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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Polyus Reiterates Delay in Production Target to 2015

SEVERO-YENISEISK, Krasnoyarsk Region - Polyus Gold, the country's biggest producer of the metal, reiterated that it expects a three-year delay in meeting its target to triple output, with the 4-million-ounce figure more realistic by 2015.

Polyus had sought to boost production by 2012 before changing tack at a board meeting September. Increasing output to almost 4 million ounces by 2015 is more feasible, CEO Pavel Skitovich said Monday in an interview in the Siberian town of Severo-Yeniseisk.

Former CEO Yevgeny Ivanov said Dec. 18 that Polyus would reach the goal within a decade.

Skitovich, the CEO of Polyus since May 29, said the company would "concentrate on cost-control and separating production and development" and on spending more to boost reserves with new discoveries.

The $3.4 billion development strategy that Polyus' board approved in September calls for Polyus, which produced 1.2 million ounces of gold in 2006, also to increase reserves to in excess of 68 million ounces by 2015.

Ivanov stepped down as CEO at the end of May to head Polyus Exploration, a separate unit set up by the mining company to focus on greenfield projects. The division will "help raise the investment appeal" of Polyus's geological exploration projects, Ivanov said April 2.

The gold miner, controlled by billionaires Mikhail Prokhorov and Vladimir Potanin, is banking on discoveries such as the Chertovoye Korytse - or Devil's Trough - deposit in the Irkutsk region and the Titimukhta mine in the Krasnoyarsk region to help bring its reserves to the world's third-largest, after Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining.

The decision by Prokhorov and Potanin to split up their business empire, which includes Polyus and the world's biggest nickel miner, Norilsk Nickel, this year will not affect the gold miner's operations or plans, Skitovich said.