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Centamin PLC

Centamin Plc 17% improvement for Gold production

Centamin Plc (LON:CEY) announced preliminary production results for the fourth quarter and twelve months ended 31 December 2018 from its Sukari Gold Mine in Egypt.

Overview

· Gold production for Q4 was 137,600 ounces, a 17% improvement on the previous quarter, predominantly driven by higher QoQ grades from both the open pit and underground. Month-on-month production profile was consistent at approximately 45,000 ounces per month;

· Full year gold production for 2018 was 472,418 ounces, a 13% reduction on the previous year;

· Continued focus on operating controls and resource modelling, as well as further key personnel changes throughout Q4 and will continue in 2019; and

· The Group achieved a zero-harm record in Q4 with a Loss Time Injury Frequency Rate (“LTIFR”) of 0.00, resulting in an LTIFR of 0.06 per 200,000 man hours worked in 2018.

12 months ended 31 Dec

units

Q4 2018

(prelim)

Q3 2018

% change

Q4 2017

% change

2018

(prelim)

2017

% change

Safety

Group LTIFR

200,000 hours

0.00

0.13

0.12

0.06

0.22

Open pit

Total material mined

kt

21,075

19,891

6%

17,647

19%

77,877

70,870

10%

Ore mined

kt

4,990

6,562

-24%

5,726

-13%

23,131

16,090

44%

Ore grade mined

g/t Au

0.75

0.64

18%

0.62

21%

0.60

0.66

-10%

Ore grade milled

g/t Au

0.92

0.82

12%

0.92

0%

0.76

0.89

-15%

Strip ratio

waste/ore

3.22

2.03

59%

2.08

55%

2.37

3.4

-30%

Underground

Ore mined stoping

kt

199

199

0%

168

19%

739

461

60%

Ore mined development

kt

115

128

-10%

130

-12%

504

684

-26%

Ore grade mined

g/t Au

6.21

5.18

20%

8.8

-29%

5.69

8.28

-31%

Processing

Ore processed

kt

3,198

3,129

2%

3,027

6%

12,568

12,032

4%

Head grade

g/t Au

1.45

1.29

12%

1.70

-15%

1.26

1.57

-20%

Gold recovery

%

89.1

88.7

0%

88.5

1%

88.7

88.1

1%

Gold produced – dump leach

oz

3,445

3,894

-12%

3,119

10%

12,522

8,597

46%

Total gold production(1)

oz

137,600

117,720

17%

154,298

-11%

472,418

544,658

-13%

Full Year, ended 31 December 2018

· Sukari produced 472,418 ounces, consistent with the Production Update on 27 December 2018;

· Record open pit material moved of 77.9Mt and ore mined of 23.1Mt at 0.60g/t, delivering 0.76g/t to the plant and stockpiles;

· Record underground ore tonnage mined of 1.24Mt at 5.7g/t;

· Record ore processed of 12.6Mt at 1.26g/t head grade;

· Cleopatra decline development completed 2,260 metres, delivering 185,333 tonnes of ore at an average mined grade of 1.74g/t, resulting in 8,959 ounces produced;

· Full year production guidance was revised during the course of 2018 in response to operational challenges faced: lower grades delivered from the open pit in the first half of 2018, as mining progressed through the transitional zone; disruption to the underground stoping sequence in Q2, 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

Open Pit

· Mining of Stage 4 progressed on schedule, with total material moved of 21.1Mt;

· Total ore mined of 5.0Mt, a 24% reduction QoQ, as mining progresses into the higher-grade sulphides at depth in Stage 4 resulting in improved mine grades, averaging 0.75g/t, an 18% improvement QoQ;

· Milled grade was 0.92g/t, a 12% improvement QoQ;

· The strip ratio increased to 3.22 for Q4, 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.

Underground

· Total ore mined of 314kt, a 4% decrease QoQ;

· Overall mined grade averaged 6.2 g/t, a 20% increase QoQ;

o Ore mined from stoping was 199kt 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.

o Ore mined from development was 115kt 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.

o Stope to development ore split 63:37

· Cleopatra decline development progressed 665 metres, delivering 47,842 tonnes of material at an average development grade of 1.65g/t, resulting in 1,922 ounces produced; and

· The spare long hole drill rig carrier arrived on site and has been commissioned.

Processing

· Record ore processed through the plant of 3.2Mt, a 2% increase QoQ;

· Head grade of 1.45g/t, a 12% increase QoQ, was 4% lower than forecast, predominantly due to mining dilution and lower grade underground development; and

· Improved metallurgical plant recoveries of 89.1% for Q4, yielded an 88.7% recovery rate for 2018.

Notes

(1) Gold produced is gold poured and does not include gold-in-circuit at period end.

Andrew Pardey, Centamin 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.”