TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Centerra Gold is focused on growing its business through exploration, but would consider acquisitions “opportunistically”, CEO Steve Lang said on Friday.
The company is “out there looking” for potential deals, but would be cautious about making a move, he indicated.
“I think if we look at it, you can see there are a number of transactions, and not a lot of them popular if you are the buyer. They have been very popular if you are the seller,” Lang said in an interview.
“We are trying to chart an independent course of growth through exploration.
“And then when the opportunities come up and it makes sense for us, from an acquisition standpoint, we would act on those as well.”
Centerra owns the Kumtor mine, in Kyrgyzstan, and the Gatsuurt project in Mongolia. The firm ended mining operations at another Mongolian mine, Boroo, in November.
The company reported second-quarter profit of $71.1-million, up from $30.7-million a year earlier.
Revenue rose 60%, to $243.8-million, helped by higher gold prices and increased production from Kumtor.
Centerra produced 155 166 oz in the second quarter this year, compared with 121 728 oz a year ago.
Cash costs also improved to $513/oz, from $616/oz in the same period of 2012.
The company has kept both production and cash cost guidance in place. The main upward pressure on costs were from fuel and labour, Lang said.
The firm got a boost in its share price around the middle of this month, after announcing a significant high-grade precious- and base-metals discovery in Eastern Mongolia at its Altan Tsagaan Ovoo (ATO) project.
Centerra is “very excited” about the discovery, in what it views as a new emerging mineral district, Lang said in an earlier statement.
The company has increased its exploration budget for this year by 18% to $40-million, with $4-million of the additional funds earmarked for work at ATO.
Centerra had planned to replace the production from Boroo with ore from its Gatsuurt project, which is located about 50 km away.
However, the firm is still waiting to hear how the project will be affected by a new water and forests law enacted in Mongolia and the final permitting for Gatsuurt will not be approved until the uncertainty under the new law is dealt with.
The company is also waiting for permits for a heap leach operation at Boroo, and Lang was reluctant to comment on how soon the approval could be received.
Centerra shares rose 0.54% on Friday, to C$18.73 apiece by 16:57 in Toronto.