Eldorado Gold (EGO) released second quarter earnings last week with all operating mines performing at or better than beginning of 2011 guidance. Six-month gold production reached 311,000 ounces at a cash cost of $403 per ounce against guidance of 297,000 ounces at $419 per ounce. Revenues reached $251.4 million for the second quarter and $469.5 million for the first six months of 2011. Operating cash flow over the first six months of 2011 climbed to $191 million versus $140.9 million a year ago.
On June 30, Eldorado Gold received the necessary regulatory permits to allow full mining at the Efemcukuru Gold Mine in Turkey. Commercial production is expected to be achieved in the fourth quarter of 2011. Efemcukuru expects to add 120,000 ounces of gold per annum with the potential to expand production up to 150,000 ounces.
The Perama Hill project in Greece has been placed on the fast track as the Greek government wants to move this project forward to help bolster the economy.
A positive prefeasibility study was released for the Tocantinzinho project which was combined with a 43-101 study. Capital expenditures of $385 million should support a 4.4 million tonne per year project which will produce 159,000 ounces of gold at a cash cost of $559 per ounce with an 11-year mine life.
Chinese mine operations were strong in the quarter with cash flow being used for loan repayments lowering net debt by $29 million dollars. Management has stated a goal of raising production to the 1.5 million ounce level by 2015 from current levels via organic growth and the opening of new mines. It should be noted that Eldorado is the first North American firm to successfully construct and operate a mine in China.
Eldorado does not operate in the traditional gold mining hotbeds of Canada, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Nevada, or Australia. With the exception of the Vila Nova iron ore mine in Brazil and some exploration projects in Nevada and Brazil, the main operating mines are off the beaten path. The ability to successfully operate multiple mines in China and Turkey indicated an ability to work in difficult operating environments. This ability is not shown in traditional metrics and has a value to investors. In addition, Eldorado has not suffered the major problems which are plaguing large mining firms. Operationally they are delivering on guidance and moving forward with new projects.
News is beginning to filter out and eyes are turning the company’s way as it's avoided the problems which seem to have hampered other gold producers. The price action in the stock has made investors who purchased at the bottom quite happy.
The more I look at Eldorado Gold, the more I am impressed with the operations of the company. Investors should look to add this solid mid-tier producer to their gold portfolios. There is also the potential for Eldorado to be acquired by a larger mining company who would want access to the management and mine portfolio of Eldorado.
Sources: Second quarter earnings and Eldorado Gold website.