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"It is in the company's best interest to settle this tax assessment"

Teranga Gold (TSX: TGZ) has reported a strong operational start to the year, with record production at its Sabodala mine in Senegal and construction of its second West African mine on track.
"It is in the company's best interest to settle this tax assessment" "It is in the company's best interest to settle this tax assessment" "It is in the company's best interest to settle this tax assessment" "It is in the company's best interest to settle this tax assessment" "It is in the company's best interest to settle this tax assessment"

Teranga reported record production for Sabodala in Senegal, where a $10m tax settlement looms

Staff reporter

However its March quarter net income was impacted by a pending tax settlement with Senegal, which it expects could total US$10 million.

Teranga said it had been unable to resolve certain claims by tax authorities relating to the 2015, 2016 and 2017 years, its corporate structure and treatment of intercompany transactions.

"While the company does not agree with the government of Senegal's interpretation, management believes it is in the company's best interest to settle this tax assessment," Teranga said.

In a conference call, CFO Navindra Dyal said Teranga had a tax holiday until 2015 and since then had paid more than $40 million in income taxes to Senegal.

"And what we're going to do is look to simplify the structure over the coming months, so that we don't have this issue going forward as well as to look at our intercompany arrangement to see how we can better explain that to … the government," he said.

Teranga reported a net loss for the quarter of $2.7 million. It said its statements included an accrual for the potential exposure of up to $10 million, with $7.8 million added to income tax expense, and $2.2 million for interest and penalties added to other expenses.

Meanwhile, Sabodala notched up record quarterly production of 71,946 ounces of gold at all-in sustaining costs of $806/oz.

Teranga's Wahgnion development in Burkina Faso was in the final phases of construction and COO Paul Chawrun said the company expected to commission the processing plant in the third quarter.

"Based on our progress to date, we expect Wahgnion will produce between 30,000 and 40,000oz of gold in 2019, which exceeds the original estimate of 18,000oz released in the October 2018 technical report," he said.

He said by year-end, Teranga would have two mines in production and Golden Hill, Teranga's exploration project in Burkina Faso it acquired in full last year, had the potential to be its third gold mine.

The company expects to produce 245,000-270,000oz this year.

Teranga had $56.2 million in cash and equivalents at the end of March.

Its shares have fallen from plus-C$5 a year ago to a 52-week low last week of $2.97.

They rose 2.96% to $3.13 on Friday, capitalising it at $336.7 million.