"The outstanding performance of our new Gross mine, which has exceeded our expectations, is likely to see us beat our initial production plan for the year and I expect Nordgold to be well positioned for a strong performance in 2020," CEO Nikolai Zelenski said.
He said a US$400 million Eurobond note issue in October had strengthened Nordgold's balance sheet and debt maturity profile, "while also freeing up cash flows to support our activities, including our growth projects".
Gross, near Nordgold's Taborny mine, is now said to be mining and processing 14 million tonnes a year, up from the original 12Mtpa. The company said its quicker than expected ramp up and high recoveries contributed to a 3% yoy drop in the group's all-in sustaining costs to US$1,021/oz.
Nordgold, controlled by Russian billionaire Alexey Mordashov, has 10 gold operations in Russia, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Kazakhstan, and projects in Burkina Faso, Russia, French Guiana and Canada.
Production for the first nine months of 2019 was down 1% at Bissa-Bouli in Burkina Faso at 196,800oz, Taparko in Burkina saw a 40% dip in the period to 46,700oz, Lefa in Guinea produced 4% less at 143,500oz, and Taborny's output was down 37% at 58,500oz.
Buryatzoloto in Russia was also well down in the first three quarters of this year at 28,100oz, 46% below the same time last year.
Berezitovy and Suzdal in Russia produced 44,300oz (up 8% yoy) and 49,400oz (down 23%), respectively.