London — Russian gold output over the first five months of the year increased year on year as the price of the yellow metal rose continuously and mining ramped up, offsetting a decline in volumes generated through recycling.
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Russia produced 104.31 mt of gold over January-May, up 2.8% on the same five months of last year, according to information on the website of the Russian finance ministry.
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Primary gold production, including ancillary mined tonnage, grew 4.83 mt or 5.5% year on year to 93.17 mt. Of this, 6.8 mt was produced as a by-product in other metal ores. Overall, mined metal comprised 89% of the country's total gold production in the first five months of 2020.
The amount of gold produced from scrap totaled 11.14 mt, down 15% year on year.
In terms of profits, Russia's export sales of gold in the second quarter exceeded those from natural gas for the first time in the country's history (counting from 1991). In April-June, gas exports fetched $3.5 billion, less than the $3.58 billion revenue from gold exports in April and May alone (66.4 mt), according to media group RBC, citing data from Russia's customs service and central bank.
Proceeds from export gold sales over April-May jumped 14-fold year on year from $247 million in April-May 2019.
The manifold increase is partly owed to the ongoing gold price rally: over the last 12 months gold has gained 33% in value, from $1,500/oz in August 2019 to $2,000/oz today.