‘No one need worry we are going on a spending spree with the company’s credit card’
SINCE becoming CEO of UK-listed Centamin, Martin Horgan’s focus has been on restoring the firm’s Egyptian mine Sukari to its former glory. So far, so good. In December, Centamin announced a further 500,000 ounces in new reserves at Sukari, which builds on the 5.3 million oz new life of mine reserve plan published in October 2023. Under the plan Sukari will average 506,000 oz/year for the next nine years, equal to a 5% increase in total gold output. This is a major advance on the 400,000 to 450,000 oz levels prior to 2020 when Horgan was appointed.
There are “multiple opportunities” to further expand Sukari via surface satellite deposits as well as other licences adjacent to the mine, he claims. It will therefore come as some relief to Horgan that in November the Egyptian Supreme Administrative Court finally set aside a 2011 third-party challenge to the validity of Sukari’s exploitation licence. But it’s not only about Sukari for Horgan. Brought in following the successful development of Toro Gold’s Mako mine in Senegal (which was sold to Resolute Mining), Horgan is also working on regional development.
In June, Centamin published the findings of a prefeasibility study for the Côte d’Ivoire prospect Doropo. The study found Doropo would cost $349m to develop and produce 173,000 oz/year over 10 years at an all-in sustaining cost of $1.017/oz. Updated gold reserve numbers on Doropo are due by the middle of this year when the results of a maiden drilling campaign across Centamin’s Egyptian exploration portfolio are published. Horgan is a developer of mines rather than an M&A maven, hence his declaration to shareholders last year that they should not expect big-spending dealmaking. Production for the year will be between 470,000 and 500,000 oz.
LIFE OF MARTIN
Horgan, a University of Leeds graduate in mining engineering, was previously executive director of BDI Mining, an AIM-listed diamond producer. From 2000 to 2006, he was a mining finance banker at Barclays Capital. A born-and-bred Mancunian, he is a lifelong supporter of Manchester United Football Club, hence his occasional fondness for speaking in footie terms.