Gold miner Centamin's production outlook hit by delays at Sukari mine

(Reuters) - Centamin Plc CEY.L on Friday forecast a fall in annual production as the gold miner delayed some open-pit mining operations at its key Sukari mine in Egypt for safety reasons.

Centamin said it detected a movement in Sukari’s open pit Stage 4 West wall using a radar system and decided to immediately defer the open-pit mining operations in this zone, which were scheduled to start during the fourth quarter of 2020.

Shares of the FTSE midcap company were down 18% at 165 pence by 0715 GMT.

The company said the measures to stabilise movement in the affected area have already been implemented, while the open-pit mining at Stage 4 North and Stage 5 North will continue.

The underground mining at Sukari has not been affected and will continue as planned. A life-of-asset review for the Sukari mine in ongoing.

Centamin expects the gold output for fourth quarter to fall to about 70,000 ounces from 120,000 ounces it produced in the third quarter ended September 30.

The company added that the 2020 production forecast of 510,000 ounces to 525,000 ounces of gold will be reduced.

Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi