SEMAFO to Produce Up to 240,000 Ounces of Gold in 2009
Montreal, Quebec, January 29, 2009 � SEMAFO (TSX: SMF) today provided a summary of its 2008 key operating highlights as well as the Company�s production outlook for 2009:
� Gold production for 2008 totaled 195,500 ounces, establishing a production record and exceeding SEMAFO�s guidance of between 165,000 and 185,000 ounces of gold.
� Average cash operating cost for 2008 is expected to be approximately $465 per ounce, which is in line with management�s forecast and represents an improvement of 7% over 2007.
� SEMAFO�s 2009 annual production plan is established at between 220,000 and 240,000 ounces of gold, an increase of approximately 18% over 2008.
� Average cash operating cost for 2009 is estimated to be between $435 and $475 per ounce. (1)
� Capital expenditures for 2009 are expected to be $13 million; including $4 million for the first phase of the Mana expansion project.
(1) The average cash operating cost is based on material assumptions calculated as at December 31, 2008 and based on the following: an oil price of $0.90 per liter, $1.19 Canadian to the US Dollar, and $1.30 US dollar to one Euro, continued stable production at all three mines.
�SEMAFO is looking forward to another strong year in 2009,� said Benoit La Salle, SEMAFO�s President and CEO, �We intend to build upon our 2008 achievements, where we delivered record production and completed the smooth, successful start-up of our new Mana mine. In 2008, our goal was to increase gold production by 60% through steady quarterly growth. Not only did we deliver on this promise, but we surpassed our objective, achieving an increase of 84% over our 2007 production.�
�We expect continued stable production at all three mines in 2009, with the Mana mine to account for 55% of our total production� said Benoit Desormeaux, SEMAFO�s Executive Vice-President and COO. �In 2009, as part of our expansion project at Mana, the purchase of additional mining equipment and minor facility modifications will augment plant capacity to 6,000 tonnes per day for saprolite ore. The delivery of mining equipment is expected at Mana in the second quarter of 2009, while increased capacity at the plant is expected be operational in the fourth quarter of 2009.�
The Company closed out 9,000 ounces of gold sales contracts at a cost of $4,525,000 using a portion of the December 2008 financing proceeds. The Company is scheduled to retire all 22,100 outstanding gold sales contracts by June 30, 2009. Currently, 7,100 ounces of these gold sales contracts remain uncovered.
�SEMAFO remains committed to the effective management of its assets� reiterated Mr. La Salle, �We will continue to focus on the diligent administration of our finances in order to maximize liquidity and cash flow. We are committed to increasing shareholder value through the delivery of solid results all of which is a result of the strength and dedication of our operational and management teams.
Semafo is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa. The Company currently operates three gold mines in Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea. Semafo is committed to evolve in a conscientious manner to become a major player in its geographical area of interest, while maintaining principles and strengthening relationships to increase shareholder value.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding expectations of the Company as to the market price of gold, strategic plans, future commercial production, production targets, timetables, mining operating expenses, capital expenditures, and mineral reserve and resource estimates. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and accordingly, actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Factors that could cause future results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, fluctuations in the market price of precious metals, mining industry risks, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves and resources, risks related t o hedging strategies, risks of delays in construction, requirements of additional financing and other risks described in the Company�s documents filed from time to time with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Although the Company is of the opinion that these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, those assumptions may prove to be incorrect. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Readers can find further information with respect to risks in the Annual Information Form of the Company and other filings of the Company with Canadian securities regulatory authorities available at www.sedar.com. The Company disclaims any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law.
For more information contact:
Benoit La Salle
President & CEO
Tel: (514) 744-4408
Sofia St Laurent
Tel: (514) 744-4408
Renmark Financial Communications Inc.
Maurice Dagenais : email@example.com
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Montreal - Tel.: 514-939-3989 / Fax: 514-939-3717
Toronto � Tel.: 416-644-2020 / Fax: 416-644-2021