Centamin capital review may weigh up flexibility for share buy-back

Martin Horgan, CEO, Centamin

CENTAMIN was undertaking a review of its capital structure in which it would weigh its approach to debt funding, and possibly whether it had the flexibility to consider a share buy-back programme.

Primarily the review would weigh up issues of paying for projects such as Doporo, said Martin Horgan, CEO of Centamin during the firm’s fourth quarter production presentation today.

Centamin announced in May last year it would progress its Doporo project in Côte d’Ivoire after a preliminary assessment said its mineral prospects could support $275m in investment. A preliminary economic assessment of Doporo implied a 13 year life of mine producing average annual gold of 207,800 oz for the first five years.

“A whole capital piece is ongoing and that would have implications for what we do in terms of financial flexibility. All sorts of options will be on the table for us to consider,” he said.

Shares in Centamin have fallen 24% over the last 12 months.

Centamin said last year that it would pay a minimum total dividend of $105m. This was in terms of a four year dividend plan in which it guaranteed a $100m minimum payout for each of the first two years, and ensure gold production of 450,000 to 500,000 ounces up to 2024.

Centamin said today gold production 107,549 oz for the fourth quarter taking full year production for the year ended December 31 to 415,370 oz – midpoint of guidance of 400,000 to 430,000 oz.

Revenue for the year totalled $733m generated from gold sales of 407,252 oz at an average realised gold price of $1,797/oz sold.

Gold production guidance for 2022 was unchanged at 430,000 to 460,000 oz at an all in sustaining cost of $1,275 to $1,425/oz sold.

Asked about the future Batie West, a prospect in Burkina Faso that Centamin has decided not to progress, Horgan said that discussions were being held with third parties as well as the country’s mines minister. “There is active dialogue,” he said.