JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Continuing to build on its position as a low-cost gold producer with a clear growth strategy, Russia-based Polyus delivered consistent production in the half-year ended June 30, achieving a 12% year-on-year increase to 938 000 oz.
The company – Russia’s largest gold producer – attributed this output growth to higher production volumes at its Olimpiada and Verninskoye operations. Polyus also saw a significant 29% year-on-year increase in volumes of ore mined, to 17.8-million tonnes, as a result of mining volumes growth at the Olimpiada and Kuranakh operations and the start of full-scale mining activity at Natalka.
Further, with throughput capacity expansion projects at Polyus’s core assets either being completed or entering the second stage of implementation, the miner increased volumes of processed ore by 5% year-on-year to 13.6-million tonnes.
“Over the course of the first half, we remained focused on operational efficiency, while making strong progress on our development projects,” commented Polyus CEO Pavel Grachev, adding that the company will keep its 2017 production guidance target of 2.08-million ounces to 2.13-million ounces.
“With the majority of our brownfield development projects scheduled for completion in 2017/18 and production at Natalka expected to be commissioned by the end of 2017, Polyus now expects total gold output to further increase to between 2.35-million ounces and 2.40-million ounces in 2018 and to 2.8-million ounces in 2019,” he said.
Meanwhile, Polyus’s gold sales for the period under review were up 14% year-on-year to $1.22-million, with the average selling price of $1.26/oz, 2% above the London Bullion Market spot price.
Net debt decreased to $3.08-million from $3.13-million, as at the end of the first quarter of 2017, and $3.24-million as at the end of 2016.