Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 17:35 EDT

Alacer Gold announces completion of major strategic review

February 10, 2013

TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2013 /CNW/ – Alacer Gold Corp. (“Alacer”) [TSX: ASR and ASX: AQG] announces the completion of its major strategic review. Alacer will be
focused on the following four key strategic objectives:

      1. Maximize free cash flow
      2. Maximize portfolio value
      3. Minimize project risk
      4. Return value to shareholders

In keeping with these objectives and as a result of a systematic
strategic review of all of Alacer’s operations and exploration assets,
Alacer is pleased to announce the following major developments:

        --  Maximize Free Cash Flow: Alacer is focused on continuously
            improving its cost base, as evidenced by its recent
            demobilization of two open-pit mining fleets, the reduction of
            the workforce in Australia, and the targeting of higher-grade
            mining opportunities.
        --  Maximize Portfolio Value:
      o Capitalizing on Copler's World-Class Potential:  Alacer has
        identified a superior development approach for this asset which
        should substantially improve its economic returns, reduce capital
        intensity, and reduce implementation risk.
      o Significant Improvements in Australia:  Substantial changes to the
        mine planning at SKO and an improving grade profile at Higginsville
        should yield significantly improved cash flow and value from
        Alacer's Australian assets going forward.
      o Non-Core Asset Sale:  Alacer has entered into a binding agreement
        for the sale of its 49% minority interest in the Frog's Leg Mine
        and an 18-month toll treatment agreement with a total transaction
        value of approximately $171 million.
      o Targeted, Significant Exploration:  Alacer has revised its
        exploration priorities to place substantial focus on those targets
        with the greatest potential to return significant and immediate
        value, including oxide ore in the Copler District, line-of-lode at
        Higginsville, and SKO, which lies in the very highly endowed
        Boulder-Lefroy Fault between the world-class gold deposits of
        Kalgoorlie's Golden Mile and the St. Ives District in the Eastern
        Goldfields of Western Australia.
        --  Minimize Project Risk:  Across its entire asset portfolio,
            Alacer has worked to ensure that the approach to any project is
            focused on minimizing project execution risk and lowering
            capital intensity.
        --  Return Value to Shareholders
      o Immediate Cash Distribution:  As a result of the sale of Alacer's
        49% interest in the Frog's Leg Mine, Alacer intends to make a
        distribution to shareholders of approximately $70 million as a
        special dividend.
      o Dividend Policy: Alacer will adopt a dividend policy to return a
        minimum of 20% of free cash flow to shareholders annually beginning
        in 2014.

Alacer will host a conference call on Monday, February 11 at 4:30 pm
(North America Eastern Standard Time) and Tuesday, February 12 at 8:30
am (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) to discuss the strategic review
in detail. Conference call details are provided below.

Mr. David Quinlivan, President and CEO of Alacer stated, “2013 will be a back-to-basics year for Alacer from an operational
perspective as we focus on gold production to maximize free cash flow.
In Turkey, we are very excited at having identified a superior, staged
project development approach that should yield far better project
returns. The decision to take a staged approach to the development of
Copler demonstrates our disciplined approach to project development and
risk management.

In Australia, improved cash flow will come from mining higher grade
zones while we continue our extensive exploration programs in
Australia’s richest gold belt. The sale of the Frog’s Leg Mine
crystallizes full value for Alacer’s non-controlling, minority
interest, and the cash realized will be used to repay debt and return
capital to shareholders.

Our focus is to produce the highest-margin ounces available in order to
improve total shareholder returns and the measures we are putting in
place to contain costs and improve grades across all of our operations
should improve Alacer’s operating and financial performance. I’m
confident that the new operating philosophy will provide greater
operational predictability and should allow Alacer to deliver on its


Copler Development

In parallel with the work on the whole ore pressure oxidation definitive
feasibility study (“Definitive Feasibility Study”), Alacer has
completed a first-principles analysis of how to maximize the value of
the world-class orebody at Copler. While a draft of the Definitive
Feasibility Study confirmed that processing Copler refractory ore using
whole ore pressure oxidation is technically and economically feasible,
with comparable economics to those presented in the Copler
Prefeasibility Study, a review of a number of alternative approaches
has identified a development plan that should significantly improve
returns with lower project risk. Combined with the substantial oxide
ore exploration potential that has been identified in the Copler
District, as discussed in more detail below, Alacer believes that the
best approach for Alacer to achieve its key strategic objectives of
maximizing free cash flow, maximizing portfolio value, minimizing
project risk, and returning value to shareholders at this world-class
asset is as follows:

        --  Oxides:  Construct a conventional carbon-in-leach treatment
            plant for oxide ore (the "Oxide Mill")
      o Based on existing resources, the Oxide Mill would be expected to
        have a mine life of approximately three years
      o Any additional oxide ore reserves identified by the Copler District
        exploration program (see Copler District Exploration Update section
        below) would likely add substantially to the Oxide Mill economics
      o Following completion of milling of the existing reserves and any
        additional reserves identified by the exploration program, the
        Oxide Mill would reprocess approximately five additional years of
        heap-leach residues
      o Capital cost could likely be financed entirely from internal cash
      o Test work necessary to finalize design and engineering proceeding
        as a top priority
      o On completion of test work and studies, a decision to proceed and
        commencement of construction is expected in Q3 2013, subject to the
        receipt of necessary permits
        --  Sulfides:  Construct a flotation circuit to provide concentrate
            for sale or processing through a smaller-scale pressure
            oxidation facility or an ultra-fine grinding circuit.
      o De minimis additional capital expenditure requirement following the
        construction of the Oxide Mill

In addition to the above, the clay sizer and materials handling circuit
project and new agglomerator project are currently on-track to be
operational during the second half of 2013 and should result in
increased margins from Copler’s current heap-leach operations.

Copler is a long-life mine with substantial production potential that
will be developed in a disciplined and prudent manner. Alacer is
committed to maximizing the value of this world-class orebody in a
manner that maximizes free cash flow.

Copler District Exploration Update

Alacer believes that the Copler Mine is likely to be the first of
several significant gold deposits to be discovered and mined in the
Copler District, an area defined as comprising approximately 225km(2) surrounding the Copler Mine, and held under license by Alacer and its
Turkish partner. The Copler District is Alacer’s highest priority area
for gold exploration and discovery.

In 2012, the first systematic, wide-spaced 200m x 200m spaced soil
sampling geochemical program was completed near the eastern and
northwestern margins of the Copler District (see Figure 1). Although
by the end of 2012, only 17% (approximately 45km(2)) of the Copler District had been sampled by surface geochemistry, this
program was highly successful in defining significant new gold-in-soil
anomalies over a 12km strike length. Gold anomalies up to several
grams per tonne require follow-up exploration and drilling.
Importantly, in spite of limited drilling, oxide gold mineralization
has been intersected in each area of gold anomalism tested to date in
the Copler District.

The defined 12km-long gold-in-soil anomaly, together with the oxide gold
in mineralization having been intersected in early-stage drilling,
demonstrates that:

        --  soil geochemistry is an effective and inexpensive exploration
            tool in defining surface gold anomalism around Copler; and
        --  there is excellent prospectivity for additional oxide gold
            discoveries to be made in the Copler District.


Figure 1 – Geochemical plan of the Copler District (blue outline)
showing the extent of soil geochemistry surveys completed
(approximately 17% of the surface area of the Copler District) and gold
anomalism >30ppb (parts per billion) shown in red within the surveyed
area. Note the 12km long anomalous zone on the eastern margin of the
Copler District. Also shown are all drilling collars (blue dots)
outside the Copler Mine and selective higher grade oxide intersections
identified from the limited drilling completed to date. All
intersections are estimated between 50-100% of true width. A full list of drilling results in these areas is available at http://www.alacergold.com/files/2013_02_11_copler_drilling_results_link.pdf

An exploration investment of $32 million ($19 million attributable to
Alacer) in Turkey is planned to be made during 2013. This large
investment is primarily aimed at commencing drill testing of numerous
near-surface oxide gold targets recently defined in the Copler District
as well as at defining the outer limits of the oxide gold resource at
the Copler Mine.

Australian Business Unit (“ABU”) Review

Since August 2012, a strategic and operational review has been
identifying opportunities to maximize value and improve shareholder
returns from Alacer’s assets in Australia. The key outcomes from this
review are summarized below.

Higginsville Gold Operations (“HGO”)

At HGO a number of opportunities exist to increase cash margins and to
optimize the assets, such as reducing the overall tonnage of ore mined
and processed with a focus on the extraction of ore from higher grade
zones, rather than keeping the mill full with marginal open-pit ore.

HGO is in a transitional period as mine development approaches the
higher grade ore bodies at both Trident (Artemis/Helios) and Chalice
(Grampians/Olympus). This sets HGO up for strong cash flow generation
beginning in 2H 2013 from increased gold production and lower unit
costs with less capital expenditure.

Initial steps taken in Q4 2012 to improve cash flow from mining at HGO

        --  Reduction in total workforce by 61 people (Q4 2012 saving of
            approximately $3 million);
        --  Review and rationalization of mine plans to minimize capital
            and operating development;
        --  Review of equipment requirements for the Trident and Chalice
            underground mines;
        --  Postponement of the development of the Corona exploration
            decline; and
        --  Cessation of mining lower grade open pits.

Continuous improvement in both the operational and cost performance at
HGO remains an ongoing priority.

Higginsville Exploration

Higginsville’s exploration investment of $16 million in 2013 is
targeting discoveries and resource extensions that would extend HGO’s
planned gold production of more than 150,000 ounces per annum beyond

Drilling is planned to test both the down-plunge continuity of the
Trident and Chalice orebodies during 2013 and this drilling has a high
probability of adding further resources and reserves. Drilling in the Chalice area will also test for satellite ore deposits
near the Chalice mine.

In addition to this mine extension work, multiple drill targets have
been generated by the recently-completed Higginsville line-of-lode
framework diamond drilling program. Drilling in the Challenge area
during 2013 will test several recently-defined, mineralized structures
with individual high-grade drill intercepts.

Sale of Frog’s Leg Mine

Alacer has entered into a binding asset sale and purchase agreement with
La Mancha Resources Australia Pty Limited (“La Mancha”) to sell La
Mancha its 49% minority interest in the Frog’s Leg Mine joint venture,
its 24.5% interest in the Lake Greta joint venture and its 40% interest
in the Avoca joint venture (the “Frog’s Leg JVs”) and to provide toll
milling services to La Mancha for 18 months using its Jubilee
processing facility located at its South Kalgoorlie Operations. The
total aggregate value of these transactions is approximately A$166
million (or approximately $171 million based on the A$/$ exchange rate
on February 8, 2013).

Under the sale agreement, Alacer will receive approximately A$141
million for its interest in the Frog’s Leg JVs. The Lake Greta and
Avoca joint ventures are exploration stage projects. The sale of the
Frog’s Leg JVs is subject to customary negotiated terms and conditions,
and completion of the transactions is subject to certain conditions,
including the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board in

Under the 18-month toll treatment agreement, La Mancha will pay Alacer
approximately A$25 million in six equal, advance quarterly payments
beginning on February 22, 2013 and ending on April 1, 2014. In
addition, certain amounts are payable for variable costs based on the
actual use of certain key consumable items at the Jubilee processing
facility. The obligation to toll-treat ore for La Mancha continues
until 345 days of processing capacity has been provided, which is
expected by June 30, 2014 (subject to processing schedule changes and
force majeure events). The terms of the current Frog’s Leg Joint
Venture Agreement will operate until completion of the sale and
purchase agreement.

Pending completion of the sale of the Frog’s Leg JVs, La Mancha and
Alacer entered into an interim 12-month toll treatment agreement under
which toll milling services are provided for ore produced from Frog’s
Leg on substantially the same terms as pursuant to the 18-month toll
treatment agreement. Unless terminated earlier, the obligation to
toll-treat the Frog’s Leg ore pursuant to the interim toll treatment
agreement continues until 230 days of processing capacity has been
provided (subject to processing schedule changes and force majeure
events). Any amounts paid pursuant to the interim toll treatment
agreement shall be deemed to have been paid under the 18-month toll
treatment agreement on completion of the sale of the Frog’s Leg JVs.

South Kalgoorlie Operations (“SKO”)

Gold production at SKO in 2013 will focus on higher-margin ounces from
the Pernatty open pit and SBS28 areas at SKO. The commencement of
mining at the SBS28 area is significant in that several higher-grade
mines will come into production in this historical high-grade mining
complex. These open pits include Surprise, Barbara, Shirl, Pit 28 and
Tuscany. The combination of these new, higher-grade mines planned for
2013 and the toll treatment agreement with La Mancha will ensure that
the Jubilee plant has a sufficient supply of ore to continue to operate

In addition, Alacer undertook a number of steps in Q4 2012 to improve
cash flow from mining and processing at SKO, including

        --  Reduction of mining fleets and associated personnel to one
            fleet.  This reduced the workforce by 50 people and overall
            mining cost by $1.8 million per month;
        --  Mining higher-grade, higher-value pits (Pernatty and Triumph)
            in H2 2012 and the Q1 2013; and
        --  Revising mine planning to target several open pits in the SBS28
            mining complex in H2 2013 to continue the higher-grade,
            higher-value mining strategy.

The combination of the cash generated from the new mines and the toll
treatment agreement will finance the significant exploration activities
Alacer is conducting at SKO.

Alacer believes that SKO represents one of the most prospective areas
for gold exploration and discovery in Australia, as it lies on the very
highly endowed Boulder-Lefroy Fault between the world-class gold
deposits of Kalgoorlie’s Golden Mile and the St. Ives District in the
Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Significant recent resource
and reserve growth has been achieved at both the Golden Mile and St.
Ives, due to continuous exploration over the last ten years.
Exploration within the SKO District, however, has been largely
neglected due to the splintered ownership and operational issues prior
to consolidation under Alacer’s ownership.

In 2012, Alacer began an extensive exploration program at SKO. This
important program will be completed over the next 12-24 months, with a
2013 budget of $20 million. The results of this program will determine
the strategic options available for SKO. The Frog’s Leg toll treatment
agreement provides Alacer with an 18-month time window for the
geological team to fully focus on identifying and proving up new ore

Drilling has now begun to test quality conceptual targets that have the
potential to deliver a large discovery. The three key areas with the
highest probability of delivering exploration success are Location 48,
the Mt. Marion complex, and SBS28. These targets will be tested in
Alacer’s $20 million exploration program at SKO during 2013. This
drilling should enable management to determine if SKO has the potential
to deliver a meaningful discovery.


2013 Guidance

Alacer’s focus is to maximize value in 2013 by targeting the highest
grade ore available, while realigning the mine development programs to
ensure Alacer is in a position to maximize production cash flow from
high value ore zones from 2014 onwards.

Alacer’s gold production, unit costs and capital expenditure for 2013
are forecast to be as follows:

    |            |   2012   |2013 Gold |2013 Cash |2013 Total|2013 Capital|
    |Mine        |   Gold   |Production|Operating |   Cash   |Expenditure |
    |            |Production|  ('000   |  Costs1  |  Costs1  |($ millions)|
    |            |          | ounces)  |  ($/oz)  |  ($/oz)  |            |
    |Copler - 80%|  151,005 |162 to 178|340 to 375|385 to 425|       52   |
    |Higginsville|  136,687 |138 to 152|   955 to | 1,125 to |       60   |
    |            |          |          |   1,055  |  1,240   |            |
    |South       |   40,406 | 30 to 35 | 1,200 to | 1,210 to |       10   |
    |Kalgoorlie  |          |          |  1,320   |  1,330   |            |
    |Total       |  328,098 |330 to 365|675 to 749|769 to 851|      122   |

Alacer’s planned capital expenditures for 2013 total $122 million, of
which approximately 22% is for projects and 78% is for operations.

General and administrative expense is forecast to be $47 million, which
includes depreciation and amortization expense for corporate of $5
million for the year.

Alacer’s attributable exploration expenditure is planned to total $55
million for 2013, of which approximately 80% is considered likely to be

    |               |Exploration |Exploration |
    |               |    100%    |Attributable|
    |               |($ millions)|($ millions)|
    |SKO            |       20   |       20   |
    |Higginsville   |       16   |       16   |
    |Copler         |       13   |       10   |
    |Copler District|       14   |        8   |
    |Turkey Other   |        6   |        1   |
    |TOTAL          |       69   |       55   |

Alacer intends to begin reporting an all-in approach to cash costs after
the completion of the sale of the Frog’s Leg Mine. Alacer believes
that an all-in approach to cash costs will provide investors with an
alternative to better evaluate its cost structure. Included in the
calculation of all-in costs will be corporate general and
administrative expenses, exploration expenses and sustaining capital

Australian Asset Impairment

With the sale of the Frog’s Leg Mine to La Mancha, a detailed review of
the carrying value of the ABU will be completed in conjunction with the
completion of the full-year 2012 financial results. The outcome of
this review will be included in Alacer’s full year financial results to
be released on or about March 13, 2013.

Upcoming News Releases

The financial statements and management discussion and analysis for Q4
2012 and full-year 2012 are planned to be released on or about March
13, 2013 (North America) and March 14, 2013 (Australia).

Alacer’s Mineral Reserves and Resources Statement as at December 31,
2012 is expected to be released in March 2013.

Conference Call Details

Alacer will host a conference call on Monday, February 11 at 4:30 pm
(North America Eastern Standard Time) and Tuesday, February 12 at 8:30
am (Australian Eastern Daylight Time).

You may participate in the conference call by dialing:

    1-888-437-9315   for U.S. and Canada

    1-800-106-406    for Australia

    800-901-111      for Hong Kong

    800-101-2003     for Singapore

    0-808-101-1147   for United Kingdom

    1-719-325-2249   for International

    8456451          Conference ID

If you are unable to participate in the call, a recording of the call
will be available on Alacer’s website at www.AlacerGold.com or through replay until February 24, 2013 by using passcode 8456451 and calling:

    1-888-203-1112   for U.S. and Canada

    1-800-154-669    for Australia

    800-901-108      for Hong Kong

    800-101-2009     for Singapore

    0-808-101-1153   for United Kingdom 

    1-719-457-0820   for International

About Alacer Gold

Alacer Gold Corp. is a leading intermediate gold mining company with
interests in multiple mines which provide ore to three processing
facilities in Australia and Turkey:

        --  80% interest in the Copler Gold Mine;
        --  100% interest in the Higginsville Gold Operations; and
        --  100% interest in the South Kalgoorlie Gold Operations.

Alacer’s primary focus is to maximize portfolio value, maximize free
cash flow, minimize project risk, and return value to shareholders.
Alacer has a strong balance sheet and is committed to responsibly
developing its current operations and focused exploration programs
creating value.

Alacer’s operations produced a total of 381,738 attributable ounces of
gold during 2012. At 31 December 2011, Alacer’s attributable Mineral
Resources totalled 13.8 million ounces of gold and Ore Reserves
totalled 5.3 million ounces of gold.

Qualified Person and Technical Information

The information in this report which relates to Exploration Results is
based on information compiled by Chris Newman, a full time employee of
Alacer Gold Corp. and who is a Member of the Australasian Institute of
Mining and Metallurgy and a Member of the Australian Institute of
Geoscientists. Mr Newman has sufficient experience which is relevant
to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration
and to the activity which is being undertaking to qualify as a
Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the “Australasian
Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore
Reserves” and a qualified person pursuant to National Instrument 43-101
of the Canadian Securities Administration. Mr Newman consents to the
inclusion in the report of the matters based on this information in the
form and context in which it appears.

Exploration drilling and sampling in the Copler District utilized
surface NQ2 diamond core and Reverse Circulation (“RC”). Reverse
circulation cuttings were sampled on 1.0m intervals and core was
sampled at geologically selected intervals ranging from 0.7m to 2.0m,
but generally 1.0m as sawn half core or hand split if clay. Drill
samples were performed by ALS Chemex in Vancouver, BC, Canada, for gold
by Fire Assay off a 30 gram charge with an AA finish. Quality
Assurance/Quality Control included the insertion and continual
monitoring of numerous standards and blanks into the sample stream, and
the collection of duplicate samples at regular intervals within each
batch. Selected holes are also analysed for a 33 element four acid
ICP–AES. Exploration and drilling results are reported as drilled
thicknesses. Drill composites were calculated using a cut off of
approximately 0.3g/t gold for oxide. No top cut was applied. Surface
geochemical soil samples are collected on a 200 x 200 meters grid
system, with anomalous zones (>10ppb) infilled to 100 x 100 meters.
Samples were collected from the soil ‘B Zone’ to a depth of 30-50cm and
analysed by SGS analytical Laboratory, Ankara, Turkey, for gold by Fire
Assay off a 50 gram charge with an AAS finish and for 34 elements by
four acid digestion (nearly total extraction), ICP OES Finish (sample
drying, 105 C, 3.5kg, dry screening to -80mesh, 2.0kg).

Cautionary Statements

Except for statements of historical fact relating to Alacer, certain
statements contained in this press release constitute forward-looking
information, future oriented financial information, or financial
outlooks (collectively “forward-looking information”) within the
meaning of Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking information may be
contained in this document and other public filings of Alacer.
Forward-looking information often relates to statements concerning
Alacer’s future outlook and anticipated events or results and, in some
cases, can be identified by terminology such as “may”, “will”, “could”,
“should”, “expect”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “intend”,
“estimate”, “projects”, “predict”, “potential”, “continue” or other
similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts.

Forward-looking information contained in this news release and other
Alacer filings which may prove to be incorrect, include statements
concerning, among other things, that Alacer and its subsidiaries will
complete the proposed transactions in accordance with the terms and
conditions of the asset sale and purchase agreement (including the
satisfaction of the requisite conditions contained in the asset sale
and purchase agreement and to pay any distributions related thereto);
that the Foreign Investment Review Board in Australia will approve the
transactions contemplated under the asset sale and purchase agreement;
that adjustments required to the purchase price pursuant to the asset
sale and purchase agreement, interim toll treatment agreement and
18-month toll treatment agreement will not materially alter the
aggregate consideration payable to Alacer and its subsidiaries; the
generation of free cash flow and payment of dividends; matters relating
to proposed exploration; production guidance and ability to target high
grade ore bodies; the study, development and construction of proposed
mines and process facilities; and the preparation and dissemination of
technical studies.

Such forward-looking information and statements are based on a number of
material factors and assumptions, including, but not limited in any
manner to, those disclosed in any other of Alacer’s filings, and
include the inherent speculative nature of exploration results; the
ability to explore; communications with local stakeholders and
community and governmental relations; status of negotiations of joint
ventures; weather conditions at Alacer’s operations, commodity prices;
the ultimate determination of and realization of mineral reserves;
existence or realization of mineral resources; the development
approach; availability and final receipt of required approvals, titles,
licenses and permits; sufficient working capital to develop and operate
the mines and implement development plans; access to adequate services
and supplies; foreign currency exchange rates; interest rates; access
to capital markets and associated cost of funds; availability of a
qualified work force; ability to negotiate, finalize and execute
relevant agreements; lack of social opposition to the mines or
facilities; lack of legal challenges with respect to the property of
Alacer; the timing and amount of future production and ability to meet
production targets; timing and ability to produce studies and analyses;
capital and operating expenditures; economic conditions; availability
of sufficient financing; the ultimate ability to mine, process and sell
mineral products on economically favorable terms and any and all other
timing, exploration, development, operational, financial, budgetary,
economic, legal, social, regulatory and political factors that may
influence future events or conditions. While we consider these factors
and assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently
available to us, they may prove to be incorrect.

You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information and
statements. Forward-looking information and statements are only
predictions based on our current expectations and our projections about
future events. Actual results may vary from such forward-looking
information for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to
risks and uncertainties disclosed in Alacer’s filings at www.sedar.com and other unforeseen events or circumstances. Other than as required
by law, Alacer does not intend, and undertakes no obligation to update
any forward-looking information to reflect, among other things, new
information or future events.


(1) Cash Operating Costs and Total Cash Costs are non-IFRS financial
performance measures with no standard definitions under IFRS.


PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/02/10/20130210_C4473_DOC_EN_23510.pdf

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Source: PR Newswire