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UPDATE 1-Centamin's Egypt operations to continue during appeal
March 20, 2013 / 10:27 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Centamin's Egypt operations to continue during appeal

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Gold producer Centamin said a damaging Egyptian court ruling against it was suspended on Wednesday, allowing it to continue operating normally at its mine in the country during an ongoing appeal process.

Centamin is appealing an Egyptian administrative court ruling last year which declared the company’s right to operate the Sukari mine, its main asset, invalid.

Shares in the company, which have lost around half their value since ruling in October, traded 1.6 percent higher at 1011, paring earlier gains of as much as 12 percent.

“It provides some confidence to the market in the legal process in Egypt,” Investec analyst Hunter Hillcoat said of the court judgement on Wednesday.

Gold production at Sukari continues as usual and the company earlier this month forecast output of 320,000 ounces for 2013, 22 percent higher than last year.

Egypt has experienced more than two years of political and economic turmoil since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, hammering foreign investment and prompting budget and currency crises.

Since late last year, Centamin has been plagued by troubles in the country, and has in addition to the court ruling against it, had court officials holding up exports and the country’s petroleum ministry disrupting fuel supplies.

The company, which previously said that it is confident of winning the appeal, said Wednesday’s suspension of the judgement against it until a verdict on the appeal comes, was not based on the merits of that appeal.

No date has yet been set for an initial appeal hearing, it added.

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