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Centerra rises on strong Q1 profit

Canadian mid-tier miner Centerra Gold has reported strong profit growth for the March quarter, as its flagship Kumtor mine in Kyrgyzstan and large Mount Milligan mine in British Columbia improved on their year-earlier performances.
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Centerra reported improved Q1 performance at its Mount Milligan mine, in BC

Toronto-based Centerra said first-quarter adjusted earnings came to US$50.4 million, or 17c per share, up 276% from $13.4 million, or 5c per share a year earlier.

Net earnings were also $50.4 million, up 460% year-on-year from $9 million, or 3c/share a year ago. Revenue rose 42% year-on-year to $334 million, from $235.4 million.

CEO Scott Perry said the company produced 183,563 ounces of gold and 11.4 million pounds of copper in the quarter, compared with 129,764oz and 6.1Mlb in the same quarter of 2018.

"Kumtor had a very strong quarter, producing 150,308oz gold, which was attributable to higher grades and recoveries," Perry said.

Mount Milligan copper and gold output was also up thanks to higher mill throughput, as the company continued to actively manage the asset's water situation, it said. It expects mill throughput levels to be at full capacity of 55,000 tonnes per day starting mid-May, as more water is captured during the pending spring melt.

Meanwhile, construction activity continued at the Öksüt project in Turkey and was about 49% complete.

"The project continues to be on time and on budget and is on track for first gold pour in the first quarter of 2020."

Centerra traded 6.3% or C43c higher in Toronto on Wednesday at $7.25, which capitalises it at $2.1 billion. The stock is up 25% in the year to date but still trailing its year-ago price level by 8%.