Centerra Gold Reports Third Quarter Results, Net Earnings of $18 million or $0.07 per Share

(Source: MARKETWIRE)trackingCenterra Gold Inc. (TSX: CG)

(This news release contains forward-looking information that is subject to the risk factors and assumptions set out on page 15 and in our Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Information on page 17. All figures are in United States dollars).

Centerra Gold Inc. (TSX: CG) today reported third quarter net earnings of $17.7 million or $0.07 per common share based on revenues of $115.5 million compared to net earnings of $20.2 million or $0.09 per common share on revenues of $158.8 million in the same quarter of 2009. As a result of the completion of the sale of the REN property early in the third quarter, the third quarter results include a gain of $34.9 million.

Consolidated gold production for the third quarter of 2010 was in line with the Company's guidance and totalled 96,308 ounces at a total cash cost of $798 per ounce produced compared to 165,883 ounces at a total cash cost of $424 per ounce produced in the corresponding quarter of 2009. (Total cash cost per ounce produced is a non-GAAP measure and is discussed under "Non-GAAP Measures" in the Company's Management's Discussion and Analysis issued in conjunction with this news release.) During the third quarter of 2010, cash used by operations, net of working capital changes, was $24.5 million compared to cash provided by operations of $63.4 million in the third quarter of 2009.

Third Quarter Highlights

-- Maintain 2010 gold production and cost guidance
-- The Company completed the sale of the REN property resulting in a gain
of $34.9 million
-- Appointed Mr. Raphael Girard, Mr. Karybek Ibraev and Mr. Amandgeldy
Muraliev to the Board of Directors August 19, 2010
-- Drilling has extended Kumtor's SB Zone, 120 metres along strike to the
northeast
-- Strong cash balances and no debt while continuing to fund capital
programs
-- Subsequent to end of third quarter settled Kumtor strike

Commentary

Steve Lang, President and CEO of Centerra stated, "The quarterly gold production at both sites was right in line with our expectations. The fourth quarter will see a significant increase in the gold production at Kumtor as we get back into mining the high-grade SB Zone. While the 10-day strike at Kumtor did not have any impact on annual guidance, we are pleased that we could settle it quickly and get the operation back to normal."

"At the Boroo operation, the mining phase is coming to an end and mining activities will cease at the end of November this year. We had planned to redeploy workers from Boroo to Gatsuurt, but due to the delay in commissioning the Gatsuurt project due to the uncertain impact of the water basin and forests law, we will layoff approximately 250 workers at Boroo on December 1, 2010. We continue to work closely with the Mongolian Government regarding the commissioning of Gatsuurt."

Financial and Operating Summary

Revenue for the third quarter of 2010 was $115.5 million compared to $158.8 million during the same period in 2009. Third quarter 2010 revenue reflects a 29% increase in realized gold price ($1,234 per ounce in the third quarter of 2009 versus $959 per ounce in the third quarter of 2009) offset by a 44% decrease in ounces sold in the period.

The Company produced a total of 96,308 ounces of gold in the third quarter of 2010, compared to 165,883 ounces of gold produced in the third quarter of 2009. Gold production at both operations was lower than the comparative period. Kumtor's decrease mainly reflects lower ore grades and higher waste volumes moved, while Boroo's comparative results reflect lower grades and recoveries as well as lower contribution from the heap leach operation which remained idle pending issuance of a final operating permit by the government authorities. See "Operations Update - Kumtor and Boroo/Gatsuurt".

Centerra's total cash cost per ounce produced was $798 in the third quarter of 2010, up from $424 in the third quarter of 2009 due primarily to lower gold production at both Kumtor and Boroo. The increase in unit cash cost per ounce produced was due to a 42% reduction in gold production ($306 per ounce), combined with a 9% increase in operating costs ($68 per ounce) primarily related to the increase in volumes of waste moved at Kumtor and higher fuel and labour costs at both sites. See "Operations Update". (Total cash cost per ounce produced is a non-GAAP measure and is discussed under "Non-GAAP Measures" in the Company's Management's Discussion and Analysis, issued in conjunction with this news release.)

Cash used in operations was $24.5 million for the third quarter of 2010 compared to a source of cash of $63.4 million for the prior year third quarter. The decrease reflects the lower earnings as a result of reduced gold sales volumes and higher operating costs, as well as the impact of increased working capital.

Capital expenditures spent and accrued in the third quarter of 2010 amounted to $72.8 million of which $14.8 million was spent on sustaining capital projects. Growth capital totaled $58.0 million which related mainly to the purchase of new CAT 789 haul trucks at Kumtor ($32.2 million), the underground development at Kumtor ($9.7 million), raising the tailings dam at Boroo ($2.5 million) and spending on site development for the Gatsuurt project ($1.3 million). Capital expenditures in the comparative quarter of 2009 totalled $21.0 million, consisting of $6.1 million of sustaining capital and $14.9 million of growth capital.

Exploration expenditures for the third quarter were $8.0 million compared to $6.8 million in the third quarter of 2009 reflecting increased activity in Mongolia at Gatsuurt, Ulaan Bulag and on other exploration and J.V. projects.

Centerra's cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments at the end of September 2010 were $334.7 million, compared to cash and short-term investments of $322.9 million at December 31, 2009.

Other Corporate Developments

Boroo/Gatsuurt

At the Boroo operation, the mining phase is coming to an end and mining activities will cease at the end of November 2010. The Boroo mill will continue to operate until mid-2011 processing stockpiled ores. Because of delays in receiving the necessary approvals and commissioning of the Gatsuurt project due to uncertain impact of the water basin and forest law, the Company will layoff approximately 250 workers at Boroo on December 1, 2010, which the Company had originally planned to redeploy from Boroo to Gatsuurt. The Company continues its constructive discussions with the Government of Mongolia to resolve uncertainty resulting from the water basin and forests law. See "Mongolia - Mongolian Legislation" below.

Kumtor

At the Kumtor operation, production at the mine was suspended on October 1, 2010 after the unionized employees commenced an illegal work stoppage on October 1, 2010. The strike was settled on October 10, 2010 and workers returned to work that evening. A new collective agreement was ratified by the union and will expire on December 31, 2012.

Inaugural Annual Dividend

As part of the Company's long-term strategy to maximize shareholder value, the Company's inaugural annual dividend of Cdn$0.06 per common share was paid on September 8, 2010 to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 18, 2010. It is the intention of the Board of Directors to review the amount of the dividend on an annual basis depending upon the Company's cash balances, operating cash flows, anticipated capital requirements for future growth and the yields of comparable companies' dividend rates.

Board Appointments

In accordance with the restated shareholders agreement between the Company and Kyrgyzaltyn JSC dated as of June 6, 2009 (the "Restated Shareholders Agreement"), Centerra appointed Mr. Amandgeldy Muraliev and Mr. Karybek Ibraev to the Board of Directors August 19, 2010.

Mr. Muraliev, a Kyrgyz citizen, has extensive experience in politics, including being the Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic from 1999 to 2000, and later being a member and advisor to the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Kyrgyz Government. Mr. Muraliev is the First Vice Prime Minister of the Interim Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kyrgyzaltyn JSC a shareholder of the Company. Mr. Muraliev received degrees from the Academy of National Economy under the USSR Council of Ministers and the Frunze Polytechnic Institute.

Mr. Ibraev, a Kyrgyz citizen, has extensive experience in the mining industry. Mr. Ibraev is a consultant with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Secretariat in the Kyrgyz Republic. Mr. Ibraev is also a former executive director of the Kyrgyz Mining Association. Mr. Ibraev is a member of the Kyrgyz Mining Association and received degrees from the L'Ecole de Mine de Paris, and the Moscow Geological Exploration Institute. In accordance with the Restated Shareholders Agreement, Mr. Ibraev is independent from the Kyrgyz Government.

On August 19, 2010, Mr. Raphael Girard was also appointed to Centerra's Board of Directors. Mr. Girard is a public policy and international business consultant who retired from the Department of Foreign Affairs in August 2003. Prior to his retirement, Mr. Girard was the Canadian Ambassador to Romania, and earlier to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Mr. Girard was a member of the Board of Directors of Gabriel Resources Ltd. from 2005 to 2010. Mr. Girard received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia.

Kyrgyz Republic

Parliamentary elections were held in the Kyrgyz Republic on October 10, 2010. According to reports the elections were carried out according to accepted democratic standards and the results reflect the will of the electorate. Five parties have received sufficient votes to be represented in the Parliament. Currently, the parties are in talks to form a governing coalition. While political and civil conditions appear to have stabilized, the political situation in the Kyrgyz Republic continues to evolve and there can be no assurances that future political developments will not have an adverse impact on the Company's assets or operations.

Mongolia

Mongolian Regulatory Matters

The regulatory conditions in Mongolia have not changed substantially since Centerra's second quarter 2010 report. During the quarter however, progress was made in the development of dispute resolution mechanisms through a commitment made by the Prime Ministers of both Canada and Mongolia to press forward on the conclusion of a Foreign Investment Protection Agreement. The following discussion summarizes the current status of Mongolian regulatory matters affecting Centerra.

On June 12, 2009, the main operating licenses at the Company's Boroo mine were suspended by the Minerals Resources Authority of Mongolia ("MRAM") following extensive inspections of the Boroo mine operation conducted by the Mongolian General Department of Specialized Inspection ("SSIA"). While the suspension was lifted on July 27, 2009, several issues arising from the inspection continue to be discussed by Centerra and the Mongolian regulatory authorities. On October 23, 2009, Centerra received a very significant claim for compensation from the SSIA in respect of certain mineral reserves, including state alluvial reserves covered by the Boroo mine licenses, that are recorded in the Mongolian state reserves registry, but for which there are no or incomplete records or reports of mining activity. Centerra disputes the claim. While Centerra cannot give assurances, it believes settlement will be concluded through negotiation and will not result in a material impact. In addition, the SSIA inspections raised a concern about the production and sale of gold from the Boroo heap leach facility. The heap leach facility was operated under a temporary permit from June 2008 until the expiry of the temporary permit in April 2009 and Boroo Gold Company Ltd. ("BGC") paid all relevant royalties and taxes with respect to gold produced from the heap leach facility during that period. BGC believes that it had all necessary permits to carry out its heap leach activities and that any regulatory concerns are unfounded. BGC is continuing its efforts to obtain a final permit for the operation of its heap leach facility at the Boroo mine.

On November 2, 2009, Centerra received a letter from the Mongolian Ministry of Finance re-iterating some of the issues raised by the SSIA and indicating that the Boroo Stability Agreement would be terminated if such issues were not resolved within a period of 120 days from the date of the letter. The Company has held discussions with the Ministry of Finance regarding such concerns and has received no further notice from the Ministry of Finance with respect to the possible termination of the Boroo Stability Agreement. While the Company believes that the issues raised by the Ministry of Finance and the SSIA will be resolved through negotiations without a material impact on the Company, there can be no assurance that this will be the case.

Mongolian Legislation

The legislative conditions in Mongolia have not changed substantially since Centerra's second quarter 2010 report. The commissioning of the Gatsuurt project has been delayed as a result of the uncertain impact of the Water and Forest Law. The following discussion summarizes the current status of certain Mongolian legislation that may affect Centerra, including its Gatsuurt project and other Mongolian mineral licenses.

In July 2009, the Mongolian Parliament enacted legislation that would prohibit mineral prospecting, exploration and mining in water basins and forest areas in the territory of Mongolia and provides for the revocation of licenses affecting such areas (the "Water and Forest Law"). The legislation provides a specific exemption for "mineral deposits of strategic importance", and accordingly, the main Boroo mining licenses will not be subject to the law. The Company's Gatsuurt licenses and its other exploration license holdings in Mongolia are currently not exempt. In March 2010, the Company received a letter from MRAM stating that certain of its mining and exploration licenses, including the Gatsuurt mining licenses, could be revoked under the Water and Forest Law. The letter requested that the Company submit an estimate of expenses incurred in relation to each license and the compensation that it would expect to receive if such licenses were to be revoked. The Company has provided a detailed estimate to MRAM for all potentially affected licenses. The Company has submitted a draft Investment Agreement for the Gatsuurt Project to the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy ("MMRE"). In April 2010, the Company received a letter from the MMRE indicating that the Gatsuurt licenses are within the area designated on a preliminary basis where minerals mining is prohibited under the Water and Forest Law. The letter also stated that the MMRE will communicate with the Company regarding the investment agreement when the MMRE has more clarity on the impact of the law. The Company is reasonably confident that the economic and development benefits resulting from its exploration and development activities will ultimately result in the law having a limited impact on the Company's Mongolian activities.

In August 2009, the Government of Mongolia repealed its windfall profit tax of 68% in respect of gold sales at a price in excess of US$850 an ounce, with the repeal to take effect on January 1, 2011.

Other

On July 2, 2010, the Company closed the sale of its REN interest to Homestake Mining Company of California ("Homestake"), a subsidiary of Barrick Gold Corporation, for cash proceeds of $35.2 million.

Operations Update

Kumtor

At the Kumtor mine, gold production was 68,757 ounces in the third quarter of 2010 compared to 133,459 ounces of gold in the third quarter of 2009. As planned, due to the mining sequence, the operation processed lower ore grades. The mill head grade averaged 1.57 g/t with a recovery of 73.4% in the third quarter of 2010, compared to 3.52 g/t with a recovery of 73.3% in the same quarter of 2009.

During the third quarter of 2010, the mill processed 1.39 million tonnes compared to 1.55 million tonnes or 10% lower than the same period of 2009 as a result of the planned mill shutdown in July 2010 to replace the SAG mill ring gear and the SAG mill liner.

Total cash cost per ounce produced, a non-GAAP measure of production efficiency, increased to $887 in the third quarter of 2010 from $427 in the third quarter of 2009. The year-over-year $460 increase in unit cash cost per ounce produced was due to 48% reduction in gold production ($401/ounce) and higher operating costs ($59/ounce) in 2010 period. Mining costs increased 17% to $35.5 million in the third quarter of 2010 due to higher diesel costs which increased costs by $4.9 million ($0.62 per litre vs. $0.40 per litre in 2009), increased expenditures for dewatering supplies ($1.2 million), blasting material ($1.1 million) and labour costs ($0.9 million) offset by lower expenditures on reagents and other consumables. Total cash cost per ounce produced is a non-GAAP measure and is discussed under "Non-GAAP Measures" in the Management's Discussion and Analysis issued in conjunction with this news release.

Exploration costs for the third quarter 2010 were $3.3 million unchanged from the third quarter in 2009.

Capital expenditures in the third quarter of 2010 totalled $70.3 million compared to $18.2 million for the same period in the prior year. This consisted of $13.8 million of sustaining capital, predominantly spent on the heavy duty equipment overhaul program ($5.6 million), replacement of four dozers ($1.4 million), shear key, buttress and tailing dam construction ($3.8 million) and replacement and re-alignment of the SAG mill girth gear ($1.7 million). Growth capital investment totalled $56.5 million spent mainly on the purchase of CAT 789 haul trucks ($32.2 million), other equipment ($8.7 million) and underground development of the declines for SB and Stockwork Zones ($9.7 million).

At the request of the Kyrgyz Government, the Company agreed in August 2010 to make advances of $11 million against future revenue-based tax ($8 million was advanced in the third quarter 2010 and the balance of $3 million was advanced in October 2010). The advances will be applied against the 2010 revenue-based tax otherwise payable in January 2011.

The SB Zone underground decline (Decline #1) has now advanced to a total of 854 metres. During the quarter the decline advancement continued and drill and remuck bays were established. The development rate was impacted by the ground conditions as faulting and geo-structural conditions slowed the development rate. The exploration drilling was restarted in the third quarter and delineation drilling of the SB Zone is expected to commence late in the fourth quarter of 2010 or early 2011.

The Stockwork Zone underground decline (Decline #2) has advanced a total of 399 metres. Decline #2 will facilitate the access to the Stockwork Zone and the SB Zone for further exploration and delineation drilling. During the second quarter, two headings were established in Decline #2 and are advancing concurrently. The second heading in Decline #2 was established for the exploration and delineation drilling program for the Stockwork Zone. It has advanced 110 metres toward the north. Drill bays will be established along the 400 meter access drift. Exploration and delineation drilling of the Stockwork Zone resource is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2010 and will continue into 2011.

Boroo/Gatsuurt

At the Boroo mine, gold production was 27,551 ounces in the third quarter of 2010 compared to 32,424 ounces in the third quarter of 2009, which included 4,322 ounces of heap leach production. During the third quarter 2010, the heap leach operation remained idle awaiting issuance of the final operating permit from the Mongolian government. The lower gold production in 2010 was the result of lower average mill head grades, 1.97 g/t in the third quarter versus 2.45 g/t in the third quarter 2009 and lower recoveries 69.8% compared to 76.0% for the same period last year. In the comparative 2009 quarter, gold production was impacted by an operational shutdown as a result of a six week license suspension which ended July 27th, 2009.

Total cash cost per ounce produced, a non-GAAP measure of production efficiency, was $575 in the third quarter of 2010 compared to $411 in the third quarter of 2009. The year-over-year increase in unit cash cost per ounce produced was due to higher operating costs in the 2010 period and lower gold production. The increase in the unit cash cost per ounce produced of $164 per ounce results from increased operating costs ($91/ounce) and lower ounces produced ($73/ounce). Mining costs were unchanged at $3.8 million in the third quarter of 2010, but milling costs were 63% higher at $5.4 million primarily due to higher costs for electricity, reagents and grinding media. During the quarter, diesel costs increased $0.8 million ($0.87 per litre vs. $0.71 per litre in 2009) and royalties increased by $0.4 million due to higher sales revenue achieved from higher gold price.
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