Centamin Egypt Gold Mine Operating Normally, Executives Say

Centamin Plc (CEY)’s Sukari Gold Mine in Egypt is operating as normal as the company prepares to appeal yesterday’s court decision annulling its 18-year-old contract, executives said.

“We are not worried, and have the support of the government,” Yousef Al Raghi, the mine’s managing director, said in a phone interview today. He said the court wasn’t empowered to overturn the concession agreement. Andy Davidson, head of investor relations, said the company is waiting for a transcript of the verdict to understand its implications.

The agreement, between Centamin Plc and the state-run Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority, is valid until a copy of the court’s decision is received, Fekry Youssef Mohamed, chairman of the state-run agency, said in a telephone interview today. He said he expects to get it by Sunday.

The administrative court in Cairo ruled yesterday that the mineral authority didn’t exercise enough oversight on gold- extraction operations, and that Egypt’s share of the profits is too low. Centamin’s London-listed shares fell as much as 59 percent, the most on record, before trading was suspended.

Centamin signed a 50-50 joint venture agreement with the authority in 1994 under the rule of President Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in a popular uprising last year.

The lawsuit was brought by Hamdy Al-Fakharany, a former lawmaker involved in overturning Mubarak-era deals where he says that public assets were sold for less than their fair value.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nadine Marroushi in Cairo at nmarroushi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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