October 23, 2019 / 10:21 AM / a month ago

Centamin third-quarter output drops less than feared; shares top FTSE 250

(Reuters) - Gold miner Centamin on Wednesday reported a less-than-feared slump in production for the third quarter and said it was reviewing its only operational Egyptian mine, sending its shares to the top of the UK midcap bourse.

Shares in Centamin advanced nearly 4% to 111.15 pence in morning trade, outperforming a 0.1% gain in the FTSE 250 midcap index.

The company’s output fell 17% to 98,045 ounces for the three months ended Sept. 30, but was marginally above the company’s previous forecast of 97,000-98,000 ounces.

Centamin said it was undertaking a consolidated life of asset (LOA) review at Sukari, Egypt, where production began a decade ago. LOA review will include a full lifecycle baseline cost analysis of the asset.

The amount of gold coming out of the Sukari mine has been falling since 2017, after being on an upward trajectory for at least six years before that.

The review also comes as the miner reported a 39% surge in unit cash costs to $860 per ounce of gold produced in the quarter as production volumes declined.

Centamin, which earlier this month announced the planned retirement of its Chief Executive Officer Andrew Pardey, said the succession process was underway.

Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru

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