Market Overview

Ascendant Resources Reports Net Income In Third Quarter

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Highlights Include:

  • Net income of $821,000 and $0.01/share

  • Third consecutive month of positive adjusted EBITDA1; $2.4 million total for Q3 2017

  • 75% increase in revenue versus Q2 2017

  • Operating cash flow before changes in working capital of $2.3 million; Free cash flow expected before the end of Q4

  • Milled production increased by 17% versus Q2 2017 averaging 1,934 tpd

  • Operational and financial performance expected to support a strong Q4 and year-end exit driving expectations for a robust 2018

TORONTO, Nov. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ascendant Resources Inc. (TSX:ASND) (OTCQX:ASDRF) (FRA:2D9) ("Ascendant" or the "Company") is very pleased to announce its first quarter of net income and third consecutive month of positive adjusted EBITDA1 just nine months after acquiring the El Mochito mine in Honduras. The Company has aggressively ramped up monthly production by 67% year to date, and is on track to exceed its fourth quarter targeted average production rate of 2,200 tonnes per day ("tpd") as well as exit the year with free cash flow.

Milled production for the third quarter ("Q3 2017") at the El Mochito mine was 176,037 tonnes (or an average of 1,934 tonnes per operating day) representing a 17% improvement over the second quarter ("Q2 2017") production of 150,785 tonnes (or an average of 1,733 tonnes per operating day). Milled production for the month of September was 59,601 tonnes (or an average of 2,055 tonnes per operating day), representing an 8% increase from August production of 58,978 (or an average of 1,903 tonnes per operating day).

The substantial increase in production rates can be largely attributed to the near completion of a comprehensive turnaround program at all areas of El Mochito. Delivery of new mining equipment continued with the commissioning of two trucks and two scoops early in the quarter. An additional truck, three new scoops and a single-boom jumbo drill are expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter. As part of the same order, another four trucks, two bolters and a second single-boom jumbo drill are expected to be delivered in the first four months of 2018. This additional equipment along with the on-going operational improvement programs will support continued strong production performance through the year-end and provide even further growth opportunity into 2018 with reduced operating costs.

Q3 2017 Financial Results

All financial figures are in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

The Company reports financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2017 with net concentrate sales revenue of $17.4 million, an increase of 75% versus revenue of $9.9 million in the second quarter, generating net income of $0.8 million and earnings per share of $0.01 and adjusted EBITDA(1) of $2.4 million.

The Company sold 4,553 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 1,770 tonnes of lead concentrate at weighted average metal prices of $1.43 per pound zinc, $1.06 per pound lead and $16.02 per ounce of silver.

Q3 2017 Financial Results Highlights:

  • Net concentrate sales revenue of $17.4 million, up 75% from Q2 2017
  • Net income of $0.8 million and earnings per share of $0.01
  • Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $2.4 million
  • Operating cash flow before changes in working capital of $2.3 million
  • Total cash position of $6.6 million
  • Quarterly milled tonnes increased 17% to 1,934 tpd, up from 1,733 tpd in Q2 2017 
  • Quarterly payable zinc equivalent (ZnEq)(2) production increased 14% to 14.9 million lbs from Q2 2017 with payable zinc, lead and silver production of 10.0 million lbs, 3.9 million lbs and 117,727 ozs produced respectively

Chris Buncic, President and CEO of Ascendant, commented: "We are extremely pleased to report our first quarter of net income. This is quite a milestone for Ascendant as it firmly marks the transition towards our objective of Free Cash Flow. Our operational success at El Mochito has provided significantly higher revenues that have led to positive EBITDA for the past three months and gives good visibility to achieve our targeted free cash flow in the fourth quarter and into 2018."

He continued, "Our primary focus for 2017 was to drive monthly tonnage to confirm El Mochito was capable of higher production rates as well as to fix a myriad of issues needed to attain operational stability and provide a path to future growth. The focus now and into 2018 will be to drive increased value per tonne mined, primarily through improving grade while at the same time reducing costs. This mine optimization will provide the foundation for the next phase of growth led by the success of our current exploration program."

Summary of Financial and Operating Results

Financial Results      
  Q3 2017 Q2 2017   Q1 2017   9 Months YTD
         
Average Realized Metal Price
Zinc ($/lb)   1.43 1.25   1.26   1.32
Lead ($/lb)   1.06 0.98   1.04   1.03
Silver ($/oz)   16.02 16.97   18.01   16.2
Revenues     17,399,214 9,941,830   7,924,416   35,265,460
Adjusted EBITDA(1)   2,423,205   (5,552,201)     (1,932,694)   (4,818,380)
Net income (loss)   821,009      (8,555,453)   (2,893,917)   (10,628,361)
Basic Income (loss) per share                                           $0.01 ($0.15)   ($0.04)   ($0.17)
               


El Mochito Operational Results      
  Q3 2017 Q2 2017 Q1 2017 9 Months YTD
Tonnes Mined (tonnes)   177,631   151,028   131,325   459,984
Tonnes Milled (tonnes)   176,037   150,785   131,115   457,938
Operating Days   91   87   81   259
Tonnes Milled (tpd)   1,934   1,733   1,619   1,768
Average Head Grade        
Zinc (%)   3.51   3.36   3.43   3.44
Lead (%)   1.46   1.34   1.33   1.38
Silver (oz/t)   38.3   48.9   52.1   45.8
Zinc Equivalent Head Grade (%) (2)   5.36   5.50   5.56   5.47
Average Recoveries        
Zinc (%)   88.8   88.9   89.8   89.1
Lead (%)   73.7   72.3   76.9   74.2
Silver (%)   78.0   79.3   78.8   79.4
Contained Metal Production:        
  Zinc (tonnes)   5,488   4,505   4,032   14,025
  Lead (tonnes)   1,894   1,459   1,341   4,694
  Silver (oz)   168,181   188,245   173,041   529,640
  Zinc Equivalent (tonnes) (2)   7,936   6,975   6,201   21,111
  Zinc Equivalent (lbs) (2)   17,496,673   15,376,986   13,671,410   46,541,979
Zinc Equivalent (tonnes) Payable Produced (2)   6,746   5,929   5,271   17,944
Zinc Equivalent (lbs) Payable Produced (2)   14,872,172   13,070,438   11,620,699   39,560,682
Site Operating Cost per Tonne Milled (ex. CAPEX)   $87.86   $89.97   $98.91   $91.72

(1) EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) is a Non-IFRS measure and is calculated by considering Company's earnings before interest payments, tax, depreciation and amortization are subtracted for any final accounting of its income and expenses.
(2) ZnEq Payable tonnes Produced = ((Zn Payable tonnes Produced x Zn Price)+(Pb Payable tonnes Produced x Pb Price)+ (Ag oz Payable Produced x Ag Price/oz x Oz to tonnes conversion ratio))/Zn Price where Zn and Pb prices are in tonne.

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