Petropavlovsk sees 60pc rise in its gold haul

City A.M. Reporter
RUSSIA-FOCUSED gold miner Petropavlovsk said gold production in the first quarter of 2012 rose 60 per cent on the same period a year ago, boosted by higher grades of the precious metal extracted from its Pioneer mine in Russia’s Far East.

The company said it produced 120,800 ounces and is on track to produce its target of 680,000 ounces of gold this year, with production as usual weighted towards the second half of the year.

The first quarter of the year is always challenging due to low winter temperatures, said chairman Peter Hambro in a statement, adding that despite this the company beat its forecast for the sixth quarter in a row.

Production from its Pioneer mine grew 79 per cent during the quarter to 65,600 ounces.

Its 2012 production target will be an eight per cent rise from the previous year.

Meanwhile FTSE-250 miner Centamin said gold production at its flagship mine in Egypt was marginally below its estimates despite a strike in the first quarter, sending the miner’s London-listed shares up four per cent.

The company’s shares dropped sharply on 6 March after it said operations at its Sukari mine had been halted due to labour unrest. It resumed operations on 12 March.

The Egypt-focused miner said production in the first quarter rose nine per cent to 49,071 ounces. It had expected to produce 50,000 ounces.

Centamin said it mined and processed fewer tonnes than in the fourth quarter because of the disruptions.

The plant achieved record productivity, with tonnes per hour rates exceeding five million tons per annum during the period, the company said.