This mornings RNS beggar belief –
Suspension of operations
Centamin advises that it has received an illegal retrospective claim from Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) for LE403 million (c. US$65 million) for diesel fuel supplied from December 2009 until January 2012. Furthermore, EGPC has refused to authorise future supply of diesel to the Sukari Gold Mine until this amount is paid. The Company, with EMRA’s support, has been seeking to have the fuel supplies re-instated. Discussions are on-going but fuel supplies have reached critical levels.
In addition, following the Market Update of 26th November, Centamin wishes to advise that, having obtained all necessary permissions from the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) in line with normal procedures, it commenced the process of gold exports. However, during this process an unforeseen and arbitrary request from customs officials for prior approval by the Minister of Finance halted the shipment. This approval has been urgently sought but has not yet been forthcoming.
In light of these developments, it is with regret that, due to a resultant lack of diesel and a short-fall in working capital in Egypt for the local operations the decision has been taken to suspend operations at Sukari and to place the mine on care and maintenance until these issues are satisfactorily resolved.
Centamin will take vigorous action to defend its rights to continue the extraction and export of gold from the Sukari mine, to obtain fuel supplies and to challenge the illegal retrospective claim from EGPC.
Shares look to be opening down at around 22p!