Yamana Gold reports US$1.02B Q3 loss as it is hit by one-time charges

TORONTO – Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX:YRI) said Wednesday that it lost US$1.02 billion in its latest quarter as it was hit by Chilean tax changes and a writedown related to projects in Brazil.

The gold miner also slashed its quarterly dividend to 1.5 cents per share compared with its most recent payment of 3.75 cents per share.

“The level of this payout is a reflection of current and future anticipated cash flows in the context of current markets,” Yamana said in a statement.

“The company continues to be committed to paying dividends and, at current levels, the company believes the dividend provides a yield that is in line with historic levels for the company and the industry in general.”

Yamana, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said its loss amounted to $1.17 per share in its latest quarter compared with a profit of $43.4 million or six cents per share a year ago.

Revenue improved to $501.2 million from $456.7 million.

The latest quarter included a $329.5-million non-tax charge related to Chilean tax changes and a $668.3 million impairment charge related to its C1 Santa Luz, Ernesto/Pau-a-Pique and Pilar projects.

The company also had $17.9 million in one-time charges related to a decision to place its C1 Santa Luz project on care and maintenance.

Excluding the one-time items, Yamana said it posted an adjusted loss of $12.5 million or a penny per share. That compared with an adjusted profit of $69.5 million or nine cents per share a year ago.

“In light of the operational challenges with C1 Santa Luz, Ernesto/Pau-Pique and Pilar, a critical review of carrying values of these assets was performed during the third quarter and the company recognized an impairment charge,” Yamana said in a statement.

“The company continues to review all options to maximize value above current carrying values and, in the case of these assets, including the evaluation of new metallurgical plans and the possible disposition of some or all of these assets.”

During the quarter, Yamana produced 332,342 ounces of gold and 2.9 million ounces of silver compared with 263,830 ounces of gold and 2.2 million ounces of silver a year ago.

In its outlook, Yamana said it expects 2014 production to be in the range of 1.4 million to 1.42 million gold equivalent ounces at all-in sustaining cash costs between $825 and $875 per GEO.

Yamana has mines and operations in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Canada.