Gold miner Centamin said that engineering works for the expansion of throughput to eight to ten million tonnes a year at the Sukari gold mine in Egypt will commence in the first quarter of 2010.

The company said that the construction of a sulphide circuit is expected to be completed by February end or early March.

Sukari achieved its full design throughput of four million tonnes a year in December 2010 with the completion of commissioning of stage one of the processing plant.

Earlier, the company announced that total reserves had increased to 7.1 million ounces from the previously reported 6.4 million ounces.

The mine produced 1,118oz of gold in the last quarter of 2009, during which it saw the maiden feed through at its mills at Sukari, which follows the successful completion of Stage 1 construction activities and the achievement of design throughput from the Sukari processing facility.

The gold-miner also said that underground development at Sakuri is advancing well and that production from underground mining is scheduled to start in early in 2011.