Aurizon Mines Could Be Merged: CEO
MONTREAL – Higher gold prices and better ore grades gave a big boost to Aurizon Mines Ltd., owner-operator of the Casa Berardi mine near La Sarre, in the Northern Abitibi, in the fourth quarter. It also sparked merger rumours.
“Five or six companies have talked to us about merging or getting together somehow,” said CEO George Paspalas Friday. “We keep a pretty well-oiled valuation model handy and we know our real worth.”
He would not identify any of the companies in the talks, but said Aurizon is generating strong cash flow and ideally would like to have two or three mines in operation to reduce the risk of having Casa Berardi as a single producer.
Earlier the company said the December quarter’s earnings were $21.8 million, or 13 cents a share, up from the year-earlier’s $7 million, or 4 cents a share. Revenue was $85.7 million, up 76 per cent. Gold output was 45,995 ounces at an average cash cost of $498 an ounce.
In all 2011, Aurizon earned $43.9 million, or 27 cents a share, up 155 per cent from 2010, on revenue of $260 million, up 45 per cent. Casa Berardi produced 163,845 ounces in 2011 and this year 155,00 ounces to 160,000 ounces, or down six per cent because of lower ore grades.
Aurizon operates 11 properties in Quebec including Casa Berardi and the advanced-stage Joanna. Exploration is advanced on two more properties,
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