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Centamin gold output falls in first quarter as planned, keeps full-year target

Centamin PLC (LSE:CEY, TSX:CEE, OTC:CELTF) reported lower gold production in the first quarter, as planned, while it took over the running of underground operations at its flagship Sukari mine in Egypt. Gold production fell 11% from the year-earlier quarter to 93,109 ounces, mainly due to the underground transition. First-quarter output was planned to be lower than the remaining quarters of the year, Centamin said, adding it remains on track to meet its 2022 guidance of 430,000 to 460,000 ounces. “As planned, Q1 2022 production reflected the successful transition to owner mining in the underground, which is now complete, enabling us to unlock the full potential of the underground operations,” said chief executive Martin Horgan. Revenue dipped 8% to US$174.6mln as higher gold prices partly offset lower gold sales. Cash costs per ounce of production jumped 23% from the first quarter of 2021 as higher fuel prices and increased open pit costs outweighed lower underground costs. Centamin announced in February that it would take over as operator of the underground mining operations at Sukari. READ: Centamin to take over as operator of underground mining at flagship Sukari gold mine The company said last month that it expected production in the first half of this year to account for just 45% of the annual target because of lower scheduled tonnes from its Sukari underground operations as the mine transitions to owner-operator.