3. SUMMARY OF ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Cash and cash equivalents
Cash includes cash deposits in any currency residing in chequing and sweep accounts. Cash equivalents consist of money market funds and other highly liquid investments purchased with maturities of three months or less. Investments with maturities greater than three months and up to one year are classified as short-term investments, while those with maturities in excess of one year are classified as long-term investments. Cash equivalents and short-term investments are stated at amortized cost, which typically approximates market value.
Inventory classifications include "stockpiled ore," "in-process inventory," "finished goods inventory" and "materials and supplies". The stated value of all production inventories include direct production costs and attributable overhead and depreciation incurred to bring the materials to their current point in the processing cycle. General and administrative costs for corporate offices are not included in any inventories.
Stockpiled ore represents coarse ore that has been extracted from the mine and is stored for future processing. Stockpiled ore is measured by estimating the number of tonnes (via truck counts or by physical surveys) added to, or removed from the stockpile, the number of contained ounces (based on assay data) and estimated gold recovery percentage. Stockpiled ore value is based on the costs incurred (including depreciation and amortization) in bringing the ore to the stockpile. Costs are added to the stockpiled ore based on current mining costs per tonne and are removed at the average cost per tonne of ore in the stockpile.
In-process inventory represents material that is currently being treated in the processing plants to extract the contained gold and to transform it into a saleable product. The amount of gold in the in-process inventory is determined by assay and by measure of the quantities of the various gold-bearing materials in the recovery process. The in-process gold is valued at the average of the beginning inventory and the cost of material fed into the processing stream plus in-process conversion costs including applicable mine-site overheads, depreciation and amortization related to the processing facilities.
Finished goods inventory is saleable gold in the form of doré bars. Included in the costs are the direct costs of the mining and processing operations as well as direct mine-site overheads, amortization and depreciation.
Materials and supplies inventories consist mostly of equipment parts and other consumables required in the mining and ore processing activities.
All inventories are valued at the lower of average cost or net realizable value.
Property, plant and equipment
Property, plant and equipment assets, including machinery, processing equipment, mining equipment, mine site facilities, buildings, vehicles and expenditures that extend the life of such assets, are initially recorded at cost including acquisition and installation costs. Property, plant and equipment are subsequently measured at cost, less accumulated depreciation and accumulated impairment losses.
The costs of self-constructed assets include direct construction costs and direct overhead during the construction phase. Indirect overhead costs are not included in the cost of self-constructed assets.
Depreciation for mobile equipment and other assets having estimated lives shorter than the estimated life of the ore reserves is calculated using the straight-line method at rates which depreciate the cost of the assets, less their anticipated residual values, if any, over their estimated useful lives. Mobile mining equipment is amortized over a five year life. Assets, such as processing plants, power generators and buildings, which have an estimated life equal to or greater than the estimated life of the ore reserves, are amortized over the life of the proven and probable reserves of the associated mining property using a units-of-production amortization method, less their anticipated residual values, if any. The net book value of property, plant and equipment assets is charged against income if the mine site is abandoned and it is determined that the assets cannot be economically transferred to another project or sold.
The residual values, useful lives and method of depreciation of property, plant and equipment are reviewed at each reporting period end, and adjusted prospectively if appropriate.
Gains and losses on the disposal of an item of property, plant and equipment are determined by comparing the proceeds from disposal with the carrying amount, and are recognized net in the consolidated statement of operations.
Mining property assets, including property acquisition costs, tailings storage facilities, mine-site development and drilling costs where proven and probable reserves have been established, pre-production waste stripping, condemnation drilling, roads, feasibility studies and wells are recorded at cost. The costs of self-constructed assets include direct construction costs, direct overhead costs and allocated interest during the construction phase. Indirect overhead costs are not included in the cost of self-constructed assets.
Mining property assets are amortized over the life of the proven and probable reserves to which they relate, using a units-of-production amortization method. At open pit mines the costs of removing overburden from an ore body in order to expose ore during its initial development period are capitalized.
Underground mine development costs
Underground mine development costs include development costs to build new shafts, drifts and ramps that will enable the Company to physically access ore underground. The time over which the Company will continue to incur these costs depends on the mine life. These underground development costs are capitalized as incurred. Capitalized underground development costs incurred to enable access to specific ore blocks or areas of the underground mine, and which only provide an economic benefit over the period of mining that ore block or area, are depreciated on a units-of-production basis, whereby the denominator is estimated ounces of gold in proven and probable reserves and the portion of resources within that ore block or area that is considered probable of economic extraction. If capitalized underground development costs provide an economic benefit over the entire mine life, the costs are depreciated on a units-of-production basis, whereby the denominator is the estimated ounces of gold in total accessible proven and probable reserves and the portion of resources that is considered probable of economic extraction.
Borrowing costs attributable to the acquisition, construction or production of a qualifying asset are capitalized. Qualifying assets are assets that require a significant amount of time to prepare for their intended use, including projects that are in the exploration and evaluation, development or construction stages. Capitalized borrowing costs are considered an element of the cost of the qualifying asset which is determined based on gross expenditures incurred on an asset. Capitalization ceases when the asset is substantially complete or if active development is suspended or ceases. Where the funds used to finance a qualifying asset form part of general borrowings, the amount capitalized is calculated using a weighted average of rates applicable to the relevant borrowings during the period. Where funds borrowed are directly attributable to a qualifying asset, the amount capitalized represents the borrowing costs specific to those borrowings. Other borrowing costs are recognized as an expense in the period in which they are incurred.
Impairment of long-lived assets
The Company assesses at each reporting period whether there is an indication that an asset or group of assets may be impaired. When impairment indicators exist, the Company estimates the recoverable amount of the asset and compares it against the asset's carrying amount. The recoverable amount is the higher of its fair value less cost of disposal ("FVLCD") and the asset's value in use ("VIU"). If the carrying amount exceeds the recoverable amount, an impairment loss is recorded in the consolidated statement of operations.
In assessing VIU, the estimated future cash flows are discounted to their present value using a pre-tax discount rate that reflects current market assessments of the time value of money and the risks specific to the asset not already reflected in the estimates of future cash flows. The cash flows are based on best estimates of expected future cash flows from the continued use of the asset and its eventual disposal.
FVLCD is best evidenced if obtained from an active market or binding sale agreement. Where neither exists, the fair value is based on the best estimates available to reflect the amount that could be received from an arm's length transaction.
Future cash flows are based on estimated quantities of gold and other recoverable metals, expected price of gold (considering current and historical prices, price trends and related factors), production levels and cash costs of production, capital and reclamation costs, all based on detailed engineered life-of-mine plans.
Numerous factors including, but not limited to, unexpected grade changes, gold recovery variances, shortages of equipment and consumables, and equipment failures could impact our ability to achieve forecasted production schedules from proven and probable reserves. Additionally, commodity prices, capital expenditure requirements and reclamation costs could differ from the assumptions used in the cash flow models used to assess impairment. The ability to achieve the estimated quantities of recoverable minerals from exploration stage mineral interests involves further risks in addition to those factors applicable to mineral interests where proven and probable reserves have been identified, due to the lower level of confidence that the identified mineralized material can ultimately be mined economically.
If an impairment loss reverses in a subsequent period, the carrying amount (post reversal) of the related asset is increased to the revised estimate of recoverable amount to the extent that the increased carrying amount does not exceed the carrying amount that would have been determined had no impairment loss been recognized for the asset previously. Reversals of impairment losses are recognized in the statement of operations in the period the reversals occur.
Material changes to any of the factors or assumptions discussed above could result in future asset impairments.
The Company records a liability and corresponding asset for the present value of the estimated costs of legal and constructive obligations for future site reclamation and closure where the liability is probable and a reasonable estimate can be made of the obligation. The estimated present value of the obligation is reassessed on a periodic basis or when new material information becomes available. Increases or decreases to the obligation usually arise due to changes in legal or regulatory requirements, the extent of environmental remediation required, methods of reclamation, cost estimates, inflation rates, or discount rates. Changes to the provision for reclamation and remediation obligations related to operating mines, which are not the result of current production of inventory, are recorded with an offsetting change to the related asset. Changes to the provision for reclamation and remediation obligations related to suspended mine operations are recognized in the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss. The present value is determined based on current market assessments of the time value of money using discount rates based on the risk-free rate maturing approximating the timing of expected expenditures to be incurred, and adjusted for country related risks. The periodic unwinding of the discount is recognized in the consolidated statement of operations as a finance expense.
Deferred revenue consists of payments received by the Company for future delivery of payable gold under the terms of the Company’s Streaming Agreement. As deliveries are made, the Company will record a portion of the deferred revenue as sales, on a unit of production basis over the volume of gold expected to be delivered during the term of the streaming arrangement. The amount by which the deferred revenue balance is reduced and recognized into revenue is based on a rate per ounce of gold delivered under the stream. This rate per ounce of gold delivered is based on the remaining deferred revenue balance divided by the ounces that are expected to be delivered under the Stream Arrangement over the life of the arrangement. This estimate is re-evaluated at each reporting period with any resulting changes in estimate reflected prospectively.
The Streaming Agreement has been recorded as a contract for the future delivery of gold ounces at the contracted price. The upfront payments are accounted for as prepayments of yet-to-be delivered ounces under the contract and are recorded as deferred revenue. The initial term of the contract is 40 years and the deposit bears no interest.
IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers was amended with the changes having an effective date of January 1, 2018. While these amendments do not impact these financial statements, they will impact the Company's accounting for its streaming arrangement with RGLD Gold AG ("RGLD") as a result of a significant financing component in the contract as defined by IFRS 15. The impact will be recognized in the Company's 2018 financial statements.
Foreign currency transactions
The Company's presentation currency of its consolidated financial statements is the U.S. dollar, as is the functional currency of its operations. The functional currency of all consolidated subsidiaries is the U.S. dollar. All values are rounded to the nearest thousand, unless otherwise stated.
Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are translated into U.S. dollars at period end exchange rates. Non-monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies that are measured at fair value are translated into U.S. dollars at the exchange rate at the date that the fair value was determined. Income and expense items are translated at the exchange rate in effect on the date of the transaction. Exchange gains and losses resulting from the translation of these amounts are included in net loss, except those arising on the translation of available-for-sale investments that are recorded in other comprehensive income. Non-monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies that are measured at historical cost are translated at the exchange rate in effect at the transaction date.
Income taxes comprise the provision for (or recovery of) taxes actually paid or payable (current taxes) and for deferred taxes.
Current taxes are based on taxable earnings in the year. Current tax is calculated using tax rates and laws that were enacted or substantively enacted at the balance sheet date in the respective jurisdictions.
Current income tax assets and current income tax liabilities are only offset if a legally enforceable right exists to offset the amounts and the Company intends to settle on a net basis or to realize the asset and settle the liability simultaneously.
Deferred income tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the expected future tax consequences attributable to temporary differences between the tax basis of assets and liabilities and their reported amounts in the financial statements. Deferred income tax assets and liabilities are computed using enacted or substantially enacted income tax rates in effect when the temporary differences are expected to reverse. The effect on the deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in the period of substantial enactment. The provision for or the recovery of deferred taxes is based on the changes in deferred tax assets and liabilities during the period.
The carrying amount of deferred income tax assets is reviewed at the end of each reporting period and recognized to the extent that it is probable that taxable earnings will be available against which deductible temporary differences can be utilized.
Net income/(loss) per share
Basic income/(loss) per share of common stock is calculated by dividing income available to Golden Star's common shareholders by the weighted average number of common shares issued and outstanding during the period. In periods with earnings, the calculation of diluted net income per common share uses the treasury stock method to compute the dilutive effects of stock options, warrants, convertible debentures and other potentially dilutive instruments. In periods of loss, diluted net loss per share is equal to basic income per share.
Revenue from the sale of metal is recognized when the significant risks and rewards of ownership have passed to the purchaser. This occurs when the amount of revenue can be measured reliably, the metal has been delivered, title has passed to the buyer and it is probable that the economic benefits associated with the transaction will flow to the entity. All of our spot sales of gold are transported to a South African gold refiner who locates a buyer and arranges for sale of our gold on the same day that the gold is shipped from the mine site. The sales price is based on the London P.M. fix on the day of shipment. Title and risk of ownership pass to the buyer on the day doré is shipped from the mine sites. Revenue recognition for our stream arrangement is disclosed in the accounting policy for deferred revenue.
Under the Company's Fourth Amended and Restated 1997 Stock Option Plan, common share options may be granted to executives, employees, consultants and non-employee directors. Compensation expense for such grants is recorded in the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss, with a corresponding increase recorded in the contributed surplus account in the consolidated balance sheets. The expense is based on the fair value of the option at the time of grant, measured by reference to the fair value determined using a Black-Scholes valuation model, and is recognized over the vesting periods of the respective options on a graded basis. Consideration paid to the Company on exercise of options is credited to share capital.
Under the Company's Deferred Share Unit ("DSU") plan, DSUs may be granted to executive officers and directors. Compensation expense for such grants is recorded in the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss with a corresponding increase recorded in the contributed surplus account in the consolidated balance sheets. The expense is based on the fair values at the time of grant and is recognized over the vesting periods of the respective DSUs. Upon exercise the Company's compensation committee may, at its discretion, issue cash, shares or a combination thereof.
Under the Company's Share Appreciation Rights ("SARs") plan allows SARs to be issued to executives, employees and directors. These awards are settled in cash on the exercise date equal to the Company's stock price less the strike price. Since these awards are settled in cash, the Company marks-to-market the associated expense for each award at the end of each reporting period using a Black-Scholes model. The Company accounts for these as liability awards and marks-to-market the fair value of the award until final settlement.
Under the Company's Performance Share Units ("PSU") plan, PSUs may be granted to executives, employees and non-employee directors. Each PSU represents one notional common share that is redeemed for cash based on the value of a common share at the end of the three year performance period, to the extent performance and vesting criteria have been met. The PSUs vest at the end of a three year performance. The cash award is determined by multiplying the number of units by the performance adjusting factor, which ranges from 0% to 200%. The performance factor is determined by comparing the Company's share price performance to the share price performance of a peer group of companies as listed in the PSU plan. As the Company is required to settle these awards in cash, they are accounted for as liability awards with corresponding compensation expense recognized. Long term PSU liability is recognized on the balance sheet as Long Term Other Liability and the current portion is recorded as Other Liability.
Under the Company's 2017 performance and restricted share unit plan (the "2017 PRSU Plan"), performance share units ("2017 PSUs") and restricted share units ("2017 RSUs" and, together with the 2017 PSUs, the "Share Units") may be issued to any employee or officer of the Company or its designated affiliates. Share Units may be redeemed for: (i) common shares issued from treasury; (ii) common shares purchased in the secondary market; (iii) a cash payment; or (iv) a combination of (i), (ii) and (iii).
Each PRSU represents one notional common share that is redeemed for common shares or common shares plus cash subject to the consent of the Company based on the value of a common share at the end of the three year performance period, to the extent performance and vesting criteria have been met. The PRSUs vest at the end of a three year performance period. The award is determined by multiplying the number of Share Units by the performance adjustment factor, which ranges from 0% to 200%. The performance adjustment factor is determined by comparing the Company's share price performance to the share price performance of a peer group of companies as listed in the 2017 PRSU Plan. As the Company is required to settle these awards in common shares or common shares plus cash subject to the consent of the Company, they are accounted for as equity awards with corresponding compensation expense recognized.
Leases that transfer substantially all of the benefits and risks of ownership to the Company are recorded as finance leases and classified as property, plant and equipment with a corresponding amount recorded with current and long-term debt. All other leases are classified as operating leases under which leasing costs are expensed in the period incurred.
The Company recognizes all financial assets initially at fair value and classifies them into one of the following three categories: fair value through profit or loss ("FVTPL"), available-for-sale ("AFS") or loans and receivables, as appropriate. The Company has not classified any of its financial assets as held to maturity.
The Company recognizes all financial liabilities initially at fair value and classifies them as either FVTPL or loans and borrowings, as appropriate. The Company has not classified any of its derivatives as hedging instruments in an effective hedge.
5% Convertible Debentures
The Company's 5% Convertible Debentures were considered financial instruments at FVTPL. The convertible debentures contained embedded derivatives that significantly modified the cash flows that otherwise would be required by the contract. The convertible debentures were recorded at fair value based on unadjusted quoted prices in active markets when available, otherwise by valuing the embedded derivative conversion feature and the debt component separately. The conversion feature was valued using a Black-Scholes model and the value of the debt was determined based on the present value of the future cash flows. Changes in fair value were recorded in the consolidated statement of operations. Upfront costs and fees related to the convertible debentures were recognized in the statement of operations as incurred and not deferred. The Company's 5% Convertible Debentures were fully settled during the year ended December 31, 2017.
The Company's warrants were considered financial instruments at FVTPL. Prior to the holder exercising the warrants in full in 2017, the holder of the warrants had an option to request a cashless exercise. As a result, the warrants were classified as financial liability instruments and were recorded at fair value at each reporting period end using a Black-Scholes model. Warrant pricing models required the input of certain assumptions including price volatility and expected life. All warrants were exercised during the year ended December 31, 2017.
From time to time the Company may utilize foreign exchange and commodity price derivatives to manage exposure to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and gold prices, respectively. The Company does not employ derivative financial instruments for trading purposes or for speculative purposes. Our derivative instruments are recorded on the balance sheet at fair value with changes in fair value recorded in the consolidated statement of operations. The Company did not have any foreign exchange derivatives outstanding at December 31, 2017.
7% Convertible Debentures embedded derivative
The Company's 7% Convertible Debentures embedded derivative is considered a financial instrument at FVTPL. The embedded derivative was recorded at fair value on the date of debt issuance. It is subsequently remeasured at fair value at each reporting date, and the changes in the fair value are recorded in the consolidated statement of operations. The fair value of the embedded derivative is determined using a convertible note valuation model, using assumptions based on market conditions existing at the reporting date.
Common shares are classified as equity. Costs directly attributable to the issue of new shares or share options are shown in equity as a deduction, net of tax, from the gross proceeds.
Changes in accounting policies
The Company has adopted the following new and revised standards, effective January 1, 2017. These changes were made in accordance with the applicable transitional provisions.
IAS 7 Statement of cash flows - Disclosures related to financing activities was amended to require disclosures about changes in liabilities arising from financing activities, including both changes arising from cash flows and non-cash changes. As a result of the adoption of IAS 7, the Company has included additional disclosure on non-cash changes of debt amounts in Note 24.
IAS 12 Income taxes - Deferred tax was amended to clarify (i) the requirements for recognizing deferred tax assets on unrealized losses; (ii) deferred tax where an asset is measured at a fair value below the asset's tax base, and (iii) certain other aspects of accounting for deferred tax assets. The adoption of this amendment did not result in any impact to the Company's financial statements.
Standards, interpretations and amendments not yet effective
IFRS 9 Financial Instruments was issued in July 2014 and includes (i) a third measurement category for financial assets - fair value through other comprehensive income; (ii) a single, forward-looking "expected loss" impairment model; and (iii) a mandatory effective date of annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2018. There will be no material impact to the financial statements on adoption of this standard.
IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers was amended to clarify how to (i) identify a performance obligation in a contract; (ii) determine whether a company is a principal or an agent; and (iii) determine whether the revenue from granting a license should be recognized at a point in time or over time. In addition to the clarifications, the amendments include two additional reliefs to reduce cost and complexity for a company when it first applies the new standard. The amendments have the same effective date as the standard, which is January 1, 2018. The Company has reviewed its contracts with customers with respect to the applications to IFRS 15. The Company does not expect that the timing or amounts of revenue currently recognized on our bullion spot sales will be affected by IFRS 15. It is anticipated that the accounting for the Company’s streaming arrangement with RGLD, will be impacted by the adoption of IFRS 15 as a result of a significant financing component in the contract as defined by IFRS 15. It is expected that the finance costs and revenue will increase on adoption of this standard. The Company will use the modified retrospective approach of adoption.
IFRS 2 Share-based payments was amended to address (i) certain issues related to the accounting for cash settled awards, and (ii) the accounting for equity settled awards that include a "net settlement" feature in respect of employee withholding taxes effective for years beginning on or after January 1, 2018. There will be no impact to the financial statements on adoption of this standard.
IFRS 16 Leases specifies how an IFRS reporter will recognize, measure, present and disclose leases. The standard provides a single lessee accounting model, requiring lessees to recognize assets and liabilities for all leases unless the lease term is 12 months or less or the underlying asset has a low value. Lessors continue to classify leases as operating or finance, with IFRS 16's approach to lessor accounting substantially unchanged from its predecessor, IAS 17. IFRS 16 was issued in January 2016 and applies to annual reporting periods beginning on or after January 1, 2019. The Company is still assessing the impact of this standard.
IFRIC 23 Uncertainty over income tax treatments clarifies how the recognition and measurement requirements of IAS 12, Income Taxes, are applied where there is uncertainty over income tax treatments effective for years beginning on or after January 1, 2019. The Company is still assessing the impact of this standard.