The result was up 15% on the first quarter of 2018 as head grades improved to an average of 18.8 grams per tonne and the company processed 19% more tonnes this year.
Gran Colombia produced 54,386oz during the 2019 first quarter from its Segovia operations, up 17% over the first quarter last year. Its trailing 12-months' gold production to the end of April stands at 230,283oz, above its 210,000-225,000oz guidance range for 2019.
"Our previously reported record quarterly production has translated into some solid first quarter financial results which have started us off well in 2019," said executive chairman Serafino Iacono in a statement.
Revenue for the quarter increased 20% to US$77.5 million. The company said it benefitted from lower charges in a new refining contract entered into in January, saving $20/oz sold. Segovia's quarterly cash costs reached an historical low of $570/oz sold, while all-in sustaining costs were $832/oz, down from $920/oz in the prior year period, helping grow the company's cash balance to $40.2 million at the end of March.
Net cash from operations increased 56% to $19.8 million and free cash flow jumped to $11.3 million from $4.5 million in the first quarter last year, while net income was $7.9 million compared with $5.4 million a year ago.
Gran Colombia continued to pay down its gold notes which currently have $78.5 million aggregate principal amount outstanding from $88.3 million at the end of 2018.
At Segovia, Gran Colombia has commenced a 20,000m drilling campaign focused on step-out drilling at Providencia and Sandra K, deep zone drilling to extend El Silencio another 200m below its currently delineated mineral resource and brownfield drilling on the Cogote vein system. The objective is to increase mineral reserves for future production growth and to extend the mine life of the Segovia Operations.
Shares in Gran Colombia Gold (TSX:GCM) opened up 10% Thursday at C$3.62, valuing the company at $164 million. Its share price has increased almost 23% so far this year.