Apr. 7, 2011 (Marketwire Canada) --
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- Centamin Egypt Limited ("Centamin" or "the Company") (TSX:CEE)(LSE:CEY), the gold mining group in Egypt, is pleased to announce its preliminary production results following the completion of its first quarter's production.
The Company poured 45,204 ounces for the quarter from its Sukari operation, which remained largely unaffected by the political events in Egypt during the period. Ore processing activities continued unaffected and the security of personnel, assets and tenure were never under threat by such events.
Material movement from the open pit and underground mining operation was reduced late in the quarter due primarily to delays in the delivery of blasting accessories. Whilst this impacted the Company's ability to access higher grade open pit and underground ore (thus reducing plant feed grade), a resultant feed grade of 1.81g/t for the quarter was still achieved. It is expected that the higher grade ore scheduled for the first quarter will be mined and processed during the second quarter.
The minor supply interruptions are now resolved and it is expected that the mining component of the operation will return to full productive capacity during April.
The steel SAG mill lifter and liner configuration has performed to design specifications, as expected, since installation in late October with the first change out occurring successfully in the last week of March.
The Stage 3 plant expansion to a 5Mtpa plant throughput rate (from the current 4Mtpa) remains on schedule and on budget for a mid 2011 commissioning.
2011 gold production guidance of an estimated 250-290,000 ounces remains intact, however, with the events that transpired during the quarter, it is prudent to guide towards the lower end of this range. A further update will be provided by mid-2011 as previously advised.
Commenting on the first quarter performance, Josef El-Raghy, Chairman of Centamin, said:
"With the events in Egypt, the one week mill reline shutdown and decreased mining rates towards the end of the quarter, production of more than 45,000 ounces is an outstanding achievement by all those involved and sees us well placed for the year ahead. The continuity of operations and safety of personnel and assets is also a testament to the Egyptian people who have largely maintained peace and stability across the country during such an important time of transition. This continues to provide us with confidence in our current investment and operations in Egypt."
For Centamin Egypt Limited
Josef El-Raghy, Chairman
07 April 2011
ABN 86 007 700 352
Centamin Egypt Limited
+ 61 (8) 9316 2640
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