October 29, 2014 / 10:19 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Centerra Gold loss widens as prices, sales drop

(Adds analyst expectations, data on production, sales and prices, production targets and background on assets)

TORONTO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Centerra Gold Inc reported a deeper third-quarter loss on Wednesday, reflecting lower gold prices and the sale of fewer ounces of gold, the company said.

The Toronto-based gold miner’s net loss widened to $3.2 million, or 1 cent a share, from $1.8 million, or 1 cent, in the year-ago period.

Analysts, on average, had been expecting a loss of 8 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Centerra, whose main asset is the Kumtor gold mine in Kyrgyzstan, produced 110,792 ounces of gold in the quarter and sold 107,367 ounces of gold. That is down from production of 113,840 ounces and the sale of 115,941 ounces in the same period last year.

The average price realized for Centerra’s gold fell 5 percent to $1,265 per ounce from $1,337 an ounce in the year-prior period.

Centerra lifted its 2014 production target to between 600,000 and 650,000 ounces of gold. Kumtor is still expected to produce 550,000 to 600,000 ounces, while the Boroo mine in Mongolia is now seen producing 50,000 ounces, up from a previous 45,000 ounce estimate.

Centerra’s Kumtor open-pit mine has faced several setbacks since the project started in 1994, including threats of nationalization, riots and more recently a $300 million ecological damages lawsuit. The mine contributes some 10 percent of the impoverished country’s GDP.

Centerra and the government of Kyrgyzstan have been in discussions for more than a year on a deal that would involve the state swapping its 32.7 percent stake in Centerra for half of a joint venture that would control the Kumtor mine.

A recent Ontario court ruling may delay the finalization of an agreement. (Reporting by Susan Taylor in Toronto and Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang)

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