Operational Overview

Operational Overview

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

In its maiden year of production (2010), Sukari produced over 150,000 ounces at cash costs of US$527 per ounce and in 2011 it produced over 200,000 ounces at US$556 per ounce, demonstrating Centamin's potential to be a large scale, low cost producer.

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.

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.

The total Measured and Indicated resource, at 30 June 2013, was 13.4 million ounces (Moz), comprising 12.6Moz of open pit resource and 0.8Moz of underground resource. Total Inferred resources were 1.9Moz.

Total combined open pit and underground reserve, at 30 September 2013, was 8.2Moz.

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, which is undergoing commissioning and production ramp-up during 2014.

The annual throughput in the Sukari plant was 5.7Mt in 2013, a 12% increase on 2012 (4.5Mt).

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.

2013 Operational Performance

Key StatisticsUnit Calendar Year 2013Calendar Year 2012
Open Pit Ore Mined'000 tonnes11,6646,377
Total Open Pit Material Mined'000 tonnes41,71825,108
Underground Ore Mined - Development '000 tonnes 304203
Underground Ore Mines - Stopes '000 tonnes 283190
Ore Processed'000 tonnes 5,6844,526
Head Gradegrams per tonne2.122.04
Gold Recovery%88.686.0
Gold Productionounces356,943262,828
Gold Salesounces363,576254,959
Average Sales PriceUS$ per ounce 1,3841,667
Cash Cost of ProductionUS$ per ounce 663669
  • Sukari produced 356,943 ounces of gold in 2013 - an increase of 36% on 2012 production
  • The cash cost of production for the full year was US$663 per ounce
  • The average realised gold price was US$1,384 per ounce
  • Sukari is highly cash generative and delivered strong revenue and earnings in 2013

To find out more about Centamin's performance in 2013, click the link below to view the Annual Report:

Annual Results for the 12 month period ended 2013