PJSC Polyus (Polyus or the Company) today releases its 1Q 2019 operating results for the period ending 31 March 2019.
1Q 2019 Highlights
Total gold output decreased 6% to 601 thousand ounces compared to the previous quarter (4Q 2018: 640 thousand ounces). Year on year, volumes of doré gold and total gold output grew by 22% and 19% respectively.
Volumes of ore mined amounted to 13,946 thousand tonnes, representing a 16% increase on the previous quarter. On a year on year basis, volumes of ore mined rose by 58%, reflecting intensified mining activities at Natalka as well as higher ore feed requirements at existing operations following the implementation of processing capacity expansion projects.
Volumes of ore processed totalled 10,284 thousand tonnes, up 11% on the previous quarter. Year on year, volumes of ore processed rose by 21%, driven by the completion of the ramp-up at Natalka as well as ongoing capacity expansion projects at Polyus’ core assets.
Estimated gold sales amounted to $741 million, down 3% compared to the previous quarter, with an estimated weighted-average gold selling price of $1,308/oz (up 6% on the fourth quarter of 2018).
As at 31 March 2019, the estimated net debt stood at $3,011 million, compared to $3,086 million as at the end of the previous quarter and $3,079 million as 31 March 2018.
Pavel Grachev, Chief Executive Officer of PJSC Polyus, commented:
Polyus enjoyed a strong first quarter. Natalka, which has been operating at full capacity since late December 2018, contributed 85 thousand ounces of gold.
Polyus continues implementation of brownfield projects across its asset portfolio. In Krasnoyarsk region, the Company conducts expansion projects at Olimpiada and Blagodatnoye to increase throughput capacities of the milling complex to 22.4 million tonnes per year on a combined basis. At Kuranakh, Polyus proceeds with Stage 3 of the Kuranakh Mill expansion to 5.8 million tonnes per year.
At Sukhoi Log, we are progressing well with the drilling campaign, which is 70% complete, and are on track with the preparation of the Pre-feasibility study. The Company expects to provide a maiden estimate of Proven & Probable Ore Reserves for Sukhoi Log in the first half of 2020.
1Q 2019 Highlights
Total gold output in the first quarter of 2019 amounted to 601 thousand ounces, compared to 640 thousand ounces in the fourth quarter of 2018. The decrease reflects a seasonal slowdown in production at Alluvials and lower refined gold volumes at Olimpiada, Blagodatnoye and Kuranakh. At Olimpiada and Blagodatnoye, a decrease in refined gold volumes mainly reflects changes in gold in inventory at the refinery. The decline in the group’s refined gold output was partially offset by the growing output at Natalka following completion of its ramp-up, with 85 thousand ounces of gold produced over the period.
Doré volumes totalled 656 thousand ounces, up 12% on the previous quarter. This growth is mainly attributable to increased doré gold production at Natalka (99 thousand ounces in the first quarter of 2019 vs 20 thousand ounces in the previous quarter) and release of work-in-progress inventories at Olimpiada.
Volumes of ore mined amounted to 13,946 thousand tonnes, up 16% on the previous quarter, primarily driven by higher ore volumes mined at Natalka, Blagodatnoye and Verninskoye.
Volumes of ore processed increased 11% to 10,284 thousand tonnes, compared to the previous quarter, primarily driven by the completion of the ramp-up at the Natalka Mill in December 2018.
Recovery rate rose to 81.4%, compared to 80.6% in the fourth quarter of 2018, driven by higher recoveries at Natalka and Olimpiada. In January-February, Polyus temporarily halted introduction of antimony-rich ore into the processing at the Mill No. 1 and operated the mill on run-of-mine ore, producing merchant gold containing flotation concentrate.
Flotation concentrate output amounted to 26 thousand tonnes, up 24% on the fourth quarter, comprising of 17 thousand tonnes of merchant gold containing flotation concentrate and 9 thousand tonnes of antimony-rich flotation concentrate. In 2018, the Company produced 9 thousand tonnes of merchant gold containing flotation concentrate and 107 thousand tonnes of antimony-rich flotation concentrate.
Volumes of antimony in flotation concentrate declined by 68%, to 1.1 thousand tonnes, reflecting a temporarily decline in antimony-rich ore volumes in processing operations at the Mill No. 1.
Volumes of gold in flotation concentrate increased 22%, to 62.7 thousand ounces.
Conference call information
Polyus will host an analyst conference call on 23 April 2019 at 2 pm London time (4 pm Moscow time) to present and discuss the first quarter operating results.
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 at the date of this announcement. Polyus and/or any Polyus group company assumes no obligation in respect of, and does not intend to update, these forward-looking statements, except as required pursuant to applicable law.