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Strong free cash flow caps 'exceptional' year for Alacer

Turkey-focused Alacer Gold says strong free cash flow generation during 2019 capped an “exceptional” year for the Canadian company, bolstering the balance sheet for continued growth this year.
Strong free cash flow caps 'exceptional' year for Alacer Strong free cash flow caps 'exceptional' year for Alacer Strong free cash flow caps 'exceptional' year for Alacer Strong free cash flow caps 'exceptional' year for Alacer Strong free cash flow caps 'exceptional' year for Alacer

Alacer Gold is looking to extend production from oxide ore at its flagship Çöpler mine in Turkey

Staff Reporter

As at year end, Canada-based Alacer had consolidated cash of US$233 million and debt of $280 million for net debt of $47 million.

CEO Rod Antal said the company's operating foundation as a mid-tier miner was now firmly set, with the 2020 focus on increasing the free cash flow generation while "prudently" investing in growth from the Çöpler District.

To this end, the company expects to publish a new Çöpler technical report later this year that will provide an update to the current operations including the optimisation opportunity as well as capture, as far as possible, Çöpler district growth potential.

"We believe we have an asset base capable of sustaining production of 300,000-400,000oz gold per year and delivering incremental asset value to our shareholders," Antal said.

Last year Çöpler produced 391,213oz gold, with 233,567oz produced from the company's new sulphide plant and the balance produced from its oxide plant. The all-in-sustaining cost came in at $710/oz.

For 2020, the production guidance ranges between 310,000-360,000oz at AISC of $735-$785/oz.

Consolidated production is expected to be lower in the first half of the year due to the continued ramp up of the sulphide plant and timing of scheduled shutdowns for the autoclaves. The ongoing in‐pit exploration programmes at Çöpler and Çakmaktepe continue to develop near‐term oxide ore targets.

The full-year 2019 attributable earnings for Alacer were $116 million, or 39c per share, up from $15.12 million or 5c in 2018.

The company's equity trading in Toronto (TSX:ASR) has given back some of its recent gains, but is still up 85% over the past 12 months at C$5.76, which capitalises it at $1.7 billion (US$1.28 billion). It has traded between $3.15-7.66 over the period.