Sukari gold mine in Egypt records increase in production

An increase in production has been recorded at the Sukari gold mine in Egypt. The report which was confirmed by Centamin, notes that production rose to 110 788 oz for the second quarter, which represents an 11% year-on-year and a 19% quarter-on-quarter increase.

The increase according to the company, follows the successful transition to owner mining, alongside ongoing productivity improvements such as the use of lightweight high-capacity truck trays in the openpit. Sukari is Egypt’s largest and first modern gold mine, and is one of the largest producing gold mines globally. Since production began in 2009, it has produced about five-million ounces of gold.

“Sukari delivered the planned increase in production during [the second quarter] and we remain on track to meet full-year production and cost guidance. It was the first full quarter of underground owner operations at Sukari following the transition from contractor operations during [the first quarter] and the Sukari team delivered significant improvements in both productivity and costs,” Centamin CEO Martin Horgan said.

Openpit ore mining

Total material moved increased by 30% year-on-year to 33.4-million tonnes, resulting from improved operating efficiencies and productivity, and included the contractor waste stripping programme. Openpit ore mining activity continued to focus primarily on the Stage 5 North area during the quarter under review, with ore contributions from Stage 4.

The openpit ore mined during the quarter had an average mined grade of 1.07 g/t of gold, which was a 41% improvement over the previous year, driven by ore from Stage 4 and improved grades with depth from the primary mining area of Stage 5 North.

The second quarter represented the first full quarter of owner mining operations in the underground section, which delivered a significant improvement in productivity relative to recent performance. As a result of this, volumes increased and grades improved as mining activities progressed into higher-grade areas. Centamin expects to see further improvements in the underground performance as it continued to optimise operations, in parallel with the underground expansion study, which is planned to be finalised in the third quarter.

Additionally, Centamin spent $67.3-million on key capital projects during the quarter, including a 36 MW off-grid solar plant and 7.5 MW battery storage project, as well as underground development and paste fill plant. The solar power project activities completed in the period included the continued drilling and installation of tracker posts, as well as ongoing installation of solar modules, with more than 80% installed.

“Continued progress was made at our key projects and we remain focused on cost control across all our operations with a number of initiatives targeting completion in the second half of the year that are expected to partially offset the current inflationary environment,” Horgan said.


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