PJSC Polyus («Polyus» or the «Company») today releases its 4Q 2021 and FY 2021 operating results for the period ending 31 December 2021.
FY 2021 HIGHLIGHTS
- Total gold output of 2,717 thousand ounces comes in line with FY 2021 production guidance of approximately 2.7 million ounces. However, doré volumes totalled 2,736 thousand ounces, down 2% year-on-year. The difference in total gold and doré gold output reflects the accumulation of unrefined gold to be further processed in 2022.
- The decline was primarily attributable to operations at Olimpiada and driven by lower average grades in ore processed of 3.00 g/t, from 3.40 g/t in the previous year. This was partially offset by higher production volumes at Natalka and Verninskoye.
- Volumes of rock moved increased to 351,690 thousand tonnes (136,430 km³), driven by intensified stripping activities across almost all hard-rock deposits.
- Volumes of ore mined amounted to 67,321 thousand tonnes, down 5% on the previous year, reflecting lower volumes of ore mined at Olimpiada, Natalka and Verninskoye.
- Volumes of ore processed increased 6% to 47,895 thousand tonnes, driven by throughput capacity expansion at Olimpiada, Verninskoye and Natalka.
- Flotation concentrate output decreased 82% to approximately 15 thousand tonnes with volumes of gold contained in flotation concentrate amounting to 29.8 thousand ounces. This reflects lower mining and processing volumes of antimony-rich ore at Olimpiada over 2021 and improved efficiency of the BIO complex.
- FY 2022 production guidance is reiterated at 2.8 million ounces of gold.
4Q 2021 HIGHLIGHTS
- Total gold output amounted to 684 thousand ounces, compared to 770 thousand ounces in the third quarter of 2021. This decline was primarily driven by a seasonal slowdown in production at Alluvials and Kuranakh and lower production volumes at Verninskoye due to scheduled maintenance.
- Volumes of ore mined amounted to 16,828 thousand tonnes, remaining flat quarter-on-quarter.
- Volumes of ore processed decreased by 7% quarter-on-quarter to 11,878 thousand tonnes, due to the seasonal slowdown of heap leaching operations at Kuranakh and scheduled maintenance works at Olimpiada and Verninskoye.
- Recovery rate increased to 83.4%, compared to 83.0% in the previous quarter, driven by higher recoveries at Olimpiada.
Pavel Grachev, Chief Executive Officer of PJSC Polyus, commented:
"In 2021, Polyus once again delivered on its production guidance, producing just over 2.7 million ounces of gold. While temporarily lower head grades at our largest asset, Olimpiada, had a negative impact on gold output at the group level, this was partially offset by a stronger year-on-year performance at Natalka and Verninskoye.
We made impressive progress on our growth projects in 2021. We completed the capacity expansion project at Verninskoye ahead of the initial schedule. Debottlenecking initiatives also drove annual ore processed volumes at Olimpiada and Natalka higher on a year-on-year basis, to 15.1 and 12.4 million tonnes, respectively.
In terms of ESG, Polyus stepped up its decarbonization efforts by switching energy consumption of operating assets to renewable electricity. As the next step, we intend to present the market with our climate strategy in the coming months.
Looking ahead, one of Polyus’ key milestones for 2022 will be the release of the key highlights of the Bankable Feasibility Study for Sukhoi Log and Final Investment Decision on the project. We will also proceed with the execution of our large-scale brownfield projects – the construction of Mill-5 at Blagodatnoye and the throughput capacity expansion at Kuranakh – along with further activities to enhance the performance of our existing operations.
We expect the Company’s total gold production to increase in 2022, primarily driven by a head grade improvement at Olimpiada. We reiterate our full-year production guidance at approximately 2.8 million ounces of gold."
CONFERENCE CALL INFORMATION
Polyus will host an analyst conference call on 8 February 2022 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: 9127887
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Investor and Media contact
Victor Drozdov, Director Communications & Investor Relations (CIR) Department
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.