White Tiger Gold renegotiating loan after production shortfall

White Tiger Gold Ltd. (TSX:WTG) reports it's Siberian Savkino mine will finish its production year with 18,000 ounces of gold, which is 10 per cent less than projected.

As a result, the company is defaulting on its US$80-million (C$79.7-million) loan from Russia-based VTB Capital. White Tiger has started to negotiate with them to secure its other the holdings in the country and ensure it can make use of the remaining US$21 million (C$20.9-million) in the the credit agreement.

The company attributed the shortfall to longer leach times, under-utilization of crushers due to rain and faulty pit/crusher scales that stacked less ore. However, it plans to increase production in the first half of 2013.

"The next milestone will be to more than double our production…," said Jim McBurney, the company's chief executive officer, in a written statement on Dec. 28.

He said the company will complete construction, installation and commissioning of the second crushing and screening unit in January, install pump stations, complete the expansion of heap leaching pads and finish the construction of new accommodation facilities for the phase 2 of the mine expansion.

"As we refocus on our Russian assets we will continue to review operations to ensure that the company maintains the right capability and structure to deliver value to our shareholders," said McBurney.

White Tiger Gold Ltd. owns 100 per cent of the Savkino heap leach gold mine in south Siberia. It is a TSX-listed mining and exploration company, focused on the development of mineral resources in the Russian Federation.

Image courtesy Esparta Palma, Flickr