UPDATE 1-Russia boosts 2009 gold output 11.2 pct to 205.2 T

* Output from mines and placers rose by 8.8 percent

* Increased due to the launch of two large projects

(Adds details, background)

MOSCOW, Feb 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Russian gold production rose 11.2
percent year-on-year in 2009 to 205.2 tonnes (6.6 million
ounces) in line with expectations, the Russian Gold
Industrialists’ Union, the main industry lobby, said on Monday.

The union has earlier expected output to reach 205 tonnes
last year after the launch of large projects in the country’s
far east.

Output from deep mines and from placers — alluvial deposits
— rose by 8.8 percent last year to 178.3 tonnes from 2008

The union attributed the latest increase primarily to the
launch of production at Kinross Gold’s (K.TO: ) Kupol mine in the
remote Chukotka region, as well as the Karalveyem mine in the
same region.

Output of gold produced as a by-product of other metals rose
16.8 percent to 14.5 tonnes in 2009, while output achieved by
refining gold from scrap rose 52.4 percent to 12.4 tonnes.

Petropavlovsk’s (POG.L: ) Pioneer project and High River
Gold’s (HLGC.TO: ) Berezitovy mine in Amur region and the
Aginskoye project, run by Kamgold on the far eastern peninsula
of Kamchatka, also contributed to the rise, the Union said.

Olympiada mine run by Russia’s top producer Polyus Gold
(PLZL.MM: ) in the Krasnoyarsk region, Sovietskoye run by
Sovrudnik in the same region, Vorontsovkoye operated by
Polymetal (PMTL.MM: ) and some placers in northern Urals completed
the contributors’ list.

The biggest producing region last year was Krasnoyarsk.
Chukotka, a region governed until last year by billionaire Roman
Abramovich, was the second and the far eastern regions of Amur,
Yakutia and Irkutsk were third, fourth and fifth respectively in
terms of production, the union said.

Russia boosted gold output to 184.49 tonnes in 2008 after
five consecutive years of decline following a rise in the
precious metal price.
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(Reporting by Aleksandras Budrys, editing by Anthony Barker)

UPDATE 1-Russia boosts 2009 gold output 11.2 pct to 205.2 T