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Eldorado Gold Reports 2023 Year-End and Fourth Quarter Financial and Operational Results; Achieves Annual Guidance; Provides Skouries Update

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Eldorado Gold Reports 2023 Year-End and Fourth Quarter Financial and Operational Results; Achieves Annual Guidance; Provides Skouries Update

 

 

 

 

 

Eldorado Gold Corporation (TSX: ELD) (NYSE: EGO) reports the Company’s financial and operational results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2023. For further information please see the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis filed on SEDAR+ at www.sedarplus.com under the Company’s profile.

 

Q4 2023 and Full-Year Summary

 

Operations

  • Gold production: 143,166 ounces in Q4 2023 reflecting continued improvements across the portfolio. Full year production of 485,139 ounces in 2023 was at the midpoint of the tightened guidance range and an increase of 7% from 2022 production of 453,916 ounces, driven by operational upgrades at Kisladag and increased productivity at Olympias.
  • Gold sales: 144,827 ounces in Q4 2023 at an average realized gold price per ounce sold(1) of $1,999, and 483,978 ounces in 2023 at an average realized gold price per ounce sold of $1,944.
  • Production costs: $137.6 million in Q4 2023, and $478.9 million in 2023, compared to $122.2 million in Q4 2022, and $459.6 million in 2022. The increases are due to higher volumes of production and sales, as well as higher royalty expense.
  • Cash operating costs(1): $716 per ounce sold in Q4 2023 and $743 per ounce sold in 2023, within the lowered guidance range, and a decrease from $741 per ounce sold in Q4 2022 and $788 per ounce sold in 2022. The decrease in both periods was primarily due to higher production and slightly lower unit costs for key consumables, including energy and fuel.
  • All-in sustaining costs(1): $1,207 per ounce sold in Q4 2023 and $1,220 per ounce sold in 2023, within the tightened guidance range for the year, and lower than $1,246 per ounce sold in Q4 2022 and $1,276 per ounce sold in 2022. Decreases in both periods primarily reflect the decrease in cash operating costs per ounce sold, partially offset by higher royalties due to higher metal prices. The decrease in the year was also due to lower sustaining capital expenditures.
  • Total capital expenditures: $128.6 million in Q4 2023, and $401.9 million in 2023, including $52.5 million and $153.8 million of growth capital(1) invested at our Skouries project in the respective periods. Growth capital at the operating mines of $121.1 million in 2023 was primarily focused at Kisladag, including waste stripping to support mine life extension, construction of the first phase of the North Heap Leach Pad (“NHLP”), and upgraded higher-capacity conveyors. Sustaining capital at operating mines(1) totaled $121.8 million in 2023, including $72.7 million at Lamaque primarily related to underground development, equipment rebuilds, and expansion of the tailings management facility.

 

Financial

  • Revenue: $306.9 million in Q4 2023 an increase of 25% from revenue of $246.2 million in Q4 2022, and $1,008.5 million in 2023, an increase of 16% from revenue of $872.0 million in 2022, both due to higher average realized gold prices and higher volumes sold.
  • Net cash generated from operating activities of continuing operations: $159.6 million in Q4 2023, an increase from $96.2 million in Q4 2022, and $382.9 million in 2023, an increase from $211.2 million in 2022. Increases in both periods were due to higher revenue, lower unit operating costs, lower income taxes paid, and lower mine standby costs.
  • Cash flow from operating activities, before changes in working capital(2): $138.0 million in Q4 2023, an increase from $85.2 million in Q4 2022 and $411.2 million in 2023, an increase from $239.5 million in 2022. Increases in both periods were primarily due to higher net cash generated from operating activities.
  • Cash, cash equivalents and term deposits: $541.6 million as at December 31, 2023, up from $314.7 million as at December 31, 2022.
  • Net earnings (loss) attributable to shareholders from continuing operations: $91.8 million in Q4 2023, an increase from $41.9 million in Q4 2022, and $106.2 million in 2023, an increase from net loss of $49.2 million in 2022. Increases in both periods were primarily due to higher revenue, and lower mine standby costs, write-downs of assets, and income taxes.
  • Adjusted net earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”)(2): $147.2 million in Q4 2023, an increase from $97.1 million in Q4 2022, and $463.3 million in 2023, an increase from $321.5 million in 2022. These increases were driven by higher net earnings, combined with the reversal of unrealized losses on derivative instruments of $24.6 million in Q4 2023 and $9.6 million in 2023, among other adjustments.
  • Adjusted net earnings(2): $49.3 million or $0.24 per share in Q4 2023, an increase from $25.8 million or $0.14 per share in Q4 2022, and $110.7 million or $0.57 per share in 2023, an increase from $10.1 million or $0.05 per share in 2022. Adjusted net earnings in Q4 2023 removes a $59.4 million gain on deferred income taxes due to the Turkiye hyperinflationary tax basis adjustment and added back a $24.6 million loss on derivative instruments, among other adjustments. Adjusted net earnings in 2023 removes a $59.4 million gain on deferred income taxes due to the Turkiye hyperinflationary tax basis adjustment and added back a one-time deferred tax expense adjustment of $22.6 million related to a retroactive income tax rate increase from 20% to 25% in Turkiye as well as a $29.3 million loss on foreign exchange translation of deferred tax balances, among other things.
  • Free cash flow(2): $29.3 million in Q4 2023, and negative $47.2 million in 2023 due to significant investment in growth capital. Free cash flow excluding capital expenditures at Skouries(2) was $82.0 million in Q4 2023 and $112.6 million in 2023.
  • Project Term Facility Drawdowns: Drawdowns on the Skouries Term Facility as of December 31, 2023 totaled €153.2 million.

 

“Eldorado finished 2023 with its strongest quarter of production, delivering 143,166 ounces of gold,” said George Burns, President and CEO of Eldorado Gold. “Across our four operating mines we produced 485,139 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of $1,220 per ounce, within our guidance range. This was an important year as we delivered 7% production growth, a 6% lower cash cost per ounce and a 4% lower AISC per ounce compared to 2022. We achieved this in a challenging inflationary environment and successfully delivered key initiatives across our operations. Kisladag successfully commissioned the new agglomeration drum and North Heap Leach Pad; Olympias started up its ventilation system and bulk emulsion explosives; Lamaque converted a portion of the Ormaque inferred resources into indicated in preparation for an initial reserve later in 2024. By completing these critical activities we have set up our operations for success to deliver consistent, sustainable results through continued execution.”

 

“In 2023, following the closing of the €680 million project financing facility with two Greek Banks we advanced into full construction on our transformational Skouries project in Greece. In addition, we completed a C$81.5 million strategic investment in Eldorado with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. As we advanced on finalizing key contracts in 2023, we remained within the original capital cost estimate from the December 2021 feasibility study. More recent and pending contracts incorporate labor rates and labor hours established through a diligent tendering process that are higher than the feasibility study. This has positioned us to provide an update to the overall capital cost estimate which has increased by 9% to $920 million from $845 million. With the project financing in place and a robust balance sheet we remain fully funded to complete the construction of Skouries. We look forward to bringing online this world class copper-gold asset that will deliver an additional 40% of high-quality gold production growth for our company by 2027.”

 

“I would like to thank our global team for all their contributions during the year. We are well positioned for a strong 2024 and beyond as we continue to benefit from our efforts over the past several years to optimize our asset portfolio. With a solid balance sheet we are well funded to complete construction of Skouries and to advance on continuous improvement projects across our assets. Our focus in 2024 is on safety, productivity and driving efficiencies across our portfolio to generate free cash flow,” concluded George Burns.

 

Skouries Highlights

 

Capital Estimate and Schedule

 

After finalizing key contracts in 2023, the capital cost estimate remained in line with the December 2021 feasibility study estimate. More recent and pending contracts incorporate labor rates and labor hours established through a diligent tendering process that are higher than the feasibility study. This has resulted in a revised capital estimate of $920 million, an increase of 9% over the original estimate of $845 million.

 

The time invested in diligently negotiating the key project contracts has increased execution confidence with a modest effect on the production schedule. First production of the copper-gold concentrate is now expected in the third quarter of 2025 from prior guidance of mid-2025. As such, the 2025 gold production range has been lowered to between 50,000 to 60,000 ounces from prior guidance of 80,000 to 90,000 ounces. Copper production is expected to be between 15 to 20 million pounds in 2025. A steep ramp up curve is expected over that second half of 2025 and remains on track for commercial production at the end of 2025. We are assessing our plans with the goal of increasing our 2026 gold and copper production profile at Skouries.

 

Between the Skouries project finance facility and our balance sheet the project remains fully funded.

 

Capital spend towards the original estimate of $845 million totalled $52.5 million in Q4 2023, and $153.8 million in 2023.

 

As at December 31, 2023:

  • Overall project progress was 38% complete and 70% complete when including the first phase of construction;
  • Detailed engineering was 61% complete and procurement was 82% complete;
  • Project execution and ramp-up continued for major earthworks including construction of haul roads to support construction of earthworks structures;
  • Mobilized contractor and commenced work on the tailings filtration infrastructure earthworks and pilings;
  • Progress advanced on the foundation construction of the primary crusher; and
  • Completed the upgrade of the underground power supply from 400V to 690V and the ventilation upgrade.

 

As the project advances in 2024 the capital spend is expected to be between $375 and $425 million.

 

Upcoming milestones in 2024 include:

 

Procurement and Engineering

  • Substantial completion of procurement and engineering

 

Process Plant

  • Commence construction of the control room and electrical room building
  • Commence construction of the tailings thickeners

 

Tailings filter facility

  • Awarding the filter facility contract
  • Preassembly of the filter press plates and frames
  • Completion of the structural steel

 

IEWMF

  • Completion of the coffer dam

 

Underground

  • Awarding the underground development and test stoping contract
  • Completion of approximately 2,200 metres of underground development

 

Construction Progress

 

Work continues to ramp up on construction for the build of major earth works structures including the haul roads, IEWMF construction, low-grade stockpile, water management, process facilities, crusher and filter buildings. In addition, work will focus on the underground development to support test stope mining in 2025. Mechanical, piping and electrical installations will also progress in all process and infrastructure areas.

 

On the critical path is the filter plant building which continues to advance, with the piling work having commenced. In Q2 2024 it is expected that the filter building contract will be awarded which will include the building structure, assembly of equipment within the building, including air compressors, conveyors, filter presses and other ancillary equipment, in addition to the piping and electrical work. The filter press plates arrived on site in Q1 2024 with the frames for supporting the filter press plates fabricated and expected to ship in Q2 2024. Preassembly is expected to start Q2 2024.

 

Work for the mill/flotation building is in progress with commissioning work on overhead cranes, installation of construction lighting and scaffolding, and the commencement of structural steel work. Mechanical, piping and electrical work for the process plant are mobilizing with work commencing in Q1 2024.

 

By the end of 2024 we expect to have completed the IEWMF coffer dam and significantly advanced the IEWMF earthworks, water management facilities, process plant and filter plants.

 

The first four Company owned Cat 745 trucks have arrived on site with the remaining 15 scheduled for delivery through the end of Q2 2024. These trucks will be used once Skouries is in operation to build the lifts that will be required on the dry stack tailings facility. During construction of the civil works these trucks will be used as part of an integrated fleet with the earthwork’s construction contractor for construction of the IEWMF facilities.

 

Underground Development

 

The upgrade of the underground power supply from 400V to 690V has been completed. The ventilation upgrade is also complete, and the new contact water pumping system will be fully operational in 2024.

 

The first phase of underground development continues to advance the West Decline and access to the test stopes with a local contractor. The second underground development contract proposals are in the final evaluation stage and awarding of the contract is planned for Q2 2024. This contract includes the test stope work as well as additional development and services work to support the development of the underground mine. We expect to complete approximately 2,200 metres of underground development by the end of 2024.

 

Engineering

 

At December 31, 2023, engineering has been fully transitioned to Greece and was 61% complete with anticipated substantial completion in Q3 2024. Detailed engineering work continues to advance in all areas. The release of structural steel for fabrication is nearing completion and construction drawings are being issued to support the project schedule.

 

Procurement

 

At December 31, 2023, procurement was at 82% with substantial completion expected in Q2 2024. All long lead items have been procured and focus is now shifting to managing fabrication and deliveries.

 

Operational Readiness

 

Recruitment of qualified and experienced people began in 2023 and will continue through 2024 as we build workforce capability as Skouries advances towards first production. Under the direction of Louw Smith, Eldorado’s EVP, Development in Greece, we are progressing with establishing the Skouries operating team with approximately 40 personnel now on board. This includes 12 in leadership roles, 10 embedded in the construction projects teams of open pit mining, underground mining and dry stack tailings construction; and 9 in sustainability. Recruitment activities are on track with the operational workforce plan.

 

Workforce

 

In addition to the Operational Readiness team as of December 31, 2023, there were approximately 550 personnel on site which is expected to ramp up to 1,300 during 2024.

 

Year in Review: Execution Focus and Delivery

  • Health and Safety: The Company’s lost-time injury frequency rate per million person-hours worked was 0.42 in Q4 2023, which was consistent with the LTIFR of Q4 2022 and overall was 0.65 in 2023, a 45% improvement from the LTIFR of 1.19 in 2022. We continue to take proactive steps to improve workplace safety and to ensure a safe working environment for our employees and contractors.
  • Skouries Project Financing Completed: In April 2023, Eldorado closed on a low-cost strategic €680.4 million project financing facility for the development of the Skouries project in Northern Greece. The facility is structured to provide 80% of the funding required to complete the project. Skouries is on schedule to have first production in Q3 2025 and commercial production by the end of 2025.
  • Strategic Investment by EBRD: In June 2023, Eldorado closed the CDN $81.5 million strategic financing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (“EBRD”). The funds are being invested in the Skouries project in Northern Greece, and are credited against the Company’s 20% equity funding commitment for the Skouries Project.
  • Bought Deal: In June 2023, the Company completed a bought deal offering for gross proceeds of CDN $135.2 million ($101.1 million). Proceeds from the offering are expected to be used to fund growth initiatives across Eldorado’s portfolio, as well as for general corporate and working capital purposes.
  • Modified EIA Approval – Kassandra Mines: In April 2023, the modification to the Kassandra Mines Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) was approved by the Ministry of Environment and Energy, allowing the expansion of the Olympias processing facility to 650 ktpa and improvements to the Stratoni port.
  • Gold Collar Contracts: In May 2023, Eldorado entered into a series of zero-cost gold collar contracts in order to manage potential cash flow variability during the Skouries construction period.
  • Record Gold Production in Quebec and Greece: The Lamaque Complex in Quebec delivered record gold production of 177,069 ounces in 2023, driven by increased grade and mill throughput. At the Olympias Mine in Greece, record gold production of 67,133 ounces in 2023 was achieved, a direct result of transformation initiatives implemented at the site including increased ventilation capacity, bulk emulsion, and productivity improvements at the mine and the mill.
  • Enhanced Capacity at Kisladag: In July 2023, stacking commenced on the newly constructed North Heap Leach Pad, with three cells under leach. Additionally, in March 2023, the commissioning of the upgraded materials handling and fine-ore agglomeration circuit was completed. These productivity initiatives drove an increase in throughput and record tonnes placed on the pads and higher irrigation rates.
  • Efemcukuru Met Guidance for the 9th Consecutive Year: Since 2014, Efemcukuru has met annual guidance expectations.
  • Notable awards and recognitions across the business:
    • Recognized by Resourcing Tomorrow with the Project Financing of the Year Award for the Skouries Project Financing Facility.
    • Eldorado placed 1st overall in the Materials sector that includes Mining in the Globe & Mail’s 2023 Board Games. Board Games ranks Canada’s corporate boards in the S&P/TSX Composite Index to assess the quality of their governance practice and disclosure. Since 2020, Eldorado has improved its index wide ranking from 104th to 27th.
    • In Greece, the team completed their first verification against the Mining Association of Canada’s ‘Towards Sustainable Mining’ protocols, achieving “Triple A” ratings across all indicators for Tailings Management and Biodiversity, underlining the Company’s commitment to responsible mining practices.
    • In Turkiye, the team was awarded with the 2023 Euromines Silver Safety Award, which recognizes innovation and best practices for mitigating safety risks. The health and safety team showcased an employee engagement project that addressed management of critical lifting equipment to enable real-time monitoring, equipment integrity, and enhanced controls for storage and use.
    • In Turkiye, the team received an appreciation letter from the Governorship of Usak for the support of containers and water tanks they provided to the earthquake zone. Additionally, our first mine rescue team was deployed within 24 hours of the earthquake and rescued 4 people from the earthquake rubble.
    • In Canada, the team in Quebec recently obtained the UL ECOLOGO® certification for the application of best environmental and social practices in the mineral exploration process. The certification evaluates on factors such as environmental impact, personal safety, the well-being of affected communities, business practices, the efficiency of financial resources and the use of responsible technologies.
    • Simon Hille, EVP Technical Services and Operations, raised over $45,000 for Covenant House Vancouver by participating in the Annual Executive Sleep Out in Vancouver. 2023 was the second time Simon participated in the event to raise funds and awareness for youths experiencing homelessness, and Eldorado’s 5th consecutive year. Since 2018, Eldorado, including employee matching campaigns, has raised over $200,000 for Covenant House Vancouver.

 

Multimedia

  • On February 22, 2024, Eldorado updated its corporate branding. Download our updated logo here.
  • High-resolution photos of construction at the Skouries project can be downloaded here.

 

Consolidated Financial and Operational Highlights

 

Summarized Annual Financial Results

 

    2023     2022     2021  
Revenue $1,008.5   $872.0   $940.9  
Gold produced (oz)   485,139     453,916     475,850  
Gold sold (oz)   483,978     452,953     472,307  
Average realized gold price ($/oz sold)(2) $1,944   $1,787   $1,781  
Production costs   478.9     459.6     449.7  
Cash operating costs ($/oz sold)(2,3)   743     788     626  
Total cash costs ($/oz sold)(2,3)   850     878     715  
All-in sustaining costs ($/oz sold)(2,3)   1,220     1,276     1,068  
Net earnings (loss) for the period(1)   104.6     (353.8 )   (136.0 )
Net earnings (loss) per share – basic ($/share)(1)   0.54     (1.93 )   (0.75 )
Net earnings (loss) per share – diluted ($/share)(1)   0.54     (1.93 )   (0.75 )
Net earnings (loss) for the period continuing operations(1,4)   106.2     (49.2 )   20.9  
Net earnings (loss) per share continuing operations – basic ($/share)(1,4)   0.55     (0.27 )   0.12  
Net earnings (loss) per share continuing operations – diluted ($/share)(1,4)   0.54     (0.27 )   0.11  
Adjusted net earnings continuing operations – basic(1,2,4)   110.7     10.1     129.5  
Adjusted net earnings per share continuing operations – basic ($/share)(1,2,4)   0.57     0.05     0.72  
Net cash generated from operating activities   382.9     211.2     366.7  
Cash flow from operating activities before changes in working capital(2)   411.2     239.5     376.5  
Free cash flow(2)   (47.2 )   (104.5 )   63.3  
Free cash flow excluding Skouries(2)   112.6     (69.4 )   75.6  
Cash, cash equivalents and term deposits   541.6     314.7     481.3  
Total assets   4,987.6     4,457.9     4,930.7  
Debt   636.1     494.4     489.8  

(1)  Attributable to shareholders of the Company.
(2)  These financial measures or ratios are non-IFRS financial measures or ratios. See the section ‘Non-IFRS and Other Financial Measures and Ratios’ for explanations and discussion of these non-IFRS financial measures or ratios.
(3)  Revenues from silver, lead and zinc sales are offset against cash operating costs.
(4)  Amounts presented are from continuing operations only and exclude the Romania segment. See Note 6 of our consolidated financial statements.

 

Summarized Quarterly Financial Results

 

2023 Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4     2023  
Revenue(7) $227.8   $229.0   $244.8   $306.9   $1,008.5  
Gold produced (oz)(6)   111,509     109,435     121,030     143,166     485,139  
Gold sold (oz)   109,817     110,134     119,200     144,827     483,978  
Average realized gold price ($/oz sold)(2,3) $1,932   $1,953   $1,879   $1,999   $1,944  
Production costs(6,7)   109.7     116.1     115.5     137.6     478.9  
Cash operating cost ($/oz sold)(2,3,6)   778     791     698     716     743  
Total cash cost ($/oz sold)(2,3,6)   857     928     794     830     850  
All-in sustaining cost ($/oz sold)(2,3,6)   1,207     1,296     1,177     1,207     1,220  
Net earnings (loss)(4,6)   19.3     0.9     (8.0 )   92.4     104.6  
Net earnings (loss) per share – basic ($/share)(4,6)   0.10         (0.04 )   0.46     0.54  
Net earnings (loss) per share – diluted ($/share)(4,6)   0.10         (0.04 )   0.45     0.54  
Net earnings (loss) for the period continuing operations(1,4,6)   19.4     1.5     (6.6 )   91.8     106.2  
Net earnings (loss) per share continuing operations – basic ($/share)(1,4,6)   0.11     0.01     (0.03 )   0.45     0.55  
Net earnings (loss) per share continuing operations – diluted ($/share)(1,4,6)   0.10     0.01     (0.03 )   0.45     0.54  
Adjusted net earnings (loss) continuing operations(1,2,4,6)   16.7     9.7     35.0     49.3     110.7  
Adjusted net earnings (loss) per share continuing operations – basic
($/share)(1,2,4,6)
  0.09     0.05     0.17     0.24     0.57  
Net cash generated from operating activities(1)   41.0     74.6     107.7     159.6     382.9  
Cash flow from operating activities before changes in working capital(1,2,6)   93.2     82.4     97.5     138.0     411.2  
Free cash flow(2)   (34.4 )   (22.4 )   (19.7 )   29.3     (47.2 )
Free cash flow excluding Skouries(2)   (19.2 )   13.0     36.8     82.0     112.6  
Cash, cash equivalents and term deposits   262.3     456.6     476.6     541.6     541.6  
Total assets   4,501.0     4,742.1     4,812.2     4,987.6     4,987.6  
Debt   493.4     546.0     596.5     636.1     636.1  
           
2022 Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4     2022  
Revenue $194.7   $213.4   $217.7   $246.2   $872.0  
Gold produced (oz)   93,209     113,462     118,792     128,453     453,916  
Gold sold (oz)   94,472     107,631     118,388     132,462     452,953  
Average realized gold price ($/oz sold)(2,3) $1,889   $1,849   $1,688   $1,754   $1,787  
Production costs   104.6     109.3     123.5     122.2     459.6  
Cash operating cost ($/oz sold)(2,3)   835     789     803     741     788  
Total cash cost ($/oz sold)(2,3)   941     879     892     818     878  
All-in sustaining cost ($/oz sold)(2,3)   1,346     1,270     1,259     1,246     1,276  
Net (loss) earnings(4,5)   (317.6 )   (25.3 )   (54.6 )   43.7     (353.8 )
Net (loss) earnings per share – basic ($/share)(4,5)   (1.74 )   (0.14 )   (0.30 )   0.24     (1.93 )
Net (loss) earnings per share – diluted ($/share)(4,5)   (1.74 )   (0.14 )   (0.30 )   0.24     (1.93 )
Net (loss) earnings for the period continuing operations(1,4,5)   (39.7 )   (22.9 )   (28.4 )   41.9     (49.2 )
Net (loss) earnings per share continuing operations – basic ($/share)(1,4,5)   (0.22 )   (0.12 )   (0.15 )   0.23     (0.27 )
Net (loss) earnings per share continuing operations – diluted ($/share)(1,4,5)   (0.22 )   (0.12 )   (0.15 )   0.23     (0.27 )
Adjusted net (loss) earnings continuing operations(1,2,4,5)   (19.3 )   13.6     (10.0 )   25.8     10.1  
Adjusted net (loss) earnings per share continuing operations – basic ($/share)(1,2,4,5)   (0.11 )   0.07     (0.05 )   0.14     0.05  
Net cash flow from operating activities(1)   35.3     27.0     52.7     96.2     211.2  
Cash flow from operating activities before changes in working capital(1,2)   49.4     49.2     55.8     85.2     239.5  
Free cash flow(2)   (26.8 )   (62.7 )   (25.7 )   10.7     (104.5 )
Free cash flow excluding Skouries(2)   (22.3 )   (56.9 )   (16.5 )   26.3     (69.4 )
Cash, cash equivalents and term deposits   434.7     370.0     306.4     314.7     314.7  
Total assets   4,510.4     4,504.8     4,402.4     4,457.9     4,457.9  
Debt   482.8     497.2     497.3     494.4     494.4  

(1)  Amounts presented are from continuing operations only and exclude the Romania segment. See Note 6 of our consolidated financial statements.
(2)  These financial measures or ratios are non-IFRS financial measures or ratios. See the section ‘Non-IFRS and Other Financial Measures and Ratios’ for explanations and discussion of these non-IFRS financial measures or ratios.
(3)  By-product revenues are off-set against cash operating costs.
(4)  Attributable to shareholders of the Company.
(5)  Q1-Q3 2022 amounts have been adjusted to record additional depreciation expense upon review of the estimated remaining useful life of the existing heap leach pad and ADR plant at Kisladag (Q1 2022: $1.0 million, Q2 2022: $3.2 million, Q3 2022: $5.1 million, YTD 2022: $9.2 million).
(6)  A concentrate weight-scale calibration correction at Olympias has resulted in an adjustment to ending inventory as at March 31, 2023 of 1,024 gold ounces. Gold production in Q1 2023 has been reduced by this amount, resulting in additional production costs of $1.3 million and additional depreciation expense of $0.7 million for Q1 2023.
(7)  Q1-Q3 2023 revenues and production costs have been adjusted to reclassify freight-related concentrate sales pricing adjustments from selling expenses to revenues. The reclassification was $1.5 million for Q1 2023, $0.9 million for Q2 2023, and $0.4 million for Q3 2023, and has no impact on net income.

 

Gold sales in 2023 totaled 483,978 ounces, an increase of 7% from 452,953 ounces in 2022. The higher sales volume in 2023 compared with the prior year primarily reflected an increase of 20,243 ounces sold at Kisladag due to an increase of tonnes placed on the heap leach pad in 2023 and utilization of the newly commissioned NHLP. There was also an increase of 10,402 ounces sold at Olympias due to higher tonnes mined, tonnes processed and average gold grade, and an increase of 3,086 ounces sold at Lamaque due to increased tonnes mined and processed. These increases were partially offset by a decrease of 2,706 ounces sold at Efemcukuru due largely to lower average gold grade. Gold sales were 144,827 ounces in Q4 2023, an increase of 9% from 132,462 ounces in Q4 2022, primarily due to increased production at Kisladag and Lamaque in the quarter.

 

The average realized gold price(3) was $1,944 per ounce sold in 2023, an increase from $1,787 per ounce sold in 2022, primarily driven by strong prices in Q3 and Q4 2023. The average realized gold price was $1,999 in Q4 2023 ($1,754 in Q4 2022).

 

Total revenue was $1,008.5 million in 2023, an increase of 16% from revenue of $872.0 million in 2022. The increase was due primarily to both higher sales volumes and average realized gold price. Total revenue was $306.9 million in Q4 2023, an increase of 25% from revenue of $246.2 million in Q4 2022, which increased for the same reasons.

 

Production costs of $478.9 million in 2023 increased from $459.6 million in 2022 and production costs of $137.6 million in Q4 2023 increased from $122.2 million in Q4 2022. Increases in both periods were the result of higher tonnes processed, resulting in increased labour costs and use of key consumables across most sites. This was partially offset by decreases in unit costs of key consumables such as electricity in Turkiye and Greece, and fuel in Turkiye and Canada, as global cost pressures eased during the year. Additionally, transport costs at Olympias were lower as a result of improved shipment logistics.

 

Production costs include royalty expense, which increased to $51.8 million in 2023 from $40.6 million in 2022, and to $16.5 million in Q4 2023 from $10.2 million in Q4 2022, primarily reflecting higher average gold prices combined with higher sales volumes. In Turkiye, royalties are paid on revenue less certain costs associated with ore haulage, mineral processing and related depreciation and are calculated on the basis of a sliding scale according to the average London Metal Exchange gold price during the calendar year. In Greece, royalties are paid on revenue and calculated on a sliding scale tied to international gold and base metal prices and the EUR:USD exchange rate.

 

Cash operating costs(3) averaged $743 per ounce sold in 2023, a decrease from $788 per ounce sold in 2022. In Q4 2023, cash operating costs averaged $716 per ounce sold, a decrease from $741 per ounce sold in Q4 2022. The decrease in both periods was primarily due to higher production and slightly lower unit costs for key consumables, including energy and fuel.

 

AISC per ounce sold(3)decreased slightly to $1,220 in 2023 from $1,276 in 2022, and to $1,207 in Q4 2023 from $1,246 in Q4 2022. Decreases in both periods primarily reflect the decrease in cash operating costs per ounce sold, partially offset by higher royalties due to higher metal prices. The decrease in the year was also due to lower sustaining capital expenditures.

 

We reported net earnings attributable to shareholders from continuing operations of $106.2 million ($0.55 earnings per share) in 2023, compared to net loss of $49.2 million ($0.27 per share) in 2022 and net earnings of $91.8 million ($0.45 per share) in Q4 2023, compared to net earnings of $41.9 million ($0.23 earnings per share) in Q4 2022. Net earnings increased in 2023 primarily due to higher revenue, and lower mine standby costs, write-downs of assets, and income taxes. Net earnings in Q4 2023 reflected higher sales volumes and gold prices, and a higher income tax recovery, compared to Q4 2022.

 

Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations(4) were $110.7 million ($0.57 per share) in 2023, compared to $10.1 million ($0.05 per share) in 2022. Adjusted net earnings in 2023 removes a $29.3 million loss on foreign exchange due to translation of deferred tax balances, $59.4 million gain on deferred income taxes due to the Turkiye hyperinflationary tax basis adjustment, $2.0 million gain on the non-cash revaluation of the derivative related to redemption options in our debt, $9.6 million unrealized loss on derivative instruments, and a $22.6 million deferred tax expense relating to the impact of tax rate changes in Turkiye. Adjusted net earnings were $49.3 million ($0.24 per share) in Q4 2023 after adjusting for a $3.7 million gain on foreign exchange due to translation of deferred tax balances, a $59.4 million gain on deferred income taxes due to the Turkiye hyperinflationary tax basis adjustment, a $4.0 million gain on the non-cash revaluation of the derivative related to redemption options in our debt, and a $24.6 million unrealized loss on derivative instruments.

 

Higher sales volumes in 2023, combined with higher average realized prices, resulted in EBITDA(4) of $442.9 million, including $118.1 million in Q4 2023. Adjusted EBITDA(4) of $463.3 million in 2023 and $147.2 million in Q4 2023 exclude, among other things, share based payments and losses on derivative instruments.

 

Operations Update

 

Gold Operations

 

  3 months ended December 31,   12 months ended December 31,  
    2023     2022     2023     2022  
Total        
Ounces produced   143,166     128,453     485,139     453,916  
Ounces sold   144,827     132,462     483,978     452,953  
Production costs $137.6   $122.2   $478.9   $459.6  
Cash operating costs ($/oz sold)(1) $716   $741   $743   $788  
All-in sustaining costs ($/oz sold)(1) $1,207   $1,246   $1,220   $1,276  
Sustaining capital expenditures(1) $37.9   $36.9   $121.8   $126.5  
Kisladag        
Ounces produced   46,291     40,307     154,849     135,801  
Ounces sold   46,051     39,833     154,456     134,213  
Production costs $36.1   $32.2   $122.8   $120.1  
Cash operating costs ($/oz sold)(1) $623   $709   $657   $773  
All-in sustaining costs ($/oz sold)(1) $909   $884   $900   $1,000  
Sustaining capital expenditures(1) $5.6   $3.0   $16.0   $14.7  
Lamaque        
Ounces produced   56,619     51,349     177,069     174,097  
Ounces sold   57,040     51,244     176,495     173,409  
Production costs $35.1   $29.2   $119.5   $116.7  
Cash operating costs ($/oz sold)(1) $580   $541   $643   $642  
All-in sustaining costs ($/oz sold)(1) $977   $925   $1,089   $1,036  
Sustaining capital expenditures(1) $20.7   $18.1   $72.7   $62.8  
Efemcukuru        
Ounces produced   22,374     21,362     86,088     87,685  
Ounces sold   22,497     21,486     86,078     88,784  
Production costs $21.4   $17.9   $80.1   $73.1  
Cash operating costs ($/oz sold)(1) $816   $738   $797   $701  
All-in sustaining costs ($/oz sold)(1) $1,201   $1,138   $1,154   $1,091  
Sustaining capital expenditures(1) $4.4   $5.3   $14.0   $18.8  
Olympias        
Ounces produced   17,882     15,435     67,133     56,333  
Ounces sold   19,239     19,899     66,949     56,547  
Production costs $44.9   $42.9   $156.5   $149.5  
Cash operating costs ($/oz sold)(1) $1,224   $1,325   $1,133   $1,409  
All-in sustaining costs ($/oz sold)(1) $1,872   $1,998   $1,688   $2,155  
Sustaining capital expenditures(1) $7.2   $10.5   $19.0   $30.3  

(1)  These are non-IFRS financial measures and ratios. Further details on these non-IFRS financial measures and ratios are provided in the MD&A accompanying Eldorado’s financial statements filed from time to time on SEDAR+ at www.sedarplus.com.

 

Kisladag

 

Kisladag produced 154,849 ounces of gold in 2023, a 14% increase from 135,801 ounces in 2022. Gold production of 46,291 ounces in the quarter increased 15% from 40,307 ounces in Q4 2022, benefiting from the newly commissioned NHLP, along with ongoing optimization of on-belt ore agglomeration. Recoverable ounces placed on the combined heap leach pads (North and South) increased from the prior year as a result of the efficient stacking enabled by upgrades of the higher capacity overland conveyors and the commissioning of the NHLP area. Production also benefited from average grade increasing in 2023 to 0.78 grams per tonne, from an average grade of 0.74 grams per tonne in 2022.

 

Revenue increased to $304.8 million in 2023 from $243.3 million in 2022 and increased to $92.9 million from $69.9 million in Q4 2022, reflecting a combination of higher gold sales and higher average realized prices in the current year and quarter.

 

Production costs increased to $122.8 million in 2023 from $120.1 million in 2022 primarily due to increased ore mined and processed and consumption of reagents, as well as higher royalties due to higher average gold prices, partially offset by decreases in unit costs of fuel and electricity as cost pressures in Europe eased in the year as compared to the prior year. Production costs during the quarter increased to $36.1 million from $32.2 million in Q4 2022 also as a result of higher gold production and ounces sold.

 

Depreciation expense increased to $79.9 million in 2023 from $72.6 million in 2022 in line with higher tonnes mined and processed, and higher sales during the year. Depreciation in the quarter was in line with Q4 2022 despite higher sales in the current period due to less stacking on the South Leap leach pad, which depreciates at a faster rate given the shorter remaining useful life in terms of the number of ounces that can be stacked on the pad.

 

Cash operating costs per ounce sold in 2023 decreased to $657 from $773 in 2022 and decreased to $623 in Q4 2023 from $709 in Q4 2022. Decreases in both periods were primarily due to higher gold production and sales, as well as lower unit costs of consumables.

 

AISC per ounce sold decreased to $900 in 2023 from $1,000 in 2022 primarily due to lower cash operating costs per ounce sold, partly offset by higher sustaining capital expenditure. In the quarter, AISC per ounce sold increased to $909 from $884 in Q4 2022 primarily due to higher sustaining capital expenditure, partially offset by lower cash operating costs per ounce sold.

 

Sustaining capital expenditure of $16.0 million in 2023, including $5.6 million in Q4 2023, primarily related to equipment rebuilds, and processing and infrastructure improvements. Growth capital investment of $83.7 million in 2023, including $27.8 million in Q4 2023, primarily included waste stripping to support the mine life extension, construction of the first phase of the NHLP and related infrastructure, and building relocation due to pit expansion.

 

Lamaque

 

Lamaque produced 177,069 ounces of gold in 2023, a 2% increase from 174,097 ounces in 2022 as a result of slightly higher ore throughput in the year and slightly higher grade. This was despite the mining disruption caused by forest fires earlier in the year that led to reduced mining faces available for ore production in Q3. Gold production of 56,619 ounces in the quarter was higher compared to 51,349 ounces in Q4 2022 and reflected strong throughput that was achieved due to productivity improvements at the mine, which allowed the mill to perform at capacity. Average grade of 7.36 grams per tonne in the quarter was slightly lower compared to Q4 2022, while average grade of 6.76 grams per tonne in 2023 slightly exceeded 6.65 grams per tonne in 2022.

 

Revenue increased to $346.3 million in 2023 from $313.0 million in 2022 primarily reflecting a higher average realized gold price in the year. In the quarter, both a higher average realized gold price and higher sales were responsible for the increase in revenue to $114.9 million from $90.0 million in Q4 2022.

 

Production costs increased to $119.5 million in 2023 from $116.7 million in 2022, and $35.1 million in Q4 2023 from $29.2 million in Q4 2022, both primarily due to higher gold production and increased headcount to enable productivity, partially offset by slightly lower unit costs of key consumables, including fuel and cost savings from a weaker Canadian dollar as compared to the prior year. Cash operating costs per ounce sold was consistent between 2023 and 2022 but increased to $580 in Q4 2023 from $541 in Q4 2022 despite higher ounces sold primarily due to extra costs incurred in labour, contractors, and equipment rentals to increase productivity in the quarter.

 

AISC per ounce sold increased to $1,089 in 2023 from $1,036 in 2022 and to $977 in Q4 2023 from $925 in Q4 2022 with increases in both periods reflecting higher cash operating costs per ounce sold and higher sustaining capital expenditure.

 

Sustaining capital expenditures of $72.7 million in 2023, including $20.7 million in Q4 2023, primarily related to underground development, equipment rebuilds, and expansion of the tailings management facility. Growth capital investments totalled $23.3 million in 2023, including $8.1 million in Q4 2023, and is primarily related to construction of underground infrastructure.

 

Efemcukuru

 

Efemcukuru produced 86,088 payable ounces of gold in 2023, a 2% decrease from 87,685 payable ounces in 2022, reflecting lower grades and recoveries in the year, partially offset by higher throughput. Gold production of 22,374 payable ounces in the quarter was 5% higher than 21,362 payable ounces produced in Q4 2022, primarily as a result of record throughput rates in the fourth quarter, averaging 1,500 tpd combined with higher grades.

 

Revenue increased to $170.5 million in 2023 from $155.3 million in 2022 and to $46.7 million in Q4 2023 from $38.4 million in Q4 2022. Increases in both periods were driven primarily by higher average realized gold prices.

 

Production costs increased to $80.1 million in 2023 from $73.1 million in 2022 and increased to $21.4 million in Q4 2023 from $17.9 million in Q4 2022, primarily driven by rising costs of labour and increased royalties due to higher average realized gold prices. Operating cost increases and lower gold production in the year resulted in an increase in cash operating costs per ounce sold to $797 in 2023, from $701 in 2022. Cost increases despite higher gold produced in the quarter resulted in an increase in cash operating cost per ounce sold to $816 in Q4 2023 from $738 in Q4 2022. AISC per ounce sold increased to $1,154 in 2023 from $1,091 in 2022 and to $1,201 in Q4 2023 from $1,138 in Q4 2022, primarily reflecting higher cash operating costs per ounce sold.

 

Sustaining capital expenditure of $14.0 million in 2023, including $4.4 million in Q4 2023, related primarily to underground development and equipment rebuilds. Growth capital investment included both development drilling and resource conversion drilling at each of the Kokarpinar and Bati vein systems.

 

Olympias

 

Olympias produced 67,133 ounces of gold in 2023, a 19% increase from 56,333 ounces in 2022, reflecting higher average gold grade and higher throughput in the year. Throughput in 2023 was 15% higher than in 2022 due to higher mining rates, a result of key transformation initiatives implemented throughout the year, enabling stronger mining productivity and record mill throughput. Achievements in 2023 included a new electrical substation resulting in increased ventilation capacity, commissioning of bulk emulsion blasting, ongoing training and equipment optimization. Gold production of 17,882 ounces in Q4 2023 increased from 15,435 in Q4 2022 as a result of 13% higher throughput and higher gold grades in the quarter. Lead and silver production increased as well compared to Q4 2022, primarily reflecting higher throughput.

 

Revenue increased to $186.8 million in 2023 from $159.9 million in 2022 and increased to $52.4 million in Q4 2023 from $47.9 million in Q4 2022 as a result of higher sales volumes and a higher average realized gold price. From October 1, 2021, revenue has been impacted by the 13% VAT import charge levied on customers importing Olympias gold concentrate into China. When levied, this import charge reduces revenue by a corresponding amount. Revenues in 2023 benefited from lower gold treatment and refining charges as we made more shipments to alternative markets where this 13% import VAT on gold concentrate was not imposed. Approximately 54% of shipments in 2023 were not subject to the 13% import VAT.

 

Production costs increased to $156.5 million in 2023 from $149.5 million in 2022 and to $44.9 million in Q4 2023 from $42.9 million in Q4 2022. Increases in both periods reflect higher production and volumes of concentrate sold, partially offset by decreases in unit costs of certain consumables, including electricity and fuel, and other cost savings as a result of recent transformation initiatives. Production costs also benefited from lower transport costs as a result of improved shipment logistics onsite.

 

Cash operating costs per ounce sold decreased to $1,133 in 2023 from $1,409 in 2022, primarily as a result of higher ounces sold, higher by-product credits, and less shipments to China incurring the 13% VAT import charge, which is included in cash operating costs. Similarly, cash operating costs per ounce sold decreased to $1,224 in Q4 2023 from $1,325 in Q4 2022 primarily due to higher ounces sold and by-product credits. AISC per ounce sold decreased to $1,688 in 2023 from $2,155 in 2022 and to $1,872 in Q4 2023 from $1,998 in Q4 2022 primarily due to the decrease in cash operating costs per ounce sold and lower sustaining capital.

 

Sustaining capital expenditure decreased to $19.0 million in 2023 from $30.3 million in 2022 and to $7.2 million in Q4 2023 from $10.5 million in Q4 2022. Spending in both periods primarily included underground development and underground infrastructure improvements. Growth capital investments in 2023 and 2022 primarily related to underground development.

 

For further information on the Company’s operating results for the year-end and fourth quarter of 2023, please see the Company’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis filed on SEDAR+ at www.sedarplus.com under the Company’s profile.

 

About Eldorado Gold

 

Eldorado is a gold and base metals producer with mining, development and exploration operations in Turkiye, Canada and Greece. The Company has a highly skilled and dedicated workforce, safe and responsible operations, a portfolio of high-quality assets, and long-term partnerships with local communities. Eldorado’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.

Posted February 25, 2024

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