PJSC Polyus (Polyus or the Company), the largest gold producer in Russia, today releases its 4Q 2017 and FY 2017 operating results for the period ending 31st December 2017.
4Q 2017 Highlights
- Total gold output decreased 10% q-o-q to 580 koz mainly due to a seasonal slowdown in production at Alluvials.
- Volumes of ore mined increased 2% to 10,065 kt.
- Volumes of ore processed increased 7% q-o-q to 7,809 kt driven by the start of hot commissioning at the Natalka mill and the completion of maintenance works at Blagodatnoye and Verninskoye.
- Estimated gold sales amounted to $734 million (flat q-o-q) with the estimated weighted-average gold selling price of $1,273/oz.
- As of 31 December 2017, the estimated net debt stood at $3,077 million, compared to $3,151 million as of the end of 3Q 2017 and $3,241 million as of the end of 2016.
- Total gold output increased 10% y-o-y to 2,160 koz.
- Volumes of ore mined rose 27% y-o-y to 37,810 kt.
- Volumes of ore processed increased 8% y-o-y to 28,663 kt, with higher volumes of ore treated at the Company’s core assets as a result of the ongoing execution of expansion projects.
- Estimated gold sales amounted to $2,684 million with the average selling price (incl. the impact from the Company’s strategic price protection programme (SPPP)) of $1,270/oz, broadly in line with the LBMA spot price.
- The Company has updated its production guidance for 2018 and now expects its total gold production in 2018 to be in the range of 2,3752.425 million ounces vs. 2,352.40 million ounces previously.
- Natalka is operating at ca. 50% of capacity currently and is expected to reach full production in 2H 2018 vs. by the end of 2018 as guided previously.
Pavel Grachev, Chief Executive Officer of PJSC Polyus, commented:
Polyus’ gold output surpassed the official production guidance of 2.0752.125 million ounces by 3%, with 2.160 million ounces of gold produced in 2017. It was the fourth consecutive year for the Company to beat its production estimate, which reflects our consistent drive for operational excellence.
With our rigorous promotion of a zero injury approach, I’m proud to report that no fatalities have been recorded across our operations in 2017. Safety is undoubtedly a top priority for Polyus.
2017 was a transformational year for the Company. We have successfully carried out most of the projects within our pipe-line under our development strategy. Significant progress has been made with respect to debottlenecking at all of the core operations, while at Kuranakh we have launched our first heap-leaching facility. In December 2017, the first gold has been poured at Natalka during the hot commissioning stage. The asset is currently already operating at 50% of the design capacity and once this long awaited project fully ramps up, Natalka will become a significant source of earnings and cash flow for the Company.
In early 2017, we were excited to win the auction for Sukhoi Log, one of the world’s largest undeveloped gold deposits, which is set to become the cornerstone for Polyus’ next-generation growth opportunities.
We anticipate Polyus’ gold output to expand further in 2018 and we are raising our total gold production guidance for 2018 from 2.352.40 million ounces to 2.3752.425 moz.
Victor Drozdov, Director Investor Relations
+7 (495) 641 33 77
Victoria Vasilyeva, Director Public Relations
+7 (495) 641 33 77
Forward looking statements
This announcement may contain forward-looking statements concerning Polyus and/or Polyus Group. Generally, the words will, may, should, could, would, can, continue, opportunity, believes, expects, intends, anticipates, estimates or similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements relating to future capital expenditures and business and management strategies and the expansion and growth of Polyus’ and/or Polyus Group’s operations. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond Polyus’ and/or Polyus Group’s ability to control or estimate precisely and therefore undue reliance should not be placed on such statements which speak only as of the date of this announcement. Polyus and/or any Polyus Company assumes no obligation in respect of, and does not intend to update, these forward-looking statements, except as required pursuant to applicable law.