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Edmonton, Alberta – October 31, 2013 – Athabasca Minerals Inc. (the “Corporation” or “Athabasca” – TSX Venture: ABM) is pleased to announce the filing of its Q3 financial results for the three months ended August 31, 2013. Athabasca reports the following highlights from Q3 2013:
During Q3 the Corporation earned net income of $1,059,462 compared to $2,044,148 in the comparative period. Q3 2013 YTD net income, adjusted for non-cash items, was $4,273,890 compared to $4,412,129 in the comparative period, a decrease of 3.1%. Non-cash items primarily included depreciation, amortization, share-based compensation and loss on land use agreement.
During fiscal Q3 and Q3 YTD, Susan Lake sales have been strong with over 6.7 million tonnes sold over nine months. While fiscal Q3 YTD tonnage sales are 10.2% less than in the comparable period they are above Q3 2011 YTD sales by 40.1%. Contractor activity within the Susan Lake pit is currently at a high level in advance of the winter season, with strong aggregate demand expected to continue in Q4.
While maintaining management activities at the Susan Lake aggregate operation, the Corporation continued its transition to supplying sand and gravel from corporate-owned aggregate operations. Two important and positive developments have recently occurred at the Kearl pit that are expected to contribute to future improved productivity and reduced costs of production. Firstly, the Corporation has implemented an improved dewatering method, which has substantially increased operating access for aggregate extraction. Secondly, the Corporation is currently mining at a depth in the pit where a significantly richer proportion of gravel to sand ratio is being extracted. Previously, a higher sand content with typically less product value was encountered nearer to surface. As a combined result, increased extraction and processing of higher value aggregate is now being realized. Over 63% of the approximate total 248,000 tonnes of aggregate processed at the Kearl pit during Q3 occurred during the month of August alone.
The Corporation has maintained this improved efficiency in its aggregate extraction and processing since August and is expected to continue throughout fiscal 2013. Unusually heavy rainfall during much of the first two months of Q3 2013, hampered aggregate extraction at the Kearl pit and required the Corporation to focus largely on dewatering activities. During this time, as a result the Corporation was temporarily unable to fulfill all demand for processed gravel.
At our other corporate-owned pits, operations at Logan and House River are expected to resume at such time that winter roads can be accessed and product is deliverable.
As is evidenced by the significant increase in the amount of inventory of the Corporation as at August 31, 2013 of $ 5,642,328, Athabasca has successfully processed a variety of high quality aggregates that have been stockpiled in strategic locations. These are now available to service oil sand operations and infrastructure demands. With Athabasca’s current and increasing stockpile supply coupled with recent improvements in production efficiency, the Corporation is focused on greater marketing of its products and its services within its market area. The Corporation’s inventory arose through a combination of factors throughout the course of the year. Firstly, Logan pit aggregate had been processed for a contract that was only partially fulfilled before spring breakup with the remaining portion of the contract to be delivered once hauling conditions permit. Secondly, the Corporation has stockpiled a significant quantity of processed sand at Kearl as a direct result of the geological formation in the upper levels of the Kearl pit. The market continues to demand sand from Kearl as it comprised 38% of YTD tonnage sales at Kearl.
At our corporate-owned silica sand Firebag Project, approval in principle from the government for the 80 acre Surface Material Lease application is anticipated this calendar year. The Corporation has engaged consultants to assist with the reclamation strategy for the Firebag project which is one of the regulatory requirements to obtain approval.
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