9m 2021 Operating Results
London, United Kingdom, 24 November 2021 – Nord Gold plc ("Nordgold" or "the Company"), the internationally diversified gold producer, announces operating results for the nine months ended 30 September 2021.
9M 2021 Highlights:
- The Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) was 0.05 for the 9M 2021, a substantial improvement of 74% year-on-year (YoY). As previously reported, despite this positive performance, with great sadness, Nordgold regrets to report a fatal accident at the Irokinda underground mine in January 2021. This tragedy highlights the continued need to focus on our overall safety performance. Meanwhile LTIFR for Q3 2021 was zero.
- Refined gold production remained broadly stable at 764.5 thousand ounces of gold equivalent (koz) for 9M 2021 in line with the mine plans. The planned lower production at Gross, Taparko, and Suzdal mines was offset by strong performances at the Bissa-Bouly, Taborny and Irokinda mines.
- The gold price remained relatively resilient, albeit still volatile and below the highs seen in the middle of 2021. The average realised gold price increased by $45/oz YoY to $1,791/oz.
- The Gross Mine Expansion Project continues to progress on time and within budget. In September 2021 Nordgold completed Gross Phase 1 Expansion of mining and processing capacity to 18 million tonnes of ore per year (mtpa), up from 16 million tonnes. The total capital expenditure on the Phase 1 of Gross Expansion was approximately US$50 million, 15% lower than initially planned. Phase 2 of the Gross Expansion Project to raise processing capacity to 26 mtpa is well advanced and on track, with completion expected in 2024.
- In October 2021, Moody’s upgraded Nordgold corporate family rating (CFR) to Ba1 from Ba2 and the probability of default rating (PDR) to Ba1-PD from Ba2-PD. The outlook remains stable. The upgrade reflects the Company’s track record of deleveraging, operational and geographical diversification, history of organic growth and good corporate governance, resulting in a Moody’s-adjusted EBITDA margin of above 40% on a sustained basis.
In September 2021 Nordgold paid a dividend of 59.48 US cents per share for H1 2021, representing a total distribution of US$200 million. Under the previously announced new dividend policy, Nordgold intends to pay a minimum dividend of US$400m in two equal installments on the back of the Group’s H1 2021 and full year 2021 financials. Starting from 2022, the Group intends to pay minimum dividends equivalent to 50% of the Group’s free cash flow pre-growth capital expenditure, subject to a Net Debt / EBITDA threshold of 1.5x.
"I am pleased to report a solid nine months results. Our operations were supported by a strong gold price environment and gold production was in line with expectations. We are on track to meet our full year plans. We also advanced our development projects, with Phase 1 of our Gross Expansion Project completed on time and well ahead of budget. Phase 2 is on track, consolidating our leading position in the highly prospective, low cost Gross gold mining district.
Our commitment to strong financial management was illustrated by the recent Moody’s upgrade, highlighting our disciplined capital allocation strategy, near zero leverage and industry-leading free cashflow generation. This enables us to deliver outstanding shareholder returns while also investing in the longer term development of the Group, driving production growth and reducing our overall cost profile. The combination of a strong asset portfolio, high potential low-cost development projects and a continued focus on operational improvement will enable us to maintain our performance despite inflationary pressures. This gives confidence in our future and our ability to continue to develop our business throughout the cycle."Nikolai ZelenskiChief Executive Officer of Nordgold
Please find the complete text of announcement in the attached PDF.
Olga UlyevaHead of Corporate Communications
Evgeny Belov Head of Investor Relations
Nordgold is an internationally diversified one million ounce gold producer with about 7,800 people operating a portfolio of nine mines (in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Russia and Kazakhstan) and a number of development and exploration projects in Russia, West Africa and the Americas. Since its foundation in 2007, Nordgold has established a global reputation as a leading developer of tier one gold mining assets with a proven commitment to community engagement, sustainability, efficiency and operating in an environmentally responsible manner. Since 2013, Nordgold has successfully constructed three gold mines, including two in Burkina Faso (Bouly and Bissa) and most recently, the Gross mine in Russia.