Centamin drops more than 12 percent on second cut to annual output target

Shares in Egypt-focused gold miner Centamin (LON:CEY) (TSX:CEE) dropped more than 12 percent in London on Friday after it axed its annual production target for the second time this year due to delays in planned operational improvements.

The company now expects to produce 480,000 ounces of gold, down from a range of 505,000 to 515,000 ounces it estimated in May. At the time, Centamin cut production forecast for 2018 from 580,000 ounces due to lower grade ore at Sukari, its only operating mine and Egypt’s sole gold-exporting mine.

Centamin, which has plans to expand operations to Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, also said that total gold output in the three months to September fell 25 percent to 117,720 ounces from 156,533 ounces in the same period last year. When compared to the previous quarter, however, the preliminary figure represents a 27 percent improvement, the company said.

Sukari, which began operations in January 2010, comprises a large open pit and an underground mine. The company has been working on operational improvements on both sections, but said they were taken longer than planned to materialize.

Centamin  is scheduled to release full third-quarter results on November 1.