Egypt's Customs Authority halts Centamin gold exports

Karim Hafez , Wednesday 2 Jan 2013

Exports from Egypt's largest gold producer suspended for the second time in less than two months after Egyptian authorities claim they have yet to receive petroleum ministry approval

Centamin PLC

The Egyptian Customs Authority announced that it would halt gold exports of Centamin PLC, Egypt's largest gold producer, as it has yet to receive shipment approval from the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum, state agency MENA reported Wednesday. 

Custom officials claimed that the interruption of Centamin's gold shipments was "procedural" and that the resumption of exports is solely in the hands of the petroleum ministry.  

"Customs delayed our latest gold shipment; we believe that there is no reason for it as we have all the documents required by Egypt's Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA). We think that this is merely a bureaucratic issue and expect to sort out any confusion in the upcoming week," Andy Davidson, Head of Business Development and Investor Relations at Centamin, told Ahram Online.

The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and EMRA had previously announced in December 2012, that its dispute with Centamin had been settled and that it would authorise its gold shipments.

"We are in any case within our normal cycle of gold exports, do not expect this to affect operations as we have plenty of working capital in Egypt," Davidson added.

Egypt's largest gold producer was forced to halt production in October and December last year, following disputes with the Egyptian government over diesel fuel supply and gold exports.

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