VENTURES AFRICA – Centamin is expecting its operations at Sukari to resume in the next few days after customs officials allowed it to export gold, the Toronto Stock Exchange listed gold miner said on Monday.
The gold mining company focused on the Arabian-Nubian Shield said on Monday fuel supplies resumed last Friday.
Last week, Centamin, which has offices in London, UK, Mount Pleasant, Western Australia, Alexandria and Egypt, was compelled to interrupt operations at Sukari, its only operating mine, owing to a lack of diesel supply and cash shortfall.
Shares of Centamin plunged 46 percent on the news on the news as the company did not indicate how or when these issues could be resolved, or what brought them on in the first place.
The cash shortfall was a result of state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corp’s refusal to supply more diesel to the mine until $65 million in back payments was paid.
Reuters said the shortfall also followed a customs official unexpectedly halting the company’s gold exports on grounds that Centamin needed pre-approval from Egypt’s Finance Ministry to export gold.
The move by the customs officials highlights the risks of doing business in a country struggling with political turbulence and collapsing foreign reserves and investment.
Centamin stopped activities at its Sukari mine in Egypt on Thursday. The company said it will update the market once it has received payment for the exports, following which normal operations at Sukari will resume.