December 17, 2012 2:43 pm

Centamin resumes Egypt exports

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Centamin, the London-listed gold miner, said it had resumed exports from its Sukari mine in eastern Egypt, adding that it expected normal operations to begin again “in the coming days” after clashes with the government over fuel supply and visas.

Shares in the FTSE 250 miner jumped by more than 26 per cent in trading in London on Monday to 43.95p.

Centamin said last week it had suspended operations at Sukari because of the problems, the latest in a line of difficulties the miner has experienced with the Egyptian authorities, prompting the group’s shares to plummet.

Egypt’s national oil company had asked for $65m in back payments for fuel supplied to Sukari by Chevron between December 2009 and January of this year, a request that Centamin called an “illegal retrospective claim”.

The miner said last week that Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation had refused to supply more fuel until the amount was paid and added that exports of gold from Sukari had been halted by an “arbitrary request” for additional approvals from Egypt’s finance ministry.

EGPC had allowed supplies to resume, Centamin said a day later, kick-starting a rally in its shares.

Centamin has been pursuing a court case over a rise in diesel pricing in January 2012 from the subsidised local levels to higher international rates. The company said on Monday that it continued to have the backing of Egypt’s Mineral Resources Authority.

Analysts at Liberum reinstated their buy rating on Centamin but added that they expected some downgrades to earnings forecasts for this year thanks to a week’s lost production.

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