Crystallex Conducts Annual Shareholders' Meeting /

Crystallex International Corporation (Amex: KRY; Toronto) held its annual shareholder's meeting today at 8:30 a.m., PDT in Vancouver. Shareholders re-elected Robert A. Fung, Marc J. Oppenheimer, Robert A. Nihon, Dr. Enrique Tejera Paris, Daniel R. Ross, Mitchell Klein, Harry J. Near and Armando F. Zullo to the Board of Directors, and re-appointed Davidson & Company as auditors of the Company. Shareholders approved all of the resolutions laid before the meeting including, the approval of employee options, the extension of a call write agreement originally adopted in 1997, the restructuring of the payment arrangement in relation to Crystallex's Inversora Mael unit, and, authorized the Board to pursue further legal proceedings in respect to the Cristinas 4 and 6 concessions, if they consider it advisable. A decision on the legal proceedings is expected in the next few weeks. Chairman of the Board, Mr. Robert A. Fung welcomed shareholders and introduced Crystallex's President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Marc J. Oppenheimer. Mr. Oppenheimer gave shareholders an overview of the Company's activities during 1998 and an update on the 1999 first quarter. Reiterating the Company's overall strategy of growing the Company through medium-sized gold mining projects that represent potentially profitable opportunities, Oppenheimer pointed to the acquisition of the San Gregorio Mine as an excellent example of the strategy at work. He said that because of productivity improvements initiated by the Company even before the acquisition was complete, gold production had increased 17 percent, to over 20,000 ounces and cash cost per ounce had been reduced 32 percent, to below US $200 by the end of the first quarter of 1999, as compared with the first quarter of 1998. He sighted improved blasting as one example of how the San Gregorio mining operation had been made more efficient. Oppenheimer said that the improved revenue in 1998 (the second highest in Company history) and the excellent first quarter 1999, which generated earnings of nearly CDN $1.5 million, were due to the efficient operation at San Gregorio and to the higher price for gold afforded by the Company's hedging program. Hedging enabled the Company to obtain approximately US $300 per ounce in fourth quarter 1998 and first quarter 1999, despite the average spot market prices of US $294 and US $287 per ounce in the respective quarters. Oppenheimer said that although a great deal of effort had been concentrated on improving the Company's results over the past 15 months, Crystallex was also engaged in a variety of activities that should yield benefits in the longer term. He sighted drilling programs at San Gregorio to identify additional reserves to extend the mine's life; exploration in the Rivera Crystalline Island; a joint venture with SouthernEra to explore for diamonds in Uruguay; and an engineering review in preparation for an underground mine at Albino 1 in Venezuela, among other activities. He mentioned that the underground development at Albino 1 could begin later this year, possibly with the assistance of a joint venture partner. In regard to the Cristinas 4 & 6 concessions, Oppenheimer told shareholders that the Board had thoroughly reviewed the background of the concessions and received advice from the legal team, and the Board's decision not to write off the investment in Inversora Mael (the registered owner of Cristinas 4 & 6) still stands. He said the Board considered the issue in the context of several facts: 1. Crystallex, in good faith, acquired Inversora Mael, a company

that remains the registered owner of the Cristinas 4 and 6

concessions. 2. This ownership claim has been supported by three separate

decisions of the Venezuelan Supreme Court and the June 1998

decision did not overrule these previous Supreme Court

decisions. 3. The Supreme Court's June 1998 decision was procedural in nature

and did not address the main issues involving rights to

Cristinas. Those issues remain to be decided in a Venezuelan

court. 4. The June 1998 decision included a dissenting opinion, which

stated that the majority opinion contradicted the essence of

the three previous decisions made by the same Supreme Court. 5. Litigation regarding this issue may take a long time and

although there are significant risks and uncertainties involved

in any such litigation, the value of the Cristinas concessions

to Crystallex shareholders would be significant if the outcome

were favorable. "In the Company's view, it has several legal remedies open to it that, if advanced successfully, could lead to the enforcement of its rights over the concessions," Oppenheimer said. Acknowledging that the Company enjoyed a much higher stock price before its acquisition of Mael than after the June 1998 Court decision, Oppenheimer said, "We believe inaccurate public perception regarding the effect of this decision on our core business has kept the full value of Crystallex from being recognized by investors, even though the Company is stronger and more geographically diverse than ever before." The Company plans to address this perception by taking its story directly to the investment community and the media. "We want the market to know that the Cristinas issue is important because of the magnitude of its potential, but it is not the driver of our strategy," Oppenheimer said. Summing up, Oppenheimer said that the Company plans to increase gold production at San Gregorio, to around 80,000 ounces for 1999, and through acquisitions and internal development to nearly double annualized production in the year 2000 and move toward a new goal of 250,000 ounces of annualized production. "We will move ahead with our drilling programs to increase our reserves at San Gregorio and extend the life of the mine. We will continue with work at Albino and begin exploration at our other Venezuelan concessions once confirmation of our title rights is received. And if the Board decides to proceed with litigation regarding Cristinas, we will work tirelessly to effect a favorable outcome for Crystallex and its shareholders," Oppenheimer said. To receive previous Company releases: (800) 758-5804 ext. 114620. Visit the Company on the Internet: . Note: This news release may contain certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements, other than, statements of historical fact, included in this release, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization and reserves, exploration results, and future plans and objectives of Crystallex, are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations are disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in documents filed from time to time with The Toronto Stock Exchange, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory authorities. The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed this release and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release. ots Original Text Service: Crystallex International Corporation Internet: Contact: A. Richard Marshall, VP, 800-738-1577, or Andrea Boltz, 604-683-0672, both of Crystallex International Corporation Company News On-Call: or fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 114620 Web site:

Klíčová slova

Praha, Česká republika (ce)


Přihlásit k odběru

Materiály označené značkou Protext nejsou součástí zpravodajského servisu ČTK a nelze je publikovat pod její značkou. Jde o komerční sdělení zadavatele, který je ve zprávě označen a který za ně nese plnou odpovědnost.