Gold miner Centamin released a forecast Thursday that annual gold production from its Sukari mine in Egypt would rise by 20 percent to reach 320,000 ounces in the coming year.
The forecast production marks the third consecutive year of growth for the mine's output and is based on a cash operating cost of $700 per ounce, with fuel at international prices.
The London-based global gold producer has overcome a series of difficulties in Egypt since October 2012, including Egyptian customs officials interfering with its exports, disrupted fuel supplies, and an Egyptian court ruling questioning its right to operate Sukari, its only producing mine, as its 2012 annual production was five percent ahead of expected results.
The company targets an output of 450,000 to 500,000 ounces of gold per annum as of 2015 from the Sukari site.
Centamin also announced that following delays in its Stage 4 expansion of the Sukari mine, it expects the bulk of commissioning activities to start during the second half of 2013, though it remains confident that the plant will be operational before the year's end.
Delays in the expansion, combined with general cost inflation, pushed the company's estimate for the total capital cost of Stage 4 up to $325 million, including contingency, from a previous $288 million.