Centamin has released its preliminary production results for the quarter ended 30 June 2012. Total gold production for the quarter was a record 67,422 ounces, a 40% increase on the corresponding quarter in 2011 and a 37% increase on Q1 2012. Record production was achieved as a result of a strong performance on all key operating metrics. Quarterly throughput in the Sukari process plant was 1,269kt, a 49% increase on the corresponding quarter in 2011 and a 24% increase on Q1 2012, as the plant delivered a record quarter and continued to operate at and above the 5 million tonne per annum run rate.
This was the best ever production quarter from Centamin. From whatever angle it is looked at, the mine recorded record production or throughput. It certainly beat our expectations which were for a mill throughput of 1250kt and the production of 62.4k oz of gold.
There are two key questions to be asked. Can this production rate be sustained and can the total material moved be increased significantly? From the figures released today, there is no mention of the amount of ore mined from the open pit and therefore the amount of waste moved cannot be calculated. The stripping ratio is forecast to increase substantially over the next three years. Our estimate is that waste stripping in the quarter was on the low side but this might be dependent on the delivery of trucks.