Centamin plc announces that it has detected movement in a localised area of waste material in the Sukari open pit Stage 4 West wall and has decided to immediately defer open pit mining operations in this zone. This decision is a preventative measure to safeguard the health and safety of our workforce and the long-term potential of Sukari. As a consequence, 2020 guidance will be reduced and an updated mine plan for future years will be included in the life of asset (“LOA”) review.
Measures to stabilise movement in the affected area have already been implemented. In addition, the Company has commenced a detailed geotechnical assessment, which is focused on developing a plan to mine the impacted area.
The high-grade Stage 4 West wall was scheduled to be mined during Q4 2020 and 2021. The area contains circa 90,000 ounces of gold (“Au”) in situ at grades of up to 2.0g/t Au. Mining of the impacted high-grade material will be rescheduled.
Open pit mining at Stage 4 North and Stage 5 North will continue, albeit at grades of <1.0 g/t Au. Any shortfall from the open pit will be provided from low-grade surface stockpiles (average grade 0.47g/t Au). Underground mining has not been affected and will continue as planned.
Preliminary gold production for the three months ended 30 September 2020 (“Q3”) was circa 120,000 ounces, bringing production for the nine months to circa 375,000 ounces. While the precise impact has yet to be fully determined, the Company’s preliminary estimate is that production for the fourth quarter will be reduced to circa 70,000 ounces.
Centamin will release its Q3 Quarterly Report on 21 October 2020, and further updates will be provided at that time. Furthermore, the Company will publish the preliminary conclusions of the LOA review by year end.
MARTIN HORGAN, CEO, COMMENTED: “The safety of our employees is paramount. The use of the slope radar system has facilitated pro-active management of geotechnical risks and we have decided to defer production from this higher-grade area in order to protect our workforce and preserve the value of Sukari. As previously disclosed, we are undertaking a LOA review of Sukari. This is well advanced and any rehabilitation requirements and implications for long term geotechnical stability will be incorporated into this initiative.“