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Centamin reports lower production as remedial work starts at Sukari

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Centamin PLC (LON:CEY) production dropped sharply in the final quarter of 2020 as it started remedial work on one of the pits at its Sukari mine in Egypt.

The gold miner had already warned production would be below previous estimates due to the disruption at Sukari.

Output in the fourth quarter dropped to 68,000 ounces and for full-year 2020 totalled 452,300oz (2019: 480,500oz), which was in the middle of the FTSE 250 group’s revised guidance.

Revenues for the quarter were US$150mln with a rise in the average gold price received to US$1,887 per ounce helping to boost the numbers.

In the full year to end-December 2020, Centamin’s revenues were US$829mln and for the current year to end-December 2021, Centamin reiterated previous guidance of 400,000 to 430,000 ounces at cash costs of US$800-900/ per ounce produced and sustaining costs of US$1,150-1,250 per ounce sold.

In a statement, Martin Horgan, Centmin’s chief executive said: “Today’s Q4 and subsequent full year 2020 results were delivered in-line with the revised guidance we issued in October.

“This follows the capital markets event we hosted in December, where we presented the conclusions of the Phase 1 Life of Asset review and three-year outlook, detailing clear cost-saving, exploration and productivity initiatives, forming part of our plans to unlock Sukari’s potential.”

Centamin tackling challenges at Sukari

RBC adds that Centamin’s fourth-quarter production at 68,000oz beat its forecast of 57,000oz, but was still materially down on the 148,000oz of a year ago.

“The production should progressively improve in coming quarters as the long march towards restoring Sukari, and the 2.5 years of contracted open-pit stripping run their course,” it said.

“We think management’s plans are the right ones and value should start to be liberated as the open pit flexibility returns and as the underground moves to reach its potential.”

Gold stocks are favourably priced in the current environment, concluded RBC, but there is better value elsewhere, especially while Centamin works through its challenges.

The broker has a price target of 135p compared to 120.3p, up 3.5% today.

–adds share price, broker comment —

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