Centamin, the leading global gold mining company operating the Sukari Gold Mine (“Sukari”), has announced a new plan to extend the mine’s productive life, which will reclassify the Sukari mine as one of the world’s top gold-producing assets.
The new mine life plan represents a significant advancement over the previous plan. This plan contributes to long-term increases in gold production with lower costs, reduced operational risks, and significantly decreased carbon emissions. The new plan includes annual gold production expectations of an average of 506,000 ounces per year for the next nine years (2024-2032) and 475,000 ounces per year for the remaining life of the mine (2024-2034). The plan also establishes expectations for total costs, with an average of $922 per ounce of gold sold, positioning Sukari in the lowest half of the global cost curve for gold mines.
In response to these developments, Martin Horgan, the CEO of Centamin, commented, “The new life of mine plan demonstrates our commitment to maximising cash flows. It not only represents a significant improvement over previously published plans but also includes lower operational risks compared to the past and achieves a notable reduction in carbon emissions.”
The new plan includes reflecting a 39% reduction compared to FY22 (1.14 tonnes CO2-e per ounce). This plan strives to maximize the value of Sukari as the foundation for growth and diversification while safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders including generating tangible value for Egypt and its people.
Meanwhile, the new Sukari lan has been developed by Centamin’s in-house technical team, supported by expert consultants, with a focus on sustaining a 500,000 ounces per year production rate at an optimised cost base, to maximise long-term free cash flow generation . Among the new measures implemented in this plan are:
Integration of a gold gravity circuit into the processing plant, which is expected to increase gold recoveries by 2% to 89.8% over the life of mine, compared to full year 2022 ((88.2%)
Integration of grid power into the Sukari electricty mix. Combined with the existing 30MW solar plant, this is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) intensity by 39% over the life of mine, to 0.69 tonnes CO2-e per ounce, compared to full year 2022 (1.14 tonnes CO2-e per ounce)
Expansion of the high-grade underground operations, increasing mining rates to 1.4 million tonnes per annum, compared to 0.8 million tonnes mined in full year 2022.
Optimised open pit design resulting in more ore scheduled to be mined and less waste
Additional profit opportunities have been identified through cost reduction, further reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, and improvements in productivity and operational efficiency.
The new mine life plan follows a restructuring of the geological approach to exploration at the Sukari mine, which has transformed it from a mine depleting its mineral reserves to a mine achieving growth. It is worth noting that the estimated mineral resources at the mine amount to 320 million tonnes grading 1.08 grams of gold per tonne containing 11.11 million ounces of gold, inclusive of 6.0 million ounces of Mineral Reserves.
Horgan adds, ” The new plan has amalgamated four major workstreams: optimisation of the open pit; expansion of the underground mine; optimisation of the processing facility; and fully replacing the use of diesel for stationary power generation. This plan reduces operational risks and carbon emissions while providing a continuous increase in gold production at an average rate of 506,000 ounces per annum average over the next nine years at a lower AISC of US$956 per gold ounce sold, placing Sukari in the bottom half of the global cost curve, driving margins and free cash flow generation.”