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30.05.2012 13:00  | Marketwired

Centamin plc Optimised Open Pit Mine Plan

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 05/30/12 -- Centamin plc ("Centamin" or "the Company") (TSX: CEE)(LSE: CEY) is pleased to announce an updated five year mine plan for the Sukari Gold Mine ("Sukari").


Highlights of optimised open pit mine plan:



-- Increased headgrade of open pit ore sent to the mill to 1.1-1.52g/t for
the coming 5 years
-- Increased mining rates of ore in the open pit in years 2014 and 2015
-- Reduced strip ratio in 2014 to 6.72:1 (previously 14.5:1)
-- Open pit mine life of 30 years at average grade of 1.09g/t
-- Ability to provide open pit feed to faster ramp up to 10Mtpa processing
capacity following completion of Stage 4 expansion


With the re-scheduled ore movements from the open pit, the table below represents a more up to date 5 year production profile estimate for Sukari. Formal guidance will continue to be issued annually.



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Project Year Units 2013 2014 2015
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Open Pit
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Ore t 11,267,856 9,536,851 10,335,439
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Waste t 33,018,969 64,051,661 64,172,929
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Total t 44,286,825 73,588,512 74,508,368
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Strip Ratio w:o 2.93 6.72 6.21
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Head grade mined ore (greater
than 0.4g/t) g/t 0.96 1.12 1.09
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In situ Ounces oz 348,550 343,411 362,198
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----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Underground Mine Production
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Development ore t 235,121
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Production ore t 264,959 500,080 500,080
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Total t 500,080 500,080 500,080
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Waste tonnes t 107,814
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Head grade of ore Mined g/t 9.17 8.74 8.74
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In situ Ounces oz 147,508 140,521 140,521
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Overall Mined Ounces oz 496,058 483,932 502,719
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----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mill Production
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Underground t 500,080 500,080 500,080
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Open Pit t 5,601,188 9,340,270 9,458,470
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Total t 6,101,268 9,840,350 9,958,550
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Mill Processing Grades
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Open Pit g/t 1.52 1.12 1.15
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Underground g/t 9.1 8.74 8.74
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dump Leach Production
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leach quantity t 1,368,556 782,130 850,944
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Grade g/t 0.63 0.61 0.64
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gold Production
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Open Pit oz 273,725 336,332 349,711
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Underground oz 146,309 140,521 140,521
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dump Leach oz 10,998 11,735 11,735
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recovery % 84.8% 88.0% 88.4%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Gold Production oz 367,187 431,366 445,101
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Project Year Units 2016 2017
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Open Pit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ore t 12,822,266 12,832,496
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Waste t 60,053,219 61,668,781
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total t 72,875,486 74,501,277
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Strip Ratio w:o 4.68 4.81
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Head grade mined ore (greater
than 0.4g/t) g/t 1.10 0.93
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
In situ Ounces oz 453,296 383,155
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Underground Mine Production
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Development ore t
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Production ore t 500,080 500,080
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total t 500,080 500,080
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Waste tonnes t
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Head grade of ore Mined g/t 8.74 8.74
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
In situ Ounces oz 140,521 140,521
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Overall Mined Ounces oz 593,817 523,676
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mill Production
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Underground t 500,080 500,080
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Open Pit t 9,499,920 9,499,920
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total t 10,000,000 10,000,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mill Processing Grades
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Open Pit g/t 1.34 1.18
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Underground g/t 8.74 8.74
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

-
Dump Leach Production
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leach quantity t 808,277 951,501
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Grade g/t 0.63 0.64
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Gold Production
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Open Pit oz 409,276 360,407
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Underground oz 140,521 140,521
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Dump Leach oz 12,767 12,700
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recovery % 89.0% 89.0%
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Total Gold Production oz 502,086 458,526
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The open pit mine plan, which was previously released as part of the Form 43-101F1 Technical Report dated 14 March 2012, has been optimised to better reflect the expected increase in mining rates as additional mining equipment is delivered and commissioned along with the completion and commissioning of the Stage 4 expansion to double Sukari's processing capacity to 10 million tonnes per annum ("Mtpa"). The re-scheduling of waste and ore movements has had a positive effect on the ability to deliver more consistent grades from the open pit to the processing plant. The significant improvement in stripping ratio over the 2014/15 period is a result of better management of the removal of the hills east of the Sukari hill.


All mining equipment has been ordered and delivery schedules locked in. The first RH170 face shovel is expected to be delivered to site in July 2012 and will become operational during Q3 2012. The remaining three RH170 face shovels are due to arrive in 2013 with additional trucking capacity being added concurrently, which will see total mining rates ramp up to over 70Mtpa. Capex for additional mining equipment (post Stage 4 capex) to meet these material movements is estimated at US$65m, of which US$45m is expected to be incurred in 2013, US$17m expected in 2014 and US$3m expected in 2015.


The commissioning and subsequent ramp up of Stage 4 of the processing plant has been amended to better reflect a plant that should be running at close to design capacity by the close of 2013. The gradual metallurgical recovery improvements over the coming years are primarily related to further automation of the reagent addition and the installation of a custom designed carbon regeneration kiln as part of Stage 4. This will aim to increase recovery rates to the targeted level of 88-89%. The existing kiln is delivering sub optimal performance that is adversely affecting current recoveries and is not designed for the anticipated increased production levels.


Underground production assumptions have not changed from previous forecasts. Currently there are three diamond drill rigs working underground with a further four rigs due to commence drilling in H2 2012. Ptah Decline development continues to advance on schedule and is expected to intersect the Julius zone, under the Ra/Gazelle zone, in late Q3 2012. Further underground reserve estimation and guidance will be published with the annual reserve update in Q1 2013.


It should be noted that mining schedules are dynamic and will be updated as the mine develops. Formal guidance for 2013 production will be issued in Q1 2013 as further refinements are completed. A similar protocol will be followed year on year.


Conference Call Details


Centamin will host a conference call on Wednesday, 30 May at 2pm (London, UK time) to answer analysts' and investors' questions on the optimised mine plan. Participants may join the call by dialling one of the following three numbers, approximately 10 minutes before the start of the call.



From UK: (toll free) 0800 368 1895
From Canada: (toll free) 1866 561 8617
From rest of world: +44 203 140 0693
Participant pass code: 879813#


Additional Information


The authors of the optimised mine plan detailed above and the 43-101F1 Technical Report released on 14 March 2012 are Andrew Pardey, Chief Operating Officer; Richard Osman, Open Pit Manager; and Chris Boreham, Underground Manager. The authors are all full-time employees of Pharaoh Gold Mines (Centamin's wholly owned subsidiary in Egypt) and they all have the relevant qualifications and experience to be considered a Competent Person as defined in the Australasian JORC Code and a Qualified Person as defined in Canadian NI 43-101.


CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS


This news release contains "forward-looking information", which may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the future financial or operating performance of Centamin plc ('Centamin' or 'the Company'), its subsidiaries (together 'the Group'), affiliated companies, its projects, the future price of gold, mineral reserves and resource estimates and realization, future production estimates, revenues, margins, production costs, estimates of capita, operating and exploration expenditures, costs and timing of the development of new deposits, costs and timing of future exploration, foreign exchange risks, governmental regulation of and approvals for mining operations and exploration operations, environmental risks, title disputes or claims, limitations of insurance coverage and regulatory matters. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "targets", "aims", "anticipates" or "believes" or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases, or may be identified by statements to the effect that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "should", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved.


Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and a variety of material factors, many of which are beyond the Company's control which may cause the actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, future price of gold; general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; the actual results of current exploration and development activities; conclusions of economic evaluations and studies; fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to the local currencies in the jurisdictions of the Company's key projects; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; possible variations of ore grade or projected recovery rates; accidents, labour disputes or slow-downs and other risks of the mining industry; climatic conditions; political instability, insurrection or war, civil unrest or armed assault; labour force availability and turnover; delays in obtaining financing or governmental approvals or in the completion of exploration and development activities; and other risks and factors referred to in the Company's most recent Annual Information Form filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.


Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this document and, except as required by applicable law, the Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise.


ABN 86 007 700 352

Contacts:

Centamin plc

Josef El-Raghy

Chairman

+44 (0) 20 7569 1670


Centamin plc

Katharine Sutton

Head of Investor Relations

+44 (0) 20 7569 1670
katharine.sutton@centamin.co.uk


Buchanan

Bobby Morse

+44 (0) 20 7466 5000


Buchanan

Gabriella Clinkard

+44 (0) 20 7466 5000




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