PJSC Polyus (Polyus or the Company) today releases its 4Q 2018 and FY 2018 operating results for the period ending 31 December 2018.
4Q 2018 Highlights
- Total gold output decreased 8% to 637 thousand ounces compared to the previous quarter (3Q 2018: 691 thousand ounces). Year on year, volumes of doré gold and total gold output grew by 5% and 10%, respectively.
- Volumes of ore mined amounted to 12,030 thousand tonnes, representing a 5% decline on the previous quarter and a 20% increase year on year.
- Volumes of ore processed totalled 9,279 thousand tonnes, down 11% on the previous quarter. Year on year, volumes of ore processed rose by 19% as the Company continues to expand processing capacities at its core assets.
- Volumes of antimony contained in flotation concentrate declined by 45% to 3.5 thousand tonnes compared to the previous quarter (3Q 2018: 6.4 thousand tonnes).
- AMC has updated the Sukhoi Log Mineral Resources estimate in accordance with JORC Code 2012. According to AMC, estimated Mineral Resources at Sukhoi Log stand at 962 million tonnes, with an average grade of 2.1 g/t Au and containing 63 million ounces of gold as at 30 October 2018. The estimate is a nine per cent increase compared to the previous estimate. AMC has also upgraded 28 million ounces of Inferred Mineral Resources to Indicated Mineral Resource.
- The Company has completed the ramp-up of Natalka to annualised name-plate throughput capacity of 10 million tons. The Natalka Mill is now operating at a design flowsheet following the completion of repair works at the ball mill and scheduled maintenance works.
- Estimated gold sales amounted to $764 million, down 7% compared to the previous quarter, with an estimated weighted-average gold selling price (incl. the impact from the SPPP) of $1,232/oz (up 2% on the third quarter of 2018).
- As at 31 December 2018, the estimated net debt stood at $3,086 million, compared to $3,029 million as at the end of the previous quarter and $3,077 million as at the end of 2017.
FY 2018 Highlights
- Total gold output increased to 2,436 thousand ounces, compared to 2,160 thousand ounces in 2017, representing a 13% increase. This is higher than the guidance of 2.375-2.425 million ounces.
- Doré volumes totalled 2,450 thousand ounces, up 13% compared to the prior year.
- Volumes of ore processed rose by 33% year on year, to 38,025 thousand tonnes, driven by the ramp-up of the Natalka Mill, the capacity expansion projects at existing operations and the start of the heap leaching operations at Kuranakh.
- Estimated gold sales increased 7% year on year to $2,876 million, with an estimated weighted-average gold selling price (incl. the impact from the SPPP) of $1,265/oz, broadly in line with the prior year.
Pavel Grachev, Chief Executive Officer of PJSC Polyus, commented:
In 2018, Polyus exceeded its production guidance for the fifth consecutive year, setting a new record with total gold output of 2.43 million ounces. The Company remains focused on organic growth opportunities at its existing operations, and we are constantly evaluating potential additions to our brownfield project portfolio.
Over the course of the year, we have been focused on ramping up the Natalka operations. Its completion represents an important milestone for Polyus, with Natalka being a significant source of the Company’s further production growth.
At Sukhoi Log, one of the world’s largest gold greenfield projects, we have completed the scoping study and verification drilling, and entered the pre-feasibility stage. A thorough study of the results of verification drilling program conducted by AMC resulted in an update on the Sukhoi Log Mineral Resources estimates, with a 9% increase in contained ounces compared to previous estimates. We believe that Sukhoi Log will be the cornerstone of Polyus’ next-generation growth opportunities.
I would also like to highlight that Polyus’ sustained commitment to best ESG practices has been recognised by international ESG rating agencies. In November 2018, Sustainalytics upgraded Polyus from Average performer to Outperformer, and in December FTSE Russell included Polyus’ shares into the FTSE4Good Emerging Markets Index. High standards of corporate governance, HSE and stakeholder engagement remain an ongoing priority for the Company.
In 2019, we anticipate another year of production growth and expect our total gold output to reach approximately 2.8 million ounces as previously guided.
Conference call information
Polyus will host an analyst conference call on 24 January 2019 at 1 pm London time (4 pm Moscow time) to present and discuss the fourth quarter operating results.
To join the conference call, please dial:
Conference ID: 1606861
+44 330 336 9126 (Local access)
0800 358 6377 (Toll free)
+1 929-477-0324 (Local access)
800-458-4121 (Toll free)
+7 495 213 1767 (Local access)
8 800 500 9283 (Toll free)
To access the replay, please dial:
+44 (0) 207 660 0134 (Local access)
0 808 101 1153 (Toll free)
+1 719-457-0820 (Local access)
888-203-1112 (toll free)
810 800 2702 1012 (Toll free)
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 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.