Polyus to Delay Field's Development

Polyus Gold, Russia's largest producer of the metal, plans to delay the full development of the Natalka field in the Far East by a decade because of the economic crisis and a lack of power.

The company plans to seek government approval to postpone production, while full capacity may be stalled until at least 2022, from 2013 planned previously, spokesman Anton Arens said Tuesday. Polyus cut spending on Natalka to $1.9 billion through 2041, Arens said, from $2.5 billion previously.

President Dmitry Medvedev threatened in September to revoke the company's license if it did not speed up the development. Natalka, with expected annual production of about 1.41 million ounces, contains two-thirds of Polyus's reserves.

Natalka will produce 10 million tons of ore by 2013, rising to 20 million tons from 2017 to 2021 and 40 million tons between 2022 and 2041, Arens said.