SSR Mining Inc. reported its consolidated financial results for the second quarter ended June 30. Paul Benson, President and CEO said, “Each of our sites have responded admirably to this challenging environment, implementing new protocols to keep our employees safe when they come to work. Corporately, we reported positive income from mine operations totaling $34 million during the quarter and our cash balance was further strengthened, sitting at $462 million as of June 30. We have been pleased with the safe ramp-ups at both Seabee and Puna, with both operations implementing phased restarts during the quarter. Importantly, we continued to advance our zero-premium merger with Alacer Gold and anticipate closing the transaction in the near-term.”
Second Quarter 2020 Highlights:
-Financial performance: With Seabee Gold Operation and Puna Operations on COVID-19 related temporary care and maintenance for the quarter, reported positive income from mine operations totaling $34.2 million, a net loss of $6.3 million, or loss per share of $0.05, and adjusted attributable net loss of $2.1 million, or loss per share of $0.02.
-Announced a zero-premium merger with Alacer Gold: Completion of the transaction with Alacer Gold will create a leading intermediate precious metals producer with robust margins, strong free cash flow generation, and long mine lives led by a highly experienced management team with a track record of value creation.
-Maintained strong balance sheet and liquidity: Cash balance at quarter end increased to $461.7 million.
-Strong operational result at the Marigold mine: Produced 49,918 ounces of gold at cash costs of $864 per payable ounce of gold sold. Total material mined was over 22 million tonnes, a quarterly record in Marigold’s 31 year history.
-Continued exploration success: Drilling at Trenton Canyon yielded high-grade gold results from newly discovered sulphide mineralization in a geologic setting analogous to other high-grade underground gold mines in Nevada.
-Safe restart of operation at Seabee Gold Operation and Puna Operations: At Seabee, a phased restart was implemented beginning with underground mine development in early June. At Puna Operations, transport of ore from Chinchillas to the plant began May 22, followed by concentrate production beginning June 12, and mining of ore at the Chinchillas mine on June 25.
In the second quarter of 2020, 22.1 million tonnes of material were mined, a 9% increase compared to the first quarter of 2020, reflecting the impact of shorter haul distances associated with increased waste movement and enhanced shovel and truck availability.
During the second quarter of 2020, we delivered approximately 5.1 million tonnes of ore to the heap leach pads at a gold grade of 0.30 g/t. This compares to 5.0 million tonnes of ore delivered to the heap leach pads at a gold grade of 0.30 g/t in the first quarter of 2020. The gold grade delivered to the leach pad was comparable to the prior quarter; however, the strip ratio increased by 10% to 3.3:1 in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the prior quarter. The consistency in gold grade from the previous quarter reflects the continued mining in similar areas as the prior quarter. The increase in strip ratio is due to further stripping of upper portions of the Mackay pit. During the second quarter, we continued construction on our new leach pad. Construction is progressing to plan and is on track to be completed late this year.
During the second quarter of 2020, the Marigold mine produced 49,918 ounces of gold, a decrease of 15% compared to the prior quarter due to lower ounces stacked through the first two quarters of 2020. The first quarter of 2020 benefited from a greater number of tonnes stacked at a higher grade during the fourth quarter of 2019.
Mine Operating Costs
In the second quarter of 2020, cash costs per payable ounce of gold sold were $864, a 5% increase compared to the prior quarter due to an increase in per unit royalty costs due to higher realized gold prices and lower costs capitalized to deferred stripping. Total unit mining costs of $1.46 per tonne in the second quarter of 2020 were 11% lower than the previous quarter primarily due to a 9% increase in tonnes mined, lower diesel costs and lower maintenance costs due to component change-out timing. Processing unit costs were 2% lower than the previous quarter due to a 2% increase in ore tonnes stacked at similar total processing costs. General and administrative costs unit costs were 11% higher in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2020 due to a 13% increase in costs as a result of employee transportation and other costs relating to COVID-19 safety protocols.
In the second quarter of 2020, AISC per payable ounce of gold sold was $1,373, an 8% increase compared to the prior quarter due to higher cash costs and an increase in capital expenditures per payable gold ounce sold. Capital expenditures during the second quarter included the planned purchase of a new haul truck, construction of a new leach pad and capitalized maintenance components.
In the second quarter of 2020, we sold 46,387 ounces of gold, a 20% decrease compared to sales of 58,028 ounces of gold sold in the first quarter of 2020 due to lower production and a marginal build-up in finished goods inventories. We realized an average gold price of $1,722 per ounce during the second quarter of 2020, an increase of 8% compared to an average realized gold price of $1,588 per ounce during the first quarter of 2020.