Gold miner Centamin has moved its executive chairman Josef El-Raghy to the role of non-executive chairman while the firm continues its search for a permanent non-executive chair.

El-Raghy’s plan to retire was initially announced at the beginning of 2018. Centamin has sought the help of global executive search firm Egon Zehnder in its search for a permanent non-executive chairman.

The firm has appointed three independent non-executive directors, of whom one will become non-executive chair in 2020.

Josef El-Raghy, who became non-executive chairman 16 years after serving as managing director, will not join any panels.

In 2018, his executive responsibilities were handed over to Centamin’s executive team.

With the reshuffling, the Centamin board will now feature eight members, with two executive and six-non-executives, of which five are independent.

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Reshuffling of the board comes at a time when the mining firm last week stated that it would miss the December quarter’s guidance of 145,000 ounces of gold, due to disappointing production at its flagship Sukari mine near the Red Sea, in Egypt.

Annual production at the mine is reported to be up to 2% below the company’s expected 2018 totals of 480,000 ounces.

In the third quarter of fiscal year 2018, Centamin produced 117,720 ounces of gold from the Sukari open pit and underground mine at a cost of $619 per ounce.

“Annual production at the mine is reported to be up to 2% below the company’s expected 2018 totals of 480,000 ounces.”

Although this production was a 27% increase from 92,803 ounces in the second quarter, it is a 25% dip from 156,533 ounces recorded in the third quarter of the previous year.

Consequently, Centamin had cut down its production guidance for 2018 to 480,000 ounces from the range of 505,000 to 515,000 ounces announced in its interim results.

Sukari commenced operations in January 2010. It is the only operating mine for Centamin, in addition to being the only mine in Egypt to export gold.