Gold miner Centamin says to pay about $100 million to Egypt in 2017

Centamin, operator of Egypt’s only commercial gold mine, is expecting to pay around $100 million in its first full year of profit-sharing with the government in 2017, subject to the price of gold, the company told Reuters on Wednesday.

Centamin produced 551,036 ounces of gold in 2016, up 26 percent on the previous year, and is proposing a final dividend of 13.5 cents per share for the year, CEO Andrew Pardey said after the company announced full-year earnings on Wednesday.

Increased production and a higher gold price helped the company to lift earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) by 145 percent to $373 million in the year to Dec. 31.

The company’s profit-sharing arrangement with the Egyptian government for its Sukari mine began in the third quarter of last year and it has so far paid $51 million.

Centamin has said previously that it would not participate in Egypt’s new bidding round for gold exploration concessions because the terms are not commercially viable.

Those terms include a 6 percent royalty payment, a production share of at least 50 percent, partial cost recovery before the start of production sharing and three bonus payments to the Egyptian mining agency, including one of at least $1 million.

Mining companies have said the terms are some of the least attractive in the world.