Petropavlovsk's positive first-half trading figures overshadowed by its chief exec's resignation

Courtney Goldsmith
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Austrian workers handle 100-gram gold ba
The gold miner lost its chief executive and co-founder yesterday (Source: Getty)

Petropavlovsk continued good progress on its 2017 turnaround as first-half production increased more than expected, but turbulent times are set to continue for the gold miner after its boss left the company yesterday.

The Russia-focused miner revealed it produced around 232,400 ounces of gold in the first half, up 19 per cent from the previous year, in a trading update for the six months to 30 June.

Petropavlovsk reiterated its full-year production forecast of 460,000 ounces.

Read more: The chair of Petropavlovsk is stepping down amid a shareholder revolt

The company also noted a 19 per cent year-on-year increase in physical volumes of gold sold to 231,800 ounces and a five per cent increase in average realised gold prices to $1,255 per ounce.

However, today's trading update was overshadowed by the surprise resignation of the company's boss yesterday, according to Yuen Low, analyst at Shore Capital Markets.

Pavel Maslovskiy, co-founder of the company, resigned from his role as chief executive with immediate effect. "I have decided that the time has come to hand over the leadership of the company to new management," Maslovskiy said.

Maslovskiy founded the company alongside Peter Hambro, who was ousted from Petropavlovsk last month at the firm's annual general meeting.

The board expects to announce an interim boss shortly.

Non-executive chairman Ian Ashby today said:

The increase in production in first half was due to operational efficiencies. The operations are currently progressing in line with the company's plan.

The board's current focus is on the timely delivery of the company's stated objectives: development of the Pox [pressure oxidation] hub; the commissioning of underground mining operations; and the optimisation of the company's capital structure.

Petropavlovsk returned to profit in 2017 after a tough seven years which saw it lose more than 99 per cent of its market value.

Shares in the company were down 1.47 per cent this morning at 6.9p.

Read more: Peter Hambro has been ousted from board of Petropavlovsk

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