Friday 9 October 2020 12:04 pm

Gold miner Petropavlovsk slashes production forecasts

Petropavlovsk drastically slashed its production forecasts this morning in its first market update since the summer’s bloody boardroom struggle.

In a trading update, the Russia-focused gold miner said that production volumes would now come in between 560,000 to 600,000 ounces, down from previous estimates of up to 720,000 ounces.

Read more: PwC resigns as auditor of gold miner Petropavlovsk on governance concerns

The FTSE 250 firm said the fall was due to lower than expected grades at its partners’ mines, as well as logistical issues related to coronavirus.

Shares in Petropavlovsk fell 2.3 per cent this morning.

The firm also said that it would delay the commissioning of a key new production asset until the next financial year, in a further blow to the miner.

In August, activist investors foiled an attempt by co-founder and former chief exec Pavel Mavlovskiy to return to the firm after a prolonged dispute.

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Peter Hambro, scion of the London banking dynasty, and temporary CEO Alya Samokhvalova were also ousted from their roles, though Samokhvalova has returned to her role as deputy chief exec.

Instead, Maksim Meshcheriakov was appointed interim chief while the firm looks for a permanent successor. 

However, loyalty to his predecessors remains strong. An extraordinary video emerged on Russian social media last week showing Meshcheriakov forcing his way into Petropavlovsk’s Moscow office after a stand-off with staff.

Read more: Petropavlovsk appoints interim CEO after boardroom battle

The firm said that it would publish its accounts for the period ended 30 June in the second half of October, having appointed a new auditor.

MHA Macintyre Hudson will take over the audit, after PwC resigned citing concerns over the firm’s governance.