IT is the task of Andrew Pardey, following his appointment in February 2015, to let the mining do the talking at Centamin. The London- and Toronto-listed firm saw its share price knocked 50% in both 2011 and 2012 in the wake of the Arab Spring that led to revolution in Egypt where the company operates its single mine, the 420,000 ounce a year, $1.1bn Sukari. He also has to ramp-up Sukari to its projected 500,000 oz/year output target by 2017. The signs are good: a third quarter forecast put 2015 output at 440,000 oz. The firm’s predominantly UK investor base has taken a sanguine view of two court cases that are potentially damaging to Centamin: one is that Chevron insists it must pay in dollars for oil it bought from it, not the locally subsidised price; and secondly, a 2012 court order that would annul its mining contract at Sukari. The processes are grinding on with no immediate outcome in prospect. On the upside, Centamin has no debt, paid an interim dividend in line with its 15% to 30% payout of free cash flow, and has exploration prospects in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. “Best in class growth with low costs,” concluded Goldman Sachs of the firm.
LIFE OF ANDREW
Pardey, an Australian geologist with a BSc from Macquarie University, was chief geologist at Sons of Gwalia before being drafted in to run AngloGold Ashanti’s Siguiri mine in Guinea. He was COO of Centamin from 2012 until 2015 when he was appointed CEO. Pardey also serves as chief geologist and GM of Exploration of Africa at Crew Gold Corporation.
- Web Address: www.centamin.com