Toronto, Ontario - December 5, 2011 - Kinross Gold Corporation (TSX: K, NYSE:KGC) announced today it has reached a non-binding agreement in principle with the government of Ecuador regarding key fiscal and legal parameters for the exploitation of the Fruta del Norte (FDN) deposit in Ecuador's Zamora Chinchipe province.
A number of additional steps are required to conclude a final and binding agreement, including: the completion and approval of the project feasibility study by Kinross; a change in project status from economic evaluation to exploitation in accordance with Ecuadorian law; and, following the completion of negotiations, entering into definitive exploitation and investment protection agreements in a form satisfactory to the parties.
"This agreement represents an important milestone in the development of FDN," said Kinross President and CEO Tye Burt. "Key objectives are to develop the mineral resources at FDN in a socially responsible manner and to work closely with the government and local communities to establish FDN as a flagship mining project in Ecuador."
The key terms of the agreement in principle include the following:
Kinross is finalizing a project feasibility study, expected to be completed at year-end 2011. As previously disclosed, the Company is experiencing industry-wide escalation on FDN project costs, and both capital and operating costs for the project are expected to be approximately 25-30% higher than estimates included in the project pre-feasibility study. Kinross and the Ecuadorian government are currently completing negotiations and drafting of the definitive exploitation and investment protection agreements.
Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information
All statements, other than statements of historical fact, contained or incorporated by reference in this news release, including any information as to the future performance of Kinross, constitute “forward looking statements” within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including the provisions of the Securities Act (Ontario) and the provisions for “safe harbour” under the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as of the date of this news release. Forward looking statements include, without limitation, expected or possible events, or statements with respect to expected or possible events. The words “estimates”, “expects”, “is expected”, or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would” or “might” and similar expressions identify forward looking statements. The estimates, models and assumptions of Kinross referenced, contained or incorporated by reference in this news release, which may prove to be incorrect, include, but are not limited to, the various assumptions set forth herein and in our most recently filed Annual Information Form and our most recently filed Management’s Discussion and Analysis as well as: (1) there being no certainty that negotiations following the non-binding agreement in principle referenced in this news release will result in binding exploitation and investment protection agreements satisfactory to Kinross and the government of Ecuador; (2) the viability, permitting and development of the Fruta del Norte deposit being consistent with Kinross’ current expectations; and (3) political and legal developments in Ecuador being consistent with its current expectations including, without limitation, the implementation of Ecuador’s new mining and investment laws, and related regulations and policies, and negotiation of an exploitation contract and an investment protection agreement with the government, being consistent with Kinross’ current expectations. Forward looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Kinross as of the date of such statements, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Many of these uncertainties and contingencies can affect, and could cause, Kinross’ actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward looking statements made by, or on behalf of, Kinross. These factors are not intended to represent a complete list of the factors that could affect Kinross. There can be no assurance that forward looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All of the forward looking statements made in this news release are qualified by these cautionary statements and those in our most recently filed Annual Information Form and our most recently filed Management’s Discussion and Analysis. Kinross disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward looking statements or to explain any material difference between subsequent actual events and such forward looking statements, except to the extent required by applicable law.
Kinross is a Canadian-based gold mining company with mines and projects in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Ghana, Mauritania, Russia and the United States, employing approximately 8,000 people worldwide.
Kinross' strategic focus is to maximize net asset value and cash flow per share through a four-point plan built on: delivering mine and financial performance; attracting and retaining the best people in the industry; achieving operating excellence through the "Kinross Way"; and delivering future value through profitable growth opportunities.
Kinross maintains listings on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol:K) and the New York Stock Exchange (symbol:KGC).
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Vice-President, Investor Relations