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AuRico Gold Announces Preliminary First Quarter Operational Results

TORONTO, April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

AuRico Gold Inc. (TSX: AUQ) (NYSE: AUQ), ("AuRico" or the "Company") today announces preliminary first quarter operational results. All amounts are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated.

Production and cash costs in the first quarter were in-line with plan at both operations. As previously guided, production from Young- Davidson is expected to increase significantly during the second half of the year following the commissioning of the shaft crushing and hoisting system, which is the key catalyst to drive significant increases in underground and further cost efficiencies.

Preliminary 2013 First Quarter Operational Results

                                                  Q1 2013  2013 Guidance
            Gold Ounces Produced                  28,281  120,000-140,000
            Total Cash Costs per ounce[1],[2],[3]   $695        $575-$675
    El Chanate
            Gold Ounces Produced                  17,889    70,000-80,000
            Total Cash Costs per ounce[2],[3]       $562        $550-$600
    Consolidated Results
            Gold Ounces Produced                  46,170  190,000-220,000
            Total Cash Costs per ounce[2],[3]       $633        $565-$645

     [1]  Prior to commissioning the underground mine, cash costs are calculated on ounces produced from the open pit only. All undergroundcosts are capitalized, and any revenue related to underground ounces sold is credited against capital. [2]  Cash costs are estimates only and are subject to change.

[3]  See the Non-GAAP Measures section on page 30 of the Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2012.

Recent Highlights
  • The Board of Directors declared the Company's initial quarterly dividend payment of $0.04 per share for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013, payable on April 18, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 4, 2013.
  • The Company completed a $300 million "modified Dutch auction" substantial issuer bid and subsequently purchased and cancelled 36,144,578 common shares.
  • The Company announced Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves of 6.8 million gold ounces (201,695 tonnes at 1.05 g/t) as at December 31, 2012, a 1.69 million ounce increase over 2011, primarily driven through reserve additions reported from the Kemess Underground Project.
  • The Company announced results from the Kemess Underground feasibility study that surfaces additional option value and outlines the development of an underground block cave operation with average annual production of 105,000 ounces of gold and 44 million pounds of copper at cash costs of $213 per ounce of gold, net of by-product credits, over a mine-life of approximately 12 years.

Young-Davidson Update
  • The Company is currently mining from the third and fourth stopes in the underground mine and productivities continue to ramp-up well and averaged 1,130 tpd during the quarter.
  • Open pit productivities remain at targeted levels and averaged 34,192 tpd during the quarter.
  • The mill facility is currently operating above nameplate capacity and averaged approximately 6,466 tpd during the quarter, and averaged a record 7,234 tpd in March.
  • The mid-shaft crushing and hoisting system is progressing on schedule and remains on target to commission during the third quarter and will be the key catalyst in driving increased production levels in the second half of the year.

El Chanate Update
  • The El Chanate open pit mine continued to operate at targeted levels and averaged 106,319 tpd.
  • Crushing and stacking rates remained at targeted levels and averaged 18,484 tpd.
  • Follow-up drilling will begin shortly on the three new areas of mineralization identified as part of the 2012 program. These areas are all located along trend of the open pit and could potentially increase resources and mine life.

"In the first quarter both assets again reported solid production results that are on track with targeted levels. The El Chanate mine delivered another quarter of consistent and stable results and our cornerstone Young- Davidson mine continued to achieve productivity levels that met or exceeded planned levels," stated Scott Perry, President and Chief Executive Officer. He continued, "Beginning with first quarter financial results, the Company will begin reporting all-in cash costs. This new cost measure provides a more accurate view of operating margins, is a good proxy to operating cash flow and complements our commitment to delivering reliable, sustainable and consistent performance."

About AuRico Gold

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