Kinross Gold officials announced commercial production has begun at Dvoinoye, a high-grade, low-cost underground gold mine in the tundra of Russia’s remote Chukotka region. Dvoinoye lies 100 km north of Kinross’ Kupol mine with ore being processed at the existing Kupol mill; at its peak, Dvoinoye is expected to produce 1,000 tons of ore per day (tpd) to be transported to Kupol via an all-season road. The Kupol mill, meanwhile, has been expanded from 3,500 to 4,500 tpd to process the additional ore.

Dvoinoye is forecast to produce between 235,000 and 300,000 of gold equivalent oz annually through 2016, incremental to gold production from the Kupol underground mine. Combined Russian operational sales costs between 2014 and 2016 is predicted up to $600 per gold equivalent oz.

Kinross will provide 2014 production guidance, cost of sales and all-in sustaining costs for its operations in Russia and other regions by Q1 2014. The first ore from Dvoinoye was delivered to Kupol in Q2 2013; commercial production began in early October.

Total 2013 production is expected at some 25,000 gold equivalent oz. Dvoinoye is the fourth mine Kinross has operated in Russia, the company’s lowest-cost jurisdiction and a core operating region, according to CEO Paul Rollinson.

As of Q1 2012, Dvoinoye had proven and probable gold reserves of approximately 1.1 million gold equivalent oz with an average grade of 17.8 grams per ton, according to Kinross officials. The company’s application to renew the Dvoinoye subsoil license was approved in September with an extension to Q1 2023.

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