Centamin posts record quarter earnings amid Egypt legal fight

EGYPTIAN gold miner Centamin yesterday posted record earnings over the three months to September, up 43 per cent quarter on quarter, as its court battle over the right to mine at its flagship asset Sukari showed no sign of weighing on its results.

Earlier this month, Centamin said it would appeal an Egyptian court ruling that said its right to operate Sukari was invalid. The appeal date is yet to be set.

The miner said yesterday that its expansion plan at Sukari had been pushed back due to issues with contractors and equipment. The bulk of commission activities will start in the second quarter, although Centamin stressed that it was not expected to impact on production guidance.

Once the expansion is completed, it will double capacity at Sukari from 5m tonnes a year to 10m tonnes.

Gold production over the quarter sank 20 per cent year on year to 60,922 ounces. Junior stockmarket-listed Centamin was hit by a six-day strike earlier this year, which weighed on output.

Centamin added that it was on track to meet full-year guidance of 250,000 ounces of gold.

Kate Craig, analyst at Liberum Capital, said that the delay to expansion plans “shouldn’t overshadow today’s solid results”.