Gold bars are displayed at a gold jewellery shop in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh May 8, 2012. REUTERS/Ajay Verma
CAIRO – 10 January 2018: Mineral exploration and mining company Centamin Egypt produced 544,658 ounces of gold in 2017, higher than the company’s expectations of 540,000 ounces.
In an official Wednesday statement, Centamin said that it targets 580,000 ounces in production for 2018, up from an estimate of 550,000-560,000 ounces.
Gold production of the company in the fourth quarter of 2017 stood at 154,298 ounces, the company added.
Sukari mine, the country's sole gold-exporting mine, produced around 100 tons of gold since it started operations in January 2010. The average monthly production is spanning between 1.2-1.5 tons of gold.
Exports from the mine represent two percent of Egyptian exports, according to Centamin’s data.
Petroleum Minister Tarek el-Molla said in late December that the Sukari gold mine has contributed a total of $250 million in revenues to the government since it started production in 2009.
The government has said that it aims to increase the mining sector's contribution to the GDP to more than five percent. It currently contributes around 0.5 percent of the GDP.
Molla said that the government is working to identify the challenges facing the sector and that his ministry aims to boost investments by amending the sector's administrative and legislative system.
Located in the south-easternmost region of the Eastern Desert, Sukari mine is the first large-scale modern gold mine in Egypt, with a base case production rate of about 500,000 ounces per annum, according to the official website of Centamin.
The Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority (EMRA) profits from Sukari gold mine are expected to reach some $115 million in 2018, while the fixed royalty paid twice a year to EMRA is worth $22 million.