London, England — 13 December 2012 – Due to a lack of diesel and a short-fall in working capital in Egypt for the local operations, Centamin plc has been compelled to suspend operations at its Sukari mine “’ the only producing gold mine in Egypt “’ and to place the mine on care and maintenance until these issues are satisfactorily resolved.
Centamin explains in a statement issued here that it has received an illegal retrospective claim from Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) for US$65 million for diesel fuel supplied from December 2009 until January 2012. Furthermore, EGPC has refused to authorise future supply of diesel to the Sukari gold mine until this amount is paid. The company, with the support of the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA), has been seeking to have the fuel supplies re-instated. Discussions are on-going but fuel supplies have reached critical levels.
In addition, following its market update of 26 November, Centamin wishes to advise that, having obtained all necessary permissions from the EMRA in line with normal procedures, it commenced the process of gold exports. However, during this process an unforeseen and arbitrary request from customs officials for prior approval by the minister of finance halted the shipment. This approval has been urgently sought but has not yet been forthcoming.
Centamin gives the assurance that it will take vigorous action to defend its rights to continue the extraction and export of gold from the Sukari mine, to obtain fuel supplies and to challenge the illegal retrospective claim from EGPC.
Source: Centamin plc. For more information, click here.