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Polymetal firms up finances with new Sberbank loan

Russia’s Polymetal has strengthened its financial position by securing a 10-year, $500 million loan with Sberbank.
Polymetal firms up finances with new Sberbank loan Polymetal firms up finances with new Sberbank loan Polymetal firms up finances with new Sberbank loan Polymetal firms up finances with new Sberbank loan Polymetal firms up finances with new Sberbank loan

Polymetal smelter at Amursk POX

Staff reporter

The loan, which will be repayable in equal instalments between 2026 and 2029, replaces Polymetal's existing credit agreements with Sberbank, due to mature between 2021 and 2024.

"This is the first 10-year credit facility in Polymetal's history, which will significantly extend the average tenor of our loan portfolio at a reduced cost and smooth out our repayment profile, removing peak repayments from the years of construction of Nezhda and POX-2," said Polymetal's corporate finance director Eugenia Onuschenko.

Polymetal describes Nezhda, located in Eastern Siberia, as "Russia's fourth largest gold property". The 4.4Moz reserve grades 3.6gpt AuEq, while the 8.1Moz resource grades 5.1gpt AuEq. The mine will produce 155,000ozpa (180,000ozpa in the first three years) over a 25-year life (likely to be extended with resource conversion) at AISC of $700-750/oz - 16% below last year's group result. Production is slated to start in Q4 2021. Polymetal estimates total capital cost for Nezhda at US$234 million.

Meanwhile, POX-2 is an extension of Polymetal's existing Amursk POX hub, comprising Russia's first pressure oxidation plant that was commissioned in 2012. POX-2 is designed for processing double-refractory ore and is estimated to cost US$431 million. Start up is scheduled for Q3 2023.

Polymetal is set to release its production results for the third quarter on October 24. The company said on Wednesday that it generated significant free cash flow in Q3, paying a dividend worth US$94m on September 27.

Shares in the company were virtually unmoved on Wednesday, hovering just below 1,150p. Polymetal's market capitalisation stands at £5.39 billion.