The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) obtained about 1.3 tonnes of gold bullion produced from the Sukari mine between October 2017 to August 2019, to increase the bank’s gold reserves while preserving foreign currency.
Youssef El-Raghy, general manager of Centamin Egypt and managing director of Sukari gold mine, told Daily News Egypt that the CBE gets 65 to 70 kg of gold per month in exchange for EGP 50m.
He explained that the CBE pays for the gold in Egyptian pound, not US dollar, to reduce the pressure on the hard currency.
In November 2017, the CBE and Sukari signed an agreement whereby the CBE would provide the company’s monthly needs in local currency, estimated at EGP 50m, while the company supplies 99.99% pure gold in an equivalent value.
El-Raghy said this step comes within the framework of supporting the Egyptian economy through increasing the bank’s gold reserves without pressure on foreign currency.
He noted that the SukarI’s gold output ranges between 490,000 to 520,000 ounces during the current year.
The SukarI’s gold reserves are estimated at 15.5m ounces, making it one of the largest gold mines in the world.
Tarek El-Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, said in a previous statement that the state is seeking to increase Egypt’s gold reserves at the CBE relying on the gold production of Sukari.
Andrew Pardey, chief executive of Centamin, said earlier that gold production is expected to continue to improve as production will be higher in the second half of this year as a result of increased open-grade mining.
About 55% of Centamin’s profits from the Sukari mine goes to the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority, after the company recovers investment costs. The authority also receives 3% royalty, which is supplied twice a year.