Calidus now making money after 'torrid time'

Calidus Resources managing director Dave Reeves has declared the gold miner is back on track after a tough start to life as a producer (reports MiningNews).


Shares in Calidus are currently trading at a 12-month low of A18c after the market punished the company for the troubled start-up of the Warrawoona gold project in the Pilbara last year.

The stock is 75% down, despite the Australian dollar gold price trading at record levels of above $3000 an ounce.

Reflecting on the past 12 months, Reeves said he thought the company would be in quite a different placed to where it was now.

"It's been a pretty torrid time, to be fair," he told the Resources Rising Stars conference on the Gold Coast this morning.

"I'm going to rip the Band-Aid off and talk about the bad stuff."

Warrawoona's start-up was impacted by a lack of water, low material movement due to labour shortages and lower-than-expected grades.

"It was a perfect storm in many ways," Reeves said.

Calidus believes it turned a corner in the March quarter with a 21% rise in production to 15,187 ounces at all-in sustaining costs of $2093 an ounce.

The company's average sales price was $2509/oz, with 11,335oz delivered into hedging contracts.

Operational cashflow was $4.9 million.

Reeves said Warrawoona was performing well so far in the June quarter with the average sales price closer to $2600/oz.

"It's only $100 extra but we're up 30% on margin," he said.

Almost four weeks ago, Calidus announced a $28 million capital raising, which Reeves described as the "final piece of the puzzle".

He said the company had "righted the ship" and margins would only improve as costs came down and hedges were closed out.

At current gold prices, if the company can reduce AISC to $1800/oz, it should be making margins of $828/oz and cashflow of $83 million per annum.

Once the company is unhedged, those figures increase to $1200/oz of margin and $120 million per annum of cashflow.

Reeves said Calidus had the lowest enterprise value of any ASX gold producer.

"We are the cheapest gold producer out there on the ASX," he said.

"To me, it's just a matter of time as we deliver and gain back the confidence of the market."

Canaccord has a speculative buy rating and price target of 80c, against the current price of 18c.

"We believe Calidus has been heavily oversold and is poised for a rebound aided by rising positive gold sentiment," analyst Paul Howard said last month.

Calidus has a current market capitalisation of $98 million.

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