Pretium Resources reports higher profit, launches CEO search
(Kitco News) - Pretium Resources Inc. (TSX, NYSE: PVG), which has been operating the Brucejack Mine in British Columbia since 2018, Wednesday announced a higher adjusted profit in the fourth quarter and a search for a new chief executive officer.
Adjusted earnings were $33.1 million, or 18 cents, in the fourth quarter. This was up from $20.2 million, or 11 cents, in the same period of 2018. Net earnings prior to special items were $20 million, up from $2.8 million a year ago, with the company saying the increase was primarily due to higher gold prices, a decline in interest and finance expense and decrease in the loss on financial instruments at fair value.
Free cash flow generated in the fourth quarter was $49.7 million, compared to $40.1 million in the year-ago period.
Meanwhile, Pretium said its board of directors has started searching for a new president and chief executive officer, with current CEO Joseph Ovsenek planning to continue in his role while the search is under way. Ovsenek has been president and CEO since 2017 and president since 2015. He was previously executive vice president and chief development officer from 2011 to 2015.
“The board offers its deepest thanks to Joe for his critical role in advancing Brucejack to production as a safe and profitable mine,” said Richard O’Brien, board chairman.
Production was 96,237 ounces of gold and 147,988 ounces of silver in the fourth quarter. This compares to 96,342 ounces of gold and 113,886 ounces of silver in the same period a year ago.
Full-year 2019 production totaled 354,405 ounces of gold, down from 376,012 in 2018, with the decline blamed on a decrease in the head grade. Silver output of 516,977 ounces in 2019 was above 422,562 ounces in 2018.
All-in sustaining cots for the fourth quarter were $866 per ounce of gold sold, compared to $784 a year earlier. AISC for all of 2019 totaled $888 per ounce of gold, compared to $764 in 2018.
“In 2019, we beat the upper end of our revised gold-production guidance and the lower end of our AISC guidance of 350,000 ounces and $900 per ounce of gold sold,” said Ovsenek. “In addition, we substantially exceeded our debt reduction target.”
Officials said 2020 Brucejack projection is expected to be in the range of 325,000 to 365,000 ounces. AISC for 2020 are expected to range from $910 to $1,060 per ounce of gold sold.
For full-year 2019, Pretium listed adjusted earnings of $100.7 million, compared to $99.3 million in 2018. Full-year free cash flow was $184.2 million, an increase from $169.9 million generated in 2018.
The company also said it expects to disclose a full technical update for the updated life-of-mine plan, which includes the Valley of the Kings, by March 31.