Monday, 07 January 2013 02:49
LONDON: Egypt has allowed Centamin to export a shipment of gold after blocking it for several weeks because it did not have the proper permits, a customs official said on Sunday.
Centamin has been plagued by difficulties in Egypt over the last three months, with a court questioning its right to produce gold at its only mine, customs officials holding up exports, and the country's petroleum ministry disrupting fuel supplies.
"The company that owns the Sukari mine has presented the necessary permits to export the gold to Canada for purification before it is sold on world markets," Magdy Abdel Aziz, the head of the central department at the cargo customs section of Cairo airport, told Reuters.
"The most important of these permits was the official approval from the petroleum ministry and the mineral resources authority," he said.
Customs officials told Reuters on Wednesday that a 400 kilogram shipment of Centamin's gold would not be allowed to leave Egypt until it received a permit from the country's Petroleum Ministry.
The company's recent troubles have coincided with a new bout of political strife in Egypt which has battered the country's economy in the past weeks and sent Egyptians scrambling to swap pounds for US dollars.
In December the company halted its mining activities at the Sukari mine on Egypt's Red Sea coast after it was temporarily denied permission to export gold, causing a shortfall in working capital, a situation which has since been resolved.
Copyright Reuters, 2013