Centamin on track to hit full-year guidance

Egypt-focused gold miner Centamin saw a solid year-on-year improvement in production in the third quarter, but volumes declined on the preceding three months due to mill works and an employee strike in July.

Egypt-focused gold miner Centamin saw a solid year-on-year improvement in production in the third quarter, but volumes declined on the preceding three months due to mill works and an employee strike in July.

Total gold production from its flagship Sukari Gold Mine was 60,922 ounces in the three months to September 30th, a 20% increase on the same period of 2011 but a 10% fall on the second quarter of this year. Quarterly throughput at the Sukari process plant was 5% higher year-on-year but 21% down quarter-on-quarter.

Nevertheless, output in the second quarter hit a record 67,422 ounces.

"Plant availability and productivity was impacted by a scheduled SAG mill reline in September and the illegal strike in July," the company said. Operations at Sukari were temporarily halted after a "small percentage" of the workforce protested about salary increases.

The company continues to ramp-up its open pit operations, which delivered total material movement of 6,970kt in the quarter, up 6% on the second quarter. The underground mine however delivered 93.4kt, down 19% quarter-on-quarter due to the impact of the strike and also a temporary reduction in the availability of mining contract equipment, "which restricted remote bogging (load-haul-dump) capacity and access to the high grade stopes."

Centamin said that measures are being taken to redress the underground productivity issues and expects production to exceed 70,000 ounces in the last quarter. This will bring total full-year output in line with guidance (around 250,000 ounces).

"The team at Sukari once again delivered a strong set of operating results which are particularly pleasing given the several cumulative issues that were faced and addressed during the quarter," said Centamin's Chairman Josef El-Raghy.

"Open pit tonnages continued to increase according to plan and the operation as a whole entered the fourth quarter well placed to meet our unchanged full year production guidance of 250,000 ounces," he said.

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