Silvercorp Metals Management Discusses Q1 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Silvercorp Metals (SVM)

Q1 2013 Earnings Call

August 03, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

Jonathan Hackshaw

Rui Feng - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Analysts

Alexandra Syrnyk - BMO Capital Markets Canada

Brad Humphrey - Raymond James Ltd., Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Gail, and I will be your operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to Silvercorp Metals Incorporated Fiscal 2013 First Quarter Analyst Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] It is now my pleasure to turn the floor over to your host, Mr. Jonathan Hackshaw, Investor Relations Director of Silvercorp Metal Incorporated. Sir, you may begin your conference.

Jonathan Hackshaw

Thank you, operator and good morning, everyone. Welcome to Silvercorp's analyst conference call for the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Joining me today on the call are: Dr. Rui Feng, Silvercorp's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Myles Gao, Silvercorp's President and Chief Operating Officer; and Ms. Maria Tang, Silvercorp's Chief Financial Officer. We will begin the call with the review of our financial, operating and development highlights for the quarter. After this, we will open the call up to questions. At this time, I'd like to invite you to follow along on the accompanying presentation slides, which are available as part of the webcast or on Silvercorp's website. To advance to slides, please click on the forward arrow.

Turning to Slide 1, during today's call, forward-looking statements will be made relating to future production, development and exploration, capital expenditures, business expansion plans and other items. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which are detailed on our 2012 Annual Information Form filed on SEDAR. There can be no assurance that such forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events can differ materially.

Turning to Slide 2, I will now review the first quarter financial highlights, which are expressed in U.S. dollars. In this quarter, the company recorded net income attributable to equity holders of the company of $6.1 million or $0.04 per share. Adjusted net income was $8.1 million or $0.05 per share after excluding the withholding tax accrual of $2 million for anticipated dividends from the company's subsidiary in China. Adjusted net income of $17.5 million lower compared to $25.6 million or $0.15 per share on the first quarter of fiscal 2012, primarily due to lower sales, higher production costs and higher general and administrative expenses.

Turning to Slide 3, in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, cash flow from operations was $19.3 million or $0.11 per share compared to $33.9 million or $0.19 per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. After paying dividends of CAD 4.3 million and capital expenditure of $20.5 million, the company ended the quarter with $142.3 million in cash and short-term investments and no debt.

Turning to Slide 4 and our first quarter operational highlights. The company produced, in total, 1.2 million ounces of silver and over 2,600 ounces of gold. And our flagship producer, the Ying Mining District, Silvercorp mined over 181,000 tonnes of ore during the quarter, 6% more than in the first quarter fiscal 2012.

Metal production totaled 1.2 million ounces of silver, 800 ounces of gold, 13.7 million pounds of lead and 3 million pounds of zinc, compared to 1.6 million ounces of silver, 800 ounces of gold, 20.6 million pounds of lead and 4.1 million pounds of zinc in the first quarter of 2012.

Grades were 227 grams per tonne per silver, 3.6% for lead and 1.1% for zinc compared to 303 grams per tonne for silver, 5.5% for lead and 1.5% for zinc in the same quarter of last year.

The lowered grades and the decrease in metal production were due to 2 factors: the first being a 5-day interruption in production because of power interruptions, which were necessary to facilitate nearby highway construction; and secondly, the Short and Distort attack last fall has caused management's time being inadvertently, but necessarily diverted to deal with the crisis, which caused delays implementing certain development plans with the SGX Mine, resulting in a gap in the mining schedule of blending ores from different zones with different grades. We expect the lower grade situation will be improved in Q3 fiscal 2013.

However, as the result of these factors, we have revised our production guidance for fiscal 2013 and now expect to produce in total: 5.5 million ounces of silver, 8,300 ounces of gold and 85 million pounds of lead and zinc.

Total cash and mining cost per tonne in the first quarter of 2013 were $69.02 and $55.47, respectively, compared to $60.02 and $48.66, respectively, in the first quarter of 2012. This increase in cash mining costs was due to the following: an increase in labor cost for both the company's employees as well as those of its mining contractors of approximately $5.40 per tonne; and secondly, the impact of the U.S. dollar depreciation versus the Chinese RMB of approximately $1.40 per tonne. However, compared to the fourth quarter fiscal 2012, total and cash and mining costs decreased by 6% and 4%, respectively.

Moving to Slide 5. During the quarter, our consolidated cash cost per ounce in silver was $0.14; while in the first quarter of 2012, it was negative $6.12 per ounce of silver. As already mentioned, the higher cash cost that we saw for the quarter are a function of higher production costs and a decrease in byproduct metal credits. For the quarter, precious metal accounted to 71% of sales, which is consistent with the first quarter of fiscal 2012. This quarter, silver accounted for 63% of sales; gold, 8%; lead, 25%; and zinc, 4%.

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