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Centamin reports preliminary production results for fourth quarter and full year 2018

Published by , Assistant Editor
Global Mining Review,

Centamin has announced its preliminary production results for 4Q18 and twelve months ended 31 December 2018 from its Sukari gold mine (Sukari) in Egypt.

Full Year (ended 31 December 2018)

  • Sukari produced 472 418 oz, consistent with the production update on 27 December 2018;
  • Record opencast mine material moved of 77.9 million t and ore mined of 23.1 million t at 0.60g/t, delivering 0.76g/t to the plant and stockpiles;
  • Record underground ore tonnage mined of 1.24 million t at 5.7g/t;
  • Record ore processed of 12.6 million t at 1.26g/t head grade;
  • Cleopatra decline development completed 2260 m, delivering 185 333 t of ore at an average mined grade of 1.74g/t, resulting in 8959 oz produced;
  • Full year production guidance was revised during the course of 2018 in response to operational challenges faced: lower grades delivered from the opencast mine in 1H18, as mining progressed through the transitional zone; disruption to the underground stoping sequence in 2Q18, resulting from a damaged rig; and unplanned dilution from the cascading stopes in the Amun underground. The company identified, evaluated and implemented solutions, the results of which have been reported throughout the year, and continue to work towards improving operational efficiencies.

Fourth Quarter, ended 31 December 2018

Opencast mine

  • Mining of Stage 4 progressed on schedule, with total material moved of 21.1 million t;
  • Total ore mined of 5.0 million t, a 24% reduction Q/Q, as mining progresses into the higher-grade sulfides at depth in Stage 4 resulting in improved mine grades, averaging 0.75g/t, an 18% improvement Q/Q;
  • Milled grade was 0.92g/t, a 12% improvement Q/Q;
  • The strip ratio increased to 3.22 for 4Q18, for a total 2.37 for 2018, in line with increased mining rates in Stage 4 on the North and West sides of the pit, coupled with the ore zones tightening up in the higher-grade zones.


  • Total ore mined of 314 000 t, a 4% decrease Q/Q;
  • Overall mined grade averaged 6.2 g/t, a 20% increase Q/Q;

- Ore mined from stoping was 199 000 t at 8.0g/t : December recorded increased dilution from the lower Amun stopes, negatively impacting grade. Good progress QoQ has been made to reduce unscheduled mining dilution and this remains a core operational focus.

- Ore mined from development was 115 000 t at 3.1g/t : Increased development tonnage at lower grade was mined to complete development access for future high-grade stoping blocks at Amun and Osiris, also including additional extensional development on the extremities of the current ore blocks planned for stoping.

- Stope to development ore split 63:37.

  •  Cleopatra decline development progressed 665 m, delivering 47 842 t of material at an average development grade of 1.65g/t, resulting in 1922 oz produced; and
  • The spare long hole drill rig carrier arrived on site and has been commissioned.


  • Record ore processed through the plant of 3.2 million t, a 2% increase Q/Q;
  • Head grade of 1.45g/t, a 12% increase Q/Q, was 4% lower than forecast, predominantly due to mining dilution and lower grade underground development; and
  • Improved metallurgical plant recoveries of 89.1% for 4Q18, yielded an 88.7% recovery rate for 2018.

Andrew Pardey, CEO commented: “Concluding an operationally challenging year, the fourth quarter delivered further improvement in the grade from both the open pit and the underground stoping, whilst underground development focused on longer term production access. We look forward to 2019, where the focus remains on ensuring delivery of grade and as such gold production from Sukari, supported by tight cost control across all areas of the organisation and returns for our shareholders.”

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