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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Highland Predicts Output Hike

Highland Gold Mining, the country's fourth-largest gold miner, is aiming to produce over 200,000 ounces a year by 2009, nearly 20 percent more than last year, a senior company executive said Monday.

Highland's London-listed shares rose over 7 percent after the company said it was on track to meet this year's target of 160,000 to 170,000 ounces of gold despite a year-on-year decline in output during the first half of 2007.

"We remain well on target to reach our declared production of 160,000 to 170,000 ounces, an improvement of 10 percent over 2006 performance," said chief operating officer Rene Marion.

"We have now established a goal of reaching over 200,000 ounces by 2009," he told a telephone conference call.

Highland said in a statement it produced 58,196 ounces of gold at its main Mnogovershinnoye mine in the Far East during the first half of 2007. The mine, also known as MNV, produced 79,444 ounces of gold in the first half of 2006.

Aton brokerage said the year-on-year decline in first-half gold output was due to mining initiatives that would bring higher output in the future. It viewed first-half output results as neutral and forecast 2007 output at 155,000 ounces.

MNV will supply all of Highland's output this year after the company last week agreed to sell its smaller Darasun mine to private mining company Yuzhuralzoloto for $25 million.

Darasun has been operating on a care-and-maintenance basis this year after a fire last year that killed 25 miners.