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Robex: 2021 Sustainable Growth Strategy Validation and 2022 New Dimension Resulting From the Business Combination With Sycamore

QUÉBEC CITY, May 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Robex Resources Inc. ("Robex", "the Group" or "the Company") (TSXV: RBX) is pleased to publish their financial results for the year ending December 31, 2021, and their production results for the first quarter of 2022.

All amounts are in Canadian dollars (CAD).

2021 Corporate Operating and Financial Results Highlights

  • The 2021 production amounts to 46,554 oz in concordance with the revised objective of >45,000 oz.
  • The 2021 operational result amounts to CAD 37.1 million (vs. CAD 48.5 million in 2020) due in part to the production decrease resulting from the expected decrease of the grades and of the gold price.
  • The 2021 net result of CAD 15.9 million attributable to shareholders (vs. CAD 44.6 million in 2020) includes an exceptional CAD 14.3 million tax provision in 2021 accounted following the receipt of the assessment notice project for Years 2016 to 2018, representing the most probable cash outflow as of today.
  • The net debt shows a marked improvement of CAD 8.3 million at the end of December 2021.
  • In the course of Year 2021, management worked on finalizing the combination of Robex with the Sycamore Mining Ltd. Company (“Sycamore”), which bring the Kiniero project located in the Republic of Guinea. This transaction, once closed during the second quarter of 2022, should allow the Company to multiply by four its production to reach a level superior to 200,000 oz by 2024.

Mr. Georges Cohen, President of Robex, declared: “The year 2021 allowed Robex to consolidate its strategy in Nampala and to embark on a major stage of external growth for Robex. After researching projects and examining opportunities: Intensive work has resulted in the merger in Guinea, announced on April 20, of Robex with Sycamore with the objective of becoming an important low cost, multi-asset and multi-jurisdiction gold producer in West Africa, producing more than 200,000 oz per year by 2024 and offering an important exploration potential.

The implementation of synergies between Robex and Sycamore has already begun to bear fruit with the complete redesign of the Robex exploration process thanks to Sycamore’s teams of experienced geologists. Robex partners and managers have already gone in Guinea, bringing their expertise in plant development and operation, to consolidate the Kiniero project. Robex has committed engineering and exploration investments in order to advance on the Kiniero Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) that will be published in the second quarter of 2022. The work done in partnership resulted in Kiniero being of a greater amplitude and to inform the authorities who gave the green light.

Robex intends to rigorously apply to Kiniero its sustainable and inclusive development strategy that will allow all the involved parties to prosper. Despite a new year affected by various local crisis, we are proud to have been able to continue to provide Mali with our support for the local populations and to maintain the best safety standards at our mining site, in particular by renewing the ISO 45001.”

 2021 2020 Variation
 
Gold ounces produced46,554 50,348 -8% 
Gold ounces sold46,002 50,963 -10% 
(rounded off to the nearest thousand dollars)    
Revenue – Gold sales103,893,000 120,830,000 -14% 
Operating income37,094,000 48,529,000 -24% 
Net income attributable to equity shareholders15,893,000 44,609,000 -64% 
Basic earnings per share0.026 0.076 -66% 
Diluted earnings per share0.026 0.074 -65% 
Adjusted amounts    
Net income attributable to equity shareholdersi29,668,000 45,046,000 -34% 
Per sharei0.049 0.076 -36% 
Cash flows    
Cash flows from operating activitiesii33,768,000 65,090,000 -48% 
Per sharei0.056 0.111 -50% 
Total assets142,668,000 116,774,000 +22% 
Total liabilities44,020,000 25,535,000 +72% 
Net debtiii(9,281,000) (1,008,000) N/A
 
Statistics    
(in dollars)    
Average realized selling price (per ounce)2,258 2,371 -5% 
All-in sustaining cost (per ounce sold)i1,502 1,277 +18% 
Adjusted all-in sustaining cost (per ounce sold)i956 797 +20% 

Mining Operations (Gold):

 2021 2020 
Operating Data  
Ore mined (tonnes)2,018,180 1,852,789 
Ore processed (tonnes)1,948,284 1,886,318 
Waste mined (tonnes)8,290,782 6,193,081 
Operational stripping ratio4.1 3.3 
Head grade (g/t)0.81 0.93 
Recovery91.4% 89.1% 
Gold ounces produced46,554 50,348 
Gold ounces sold46,002 50,963 
Financial Data  
(rounded off to the nearest thousand dollars)  
Revenue – Gold sales103,893,000 120,830,000 
Mining operation expenses(34,633,000 ) (31,550,000) 
Mining royalties(3,207,000 ) (2,915,000) 
Administrative expenses(11,456,000) (8,809,000) 
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment and amortization
of intangible assets
(11,452,000) (20,849,000) 
Segment operating income43,145,000 56,707,000 
Statistics  
(in dollars)  
Average realized selling price (per ounce)2,258 2,371 
Cash operating cost (per tonne processed)i18 17 
Total cash cost (per ounce sold)i823 676 
All-in sustaining cost (per ounce sold)i1,502 1,277 
Adjusted all-in sustaining cost (per ounce sold)i956 797 
Administrative expenses (per ounce sold)249 173 
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment and amortization
of intangible assets (per ounce sold)
249 409 

For more information, Robex’s MD&A and the annual audited consolidated financial statements are available on the Company's website in the Investors section at robexgold.com. These reports and other documents produced by the Company are also available at sedar.com.

2021 Corporate Summary

The 2021 production amounts to 46,554 oz in concordance with the revised objective of >45,000 oz. Compared to the year 2020, the lower input grade this year, specifically 0.81 g/t compared to 0.93 g/t, was partially compensated by a better recovery (91.4% vs. 88.1%) and an increase of the tonnage. Last December, the replacement of the cyclone pumps allowed us to eliminate the main cause of the 2021 tonnage limitation, enabling us to increase the Nampala production objectives for 2022. We opened four new pits to treat the new resources we discovered following our successful 2019 and 2020 exploration campaign. We also reached the transition that will progressively be included in the plant feeding mix.

Considering the production reduction, the gold price decrease and the energy costs increase, the 2021 operational result has been CAD 37.1 million compared to CAD 48.5 million in 2020. The 2021 net result of CAD 15.9 million attributable to shareholders (vs. CAD 44.6 million in 2020) includes an exceptional CAD 14.3 million tax provision accounted following the receipt of the assessment notice project for Years 2016 to 2018, representing the most probable cash outflow as of today.

In order to develop our licenses, we started exploration work (geochemistry, geophysics reinterpretation, surface sampling) on the Senegalese-Malian shear zone (Sanoula and Diagounte), and on the licenses neighboring Nampala (Mininko and Gladie). Reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drillings have started at the beginning of the year 2022 with the objective of increasing the resources. A complete redesign of our exploration process is in progress with the Sycamore’s team of geologists.

2022 Outlook and Production Objectivesiv: A Year of Transformations

After the 2017 Nampala startup, the doubling of the resources and the 2020 dividends, the Company progress once again in 2022 with the Kiniero project located in the Guinea Republic. This combination has already considerably reinforced our technical teams and will allow us to maximize our properties in Mali, including the Nampala mine which will remain a key asset in the development of the Company. Concomitantly with the legal work for the closing of the transaction, the objectives of the Company for 2022 are the following:

  • Sycamore Integration: Robex will integrate the Sycamore teams in its structure with the deployment of all its HR, environmental, security, accounting, and IT systems procedures. We will establish a close collaboration between both mining sites to share the best practices and train all collaborators.
  • Preparation of the Kiniero construction phase: All the teams are working on completing the Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) compliant with the Canadian NI 43-101 norm, planned for the second quarter of 2022. This study will be followed by a Feasibility Study (“FS”) in order to start the construction of the plant. Much work is required, notably definition drillings and engineering, which will continue throughout the year.
  • Nampala performance improvement: The optimization of the mining plan is now continuous, which is a priority for the Company. The objective is to maximize the cash flow to support the growth of the Group.
  • Contribution to the environment: The solar power plant will start up at the end of the second quarter, which will significantly reduce our emissions by 3,000 tons of CO2, saving 1,147,000 liters of fuel, while improving our production costs.
  • Exploration in Mali and Guinea: The exploration is back at the core of the strategy to identify new targets and new treatable reserves in the Nampala plant and the future Kiniero plant.
  • Capitals Market: Robex wishes to improve its communication with the investors and the financial intermediaries to increase the stock liquidity on the short term. The Group is considering the possibility to “graduate” at TSX in order to attract a greater number of investors.

Our forecasts for the year 2022 are the following:

 2021 Achievements2022 Forecasts
Nampala Mine  
Gold production



46,554 ounces? 50,000 ounces
All-in sustaining cost (‘’AISC’’)i (per ounce sold)1,502 CAD (1,199 USDv)< 1,500 CAD (1,197 USDv)
   
Immobilization expenses (included in the AISC)  
Maintenance immobilization expenses6.1 million CAD4.9 million CAD
Stripping costs21.9 million CAD15.5 million CAD
 28.0 million CAD20.4 million CAD

Production Results for the First Quarter of 2022

In concordance with the mining plan, the Nampala mine achieved gold production of 12,089 ounces (376 kg) for the first quarter of 2022 (vs. 10,642 ounces of gold (331 kg) in the first quarter of 2021), with a recovery rate of 90.1%. The plant processed 509,374 tonnes, corresponding to a daily average of 5,660 tonnes, at an average grade of 0.82 g/t (vs. 0.76 g/t for the same period in 2021).

The production data presented has been validated by Antoine Berton ENG, Ph. D., a metallurgist working with Soutex, the consultancy firm specializing in ore processing and metallurgy on-site in the Nampala mine.

For more information:

Benjamin Cohen, CEO
Aurélien Bonneviot, investors relations and corporate development
a.bonneviot@robexgold.com
investor@robexgold.com
Head office: +1(581) 741-7421

This news release contains statements that may be considered “forecast information” or “forecast statements” in terms of security rights. These forecasts are subject to uncertainties and risks, some of which are beyond the control of Robex. Achievements and final results may differ significantly from forecasts made implicitly or explicitly. These differences can be attributed to many factors, including market volatility, the impact of the exchange rate and interest rate fluctuations, mispricing, the environment (hardening of regulations), unforeseen geological situations, unfavourable operating conditions, political risks inherent in mining in developing countries, changes in government policies or regulations (laws and policies), an inability to obtain necessary permits and approvals from government agencies, or any other risk associated with mining and development. There can be no assurance that the circumstances set out in these forecasts will occur, or even benefit Robex, if any. The forecasts are based on the estimates and opinions of the Robex management team at the time of publication. Robex makes no commitment to make any updates or changes to these publicly available forecasts based on new information or events, or for any other reason, except as required by applicable security laws. The TSX Venture Exchange or the Regulation Services Provider (as defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) assumes no responsibility for the authenticity or accuracy of this news release.

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i Adjusted net income attributable to equity shareholders, adjusted basic earnings per share, operating cash flows per share, cash operating cost, total cash cost, all-in sustaining cost (or AISC) and adjusted all-in sustaining cost are non-IFRS financial measures for which there is no standardized definition under IFRS. See the "Non-IFRS Financial Performance Measures" section of the MD&A.
ii Cash flows from operating activities exclude net change in non-cash working capital items.
iii Refer to “Net Debt Position” section of the MD&A.
iv This section contains forward-looking statements. Refer to the "Forward-Looking Statements" section of the MD&A for further details on forward-looking statements.
v The amounts in Canadian dollars have been converted to American dollars according to the average yearly rate for 2021, which is 0.7980.