SEMAFO: Cash Flow from Operations of $21.0 million in Third Quarter 2018

Montreal, Quebec, November 6, 2018 – SEMAFO Inc. (TSX, OMX: SMF) today reported its financial and operational results for the three-month period ended September 30, 2018. All amounts are in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Third Quarter 2018 - in Review 

  • Consolidated gold production of 58,200 ounces (70,200 ounces including 12,000 ounces of pre-commercial production from Boungou), compared to 53,900 ounces for the same period in 2017 

The following highlights exclude pre-commercial production results at the Boungou Mine:

  • Gold sales of $60.8 million compared to $69.8 million for the same period in 2017 
  • All-in sustaining cost¹ of $1,000 per ounce sold compared to $841 for the same period in 2017 
  • Cash flows from operating activities² of $21.0 million or $0.06 per share1 compared to $34.9 million or $0.11 per share1 for the same period in 2017 
  • Net income attributable to equity shareholders of $0.5 million or nil per share compared to net income of $12.2 million or $0.04 per share for the same period in 2017 
  • Commercial production at Boungou declared on September 1, 2018 
  • Development of Siou underground commenced 

________________

¹   All-in sustaining cost and operating cash flows per share are non-IFRS financial performance measures with no standard definition under IFRS. See the "Non-IFRS financial performance measures" section of the Corporation's MD&A, note 19.

²   Cash flows from operating activities exclude changes in non-cash working capital items.

Mana, Burkina Faso 

Mining Operations

Three-month period  Six-month period 
ended September 30,  ended September 30, 
2018  2017   Variation 2018  2017   Variation
Operating Data 
Mining 
Waste mined (tonnes) 3,076,300  3,629,200  (15  %)  13,403,400  12,215,200  10  % 
Ore mined (tonnes) 413,300  516,700  (20  %)  1,483,800  1,499,300  (1  %) 
Operational stripping ratio 7.4  7.0  6  %  9.0  8.1  11  % 
Capitalized Stripping Activity
Waste material – Siou (tonnes) 2,559,900  2,675,400  (4  %)  2,559,900  11,028,500  (77  %) 
Waste material – Wona (tonnes) 2,824,500  3,170,300  (11  %)  9,542,400  6,884,600  39  % 
5,384,400  5,845,700  (8  %)  12,102,300  17,913,100  (32  %) 
Total strip ratio  20.5  18.3  12  %  17.2  20.1  (14  %) 
Processing 
Ore processed (tonnes)  519,400  462,600  12  %  1,735,600  1,580,300  10  % 
Low grade material (tonnes) 129,700  216,500  (40  %)  202,000  506,100  (60  %) 
Tonnes processed (tonnes) 649,100  679,100  (4  %)  1,937,600  2,086,400  (7  %) 
Head grade (g/t) 2.50  2.55  (2  %)  2.36  2.47  (4  %) 
Recovery (%) 92  97  (5  %)  94  95  (1  %) 
Gold ounces produced 47,700  53,900  (12  %)  138,900  156,900  (11  %) 
Gold ounces sold 46,300  54,500  (15  %)  138,300  156,100  (11  %) 
Statistics (in dollars) 
Average realized selling price (per ounce) 1,205  1,282  (6  %)  1,280  1,256  2  % 
Cash operating cost (per tonne processed)¹ 46  42  10  %  52  46  13  % 
Cash operating cost, including stripping (per tonne processed)¹ 68  62  10  %  68  63  8  % 
Total cash cost (per ounce sold)¹ 681  557  22  %  795  651  22  % 
All-in sustaining cost (per ounce sold)¹ 1,017  841  21  %  1,067  929  15  % 
Depreciation (per ounce sold)² 358  401  (11  %)  466  459  2  % 

______________________

¹    Cash operating cost, total cash cost and all-in sustaining cost are non-IFRS financial performance measures with no standard definition under IFRS. See the "Non-IFRS financial performance measures" section of the Corporation's MD&A, note 19.

²    Depreciation per ounce sold is a non-IFRS financial performance measure with no standard definition under IFRS and represents the depreciation expense per ounce sold.


Boungou, Burkina Faso 

Mining Operations

One-month period 
ended September 30, 
2018 
Operating Data 
Mining
Waste mined (tonnes) 924,600 
Ore mined (tonnes) 130,200 
Operational stripping ratio 7.1 
Capitalized Stripping Activity
Waste material – Boungou (tonnes) 476,000 
Total strip ratio 10.8 
Processing
Tonnes processed (tonnes) 91,300 
Head grade (g/t) 3.96 
Recovery (%) 90 
Gold ounces produced¹ 10,500 
Gold ounces sold² 4,200 
Statistics (in dollars) 
Average realized selling price (per ounce) 1,203 
Cash operating cost (per tonne processed)³ 55 
Cash operating cost, including stripping (per tonne processed)³ 67 
Total cash cost (per ounce sold)³ 550 
All-in sustaining cost (per ounce sold)³ 807 
Depreciation (per ounce sold)4 444 

_______________________

¹   Gold ounces produced exclude pre-commercial production of 12,000 ounces.

²   Gold sales exclude those resulting from pre-production activities that were offset against capitalized construction costs and amounted to $14,994,000.

³   Cash operating cost, total cash cost and all-in sustaining cost are non-IFRS financial performance measures with no standard definition under IFRS. See the "Non-IFRS financial performance measures" section of the Corporation's MD&A, note 19.

4  Depreciation per ounce sold is a non-IFRS financial performance measure with no standard definition under IFRS and represents the depreciation expense per ounce sold.

2018 Third Quarter Results 

During the third quarter of 2018, gold sales amounted to $60,772,000 compared to $69,832,000 for the same period in 2017. The decrease is due to the lower average realized selling price as well as the lower gold ounces produced and sold at the Mana Mine, partially offset by gold sales from the Boungou Mine. The decrease in gold ounces produced at the Mana Mine reflects the mine plan. The variation between gold ounces sold and gold ounces produced during the quarter is due to the timing of delivery and the build-up of gold in circuit at the Boungou Mine.

The Corporation reiterates its 2018 consolidated production outlook of between 235,000 and 265,000 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of between $900 and $940 per ounce.

Mana Mine 

During the third quarter of 2018, gold sales amounted to $55,763,000 compared to $69,832,000 for the same period in 2017. The variation is mainly due to the lower gold ounces produced and the lower average realized selling price. The decrease in gold ounces produced at the Mana Mine reflects the mine plan. The variation between gold ounces sold and gold ounces produced during the quarter is due to the timing of delivery. The ore mined decreased by 20% compared to the same period in 2017, in accordance with the mine plan.

The decrease in government royalties is attributable to lower gold sales. As expected, in the third quarter of 2018, the all-in sustaining cost was $1,017 per ounce sold compared to $841 per ounce sold in the same period in 2017. This is attributable to a higher total stripping ratio and a lower recovered head grade.

Boungou Mine 

After eighteen months of construction, the Boungou Mine began processing ore in May and achieved its first gold pour on June 28, 2018. During the pre-commercial period from June to the end of August, Boungou produced 12,000 ounces of gold.

Commercial production was declared on September 1, 2018 when operations had reached the internal commercial production measure of 30 consecutive days of mill throughput at 75% of nominal design capacity (4,000 tpd). During the 30-day period, the mill processed more than 90,000 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 2.4 g/t Au and with a recovery rate of 83%.

Ramp-up of Operations

The first month of commercial production, September, was in line with our plan. During the month, mill throughput averaged approximately 3,450 tonnes per day. Since then, throughput has continued to increase and is expected to reach the nominal design capacity of 4,000 tonnes per day late in the fourth quarter.

Grade in September averaged 3.96 g/t Au, in line with the reserves model. Grade is expected to increase in the fourth quarter as the mine plan reaches higher-grade zones.

Recovery rates for September were at 90% and are expected to improve in the fourth quarter.

Siou Underground Development 

During the third quarter of 2018, development of Siou underground continued in line with our goal of achieving production in the first quarter of 2020. Specifically, the following was completed:

  • Mobilisation of the mining contractor and equipment on site
  • Development of access ramp commenced - 110 meters completed
  • Development on budget with $2.3 million of the $51.7 million budget incurred
  • Completion of temporary surface infrastructure
  • Filing of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) study - public hearing completed

At the end of October 2018, we had completed 350 of the 5,600 meters of underground development at Siou required to commence production.

Exploration 

Tapoa (Boungou Mine)

Boungou Proximal

Prior to the rainy season break, a total of 66 RC holes (6,949 meters) was drilled in the third quarter, most of which consisted of follow-up drilling on the Osaanpalo Zone at Tawori. The Osaanpalo Zone is a shallow west-dipping structure located four kilometers north of the Boungou Mine. Significant gold values had been obtained within the structure earlier in the year that showed a north-trending orientation of mineralization.

In the third quarter, significant mineralization was obtained along the flat-lying shear zone including 17.63 g/t Au over 1 meter, 1.88 g/t Au over 5 meters, and 1.77 g/t Au over 3 meters. The zone remains open down‑dip and to the south. Follow-up drilling will be assessed following receipt of pending results and their compilation.

Boungou Regional

In early October, following the rainy season, exploration resumed on the Dangou permit located approximately 30 kilometers east-northeast of the Boungou Mine. Significant mineralization was obtained in the second quarter of 2018 on the permit following realization of a program of 88 RC holes and two core holes (10,561 meters) across the most promising anomalies.

Mana Project

Mana - Siou

In the quarter, a total of 1,881 meters of core drilling was completed at the Siou North target area before the rainy season began. One intersection from MMP18-25 returned 8.99 g/t Au over 7.1 meters from a subsidiary lens parallel to Zone 9. Despite isolated higher-grade values, the mineralization appears discontinuous and uneconomic. No further work is currently planned.

Mana Regional

In the second quarter of 2018, significant assay results were obtained at a zone dubbed Doumakélé, located 25 kilometers southeast of the mill. Highlights include 2.02 g/t Au over 5 meters (MRC18-5107), 8.69 g/t Au across 3.7 meters and 4.19 g/t Au over 4.5 meters (WDC-976), and 6.38 g/t Au over 10.7 meters (WDC-980). The follow-up exploration program at Doumakélé commenced early in the fourth quarter after the rainy season.

Kongolokoro (Houndé Greenstone Belt Permits)

In the quarter, 2,405 meters (14 holes) of RC drilling were carried out primarily on the Tankoro Zone. Results will be released in due course.

Korhogo Ouest, Côte d’Ivoire

The 13,000-meter drill program scheduled in 2018 at Korhogo commenced in September on the Fotamana target area where significant values had been obtained along a regional shear zone in 2017. To date, 13 holes (1,507 meters) have been completed and assays remain pending.

SEMAFO’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis, Consolidated Financial Statements and related financial materials are available in the “Investor Relations” section of the Corporation's website at www.semafo.com. These and other corporate reports are also available on www.sedar.com.

Third Quarter Conference Call 

A conference call will be held tomorrow, November 07, 2018, at 10:00 EST to discuss this press release. Interested parties are invited to call the following telephone numbers to participate in the call:

Tel. local & overseas: +1 (647) 788 4922  
Tel. North America: 1 (877) 223 4471
Webcast: www.semafo.com

Replay number: 1 (800) 585 8367 or +1 (416) 621 4642
Replay pass code: 7370499

Replay expiration: December 07, 2018

CAUTION CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include words or expressions such as “outlook”, “plan”, “expected”, “increase”, “improve”, " goal", “will”, “remain pending”, “committed”, “building”, “leveraging”, “development” and other similar words or expressions. Factors that could cause future results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include the ability to attain our 2018 consolidated production outlook of between 235,000 and 265,000 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of between $900 and $940 per ounce, the ability to achieve production at Siou Underground in the first quarter of 2020, the ability of the Boungou mill to reach the nominal design capacity of 4,000 tonnes per day late in the fourth quarter, the ability of the Boungou grade to increase in the fourth quarter, the ability of the Boungou recoveries to improve in the fourth quarter, the ability to build value through responsible mining and leverage our development pipeline, fluctuation in the price of currencies, gold prices and operating costs, mining industry risks, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves and resources, delays, political and social stability in Africa (including our ability to maintain or renew licenses and permits) and other risks described in SEMAFO’s documents filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. You can find further information with respect to these and other risks in SEMAFO’s 2017 Annual MD&A, as updated in SEMAFO’s 2018 First Quarter MD&A, 2018 Second Quarter MD&A, 2018 Third Quarter MD&A, and other filings made with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available at www.sedar.com. These documents are also available on our website at www.semafo.com. SEMAFO disclaims any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law.

Consolidated Results and Mining Operations

(Operating data and results at the Boungou Mine only refer to commercial production period starting September 1, 2018)

Three-month period  Nine-month period 
ended September 30,  ended September 30, 
2018  2017   Variation 2018  2017   Variation
Gold ounces produced1 58,200  53,900  8  %  149,400  156,900  (5  %) 
Gold ounces sold2 50,500  54,500  (7  %)  142,500  156,100  (9  %) 
(in thousands of dollars, except amounts per share) 
Revenues – Gold sales2 60,772  69,832  (13  %)  181,987  196,033  (7  %) 
Mining operation expenses 31,308  27,329  15  %  104,081  93,467  11  % 
Government royalties and development taxes 2,494  3,011  (17  %)  8,178  8,092  1  % 
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment 18,535  21,921  (15  %)  66,546  71,984  (8  %) 
Share-based compensation (414  )  1,997    1,617  2,121  (24  %) 
Other 4,336  3,755  15  %  12,675  11,090  14  % 
Operating income (loss) 4,513  11,819  (62  %)  (11,110  )  9,279   
Finance income (530  )  (952  )  (44  %)  (1,783  )  (2,488  )  (28  %) 
Finance costs  1,433  336  326  %  2,033  981  107  % 
Foreign exchange loss (gain) 826  (2,779  )    1,690  (9,711  )   
Income tax expense (recovery) 1,905  1,407  35  %  2,084  (274  )   
Net income (loss) for the period 879  13,807  (94  %)  (15,134  )  20,771   
Net income (loss) attributable to equity shareholders 463  12,224  (96  %)  (14,678  )  18,387   
Basic earnings (loss) per share     0.04  (100  %)  (0.05  )  0.06   
Diluted earnings (loss) per share   0.04  (100  %)  (0.05  )  0.06   
Adjusted amounts
Adjusted operating income (loss)3 3,201  12,897  (75  %)  (12,463  )  8,254   
Adjusted net income (loss) attributable to equity shareholders3 649  8,446  (92  %)  (12,216  )  1,179   
   Per share3   0.03  (100  %)  (0.04  )     
Cash flows
Cash flows from operating activities4 21,041  34,853  (40  %)  55,271  81,614  (32  %) 
   Per share3 0.06  0.11  (45  %)  0.17  0.25  (32  %) 
Statistics (in dollars) 
Average realized selling price (per ounce) 1,205  1,282  (6  %)  1,277  1,256  2  % 
Total cash cost (per ounce sold)3 670  557  20  %  788  651  21  % 
All-in sustaining cost (per ounce sold)3 1,000  841  19  %  1,059  929  14  % 

_______________________

1   Gold ounces produced exclude pre-commercial production of 12,000 ounces from Boungou in 2018

2   Gold sales exclude those resulting from pre-production activities that were offset against capitalized construction costs and amounted to $14,994,000.

3   Adjusted operating income, adjusted net income attributable to equity shareholders, adjusted basic earnings per share, operating cash flows per share, total cash cost and all-in sustaining cost are non-IFRS financial performance measures with no standard definition under IFRS. See the "Non-IFRS financial performance measures" section of the Corporation's MD&A, note 19.

4   Cash flows from operating activities exclude changes in non-cash working capital items.

Interim Consolidated Statements of Financial Position 
(Expressed in thousands of US dollars - unaudited) 


As at As at
September 30, December 31,
2018 2017
$ $
Assets 
Current assets 
Cash and cash equivalents  86,240 198,950 
Trade and other receivables 25,814 22,649 
Income tax receivable  6,828 3,186 
Inventories  75,310 66,409 
Other current assets  6,275 4,094 
200,467 295,288 
Non-current assets 
Advance receivable  2,309 2,867 
Restricted cash 22,765 23,237 
Property, plant and equipment 782,300 703,341 
Intangible asset 1,243 1,374 
Other non-current financial assets 2,858 2,256 
811,475 733,075 
Total assets 1,011,942 1,028,363 
Liabilities
Current liabilities 
Trade payables and accrued liabilities 58,600 72,720 
Current portion of long-term debt  45,258 310 
Current portion of finance lease 6,904 4,703 
Share unit plan liabilities 3,644 6,404 
Provisions  3,063 3,069 
117,469 87,206 
Non-current liabilities 
Long-term debt  71,809 115,247 
Finance Lease 20,393 19,008 
Share unit plan liabilities 2,245 3,138 
Provisions  23,075 12,258 
Deferred income tax liabilities 31,568 30,944 
149,090 180,595 
Total liabilities 266,559 267,801 
Equity
Equity Shareholders 
Share capital  623,604 622,294 
Contributed surplus 6,771 7,220 
Accumulated other comprehensive (loss) income  (18,348 )  2,256 
Retained earnings  102,730 97,710 
714,757 729,480 
Non-controlling interests 30,626 31,082 
Total equity 745,383 760,562 
Total liabilities and equity 1,011,942 1,028,363 


Interim Consolidated Statements of Income (Loss) 
(Expressed in thousands of US dollars, except per share amounts - unaudited) 


Three-month period  Six-month period 
ended September 30,  ended September 30, 
2018 2017 2018 2017
$ $ $ $
Revenue – Gold sale  60,772 69,832 181,987 196,033
Costs of operations 
Mining operation expenses  33,802 30,340 112,259 101,559
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment  18,535 21,921 66,546 71,984
General and administrative  3,736 3,453 11,512 10,324
Corporate social responsibility expenses  600 302 1,163 766
Share-based compensation  (414 ) 1,997 1,617 2,121
Operating income (loss)  4,513 11,819 (11,110 ) 9,279
Other expenses (income) 
Finance income  (530 ) (952 ) (1,783 ) (2,488 ) 
Finance costs  1,433 336 2,033 981
Foreign exchange loss (gain)  826 (2,779 ) 1,690 (9,711 ) 
Income (loss) before income taxes  2,784 15,214 (13,050 ) 20,497
Income tax expense (recovery) 
Current  376 1,331 665 3,566
Deferred  1,529 76 1,419 (3,840 ) 
1,905 1,407 2,084 (274 ) 
Net income (loss) for the period 879 13,807 (15,134 ) 20,771
Attributable to:
Equity shareholders  463 12,224 (14,678 ) 18,387
Non-controlling interests  416 1,583 (456 ) 2,384
879 13,807 (15,134 ) 20,771
Earnings (loss) per share
Basic 0.04 (0.05 ) 0.06
Diluted 0.04 (0.05 ) 0.06


Interim Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss) 
(Expressed in thousands of US dollars - unaudited


Three-month period Nine-month period 
ended September 30,  ended September 30, 
2018 2017 2018 2017
$ $ $ $
Net income (loss) for the period 879 13,807 (15,134 ) 20,771
Other comprehensive income (loss)
    Item that will be reclassified to profit or loss 
       Changes in fair value of available-for-sale assets (net of tax of nil)  n/a 60 n/a 399
   Item that will not be reclassified to profit or loss
       Changes in fair value of equity investments at FVOCI (net of tax of nil)  125 n/a (906 ) n/a
Total comprehensive income (loss) for the period, net of tax 1,004 13,867 (16,040 ) 21,170
Attributable to: 
Equity shareholders 588 12,284 (15,584 ) 18,786
Non-controlling interests  416 1,583 (456 ) 2,384
1,004 13,867 (16,040 ) 21,170


Interim Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows 
(Expressed in thousands of US dollars - unaudited


Three-month period  Nine-month period 
  ended September 30,  ended September 30, 
2018 2017 2018 2017
$ $ $ $
Cash flows from (used in): 
Operating activities 
Net income (loss) for the period 879 13,807 (15,134 ) 20,771
Adjustments for:
  Depreciation of property, plant and equipment  18,535 21,921 66,546 71,984
  Share-based compensation  (414 ) 1,997 1,617 2,121
  Unrealized foreign exchange loss (gain) 374 (2,879 ) 813 (9,218 )
  Deferred income tax expense (recovery) 1,529 76 1,419 (3,840 )
  Other 138 (69 ) 10 (204 )
21,041 34,853 55,271 81,614
Changes in non-cash working capital items  8,870 (3,096 ) (1,727 ) (11,690 )
Net cash provided by operating activities  29,911 31,757 53,544 69,924
.
Financing activities 
Drawdown of long-term debt  60,000
Repayment of equipment financing  (78 ) (76 ) (233 ) (231 )
Payments of finance lease  (1,292 ) (4,003 ) (3,602 ) (4,003 )
Proceeds on issuance of share capital, net of expenses  50 861 111
Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities (1,370 ) (4,029 ) (2,974 ) 55,877
Investing activities 
Net proceed on acquisition of equity investments  (1,508 )
Acquisition of property, plant and equipment  (50,885 ) (58,020 ) (160,741 ) (139,116 )
Decrease (increase) in restricted cash 212 223 212 (14,854 )
Net cash used in investing activities  (50,673 ) (57,797 ) (162,037 ) (153,970 )
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents (499 ) 3,533 (1,243 ) 11,158
Change in cash and cash equivalents during the period (22,631 ) (26,536 ) (112,710 ) (17,011 )
Cash and cash equivalents – beginning of period 108,871 283,297 198,950 273,772
Cash and cash equivalents – end of period 86,240 256,761 86,240 256,761
Interest paid 2,532 1,739 7,268 3,519
Interest received 520 770 1,969 1,902
Income tax paid 858 3,208 4,224 8,875

Semafo NR1106

For more information, contact

John Jentz

Vice-President, Corporate Development & Investor Relations

Email: John.Jentz@semafo.com

Ruth Hanna

Analyst, Investor Relations

Email: Ruth.Hanna@semafo.com

Tel. local & overseas: +1 (514) 744 4408

North America Toll-Free: 1 (888) 744 4408

Website: www.semafo.com

About SEMAFO

SEMAFO is a Canadian-based intermediate gold producer with over twenty years’ experience building and operating mines in West Africa. The Corporation operates two mines, the Mana and Boungou Mines in Burkina Faso. SEMAFO is committed to building value through responsible mining of its quality assets and leveraging its development pipeline.

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