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Peter Hambro Mining (POG)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Monday 16 July, 2007

Peter Hambro Mining

Trading Update

Peter Hambro Mining PLC
16 July 2007

16 July 2007

                                 Trading Update

Peter Hambro Mining Plc ("PHM" or the "Group") issues this trading statement 
as an update and in advance of its results for the six months to 30 June 2007 
("the Period"). A full results announcement for the Period will be issued 
on 24 September 2007.


• Production:

      o PHM total attributable production of c.134,300 oz is 24% up from
        108,363 oz on the same period for 2006 with Pokrovskiy Mine production
        of c.116,800 oz of gold for the Period, 25% up from 93,600 oz on the
        same period in 2006;

      o Omchak Joint Venture attributable production of c.11,400 oz of gold for
        the Period. This is generally in line with the same period for 2006 and 
        in accordance with the Group's forecast;

      o Production from the Group's other newly developing production operations
        totalled c.6,200 oz which is a 88% increase over the same period last 

      o The Directors believe that the Group is currently on track to meet its
        283,000 oz per annum production target for 2007;

• Unit costs at Pokrovskiy were in line with the Group's internal forecast for 
  the first six months of the year;

• The average realised gold sales price was US$652/oz, which is 14% higher 
  than the same period last year;

• In January 2007, the Group announced its detailed plan, expected costs and 
  time schedule regarding the development of the Pioneer deposit. The programme
  for this development is on track to yield the first production from the 
  deposit in September 2007;

• Pioneer highlights:

       o Construction works and equipment deliveries are proceeding according to
         timetable and start up of production from the deposit is on schedule to
         commence in September;

       o Construction of the man camp and main infrastructure at the deposit has
         been completed which has allowed for the transfer of the labour force,
         previously trained at Pokrovskiy, to Pioneer operations;

       o The mining fleet for future mining operations has been fully equipped 
         by the addition of new  excavators and dump trucks;

       o Leaching tanks, crusher, SAG mill, classifiers, pumps and other
         supporting machinery for the plant were constructed or purchased, 
         set up and installed;

       o In exploration, the high-grade Andreevskaya gold zone is included in 
         the primary targets thus improving the deposit economics, and exploration 
         shows that, in three ore zones, high grade gold mineralisation continues
         at depths of 300 to 350m. Lateral extensions of several ore zones have
         been identified;

       o Construction of production facilities is continuing, in particular in
         the heap leach area, the crushing and screening complex, the 
         technological unit for the extraction of gold, the tailings dam, and
         road and infrastructure units.

• Wardell Armstrong International Limited has been commissioned to produce a 
  competent person's report on all of the Group's assets. It is intended that 
  work on this will commence in September 2007 and that the results thereof 
  will be published as soon as they have been approved by the Board. This is 
  expected to be in the fourth quarter of 2007.

• Results of metallurgical test-work on the non-oxidised ore at Pioneer
  and Malomir show that a combination of gravity separation and flotation 
  produces excellent results.

• The encouraging metallurgical test-work results and our increasing knowledge
  of the extent of the ore zones at Malomir have resulted in a requirement for
  further work on a revised implementation plan to take into account the 
  improved prospects for production. This means that the initial gold production
  date is likely to be postponed, as previously announced, for a period of 
  6-12 months beyond the initial planned 2008 start-up date.

• Group exploration activities on its large portfolio of exploration and
  development properties are producing some excellent results which are being
  analysed currently. It is intended that the results will be published in 
  detail with the Group's half-year results on 24 September 2007.

Commenting on the announcement, Peter Hambro, Executive Chairman, said:

"It is again a pleasure to report strong progress made by PHM during the first
half of the year. I think that an impressive 25% increase of production at the
Pokrovskiy plant in spite of the treatment of primary types of ore through the
mill is a spectacular achievement and is further proof of the outstanding
capabilities of PHM's engineering team.

We are currently on budget and on time with the development of all projects
except Malomir as announced earlier this year, where the postponed production
date is the result of good news on the potential of the deposit, and I am
delighted that the first of our new production deposits, Pioneer, is on target
to commence production in September 2007, as expected. The recent preliminary
exploration results from Pioneer are encouraging.

As we announced in February, increasing knowledge of the three ore zones at
Malomir and the change of the scale of this project means that production start
up has been postponed for a period of 6-12 months beyond the initially planned
2008 start up.

Cost control has remained one of our highest priorities and we are proud to say
that operating costs are broadly in line both with our budget and with our
estimates of Russian inflation.

The Group has a large exploration and development budget and it is pleasing to
note that this seems to be being spent fruitfully. I am glad to see that some of
the Group's newly developing production operations are beginning to produce
meaningful quantities of gold for the first time.

Prospects for the remainder of the Group's financial year remain good.

We commissioned an independent review of all our assets by Wardell Armstrong
which is scheduled to commence in September and we expect to report the final
results of this review in autumn 2007. This report is expected to include
audited JORC reserves and resources for the Pioneer deposit."

Operations Report

Pokrovskiy Mine

Pokrovskiy Rudnik is continuing the success achieved during 2006 producing
116,800 oz of gold in the first six month of 2007 compared to 93,600 oz in the
same period of 2006. This 25% increase was achieved due to the stable work of
the plant, improved recovery rates and higher head grades through the mill. The
increase in recovery rates was a result of the range of measures introduced by
specialists at Pokrovskiy in 2006.  Amongst these measures were adjustments to
the crushing-grinding circuit, creation of an intermediate stockpile for
blending purposes and increase in the leaching time.

Unit operating costs were generally contained in line with those of the previous
period, increasing only slightly and in line with Russian inflation.

Mining operations

Planned advance stripping works (prospective stripping) were carried out
according to the mining plan using geological computer models of the deposit
(Micromine). The capacity of the intermediate blending ore stockpile was
increased further to 200,000 tonnes which allowed for an optimal ore mixture to
be sent to the resin-in-pulp plant.

Pokrovskiy Rudnik Mining Operations

                                                 6 months to 30 June
                                     Units     2007      2006     Var,%
Mining                             --------  --------  --------  --------
Total Material Moved                m3'000    2,458     2,624       -6%
Ore mined                            t'000    1,197       889       35%
Average grade                         g/t       3.6       3.2       13%
Gold content                        oz'000    136.8      90.9       50%

Processing operations - Resin in Pulp plant

863,000 tonnes of ore were treated through the mill in the first half of the
year - 6% more than during the same period in 2006.  Significant improvement 
of recovery rates from 86.6% in the first half of 2006 up to 91.0% for the same
period this year allowed for an increase in the plant's gold output. This was
achieved by the introduction of a number of technological improvements last year
including the creation of the intermediate stockpile where five different types
of ore from Pokrovskiy pit are blended.  This stockpile allows for an optimal
mix of different types of ore to go through the resin-in-pulp plant. Due to
this and other improvements, notwithstanding the commitment to the processing 
of primary ore from the deposit, 91% recovery rates were achieved at the plant.
The increased capacity of the plant compensated for the longer leaching time for
the harder and less oxidised material through the mill.

Heap Leach

The increase in the capacity of the gold processing plant and the rise in the
gold price allowed for lower grade ore to be processed through the heap leach
without an increase in the volume of mining works and without decreasing the
overall gold production of Pokrovskiy Rudnik.

The recovery rates, although 22% lower than in 2006 due to a shorter period of
leaching as a result of the later start of the leaching season caused by weather
conditions, were still impressive for this type of operation in the conditions
of the Russian Far East.

Pokrovskiy Rudnik Processing Operations

                                                   6 months to 30 June
                                     Units      2007      2006      Var,%
Resin in Pulp Plant                 --------  --------   --------  --------

Ore from pit                         t'000       352       609       -42%
Average grade                         g/t       4.43      3.85        15%
Ore from stockpile                   t'000       511       109       369%
Average grade                         g/t       4.43      4.14         7%
Total milled                         t'000       863       818         6%
Average grade                         g/t        4.4       3.8        16%
Gold content                        oz'000     122.7      99.6        23%
Recovery rate                          %       91.0%     86.6%         5%
Gold recovered                      oz'000       112        86        30%

Heap Leach

Ore stacked                          t'000       354       345         3%
Average grade                         g/t        0.8       1.0       -20%
Gold content                        oz'000        10        11        -9%
Recovery rate                          %       53.6%     68.3%       -22%
Gold recovered                      oz'000         5         7       -29%


Gold recovered                      oz'000     116.8      93.6        25%

Table showing the breakdown of gold production at Pokrovskiy Rudnik by month 
for the six months to 30 June 2007 compared to 2006

Month                                           2007      2006
                                              '000oz    '000oz
--------------------                          --------  --------
January                                        19.93     14.69
February                                       16.42     12.25
March                                          17.90     15.37
April                                          20.02     16.77
May                                            21.54     17.38
June                                           21.00     17.10
Total                                         116.81      93.6
--------------------                          --------  --------

Pioneer Mine

At Pioneer, in the first half of 2007, efforts were concentrated on preparing
the deposit for first production in September according to schedule. Mining
works were carried out in order to complete geological exploration works and to
prepare the deposit for operation.

Extensive metallurgical test work, including laboratory analyses and pilot test
works, aimed at understanding the composition and improving the recovery rates
of non-oxidised material indicated that a combination of gravity separation and
floatation processes produces excellent results. Gold recovery in concentrate
from flotation is 90 - 92% and flotation produces a concentrate that is
approximately 2-4% by weight of the ore.  Further gold recoveries from
concentrate using the autoclave process amount to c.95%.

The main volume of work (trenches, overburden stripping, drilling) was carried
out within the Promezhutochnaya, Yuzhnaya and Andreevskaya ore zones.

The main purpose of this work was tracing the ore bodies at surface (Yuzhnaya
ore zone) and delineating the deeper levels (60-250m) by sparse drill holes in
regions of outlined ore bodies.

Construction works for production facilities are continuing, in particular in
the heap leach area, the crushing and grinding complex, the technological unit
for the extraction of gold, the tailings dam, and road and infrastructure units.

During the first half of the year, the construction of the man camp and main
infrastructure at the deposit was completed which allowed for an increase in 
the workforce at the site in order to complete all works to schedule.

Two EKG-5A mine excavators were brought into operation as well as six Volvo and
Caterpillar dump trucks (37-38 tonnes capacity). Leaching tanks, crusher, SAG
mill, classifiers, pumps and other supporting machinery were constructed or
purchased, set up and installed. The Group is planning to have the first
production from this deposit in September 2007.

Mining operations          Units         2007 1H      2006 1H
                                          Actual       Actual
--------------------    ----------     ----------   ----------         
Pioneer Deposit
--------------------    ----------     ----------   ----------
Total Material Moved     '000 m3           666          392
--------------------    ----------     ----------   ----------
Ore Mined                '000 t             38           13
--------------------    ----------     ----------   ----------
Grade                      g/t             1.8          1.3
--------------------    ----------     ----------   ----------
Gold                     '000 oz           2.2          0.5
--------------------    ----------     ----------   ----------

Final exploration works at the deposit were concentrated on its preparation for
future production.  At the Yuzhnaya ore zone the length of the ore interval was
confirmed at 350m. The thickness of ore intervals varied from a few metres to
64.5m. Variation of the gold grade in a series of channel samples is from 0.6 to
15.8-17.5g/t. In occasional samples, high grades of silver have been noted up to

From deep drill holes it has been established that the Yuzhnaya,
Promezhutochnaya and Bakhmut ore zones can be traced down dips at depth to more
than 300-350m along almost their whole length. Productivity of the ore bodies at
these depths in general is unchanged.

Continuation of the Bakhmut ore zone in a north-easterly direction has been
established increasing the length of the zone to 520m. The intersected thickness
of ore bodies on newly identified blocks reaches 4.8-12.4m with average grades
of gold 1.1-1.5g/t.

The Andreevskaya ore zone has been intersected by trenches at 40-80m intervals
along the strike for a distance of 500m, the drill holes here were done on a 60
x 30-40m grid.

The thickness of the zone at surface varies from 4m to 16.3m, averaging 9.2m and
from drill hole data at depth, 6.4m. Average grades of gold from trench data
vary from 0.92g/t to 55.81g/t.

An extension of the Andreevskaya zone has been established.

The Vostochnaya and Zvezdochka ore zones have been intersected by separate
trenches and drill holes.

Malomir Deposit

In accordance with the plans, detailed exploration work was carried out in the
north-eastern part of the deposit.  In the Period, 32,160m of drilling and
58,900m(3) trenching was completed. A grid of drill holes and trenches (40m x
40m), intended for the computation of economic reserves of gold of category C1,
was established on an area of width 320-350m and length of about 600m.

A number of metallurgical tests on the different types of ore at the Malomir
deposit were carried out at the Group's laboratories and at specialist
scientific institutions, including Irgiredmet.  A process of gravity separation
and flotation of non-oxidised types of ore similar to that at Pioneer was
suggested and proved to yield impressive results. Gold recovery in concentrate
from flotation is 83-86% and flotation produces a concentrate that is
approximately 4-6% by weight of the ore. Cyanide leaching of oxide ore gives up
to 84% recovery.

At the junction of ore body No.10 with the Diagonal zone, two ore columns have
been delineated. In plan, the width of the columns is 50-140m, and they are
separated by a narrow (up to 30-40m) strip of lower grade ore.  Down dip, both
ore columns have been traced for 320m.  Reserves of metal in the columns
constitute, from initial estimates, c.418,000 oz at a gold grade of 2-2.5g/t (at
a 0.8g/t cut off).

Adjacent to the Severniy Fault at depths of 130-240m, a major body 150-200m
wide, of cataclastic quartz metasomatites has been discovered. This zone
constitutes an extension, to depth, of the main Diagonal zone. Within this new
ore zone, several ore bodies of thickness from 20 to 46m, and gold grades
typically of 1.0-2.2g/t (and up to a maximum of 40g/t), have been defined. In
the same area of the deposit, at shallower depths, 45-130m, drilling has
intersected separate ore bodies from 3 to 27m thick with gold grades typically
of 1.0-2.5g/t.

On the southern continuation of the mineralised zone of the Diagonal fault its
continuation has been identified by drill holes as having a thickness of 3.0 to
6.9m and gold grade of 0.94-1.48g/t.

Two metallurgical bulk samples have been taken from ore bodies in the Quartzite

Newly Developing Production Operations

A number of alluvial mining enterprises, now included in the Group, carried out
works at the sites of the Group's operational and exploration activities
allowing for additional profits for the Group without major investment in
infrastructure or detailed exploration works.  Two of them - OAO ZDP Koboldo and
ZAO Amur-Dore - which extract gold from alluvial deposits in the North East of
the Amur Region in close proximity to the Tokur and Malomir deposits, produced
c.3,900 oz of gold in the first half of 2007.  The enterprises exploit alluvial
deposits using dredging methods and with the use of washing apparatus.

Plans for 2007 envisage an increase in the production of alluvial gold by 1.5
times (up to 16,000 oz) in comparison with 2006.

Joint Ventures in the Amur Region

Priisk Solovyevskiy, Nagima and Odolgo, all of which are in different types of
joint venture arrangements with PHM, produced c.2,265 oz of attributable gold
during the first half of 2007.

On 30 May 2007, a modular plant with gravitational technology for the extraction
and processing of concentrate using the intensive cyanidation method was put
into operation at the Odolgo site. During June, commissioning works and
simultaneous exploitation works were carried out. The first batch of concentrate
was processed at the Pokrovskiy resin-in-pulp plant in June at a newly built
intensive cyanidation facility.

Omchak Joint Venture

Through its subsidiaries, Omchak produced c.23,000 oz of gold in the first half
of 2007. This represents c.32.3% of the scheduled production for 2007 and is in
line with the previous year's production and in accordance with the internal
budget for the first half of 2007. As more than 67% of the gold produced by
Omchak comes from the exploitation of placer deposits, the majority of
production occurs during the second half of the year. PHM's attributable share
of production was c.11,400 oz as it owns a 50% interest in Omchak.

During the first half of the year Omchak's subsidiaries, OOO Zeyazoloto and OOO
Noviye Tekhnologii carried out and completed the necessary preparation works for
2007 production season including the delivery of fuels and lubricants, technical
repair works, stripping works and the assembly of washing apparatus. In June,
gold production commenced.

Omchak also carried out geological exploration works at three projects in the
Chita region in accordance with approved plans and licence conditions.

At the Verkhne-Aliinskiy gold deposit, exploration drilling was completed as
well as trenching works and the collection of samples for geotechnical and
technological analysis.  Since the start of 2007, 12,623m of drilling and
20,000m3 of trenching has been carried out, and 1,347 core samples and 112
trench samples analysed yielding samples with gold grades up to 166.6g/t.

At the flanks of the Bukhtinskiy prospective area, aerial geophysical
exploration is being carried out as well as a geochemical survey. Ore samples
and mineralogical samples are being analysed.

At the Kuliinskiy ore field, geological exploration is scheduled to commence in
July 2007 and mining by the end of the year.  It is planned to carry out
15,000m3 of trenching and collect more than 200 drill samples.

Exploration and Development Report

During the first half of 2007, the Group's exploration team concentrated their
efforts on the most advanced projects of the Group in order to prepare them for
exploitation according to the Group's schedule.  Works on other projects were
progressed according to the frameworks of the exploration plans and licence
terms.  During this Period, the Group carried out 348,600m(3) of trenching and
105,642m of drilling.


In the first half of 2007 OAO Yamalzoloto carried out appraisal work on two
operating projects: the Novogodnee Monto deposit and at the
Toupugol-Khanmeishorskiy area. At Novogodnee Monto, finalisation and
confirmation of the feasibility study on current exploration conditions was
accomplished. At the Toupugol-Khanmeishorskiy area the following work was
carried out: drilling - 12,747m (127 boreholes), including structure drilling -
2,324m (72 boreholes); trenching - 52,596m(3); assaying: core sampling - 7,085
samples (7,041m core), slurry - 249 samples (256m core), lithogeochemical -
1,110 samples (4,084m core).

As the Petropavlovskoye deposit, located 400m from Novogodnee Monto, is a vital
part of the plan regarding the future development of the area, intensive
exploration works were continued here in 2007.  Detailed drilling was carried
out in a grid of 40m x 20m in the northern section of the deposit.

Yamalskaya Gornaya Company

In the Period, OOO Yamalskaya Gornaya Company (YGK) carried out geological
exploration works including office study and laboratory-analytical works and the
initial stages of field works on 8 projects contained in 6 licence areas.

During the Period, a complete summary was made for the Ozerno-Pyatirechensk area
of all geological, geophysical, geochemical information gathered from three
years of field works based on the results of ore sampling from core drill holes
and excavation (6,200 samples), aerial litho chemical (more than 8,000 samples)
and geophysical exploration, geological observations following prospecting
traversing (more than 3,500 tonnes).

Following this correlation of results the previously forecasted presence of
three potential ore bearing zones on the Ozernoye site was confirmed.  A number
of more prospective sites were singled out according to complex characteristics;
the evaluation of these areas is expected to be carried out in 2007.

Other Assets

The Group has acquired seven new exploration licences in the Amur region, on a
variety of prospective areas, some of which have already been extensively
explored and on which ore deposits are defined and reserves and resources have
been established. These require some additional drilling to confirm.

Other assets are greenfield properties in prospective areas (with known gold
anomalies). Meanwhile, exploration work continues, with promising results, on
the Adamikha and Gar-II licence areas in the middle of the Amur region. Detailed
information will be made available in half-year results on 24 September 2007.

Gold Price/Treasury

The Group's average realised gold price for the period was US$652/oz, up 14%
against US$573/oz during the first six months of 2006.  The Russian rouble
strengthened against the US Dollar by 2% during the Period and was RuR25.82/US$
at 30 June 2007 (RuR27.08/US$ - 30 June 2006, RuR26.33/US$ - 31 December 2006).
The Group has a policy of no long term gold forward sales or hedging.

June Site Visit

From 2 to 6 June 2007 a number of institutional analysts made a site visit to
the Pokrovskiy, Pioneer and Malomir operations and attended a geological
workshop.  The Group also met a local representative of Rosprirodnadzor and was
able to discuss with him recent developments in the industry.

The visit to Pioneer demonstrated the excellent progress in the deposit's
development in particular with regard to the works underway to allow first
production in September 2007 as set out in the schedule. At Pioneer the visitors
were able to witness the first concrete being poured for the foundations of the
new plant.

During the visit to Malomir analysts were able to discuss the increased volume
of mineralised material now identified at the deposit and the consequent likely
postponement of production start-up allowing time to complete the additional
analytical work on the deposit.  As announced on 26 February 2007, production at
Malomir postponed for a period of 6-12 months beyond the initially planned 2008
start up. The geological team working at Malomir have now delineated three
deposits in total (two more than originally anticipated) and therefore further
detailed analysis of these areas is required before the deposit is brought into


Alya Samokhvalova / Marianna Adams                   +44 (0) 20 7201 8900
Peter Hambro Mining Plc

David Simonson/ Tom Randell/ Maria Suleymanova       +44 (0) 20 7653 6620

This release has been reviewed by Dr. Stephen Henley, who is an independent
geological advisor to the Board of Directors of Peter Hambro Mining Plc. Dr.
Henley is qualified to act in the capacity of a Competent Person for the
purposes of this statement.

Dr. Stephen Henley holds a PhD in Geology (University of Nottingham, 1970). He
is a Fellow of the Geological Society, a Fellow of the Institution of Materials,
Minerals and Mining, and a Chartered Engineer.  He is also a Charter Member of
the International Association for Mathematical Geology. He has been employed in
exploration, mining, academic and geological consultancy posts since 1970 and
has participated in Competent Person studies on a variety of different minerals
and types of deposit, including gold, polymetallic and chromite projects.

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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