 will be forever remembered as one of the greatest tests for governments, markets, businesses and communities owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Operating in an industry where health and safety has always been paramount has meant our teams and people have been well prepared for the challenges presented by Covid-19.”
He adds that despite a challenging macroeconomic backdrop, 2020 was another robust year for Shanta. “Our strong fundamentals of net cash, rapidly reducing debt, low costs and a growing diversified portfolio have proven our resilience to these macroeconomic shocks and our outlook remains positive with some key growth catalysts in the pipeline.”
Shanta will continue to prioritise the health and safety of its employees this year, with the necessary Covid-19 precautionary measures in place.
The production guidance for this year is 80 000 oz, with all-inclusive sustaining costs of between $900/oz and $950/oz on a like for-like basis. Including development costs, the miner is eyeing sustaining costs of between $1 050/oz and $1 100/oz.
Further, Shanta forecasts its gold production to increase throughout the year as a principle result of the ramp-up of the third mill and forecasted increase in grade, resulting in production being weighted about 55% towards the second half of the year.
Zurrin adds that 2020 shone a spotlight on the importance of sustainability to companies and societies around the world.
“We have always placed our host countries and communities at the very centre of our projects – by prioritising local content and community employment and embracing new technologies to minimise the environmental impacts of our operations, such as our 63 kW solar photovoltaic pilot power plant that has been providing power to New Luika for two years now, saving on greenhouse-gas emissions.”