Egypt – Centamin has increased its surface and underground mineral reserve estimate at its Sukari gold mine by 7% to 8.8 Moz, from the previous 8.2 Moz at 30 September 2013.
The increase is due to lower operating mining and processing costs associated with lower international fuel prices, and continued drilling from underground to move ounces up through the resource categories and increase the underground reserve.
Sukari’s total measured and indicated mineral resource estimate is 13 Moz gold, reported as an open pit resource at a 0.3 g/t cut-off grade. This total is inclusive of the 1 Moz underground resource.
The open pit and surface stockpile reserve estimate is 8.3 Moz and the underground reserve estimate 2.7 Mt containing 0.5 Moz.
Resource and reserve definition continues in parallel with expanding underground infrastructure, targeting higher grade areas.
Andrew Pardey, CEO, comments: “Sukari has a robust resource, supporting an open pit mine life in excess of 20 years. The recent reduction in international fuel prices has had a positive impact on the reserve estimate, mainly in the deeper portions of the open pit. It is pleasing to see that, as underground mining rates have ramped up to the current level of around 1 Mtpa, there has been continued growth of the underground reserve with the average grade in line with our production forecast of 6 g/t.”
“Also of note is the continued increase, net of mining depletion, in both the measured & indicated and inferred components of the underground resource, providing support to our expectation for further material increases over the coming years as development, and hence drilling, continues to extend along strike and at depth.”
“Sukari remains in a strong position to continue to operate in the current low gold price environment and we maintain our existing 5-year production forecast. We remain focussed on ensuring costs are closely controlled and on realising the potential for further improvements in operational efficiencies over the coming quarters.”