Centamin plummets as Egyptian courts say right to operate gold mine is invalid

SHARES in Egyptian gold miner Centamin lost a third of their value yesterday, as an Egyptian court said the company’s right to operate its flagship Sukari Gold Mine was invalid.

However, the miner yesterday said that the concession agreement, which allows Centamin to explore, develop and extract gold from the Sukari mine, is part of law and the court does not have jurisdiction to cancel it.

It said that the court had only made comments about the case, no details of a final decision are available, and no written judgement has been given.

FTSE 250-listed Centamin added yesterday that operations continue as normal at Sukari. Emerging markets drilling company Capital Drilling, which provides rigs to mining companies, also said yesterday that operations at Sukari were continuing as normal.

Shares dropped almost 60 per cent during trading, before recovering some ground to hover around 35 per cent down when the shares were suspended at around 10am yesterday.

Sukari is the only operating mine that Centamin has in Egypt, although it also has four exploration licences in northern Ethiopia.