31 Jan 2024 14:09

Polymetal maintains plan to sell Russian assets by end Q1, holding negotiations with potential buyer

MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) - Polymetal maintains the plan to sell its Russian assets by the end of the first quarter of 2024, the silver and gold miner's CEO Vitaly Nesis said during a conference call.

Polymetal has reduced the circle of contenders for the assets to one potential buyer from Russia, and the company is currently negotiating with the potential buyer, otherwise it would be impossible to talk so confidently about the timing, Nesis said. The buyer is from Russia. "We had a lot of dialogue with the Chinese, but then they made it clear to us that Russian assets should belong to Russian entities," Nesis said. Polymetal ruled out candidates subject to Western sanctions and those who could represent their interests.

The potential buyer is talking to the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service regarding approval of the transaction, and Nesis said that in his opinion, there will be no problems with obtaining permission on time. Polymetal, for its part, is in dialogue with OFAC, which has imposed sanctions on the company's Russian business.

Polymetal is the biggest silver miner and one of the biggest gold miners in Russia. It has operations in Russia's Magadan and Sverdlovsk Regions, the Khabarovsk Territory, Yakutia, Chukotka, and in Kazakhstan. A consortium of investors from the Sultanate of Oman, led by the government-controlled Mercury Investments International fund, is Polymetal' biggest shareholder with around 24%.