Polymetal Gold Output Down 3%

Polymetal produced 3 percent less gold and 7 percent less silver in the first half of 2007 but left its full-year output forecast unchanged as second-quarter output recovered from the first, the company said Wednesday.

Polymetal, the country's largest silver miner, said first-half gold output was 113,000 ounces and silver output was 7.9 million ounces.

In the second quarter alone, gold was down 1 percent to 58,000 ounces and silver rose 3 percent to 4.4 million ounces.

"Operations in the second quarter were able to improve significantly compared with a relatively weak first quarter," Polymetal CEO Vitaly Nesis said.

The company cited higher ore-processing volumes and improved recoveries of metal as the reasons.

Polymetal said it was on track to produce from 230,000 to 250,000 ounces of gold and 16 million to 18 million ounces of silver in 2007, which would rank it the country's third-largest gold miner.

Total cash costs for full-year 2007 at its silver operations are forecast at $5.50 to $6 per ounce, while gold cash costs would be $330 to $360 per ounce, the company said.

Polymetal plans to raise gold output to 400,000 ounces and silver output to 25 million ounces by 2010, Nesis said in an interview last month.

The company produced 256,000 ounces of gold and 17.3 million ounces of silver last year.

Source: The Moscow Times, Thursday, July 26, 2007