The FTSE 250 firm reported that for the three months ended 31 December, production at Sukari had risen 51% since the third quarter to 148,387 ounces of gold, driven by what it said were improved feed grades, metallurgical recoveries and a year-end plant drawdown of gold in-circuit.
Gold production for the whole of 2019 was 480,529 ounces, a 2% improvement year-on-year, while production estimates for the coming year were unchanged at between 510,000-540,000 ounces.
"As expected, the fourth quarter production result represents one of the strongest quarterly results from Sukari and is a significant achievement for our operational team”, said Centamin chief executive Ross Jerrard.
“During 2019 there have been substantial changes in senior management and this transition in leadership is beginning to be reflected in our improved operating performance."
Takeover battle rages on
The production update comes as Centamin finds itself embroiled in a debate over its future following an all-share merger approach in December by Canadian firm Endeavour Mining Corp (TSE:EDV) (OTCMKTS:EDVMF).
When it announced its bid, Endeavour said it had made “several unsuccessful attempts” to engage with Centamin’s board and had decided to set out its stall publicly to encourage the company to enter discussions, an approach that was unanimously rejected by Centamin’s management shortly after.
Endeavour had previously had until 31 December to make a firm offer for the group under the ‘put up or shut up’ rules of the UK’s Takeover Panel, however at the request of Centamin this deadline has been extended to 14 January.
Centamin shares were 2% higher at 124p in mid-morning trading on Thursday.