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Centamin annual profit boosted by soaring gold prices

Egypt-focused Centamin (LON: CEY) (TSX: CEE) reported on Thursday a 25% increase in profit in 2023 thanks to higher gold sales at soaring prices for the precious metal.

The miner’s profit last year rose 14% to $195.1 million from $171 million in 2022, with revenue climbing 13% to $891.3 million from $788.4 million. 

Gold sales from Sukari in Egypt, the company’s only producing mine, totalled 456,625 ounces, up 4% from 438,638 in 2022. This as Centamin saw realized prices for the precious metal increase 8.6% to $1,948 per ounce from a previous $1,794 per ounce.

Bullion prices climbed 15% in 2023, ending at $2,078.4 an ounce, a record high year-end figure, according to data from the World Gold Council. The average 2023 price of $1,940.54 an ounce was 8% higher than the 2022 average, marking the metals’ best year since 2020.

“2023 was the third consecutive year that we have safely delivered on our production guidance, reflecting the operational improvements and flexibility from our three-year reinvestment plan,” chief executive Martin Horgan said.

The company cut its payout to shareholders to 2 US cents, down from 2.5 US cents it handed in 2022. This made a total payout of 4 cents, down 20% from 5 cents the previous year.

Improvements at Sukari

The executive said Centamin had “re-positioned” its Sukari gold mine to achieve a consistent annual production of 500,000 ounces. He also anticipated a reduction in operational expenses following the establishment of solar power generation capabilities.

The company invested less than expected last year, with a $204 million total capital expenditure bill, below guidance of $272 million. It attribute the drop to cost savings, lower costs capitalization and changes to equipment rebuild schedules.

Centamin highlighted a grid connection project that it kicked off last year, thanks to recent upgrades to Egypt’s power distribution infrastructure. The completion of this project, which would be supplemented with the existing onsite solar power generation, is expected to cut $41 million a year just in diesel costs.

The plan would also help Centamin achieve its near-term decarbonization goals. It is targeting a reduction of 30% of its Scope 1 and 2 emissions, those hose incurred through mining operations and power consumption, respectively, by 2030.

The miner left its 2024 gold production guidance range of 470,000 to 500,000 ounces per annum unchanged.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More