Russian gold producer Polyus released on Thursday its operational results for Q2 2021, showing a year-on-year output decline in both the three-month period and first half of 2021.
Gold production for Q2 2021 amounted to 671,000 ounces, higher than the previous quarter’s 592,000 ounces, but 3% less than the 690,400 ounces produced in Q2 2020.
Explaining the quarter-on-quarter improvement, CEO Pavel Grachev said: “Our strong operational performance over the quarter reflects both improvements on recovery side and ongoing throughput capacity expansion, as well as the start of the washing season at Alluvials and the recommencement of heap leaching operations at Kuranakh.”
The company’s flagship Olimpiada mine, ranked the #1 gold mine in the world based on 2020 production, accounted for over a third of the output, producing 270,000 ounces of gold in Q2 2021.
However, this represents a 12% decrease compared to the prior-year quarter. The company said that volumes of ore processed at Olimpiada were down due to scheduled maintenance at Mill-1 and Mill-3.
Estimated gold sales for the quarter were $1.23 billion, higher than both Q1 2021 and Q2 2020 due to a higher weighted-average gold price.
During Q2 2021, Polyus also progressed with a bankable feasibility study for Sukhoi Log, one of the world’s largest gold greenfield projects. The company is currently proceeding with mine planning and tradeoffs, as well as the general layout, processing plant and tailings storage facility design.
For the first six months of the year, total gold production was 1.26 million ounces, down 2% compared to H1 2020. Doré volumes totalled 1.31 million ounces, also down 5% year-on-year.
Despite the year-on-year declines (Q2 and H1) in gold production, Polyus has maintained its production guidance for 2021 of approximately 2.7 million ounces.