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Polymetal expects to beat FY'19 gold output target on strong Kyzyl showing

Polymetal International PLC is on track to beat its full-year production guidance of 1.55 million gold equivalent ounces by up to 50,000 ounces thanks to the strong performance of its Kyzyl mine in Kazakhstan.

The company's third-quarter output grew 7% year over year to 476,000 ounces; Kyzyl was the biggest contributor at 94,000 ounces. That brought the total for the first nine months of 2019 to 1.23 million ounces, up 16% from 1.07 million ounces.

The concentrator at Kyzyl achieved steady-state throughput of 2.0 million tonnes per annum, or 11% above the original design, following the completion of several improvement projects, Polymetal said Oct. 24.

The company is studying a possible throughput increase to 2.1 mtpa by the second half of 2020. It will release a feasibility study Nov. 11 to reoptimize the open pit and update the ore reserve estimate.

Third-quarter gold output grew 13% to 402,000 ounces, while silver output dropped 20% to 5.4 million ounces due to asset disposals in 2018 and a planned grade decline at the Dukat operation in Russia. Copper output declined 36% to 600 tonnes.

Gold sales rose 21% to 388,000 ounces, silver sales increased 15% to 6.1 Moz, and copper sales jumped 109% to 1,000 tonnes. As a result, revenue climbed 43% to US$656 million.

Despite a cost increase from royalties driven by high commodity prices, the company maintained its full-year guidance for total cash cost of between US$600 per ounce and US$650/oz of gold equivalent and all-in-sustaining cost of between US$800/oz and US$850/oz of gold equivalent.