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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Polyus Touts Big Gold Find

Polyus Gold said Tuesday that it had become one of the world's top five gold mining companies in terms of proved and probable reserves after completing an audit of its giant Natalka deposit.

Polyus, which mines nearly one-quarter of Russia's gold, upgraded its proved and probable reserves to 68.6 million ounces, or 2,100 tons, and said it had surpassed a target of 68 million ounces set as part of its development plan to 2015.

"We have set ourselves three targets of reserves, market capitalization and production volume, for which we aim to be ranked in the top five by 2015. I am delighted we have reached one of these targets eight years ahead of schedule," CEO Pavel Skitovich said.

Polyus is majority owned by billionaires Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov, who have decided to part ways and are dividing their various shared assets in sectors including mining, media and banking.

The Natalka deposit in the northeastern Magadan region has proved and probable reserves of 40.8 million ounces, or 1,270.6 tons, of gold with an average grade of 1.13 grams per ton, Polyus said in a statement.

Skitovich said he expected consulting firm Knight Piesold to complete a pre-feasibility study at Natalka by the end of 2007 and for a bankable feasibility study to be carried out in the first quarter of 2008.