Although reduced guidance was expected for this year, chief executive Martin Horgan said 2021’s much lower output reflected “continued work required to improve operational flexibility in the open pit”, having begun waste stripping work to improve optionality in Sukari mine’s open pit, though it is not expected to reap benefits until 2022.
Horgan said the results of a review of the Sukari mine will be presented on December 2, covering the three-year outlook, as well as initiatives aiming to improve costs and productivity.
The Egyptian gold miner already warned of the lower guidance for this year and reported 128,240 ounces of gold production in the third quarter from the Sukari gold mine, while all-in sustaining costs came in at US$961/oz.
Revenue of US$230mln was generated in the quarter, a 43% improvement year-on-year that has been driven by both price and volume sold, bringing the total so far to US$678m.
Free cash flow for the year had reached US$137mln, with the balance sheet holding US$345mln in net cash and liquid assets.
“During September, Centamin submitted applications for several new exploration licences in Egypt and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners at EMRA and the Ministry of Petroleum to further develop Egypt’s gold industry,” he said.
Broker Peel Hunt said it was a negative update on Sukari for most of 2021, with the new guidance translating into an additional 100-130k oz production loss for 2021.
“No additional costs are scheduled for the additional 2021 waste stripping since it was already part of the mine plan, but it does mean significantly less gold production for the coming year.”