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Centamin Q4 output up

09 January 2017 07:41

Centamin reports total gold production of 136,787 ounces at the Sukari gold mine in Egypt in the fourth quarter to the end of December - 16% up on a year ago but 8% down on the previous three months.

This brings full year production to 551,036 ounces, a 25% increase on 2015 and above the guidance range of between 520,000 and 540,000 ounces. Quarterly throughput at the process plant was 2,948kt, a 5% increase on the previous quarter. Open pit total material movement (ore plus waste) decreased 2% on the previous quarter to 15,811kt. Open pit ore production decreased by 25% to 2,183kt at an average mined grade of 0.84g/t. The average head grade to the plant from the open pit was 0.85g/t. The run of mine ore stockpile balance decreased by 592kt to 577kt at the end of the period. The underground operation delivered 228kt of ore, 10% less than the previous quarter, at an average mined grade of 10.43g/t. Ore from stoping was 125kt at 10.01g/t and ore from development was 103kt at 10.94g/t.

Forecast production for 2017 from the Sukari Gold Mine is 540,000 ounces at a cash operating cost of US$580 per ounce and all-in-sustaining cost (AISC) of US$790 per ounce.

This guidance is based on a plant throughput of 11.75Mt and approximately 1Mt of underground ore mined at a grade of 7.26g/t.

During Q1 2017 the open pit is scheduled to develop a low grade east wall cutback and planned gold production will be lower than Q4 2016. With ongoing optimisation, there remains scope for further increases in productivity and production growth.

Chief executive Andrew Pardey said: "Production of 136,787 ounces from Sukari in the fourth quarter marked a seventh successive year of growth, with 2016 full year output of 551,036 ounces exceeding the top end of our revised annual guidance range. Free cash flow generation from Sukari has further strengthened Centamin's financial position during 2016, a trend we expect to continue as we forecast 2017 production of 540,000 ounces at an all-in sustaining cost of US$790 per ounce. Ongoing optimisation of the processing and mining operations continues to offer scope for further increases in productivity.

"Having considered the Company's financial outlook, as well as our self-funded and staged approach towards project development, the Board expects to propose a final 2016 dividend that is above the level envisaged by our current policy.

"We remain committed to our disciplined approach to capital allocation, as well as the potential for exploration to deliver significant shareholder value over the long-term. Results from our programmes in Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire continue to build momentum and warrant further investment, and we again exit the year with a robust financial and operating base on which to continue delivering our growth strategy."

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