Claim leads Centamin to suspend operations at Egyptian gold mine

Gold processing. (Image source: Centamin)Gold processing. (Image source: Centamin)A lack of working capital and a shortage of diesel at Centamin Plc’s Sukari mine in Egypt has led the gold mining company to suspend operations

The company said in a statement that it had received an “illegal retrospective claim” from the Egyptian General Petroleum Corp (EGPC) for around US$65mn for diesel supplied between December 2009 and January 2012.

EGPC added that it would not supply any additional diesel to the Sukari gold mine, Centamin’s only producing mine, until payment had been made.

“Discussions are on-going but fuel supplies have reached critical levels,” said the company statement.

The company said in November that a gold shipment was required to meet working capital commitments and suspended gold exports while it appealed against an Egyptian court ruling which declared Centamin’s mining at the Sukari mine illegal.

The company had obtained clearances from the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority for a gold shipment but this was prevented by a request for approval from the Minister of Finance by customs officials.

"This approval has been urgently sought, but has not yet been forthcoming," Centamin's statement said.

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