The Sukari goldmine is expected to produce 420,000 gold ounces in 2014, representing an 18% year on year increase from 356,943 ounces, a recent report from Gold Miner Centamin announced.
“This would become the fifth successive year of output growth,” Centamin noted, adding that the cash operating cost reached $700 per ounce in 2013, up from $669 per ounce in 2012.
The UK-governed company pointed out that the plant expansion project, which is currently in the commissioning phase, is expected to produce 450-500,000 gold ounces per annum starting from 2015 to meet the firm’s long-term production target.
Earlier in January, Centamin announced it had beaten its 2013 output target by 12%, having produced 91,546 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter of that year.
In the third quarter, the company’s gold production recorded 84,757 ounces, down 9% on a quarterly basis, but up 39% year on year.
In July, company chairman Josef El-Raghy attributed production increases to “continuous operational improvements”.
Despite production increases, stock price has not yet returned to 2012 levels due to a court ruling which challenged the company’s right to operate the Sukari mine.
Centamin also experienced a suspension in production in 2012 due to disputes with the Egyptian government over diesel fuel supplies and its gold exports, according to state-run Al-Ahram.
The company said in October that both cases are both ongoing but “operations continue as normal and any enforcement of the Administrative Court decision has been suspended pending the appeal ruling.”
The Sukari mine, which began production in 2009, is considered to be the first large scale modern gold mine in Egypt and is located in the south-eastern region of the Eastern Desert. It is jointly owned by Centamin and the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority on a 50% equal basis.