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TheStreet Open House

Vista Gold Corp. Provides Strategic Update And Announces Loan Extension

Stock quotes in this article: VGZ

DENVER, Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Vista Gold Corp. ("Vista" or the "Company") (NYSE MKT and TSX: VGZ) today provided an update of its Strategic Review and steps to improve corporate liquidity.

Strategic Review

Today, Vista provided an update of its Strategic Review aimed to maximize shareholder value with a specific focus on its Mt. Todd gold project in the Northern Territory of Australia. Endeavour Financial has been engaged as financial advisor to assist in the process. 

Frederick H. Earnest, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "With 5.9 million ounces of Proven and Probable Reserves (222.8 million tonnes at 0.82 g Au/tonne), the Mt. Todd gold project is large and highly leveraged to the gold price.  We are in the final stages of completing environmental permitting and have finished engineering and environmental analyses supporting both permitting and the project's pre-feasibility study.  However, given the current condition of the equity markets and Vista's share price, Management and our Board believe it is in the best interests of our shareholders to evaluate ways to reduce our exposure to Mt. Todd's spending requirements while simultaneously unlocking some of the value contained in the project."

Vista will continue its Strategic Review in an orderly fashion to best serve the interests of Vista and its shareholders.  The Company will advise the market if and when its Board approves a definitive transaction or strategic option, if any, depending on the outcome of the Strategic Review.

Corporate Liquidity

Vista also announced today that it has reached a binding agreement with its lender, Sprott Resource Lending Partnership ("Sprott"), to extend the maturity date of its $10 million loan from March 2014 to March 2015. The interest rate remains unchanged at 8% per annum.  Pursuant to the original loan agreement, Vista will pay Sprott an extension fee of 3.5% of the loan value in Vista shares.

In addition to significant cost reductions already achieved, Vista is continuing to identify and implement further cost cutting initiatives. During the first half of 2013, Vista completed three significant programs at the Mt. Todd gold project including treating the 10.5 million cubic meters of acidic water contained in the Batman pit, completing a Preliminary Feasibility Study, and preparing/submitting applications for environmental permits.  During that time Vista used $18.6 million in cash ( $3.1 million per month).  With the completion of these programs and the introduction of spending reductions announced in August, including 20% salary reductions for Vista's senior staff, Vista expects to reduce its cash consumption to approximately $5.0 million during the third quarter, and to make further cash reductions in the fourth quarter and 2014. 

Mr. Earnest commented, "Having the flexibility to defer repayment of Vista's term loan, together with continued aggressive spending reductions, enhance Vista's liquidity and are critical steps to Vista's ability to execute on our strategic plan to preserve value during these difficult markets and to continue to provide positive exposure to leverage when gold prices and markets recover."

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