Dual-listed Centamin's Sukari gold mine, in Egypt, produced 116 183 oz of gold in the first quarter of this year, exceeding the targeted output of 105 000 oz to 115 000 oz.
The TSX- and LSE-listed company on Wednesday reported that the openpit operation had performed broadly in line with plan, while the underground operation had performed better than plan, with improvements to underground operational efficiencies delivering higher grades.
Ongoing performance initiatives, in particular the centralisation of openpit scheduling through the integration of mine planning, optimisation programmes, maintenance and rebuild programmes, have resulted in improved compliance with the mine plan.
Further, all sections of the underground operation performed well against the mine plan in the first quarter, with technological improvements and new processes and controls contributing to an improved performance.
Meanwhile, the Sukari processing plant achieved record throughput of 3.25-million tonnes of ore at a 95% utilisation rate.
The first-quarter unit cash costs, at $631/oz, and all-in sustaining costs (AISC), at $898/oz, trended toward the lower end of Centamin's full-year guidance.
"Despite being the weakest quarter forecasted for 2019, it is encouraging to see the systems and process upgrades across all sections of the mine positively impacting performance," commented CEO Andrew Pardey.
He added that the company remained on track to meet its full-year production guidance of 490 000 oz to 520 000 oz and its AISC guidance of $890/oz to $950/oz.
"A stronger second half for the year is forecast, delivering about 55% of the annual production guidance. This will be driven by increasing the openpit ounce contribution, as the grade profile improves with depth, and further optimisation of our underground operations," said Pardey.