Operational Overview

Operational Overview

The first gold bar was poured at the Sukari Gold Mine on 26 June 2009.

Location and History

The 160km2 Sukari tenement area is located in the south-easterly region of the Eastern Desert of Egypt, approximately 700km from Cairo and 25km from the Red Sea.

Sukari Hill is situated within the tenement area and is approximately 2,300m long, 600m wide and 1,345m above sea level at its highest point. Surrounded by wide wadis (the Arabic term for valleys) and mountain ranges, Sukari Hill has hosted ancient mining communities spanning thousands of years from the Pharaohs to the Romans to the British.

The climate in the Eastern Desert is hot and dry. The annual average temperature ranges from 18C to 45C and annual rainfall is less than 10mm.

Mine Profile

Sukari is situated on the Arabian-Nubian Shield, which covers the north-east African countries of Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and Saudi Arabia. The Sukari deposit is hosted by a large porphyry body, which is located on a regional shear zone providing favourable drilling conditions. There are several types of gold mineralisation found here including disseminated gold and shear-zone-related quartz vein. The name Sukari is thought to derive from the Arabic word for 'sweet' due to the quartz's resemblance to sugar.

Sukari has a large reserve and resource base and there is further exploration upside in Sukari hill and on the 160km2 tenement area that surrounds it. Sukari is the only operating gold mine in Egypt and we believe the country has significant mining potential.

The total Measured and Indicated resource, at 30 June 2015, was 13 million ounces (Moz) gold and is reported as an open pit resource at 0.3g/t cut-off grade. This total is inclusive of the 1.0 Moz underground resource.

Total combined open pit and underground reserve estimate, at 30 June 2015, was 8.8Moz.

Sukari's life-of-mine is expected to be around 20 years, with continued growth and further exploration.

Site, Infrastructure and Team

Sukari consists of a large-scale open pit mine and an underground mine.  The ore is processed on site through a plant with nameplate capacity of 10 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa). This capacity was doubled following completion of the c.US$330 million Stage 4 expansion. 

The mine site is served by tarmac roads, a 35MW power station and a 25km water pipeline from the Red Sea, which Centamin built during the construction phase of the project. Some elements of Sukari's infrastructure are being enlarged as part of the Stage 4 Expansion Project. Marsa Alam airport is 70km from Sukari and Hurghada airport is 280km.

Approximately 1,300 people work at Sukari. During our construction phase, that number was closer to 2,000.

2014 Operational Performance

Key StatisticsUnit Calendar Year 2014Calendar Year 2013
Open Pit Ore Mined'000 tonnes10,93611,664
Total Open Pit Material Mined'000 tonnes44,82041,718
Underground Ore Mined - Development '000 tonnes 464304
Underground Ore Mines - Stopes '000 tonnes504283
Ore Processed'000 tonnes8,4285,684
Head Gradegrams per tonne1.562.12
Gold Recovery%87.888.6
Gold Productionounces377,261356,943
Gold Salesounces375,300363,576
Average Sales PriceUS$ per ounce 1,2571,384
Cash Cost of ProductionUS$ per ounce 729663
  • Sukari produced 377,261 ounces of gold in 2014 - an increase of 6% on 2013 production
  • The cash cost of production for the full year was US$729 per ounce
  • Stage 4 plant expansion completed with total project expenditure US$331.2 million
  • 2015 guidance of 420,000 ounces gold at US$700 per ounce cash cost of production and US$950 AISC

To find out more about Centamin's performance in 2014, click the link below to view the Annual Report:

2014 Annual Report