(Corrects to read "resources" instead of "reserves" in bullet
points and text)
* Albazino resources doubled to 5.7 mln ounces
* Polymetal's total resources up by third since start of
* Albazino capacity may be doubled for $150 mln - analyst
* Shares of Polymetal up 0.94 pct, FTSE 100 up 0.31 pct
MOSCOW, Dec 3 Russian precious metals miner
Polymetal said it would decide next year whether to
double production capacity at its Albazino gold project in
Russia's far east after doubling its estimate of mineral
"Exploration results at Albazino highlight the tremendous
potential of this asset and pave the way for the expansion
decision to be taken in the second half of 2013," Vitaly Nesis,
Polymetal chief executive, said in a statement on Monday.
The company, controlled by Russian businessmen Alexander
Nesis and Alexander Mamut along with Czech private equity
investor PPF, is considering increasing its capacity to 3
million tonnes of ore per year, company spokesman Andrey Abashin
said, adding that its capital expenditure had not yet been
Polymetal has already invested $270 million in the project
and would need another about $150 million to double the
concentrator capacity, analyst Sergey Donskoy at Societe
Generale said, citing previous management comments.
The company has increased its estimate of mineral resources
at Albazino to 5.7 million ounces of gold in five ore zones and
expects to determine a development plan after completing a study
in the second quarter.
Including Albazino, Polymetal has increased its total
resources estimate by 30 percent to 18 million ounces of gold
equivalent since the start of the year.
Albazino, its second greenfield mine after Khakanja in
Russia's Far East, is located approximately 440 kilometers from
the Amursk POX hub. The deposit comprises an open-pit mine and
on-site flotation concentrator of 1.5 million tonnes of ore per
year, which is running at full capacity.
Shares in the company were up 0.94 percent at 10.72 pounds
by 1134 GMT, compared with a gain of 0.31 percent in the FTSE
100 index, which it joined last year.
Polymetal is expected to produce 1.2 million troy ounces of
gold equivalent in 2013, including 760,000-800,000 troy ounces
of gold and 23-24 million ounces of silver.
Gold equivalent is a measure of gold and other metals
expressed in units of gold.
(Reporting by Andrey Kuzmin and Polina Devitt; Editing by Jane