Centamin’s Sukari mine continues to deliver

16th March 2023

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online


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Gold miner Centamin made “great progress” in the 12 months ended December 31 – a year which saw the company’s Sukari gold mine, in Egypt, producing its fifth-million ounce, underpinning the quality of the orebody which has six-million ounces in mineral reserves remaining and identified further upside potential, CEO Martin Horgan acclaims.

“We spent the past year successfully progressing our reinvestment plan and remain on track to consistently return Sukari to production levels towards 500 000 oz/y from 2024.

“In 2022, the company delivered guidance for both production and costs, despite global inflationary headwinds, and invested $224-million in capital projects at Sukari, such as our flagship 36 MW solar farm which is reducing both emissions and costs. We look forward to updating our stakeholders on our decarbonisation roadmap to 2030 later this quarter,” he outlines.

“In terms of growth, Sukari achieved its second successive year of reserve growth and, across the wider portfolio, we commenced exploration work across our EDX portfolio in Egypt and progressed our Doporo prefeasibility study (PFS), which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023.

“The company secured its inaugural sustainability-linked debt facility with a group of leading international resource banks, adding financial flexibility to an already robust balance sheet and enabling us to deliver our identified growth opportunities,” Horgan adds.

Revenue of $788-million was generated from sales of 438 638 oz at an average realised gold price of $1 794/oz.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation was $319-million, at a 40% margin, while profit before tax was $171-million and basic earnings per share (EPS) $0.06.

Centamin achieved $43-million of gross cost-savings in 2022, for a cumulative $116-million delivered of the $150-million cost-saving target by 2023.

Its capital structure review was completed, establishing a capital allocation framework that balances growth and stakeholder returns.

The company highlights a strong balance sheet with cash and liquid assets of $157-million, at period end, excluding the $150-million sustainability-linked revolving credit facility which was announced in December.

The board has proposed a final dividend of $0.025 apiece, equating to $29-million to be distributed to shareholders, subject to shareholder approval at the annual general meeting on May 23, bringing total distribution to shareholders for full-year 2022 to $58-million.

Sukari’s gold production was 440 974 oz, a 6% increase on that of 2021 and in line with guidance.

This was the second consecutive year of meaningful growth of both resources and reserves.

Centamin successfully navigated the transition from contractor to owner-operated at Sukari underground.

It commissioned a 36 MW solar plant, the largest global hybrid solar farm to power a gold mine.

It also completed Egypt’s first airborne geophysical survey across the full Sukari concession area and progressed the Doropo PFS to imminent completion, as alluded to.

Centamin achieved a record safety performance of eight-million hours worked without a lost-time injury (LTI) at Sukari. Its previous record was five-million LTI-free hours worked.

The company increased its Egyptian female representation to 34 employees (from zero) at Sukari. The introduction of female professionals at its sites has been supported and accompanied by diverse and inclusive workforce training, it notes.

Centamin also expanded its workforce training programme with a 62% increase in training hours following the roll-out of a professional development framework for employees. There is also ongoing focus to promote national employment in leadership positions throughout the group.  

Centamin says its commitment to a 30% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 remains on track.

Guidance remains unchanged, with gold production of 450 000 oz to 480 000 oz expected this year.

The cash cost guidance range is set at $840/oz to $990/oz and all-in sustaining costs at $1 250/oz to $1 400/oz, similar to the 2022 levels despite global inflationary pressures including higher fuel prices.

Centamin’s capital expenditure guidance is $225-million, weighted towards the first half, as the company continues to identify growth and optimisation projects at Sukari, including development of a gravity circuit, expansion of the dump leach capacity and starting the underground expansion.

This also reflects inflationary pressures on the contracted waste-stripping programme specifically from higher fuel prices.

Exploration spend is budgeted at $30-million, including $23-million for the pre-development study work on Doropo.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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