Gold producer Centamin is forecasting a 7% increase in its 2016 production from its Egypt-based Sukari gold mine from 440 000 oz in 2015 to 470 000 oz – at a cash operating cost of US$680/oz and all-in-sustaining cost (AISC) of $900/oz.
This would represent a reduction over 2015 cost guidance of $700/oz cash operating cost and $950/oz AISC.
Centamin’s 117 644 oz preliminary gold production for the quarter was 12% higher than the previous quarter, bringing its full year production to 439 072 oz and a 16% increase on 2014 and within guidance of between 430 000 and 440 000 oz for 2015.
The underground operation delivered 300 000 t of ore, a 4% decrease on Q3, 2015. Quarterly throughput at the process plant was 2 758 000 t, a 3% increase on the previous quarter and in line with our target rate of 11 Mtpa.
Andrew Pardey, CEO of Centamin, comments: “During the fourth quarter the Sukari operation reached its target production rate of 450 000 – 500 000 oz of gold per annum. This significant milestone provides a solid platform for additional productivity increases as the various areas of the expanded Sukari operation continue to be optimised.”
“Full year production is towards the top end of the revised guidance range for 2015 and we look forward to delivering a seventh successive year of growth in 2016. The ramp-up in productivity from the process plant continued and during the quarter achieved our base case rate of 11 Mtpa capacity, in line with our expectations.”
The underground operation continued to deliver production rates in excess of our forecast and with consistent grades of at least 6 g/t. Despite the on-going weak gold price environment, we again exit the year with a robust financial and operating base on which to continue delivering our growth strategy.”
During the quarter an unfortunate incident occurred within the open pit operation, when a contractor’s employee was involved in a rock collapse whilst relocating a grade control drill rig. The operator, and sole occupant of the drill rig, was fatally injured in the incident.