Shares in Egyptian gold miner Centamin staged a fightback on Friday, rising by a quarter after the London-listed company said fuel supplies had been resumed to its site at Sukari in the east of the north African country.
However the FTSE 250 company said the mine would remain effectively shut under a care and maintenance regime until Egypt’s finance ministry overturned an unexpected suspension of exports.
About 1.5 tonnes of gold worth $90m remains in secure storage close to Cairo airport awaiting transportation abroad by air and sale through precious metals trader Johnson Matthey.
The earlier announcement on Thursday of a suspension on fuel supplies to the Sukari mine, alongside unexpected delays in export approval, prompted Centamin’s shares to fall by nearly 50 per cent on the day to 27.7p.
But on Friday, the shares recovered some of their loses, rising 25 per cent to 34.8p
Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation had cut off supplies this week after claiming $65m in disputed back payments for fuel supplied by Chevron before January this year that had been charged at the prevailing subsidised local, rather than international, rates.
On Friday Centamin said: “Chevron has received notification from Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) that fuel supply to Sukari may be resumed and that no retrospective payment is currently due.”
But Centamin was still awaiting clearance for export on Friday before recommencing production following “an unforeseen and arbitrary request from customs officials for prior approval by the minister of finance”.
The latest troubles follow a decision in October by an Egyptian court to annul its licence to operate the Sukari mine. Centamin is fighting the court ruling, with the expected backing of the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority.