Western Copper and Gold Announces 2016 Results
VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - March 24, 2017) - Western Copper and Gold Corporation ("Western" or the "Company") (TSX: WRN) (
"Western is proud to have been able to weather the latest market downturn without share dilution," said Dr. Paul West-Sells, President and Chief Executive Officer. "With recent increases in gold and copper prices contributing to renewed optimism in the sector, we are well positioned to capitalize on the increasing interest for projects like Casino that will provide significant low-cost production in safe jurisdictions."
This news release should be read in conjunction with the Company's audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2016, and the notes thereto, and management's discussion and analysis ("MD&A") for the year ended December 31, 2016. All figures in Canadian dollars ("$").
- Dale Corman, previously Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, was appointed Executive Chairman in February 2016. Concurrently, the Company appointed Paul West-Sells, previously President and Chief Operating Officer, to the role of President and Chief Executive Officer. These changes were part of standard succession planning.
- In August 2016, an Independent Engineering Review Panel engaged by Western to evaluate the current tailings management facility ("TMF") design, assess potential alternative storage technologies, and review the alternate locations study for the Casino Project's TMF confirmed that the design concept currently forming the basis of the Company's submission to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board ("YESAB") represents the best available technology for storing solid waste from the Casino Project. It also provided guidance and made recommendations to enhance the design of the TMF and to meet internationally accepted standards and good practices.
- Western signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ferus Natural Gas Fuels Inc. ("Ferus NGF") for liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply to the proposed Casino Project in September 2016. Ferus NGF plans to build and operate the LNG plant in the vicinity of Fort Nelson, British Columbia. The Fort Nelson area was strategically chosen to minimize the cost of transporting the LNG to the mines, contributing to supply reliability and strong project economics.
- In November 2016, the Company completed an agreement with Cariboo Rose Resources Ltd. ("Cariboo Rose") (the "Purchase Agreement"). Pursuant to the Purchase Agreement, Cariboo Rose exercised its option to acquire the 55 mineral claims known as the Casino B Claims, and received 500,000 common shares of Western. In return, Western acquired nine (9) of the Casino B Claims and has a right of first refusal on the other 46 Casino B Claims.
The nine Casino B Claims acquired by Western as part of the Purchase Agreement increase its land position on the western edge of the Casino deposit. The new mineral claims underlie a portion of the proposed heap leach facility and will provide a buffer zone to the open pit described in the Casino Project feasibility study.
For the year ended December 31, 2016, Western incurred a loss of $2.1 million ($0.02 per common share), which is comparable to the net loss of $2.1 million ($0.02 per common share) reported in the prior year.
The Company also incurred $2.3 million on advancing the Casino Project in 2016. This compares with expenditures of $3.8 million in 2015. Over the last few years, the majority of Western's activities and expenditures relating to the Casino Project have focused on permitting, engineering, and wages for the employees who manage those functions. Expenditures decreased significantly during the year ended December 31, 2016 because in 2015, Western incurred significant costs to complete the two supplemental reports submitted to the YESAB. Permitting activities were limited in 2016 as the Company awaited the ESE Statement Guidelines from YESAB for the first half of the year and spent the next few months planning its approach to meet these requirements in its updated project proposal. The Company also acquired certain Casino B claims in 2016.
Western ended the most recently completed financial year with $6.7 million in working capital, including $6.8 million in cash and short-term investments.
The Company filed its annual information form, audited consolidated financial statements and MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2016 with the appropriate Canadian regulatory bodies on March 23, 2017. These filings are available for viewing on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
The Company also filed its annual report on Form 40-F with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2016 on March 23, 2017. Western's Form 40-F is available for viewing and retrieval through EDGAR at www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.
The filings described above are available on the Company's website: www.westerncopperandgold.com. Western will also provide a copy of the filings to any shareholder, without charge, upon request. Requests may be made by email, telephone, or regular mail.
ABOUT WESTERN COPPER AND GOLD CORPORATION
Western Copper and Gold Corporation is developing the Casino Project, Canada's premier Copper-Gold mine in the Yukon Territory. For more information, visit www.westerncopperandgold.com.