Egypt’s officials proud of the country’s sole gold-exporting mine
The Managing Director of Sukari Gold Mining Company, Youssef el-Raghy, told Egypt Today that the first large-scale modern gold mine in Egypt has produced 106.7 tonnes of the yellow metal since it started operations in 2010.
In Q1 2018, the mine produced 124,296 ounces, some 30,000 ounces below Q4 2017 levels but a 14 per cent increase y-o-y.
“Production was below expectations due to a 23 per cent decrease in the average processed grade quarter on quarter resulting from lower than expected grades from the transitional zone, providing access to Stage 4A of the open pit. Despite lower than expected grades mined from the open pit impacting production, improved productivity, higher recoveries, stringent cost control and a strengthening gold price all were marked contributions to the quarterly performance,” wrote in a previous report Andrew Pardey, CEO of Centamin, which owns the mine in equal parts with the Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority.
According to Pardey’s report, the target for the rest of the year is of 580,000 ounces, up from 544,658 in 2017.
“The Company has re-optimised the mine plan for the remainder of 2018, adjusting for the lower than expected grade in the transitional zone from the open pit. This forecasts a stronger production profile for the second half of 2018,” the document states.
Sukari is a 160-square-kilometres tenement area located in the south-easterly region of the Eastern Desert, approximately 25 kilometres from the Red Sea. Average monthly production is of 1.2-1.5 tonnes of ore.
According to Centamin, exports from Sukari represent 2 per cent of the Egyptian exports balance. The Abdel Fattah el-Sisi government has said that it wants to increase the mining sector’s contribution to the GDP to more than 5 per cent from its current 0.5 per cent contributions.