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Petropavlovsk cuts FY'16 gold production guidance

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Petropavlovsk cuts FY'16 gold production guidance

Petropavlovsk PLC on Dec. 15 cut its gold production forecast for 2016 to between 415,000 ounces and 430,000 ounces at a preliminary total cash cost of about US$700 per ounce, mainly as a result of disruptions at the Andreevskaya deposit of its Pioneer gold mine in Russia.

The company temporarily suspended mining operations at Andreevskaya East, part of the Andreevskaya deposit, in late November due to health and safety considerations, after the Amur region experienced regional flooding and a drop in temperature to as low as negative 40 degrees Celsius.

Previously, the company was expecting gold production this year to be at the lower end of its original guidance of about 460,000 ounces to 500,000 ounces due to the effects of severe flooding.

Petropavlovsk's assessment concluded that blasting and mining at Andreevskaya East might increase the risk of rock falls as long as the active layer of the permafrost has not set.

The current temperatures and the speed of freezing have returned to the median level expected for this time of year, and the Andreevskaya East pit is expected to return to full-scale, high-grade nonrefractory mining before year end, it said.

Any available mining fleet is being temporarily used at Pioneer's other operating pits.

Petropavlovsk added that its Pioneer and Malomir underground projects are on track, with first production expected in the second half of 2017.