McEwen Mining Inc. (NYSE:MUX) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 19, 2020 • 11:00 am ET


McEwen Mining Inc. (NYSE:MUX) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to McEwen Mining's Q1 2020 Operating and Financial Results Conference Call. Present from the Company today are Rob McEwen, Chairman and Chief Owner; Peter Mah, Chief Operating Officer; Meri Verli Chief Financial Officer; Sylvain Guerard, Senior Vice President of Exploration. [Operator Instructions]

I will now turn the call over to Mr. Rob McEwen, Chief Owner. Please go ahead.

Robert McEwen

Thank you, operator. Good morning, fellow shareowners, ladies and gentlemen. It's been over two months since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 virus, a global pandemic. Starting in late March and during April, our operations were temporary shut down to test all of our employees in compliance with government enclosed restrictions. I'm delighted to say that none of our employees or the employers of our contractors have contracted the virus. In part, we hope this result is because of our rapid action and the biggest measures that we put in place. As of today, Black Fox is back up operating normally, Gold Bar is starting to increase activities with a focus on preparing for production. Government restrictions in our San Jose mine operating at 50% capacity and our El Gallo mine is limited to residual reach. We think these government restrictions will be lifted in June.

Let's turn to Gold Bar. Last year was a disaster. I have, and I'm sure you hope our problems would be far behind us, but this year, we have experienced a significant hit. This quarter, we are reporting a very large noncash write-down of our Gold Bar Mine. This is a result of a revised geological model that reduced the size and structural interpretation of the deposit. This mine was to be a star asset for us, but so far, it is a clearly one an enormous screwup.

Many professionals tend to work for us and others who were technical consultants made the decisions that compounded to bring us to where we are today. We're not ready to close the mine and write it off as a very bad and benefit decision for several reasons. We believe there are opportunities to improve the operation, reducing costs and also defined additional resources through exploration. Both Peter and Sylvain will speak to these issues later in the presentation.

Let's talk about our financial results for the quarter. First, our liquidity at the end of Q1, our liquid assets were $31 million compared to $46.5 million at the end of the year. Working capital was $25.3 million. However, we are forecasting that our working capital will decrease below the required working capital levels required by our debt covenants. Therefore, we are evaluating several alternatives to refinance in order to extend and amend the turns of our $50 million debt. Materially, we have an alternative financing in place, which addresses the risk created by a potential working capital shortfall. Our auditors have added a growing concern language to our financial statement, and that is reflected in our Q1 10-K report.

Assuming a constant --