Polymetal International plc: Preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2023

EQS Newswire / 15/03/2024 / 08:45 MSK

 

Polymetal International plc

Preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2023

Polymetal International plc (“Polymetal”, the “Company” or the Group) announces the Group’s preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2023.

“In 2023, Polymetal managed to stay profitable and reduce leverage despite persistent geopolitical headwinds.  Robust production and stable cost performance coupled with favorable commodity price dynamics drove improvement in financial results. In 2024, after the sale of the Russian assets is completed, the Company will pursue long-term growth while ensuring long-term free cash flow potential of the existing assets in Kazakhstan”, said Vitaly Nesis, Group CEO of Polymetal International plc, commenting on the results.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • In 2023, revenue increased by 8% year-on-year (y-o-y), totalling US$ 3,025 million (2022: US$ 2,801 million), of which US$ 893 million (30%) was generated from operations in Kazakhstan and US$ 2,132 million (70%) from operations in the Russian Federation. Average realised gold price increased by 9% while silver price increased by 4%, both closely tracking market dynamics. Gold equivalent (GE) production was stable at 1,714 Koz y-o-y. Gold sales increased by 2% y-o-y to 1,400 Koz, while silver sales decreased by 10% to 16.6 Moz. Significant tightening of concentrate exports regulations in Russia led to material accumulation of concentrates in sea ports. 
  • Group Total Cash Costs (TCC)[1] for 2023 were US$ 861/GE oz, down 9% y-o-y, and 9% below the lower end of the Group’s guidance of US$ 950-1,000/GE oz. This was predominantly on the back of a weaker Rouble which outweighed inflationary pressures. In Kazakhstan, TCC were US$ 903/GE oz, up by 24% y-o-y, on the back of a planned grade decline combined with a 14% decrease in sales volumes and inflationary headwinds. Across the Group’s Russian mines, TCC were at US$ 845/GE oz, down by 19% y-o-y, mainly on the back of Rouble depreciation.
  • All-in Sustaining Cash Costs (AISC)1 amounted to US$ 1,276/GE oz, down 5% y-o-y, 2% below the lower end of the Group’s guidance of US$ 1,300-1,400/GE and driven by the same factors. In Kazakhstan, AISC increased by 18% to US$ 1,263/GE oz, mostly driven by a decrease in sales volume. In Russia, AISC decreased by 13% to US$ 1,281/oz, on the back of a sales increase coupled with lower stripping volumes after completion of large stripping campaigns in 2023.
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 was US$ 1,458 million, 43% higher than in 2022, on the back of higher commodity prices and lower cash costs. Of this, US$ 439 million (30%) was earned from operations in Kazakhstan and US$ 1,019 million (70%) earned from operations in the Russian Federation. The Adjusted EBITDA margin increased by 12 percentage points to 48% (2022: 36%).
  • Underlying net earnings[2] increased by 40%, totalling US$ 615 million (2022: US$ 440 million), with a basic EPS of US$ 1.11 per share. Reflecting the increase in operating profit, the Group recorded a net profit[3] of US$ 528 million in 2023, compared to a net loss of US$ 288 million due to one-off impairment charges in 2022.
  • Capital expenditure was US$ 679 million[4], down 14% compared with US$ 794 million in 2022 and 3% below the lower end of the guidance range of US$ 700-750 million, as a result of the substantial positive impact of Russian Rouble devaluation on local-currency costs.
  • Net operating cash inflow was US$ 575 million (2022: US$ 206 million). The Group reported negative free cash flow1 of US$ 128 million in 2023, which is still a significant improvement over the 2022 negative free cash flow of US$ 445 million.
  • Net debt2 was largely stable at US$ 2,383 million (US$ 174 million in Kazakhstan and US$ 2,209 million in Russia), compared with US$ 2,393 million as at 31 December 2022 (US$ 277 million in Kazakhstan and US$ 2,117 million in Russia). This represents 1.64x of Adjusted EBITDA and is significantly below the 2022 leverage ratio of 2.35x.

DIVIDENDS AND DISPOSAL

  • On 19 February 2024, the Group announced its intention to sell 100% of JSC Polymetal and its subsidiaries to JSC Mangazeya Plus for an effective total consideration of approximately US$ 3.69 billion, valuing JSC Polymetal and its subsidiaries at 5.3x EV/EBITDA based on Adjusted EBITDA of JSC Polymetal and its subsidiaries for the 12 months ended 30 June 2023 (US$ 694 million) and at 3.6x based on an full year 2023 Adjusted EBITDA of JSC Polymetal and its subsidiaries (approximately US$ 1.0 billion). On 7 March, 2024 the transaction was approved by the Shareholders General Meeting and, following receipt of required regulatory approvals, was completed on the same day.
  • Following the disposal, the Group’s net cash position of approx. US$ 130 million.
  • No dividend will be proposed for the full year 2023. Following the recent completion of the divestment of the Russian business, the Board will actively reconsider the dividend policy and intend to share an update in May this year.

Financial highlights [5]

2023

2022

Change

 

 

 

 

Revenue, US$m

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

893

933

-4%

Russia

2,132

1,868

+14%

Total

3,025

2,801

+8%

 

 

 

 

Total cash cost[6], US$ /GE oz

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

903

728

+24%

Russia

845

1,046

-19%

Total

861

942

-9%

 

 

 

 

All-in sustaining cash cost2, US$ /GE oz

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

1,263

 1,0673

+18%

Russia

1,281

 1,4803

-13%

Total

1,276

1,344

-5%

 

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA2, US$m

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

439

516[7]

-15%

Russia

1,019

5013

+103%

Total

1,458

1,017

+43%

 

 

 

 

Average realised gold price[8], US$ /oz

1,929

1,764

+9%

Average realised silver price4, US$ /oz

22.8

21.9

+4%

 

 

 

 

Net earnings/(loss), US$m

528

(288)

n/a

Underlying net earnings2, US$m

615

440

+40%

Return on assets (underlying)2, %

17%

9%

+8%

Return on equity (underlying)2, %

15%

11%

+4%

 

 

 

 

Basic earnings/(loss) per share, US$

1.11

(0.61)

 n/a

Underlying EPS2, US$

1.30

0.93

+44%

 

 

 

 

Net debt2, US$m

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

174

277

-37%

Russia

 2,209

 2,117

+4%

Total

 2,383

 2,393

-0%

 

 

 

 

Net debt/Adjusted EBITDA

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

0.39

0.54

-27%

Russia

2.17

4.23

-49%

Total

1.63

 2.35

-31%

 

 

 

 

Capital expenditure, US$m

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

145

101

+43%

Russia

534

693

-23%

Total

679

794

-14%

 

 

 

 

Net operating cash flow, US$m

575

206

+179%

Free cash flow2, US$m

(128)

(445)

+71%

Free cash flow post-M&A2, US$m

(131)

(473)

+72%

         

 

Notes:

(1) Totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures due to rounding. % changes can be different from zero even when absolute amounts are unchanged because of rounding. Likewise, % changes can be equal to zero when absolute amounts differ due to the same reason. This note applies to all tables in this release.

(2) Defined in the “Alternative performance measures” section below.

 

OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS

  • No fatal accidents among the Group’s employees and contractors occurred in 2023 as well as no lost time injuries were recorded in Kazakhstan. Lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) among the Company’s workforce for the full year decreased by 30% y-o-y to 0.07. Two serious and eight minor lost-time accidents were recorded in 2023, all in Russia. Days lost due to work-related injuries (DIS) increased by 32% y-o-y to 1,156, also relates to Russia.
  • The Company’s 2023 GE production was stable at 1,714 Koz, including 486 Koz in Kazakhstan and 1,228 Koz in Russia, and in line with the original production guidance of 1.7 Moz.
  • The Company has successfully secured a land plot for the Ertis POX project in the Pavlodar Special Economic Zone in Kazakhstan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2023

2022

Change

 

 

 

 

PRODUCTION (Koz of GE) 1

1,714

1,720

-0%

Kazakhstan

486

541

-10%

Kyzyl

316

330

-4%

Varvara

169

211

-20%

Russia

1,228

1,178

+4%

 

 

 

 

SAFETY

 

 

 

LTIFR2 (Employees)

0.07

0.10

-30%

    Kazakhstan

0

0

n/a

    Russia

0.09

0.12

-25%

DIS2

1,156

877

+32%

    Kazakhstan

0

0

n/a

    Russia

1,156

877

+32%

Fatalities

 

 

 

    Employees

0

0

n/a

    Contractors

0

0

n/a

Average headcount

14,647

14,694

-0.3%

    Kazakhstan

3,202

3,219

-0.5%

    Russia

11,4453

11,475

-0.3%

Notes:

(1) Based on 80:1 Au/Ag conversion ratio and excluding base metals. Discrepancies in calculations are due to rounding. Mayskoye production reporting approach was amended to record production as soon as the ownership title for gold is transferred to a buyer at the mine site’s concentrate storage facility. Previous periods were restated accordingly.

(2) Company employees only are taken into account.

(3) The average number of personnel was revised versus the number reported in January 2024 to include average headcount of all assets in Russia that were deconsolidated during the reporting year and were not part of Group as at 31 December 2023, for the period they were part of the Group.

ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE (“ESG”) HIGHLIGHTS

  • Our 2023 group-wide direct and indirect energy-related emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2) increased by 5% compared to 2022. In Kazakhstan our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions increased by 10% compared to 2022 mainly due to the legislative changes in the energy market and the resulting inability to purchase green electricity from the grid. We are currently focusing our efforts on the Kazakhstan segment and on designing our own solar power plants with a total capacity of up to 40 MW at Varvara and Kyzyl to minimize our dependence on grid electricity.
  • We continue to reforest territories equal to those that had been disturbed by our activities. In 2023, we planted 430 thousand saplings on almost 200 hectares of land in Russia and were implementing a voluntary pilot project to plant a new forest not far from Varvara site in Kazakhstan.
  • In 2023, we decreased our fresh water intensity for ore processing by 53%, compared with 2019, to 125 m³/1,000 t (2022: 49%). In Kazakhstan, we have also continued to decrease our fresh water intensity as the majority of the water we use in ore processing at our cites in Kazakhstan is circulated in closed water cycles. Overall, 90% of our on-site water consumption in Kazakhstan is via a closed cycle of treated waste.
  • Polymetal’s social investments amounted to US$ 17.6 million in 2023, including US$ 7.3 million in Kazakhstan, and were targeted to projects in education, local infrastructure, sports and culture.

2024 OUTLOOK FOR KAZAKHSTAN BUSINESS

 

 

 

 

Conference call and webcast

The Company will hold a webcast on Friday, 15 March 2024, at 16:00 Astana time (11:00 London time).

To participate in the webcast, please register using the following link:

https://streamstudio.world-television.com/1451-2739-39231/en

Webcast details will be sent to you via email after registration.

Enquiries

Investor Relations

Media

Evgeny Monakhov

+44 20 7887 1475 (UK)

 

Kirill Kuznetsov

Alikhan Bissengali

+7 7172 47 66 55 (Kazakhstan)

ir@polymetalinternational.com

Yerkin Uderbay

+7 7172 47 66 55 (Kazakhstan)

media@polymetal.kz

 

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This release may include statements that are, or may be deemed to be, “forward-looking statements”. These forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this release. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the words “targets”, “believes”, “expects”, “aims”, “intends”, “will”, “may”, “anticipates”, “would”, “could” or “should” or similar expressions or, in each case their negative or other variations or by discussion of strategies, plans, objectives, goals, future events or intentions. These forward-looking statements all include matters that are not historical facts. By their nature, such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors beyond the company’s control that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding the company’s present and future business strategies and the environment in which the company will operate in the future. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. There are many factors that could cause the company’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. The company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the company’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based.

 

 

Table of contents

 

SINED’s statement…………………………………………………………….7

Group CEO statement………………………………………………………….9

Operating review …………………………………………………………….11

Financial review ……………………………………………………………..18

Principal risks and uncertainties ………………………………………………….30

Going concern ………………………………………………………………31

Directors’ responsibility statement …………………………………………………32

Financial statements …………………………………………………………..33

Alternative Performance Measures ………………………………………………..64

 

 

SINED’s statement

 

It has been gratifying to see the Company’s financial and operating performance stabilise during 2023 against  the continuing and tightening backdrop of a continued Russia-Ukraine conflict and new sanctions (including the designation of the Russian business of the Company by the US in May 2023) and counter-sanctions. The Board believed that under these circumstances fully divesting the Russian assets and pursuing growth in Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries would greatly increase the Company’s ability to generate value for shareholders. And, already in 2024, the long-anticipated restructuring of the business was completed, and we are positively looking into the future.

 

Re-domiciliation to Kazakhstan

Back in 2022, given the rapid deterioration of the business environment caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Board set up a Special Committee, comprised of Independent Non-Executive Directors, to review the options open to the Company, which would enable it to preserve business continuity and restore shareholder value. Its first recommendation was that Polymetal International should switch its domicile from Jersey to Kazakhstan. It had been the first foreign company listed on the Astana Stock Exchange (AIX) in 2019 and, following re-domiciliation in August 2023, Polymetal has been able to switch from LSE to AIX as its primary listing.

This decision was not taken lightly since, as a consequence, its premium listing on the London Stock Exchange was cancelled. However, this was felt to be necessary in order to mitigate the impact of Russian counter-sanctions being imposed against entities incorporated in unfriendly jurisdictions (including Jersey), as well the prospect of further reprisals. Both would place significant restrictions on the Company and expose it to unmanageable risk.

Choosing the Astana International Finance Centre (AIFC) as the jurisdiction for our re-domiciliation was also prudent given AIFC’s own adoption of English common law and adherence to best practice. We too will continue to uphold the standards that we have set ourselves over the last 25 years in corporate governance, health and safety, and approach to environmental matters.

 

The divestment of Russian assets

However, a further strategic pivot was required following the US Department of State designation of JSC Polymetal and its subsidiaries in Russia. The Special Committee was once again deployed to develop an appropriate response in the light of these new sanctions. In the first instance, the Group’s Russian subsidiaries were ring-fenced, with management of all Russian operations delegated to the executives of JSC Polymetal, and management of Polymetal International resigning from their positions in the Russian entities. At the same time, all service agreements between the Company and its non-Russian subsidiaries, and JSC Polymetal and its subsidiaries, were terminated and all payments from the Company and its non-designated subsidiaries under other inter-Group agreements with JSC Polymetal and its subsidiaries were discontinued.

The Special Committee, after a thorough review, also recommended the divestment of the Group’s Russian assets as the most viable option for mitigating the legal, financial and operational risks that emerged as a result of designation, and also the optimal path towards re-establishing shareholder value.  It became the Company’s way to restore the access to international financial markets, enable the resumption of dividend payments and eliminate the discounts being applied by international capital markets to businesses associated with Russia. With this divestment completed in March 2024, Polymetal’s Board and management team will now be able to concentrate on expanding its asset base within Kazakhstan and also looking to other countries in Central Asia, which present a number of interesting options for further growth.

 

Dividend decision

Both the re-domiciliation and divestment of the Russian business, along with related de-leveraging, have improved the balance sheet of the Company considerably. However, it will need to invest in excess of $1 billion over the medium term in projects in Kazakhstan, most notably the new Ertis POX, and M&A activities in order to achieve its ambitious long-term growth plans.

As yet, the Company has not restored its access to major sources of debt funding and, in the light of this, the Board considers that it would not be prudent to pay dividends for the full year 2023. This will allow the Group to maintain both strategic and operating flexibility. The Board will further consider the dividend, as described in Dividends and disposal section above.

 

Change of a major shareholder

I want to express my gratitude to all our shareholders and investors for the continued support that they have shown us over the years. We also welcome our new significant shareholder Maaden International Investment, representing the government of Sultanate of Oman.

We are pleased that the shareholders have confirmed their full support of Polymetal’s strategy and the actions undertaken to secure the future of this business to date as well the intention to further develop the asset base in Kazakhstan and the wider region.

 

Brighter future

Now that the Company has significantly de-risked its operations and finances, and established stable operations in Kazakhstan, the favourable macroeconomic conditions will allow it to generate sufficient cash flows to fund growth and repay debt. With divestment now complete, we also expect better stock trading conditions for Western shareholders as infrastructure providers gradually remove the limitations previously placed on Polymetal’s shares. The Board is also set on maintaining high standards of corporate governance and ESG in the new environment, which will ensure the creation of further sustainable value.

 

 

Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

Evgueni Konovalenko

 

Group CEO Statement

 

We started 2023 facing many of the frustrations of the previous year: namely, the ongoing Russia/Ukraine war with the resulting upheavals of sanctions and counter-sanctions, and disruptions in supply chains and financing options. With this in mind, from the outset, we planned to pursue re-domiciliation to a “friendly” jurisdiction with a view to also engineer a subsequent split of the business in order to restore shareholder value. However, due to geopolitical interventions beyond our control, this reorganisation did not go as we had originally planned.

 

Key corporate events in 2023

For a number of reasons, we quickly identified Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) as the optimal re-domiciliation jurisdiction: because of its basis on English common law, our long-standing presence and listing in Kazakhstan, and its neutral position from the point of western and Russian counter-sanctions. For Astana International Exchange (AIX) to become our primary exchange, however, we also had to accept the hard reality that this would necessitate discontinuing our 12-year premium listing on the London Stock Exchange. And, this in turn, would entail management resolving a separate, complicated set of infrastructural issues in order to enable trading for all categories of shareholder post re-domiciliation.

As we progressed our plans for re-domiciliation to AIFC, the Group was hit by the designation of its Russian business, JSC Polymetal, by the US Department of State, which made any plans to spin off the Russian operation totally impracticable. As a consequence and in response to the US designation, the Board formed a Special Committee to develop appropriate measures with regards to sanctions compliance and to oversee the full divestment of the Russian business – JSC Polymetal and its subsidiaries.

Since then, we have made substantial progress in redefining Polymetal’s status for the long term. In August 2023 the Company successfully completed re-domiciliation to AIFC and resumed trading on AIX as a Kazakh issuer. This also kicked off the process of searching for potential buyers for the Russian business and culminated in the announcement of its disposal at a total effective valuation of US$ 3.7 billion on 19 February 2024. The deal successfully closed on 7 March 2024.

Seen from a purely financial perspective, due to the inevitable Russian discount, the transaction has not generated a great deal of value for Polymetal. Nevertheless, in removing numerous operational, financial, legal and sanctions risks, I truly believe that it is in the best interest of all our shareholders since it enables the Company to open a new chapter in its corporate history. Polymetal is now well-positioned to implement a new strategy and restore its track record of creating sustained shareholder value.

 

Production and performance

In 2023, the Company avoided major operational business disruption and successfully met its original production guidance. The Company’s gold equivalent production demonstrated solid results, despite the difficult environment experienced by the Russian part of the business and some repercussions from the designation of JSC Polymetal for the Company on the Kazakhstan side.

In spite of persistent geopolitical headwinds, Polymetal retained its profitability and reduced its leverage. An improvement in financial results was driven by robust production and stable cost performance coupled with favourable commodity price dynamics, with revenue increasing by 8% year-on-year to US$ 3 billion. We also reported an impressive 43% increase in EBITDA at US$ 1.5 billion, thanks to both growth in ounces sold through release of working capital and in the devaluation of the local currency in Russia.

Total cash costs (TCC) were 8% lower and all-in sustaining costs (AISC) were 5% lower than in 2022.  Both were below the announced guidance range of US$ 950-1,000/GE oz and US$ 1,300-1,400/GE oz, respectively, attributing to the substantial positive impact of Rouble devaluation on local-currency costs. Net debt was largely stable year-on-year at US$ 2.38 billion (US$ 0.17 billion in Kazakhstan and US$ 2.21 billion in Russia) however it decreased in relative terms from 2.35 ND/EBITDA in 2022 to 1.64 in 2023.

 

Safety remains our top priority

We remain committed to ensuring a safe working environment for all our employees and contractors. Significantly, for the fourth consecutive year, there were no fatal accidents during 2023 among Polymetal’s workforce and nor, for the second year running, among our contractors. I am also pleased to report that none of the ten lost-time accidents (in Russia) resulted in permanent disability or serious damage to health. Employees’ lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) decreased by 30% year-on-year and is a testament to our investment in promoting a zero-harm safety culture.

Our new POX development project in Kazakhstan

Our major development focus now is on Kazakhstan’s first large-scale full-cycle pressure oxidation (POX) plant for refractory ore processing: the Ertis POX project. This will be a new, state-of-the-art facility in the Pavlodar region and will ensure that Kyzyl (and potentially other Kazakh assets) will no longer have to rely on the temporary POX processing arrangement made with Amursk POX in Russia.

We have already identified the site and signed contracts for this and the critical processing equipment. We plan to start construction early next year with completion due by 2028. We are partnering once again with international engineering consultancy, Hatch, who are tasked with both basic and detailed engineering for the project. We are also proceeding with the permitting process. Capitalising on our experience in developing POX sites in Russia, we believe that this project will involve fewer construction risks. Compared with the Russian Far East, the logistics in Kazakhstan are much better as is the cost of materials and labour.

 

Our next steps

With the sale of Russian assets completed in Q1 2024, the Company is now able to pursue its future growth plans while, at the same time, ensuring the long-term free cash flow potential of the existing assets in Kazakhstan. We expect stable operational results in Kazakhstan in 2024 and, following a positive investment decision from the Board, expected in H2 2024, will accelerate the construction schedule for the Ertis POX.

Our priorities during the year will be centered on safety, cost control and operational improvement. Alongside this, we also plan to make tangible progress in terms of securing new growth opportunities for the business. Together, these will ensure that we deliver substantial financial returns for our shareholders over the coming years.

We could not have achieved the continued operation of the business over the last year without the loyal support of our employees and I would like to formally thank them on behalf of the whole senior management team. Their skills, expertise and commitment are vital to Polymetal’s future.

 

Group Chief Executive Officer

Vitaly Nesis

 

Operating review

Robust production

In 2023, operations continued undisrupted despite the difficulties caused by the imposition of US sanctions against JSC Polymetal and its subsidiaries. The Company’s gold equivalent (GE) production for the year was stable at 1,714 Koz, comprising 486 Koz in Kazakhstan and 1,228 Koz in Russia, and in line with the original production guidance of 1.7 Moz. Kazakhstan’s GE production declined by 10%, mostly driven by a planned grade decline and lower share of high-grade third-party feed at the flotation circuit at Varvara. Russian GE production grew by 4% to 1,228 Koz, in line with the original production plan.

Gold production for the full year was up 3% to 1,492 Koz, while silver output decreased by 15% to 17.7 Moz. Gold sales of 1,400 Koz increased marginally year-on-year, while silver sales decreased by 10% to 16.6 Moz. The gap between production and sales is considered a temporary one: significant tightening of concentrate exports regulations in Russia led to material accumulation in seaports for concentrates in transit. Management is working to resolve this issue in 2024.

Kyzyl continues as the largest individual contributor to the Group’s overall output: full-year gold production came in at 316 Koz. Varvara GE output decreased by 20% to 169 Koz, driven by a decrease in Komar ore grade at the leaching circuit and a lower share of high-grade third-party feed at the flotation circuit. In total, Kazakh operations delivered 486 GE Koz, which accounts for 28% of the Group’s production.

The Company has successfully secured a land plot for the Ertis POX project in the Special Economic Zone near Pavlodar. Evaluation of the site conditions and logistics planning have begun in preparation for delivery of the autoclave. Additionally, the Company has once again selected Hatch for basic and detailed engineering, as well as procurement support. Hatch has an exceptional track record of working with Polymetal on several other projects. Base engineering is already in-progress, enabling accelerated commencement of construction. The investment decision is expected to be made by the Board in the second half of 2024, with the start-up by the end of 2028.

Reserves and resources

In 2023, Group Ore Reserves increased by 2% year-on-year to 28.0 Moz of GE, while the average grade in Ore Reserves decreased by 5% year-on-year and stood at 3.5 g/t of GE.

Ore Reserves in Kazakhstan increased by 3% year-on-year to 11.6 Moz of GE on the back of the revised estimate for underground mining at Kyzyl and positive exploration results (an increase by 249 Koz). The average grade in Ore Reserves in Kazakhstan was 3.2 g/t of GE, a 2% decrease year-on-year driven by a 4% grade decline at Varvara, which was partially offset by positive grade revaluation at Kyzyl.

Share of Ore Reserves for open-pit mining in Kazakhstan decreased by 4% compared to the previous year and stood at 45% on the back of underground reserves extension at Kyzyl.

Group’s Mineral Resources (additional to Ore Reserves) grew by 3% year-on-year to 26.7 Moz of GE. The average GE grade in Mineral Resources was down 7% year-on-year to 4.2 g/t. Mineral Resources in Kazakhstan increased by 26%, while the average GE grade increased by 8% to 2.9 g/t, mainly driven by the MR grade appreciation at Kyzyl by 13%, from 4.1 to 4.6 g/t of GE.

Ore Reserves reconciliation, GE Moz

 

Ore Reserves, as at 1 January 2023

Depletion

Revaluation

Initial Ore Reserves estimate

Change in ownership

Ore Reserves, as at 1 January 2024

   Kazakhstan

11.3

-0.5

+0.9

11.6

   Russia

16.0

-1.6

+1.7

+0.5

-0.2

16.4

Total Group

27.3

-2.1

+2.5

+0.5

-0.2

28.0

In 2023, exploration activities in Kazakhstan were carried out at 11 licensed and contract areas. In total, 59.4 km of drilling was completed, a 12% decrease year-on-year. 

Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources summary[10] [11]

 

1 Jan 2024

1 Jan 2023

Change

 

 

 

 

Ore Reserves (Proved+Probable), GE Moz

28.0

27.3

+2%

Gold, Moz

25.4

24.7

+3%

Silver, Moz

210.0

211.3

-1%

Average reserve grade, g/t

3.5

3.6

-5%

 

 

 

 

Mineral Resources
(Measured+Indicated+Inferred), GE Moz

26.7

25.8

+3%

Gold, Moz

24.1

23.1

+4%

Silver, Moz

209.2

212.9

-2%

Average resource grade, g/t

4.2

4.5

-8%

 

Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources as at 1 January 2024[12]

 

 

 

 

 

Tonnage

Mt

Grade GE

g/t

Content

GE, Moz

 

Ore Reserves

 

 

 

 

   Proved (Kazakhstan)

28.9

1.7

1.6

 

   Proved (Russia)

45.5

3.2

4.7

 

   Probable (Kazakhstan)

82.4

3.8

10.0

 

   Probable (Russia)

95.4

3.8

11.6

 

   Proved+Probable (Kazakhstan)

111.3

3.2

11.6

 

   Proved+Probable (Russia)

140.9

3.6

16.4

 

Proved+Probable

252.2

3.5

28.0

 

Mineral Resources

 

 

 

 

   Measured (Kazakhstan)

6.5

0.9

0.2

 

   Measured (Russia)

22.7

4.0

2.9

 

   Indicated (Kazakhstan)

17.8

2.5

1.4

 

   Indicated (Russia)

41.9

4.0

5.4

 

   Measured+Indicated (Kazakhstan)

24.4

2.1

1.6

 

   Measured+Indicated (Russia)

64.6

4.0

8.3

 

Measured+Indicated

88.9

3.5

9.9

 

   Inferred (Kazakhstan)

19.3

3.9

2.4

 

   Inferred (Russia)

89.9

5.0

14.3

 

   Measured+Indicated+Inferred (Kazakhstan)

43.7

2.9

4.0

 

   Measured+Indicated+Inferred (Russia)

154.4

4.6

22.6

 

Measured+Indicated+Inferred

198.1

4.2

26.7

 
               

 

 

Health and safety

There were no fatal accidents in 2023. However, lost-time incidents still took place among Polymetal’s workforce and  contractors. Most were the result of slipping or tripping while walking or being jammed by a rotating mechanism. In 2023, 10 lost-time incidents were recorded among employees and 4 – among contractors. LTIFR for 2023 decreased to 0.07 for employees (0.10 in 2022) and to 0.08 for contractors (0.21 in 2022). Days lost due to work-related injuries for the full year increased by 32% y-o-y to 1,156 (2022: 877).

While the majority of the incidents that took place during the year were classified as minor (8 minor and 2 severe injuries were reported), Polymetal still took responsive measures for each by updating risk maps for relevant facilities, providing additional instructions to employees and encouraging contractors to carry out an investigation if the accident involved a contractor’s worker.

 

 

2023

2022

Change

Injuries

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

0

0

n/a

Russia

10

13

-23%

Total

10

13

-23%

   including

 

 

 

      Fatalities

 

 

 

      Kazakhstan

0

0

n/a

      Russia

0

0

n/a

      Total

0

0

n/a

      Severe injuries

 

 

 

      Kazakhstan

0

0

n/a

      Russia

2

0

+100%

      Total

2

0

+100%

 

 

 

 

LTIFR (per 200,000 hours worked)

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

0

0

n/a

Russia

0.09

0.12

-25%

Total

0.07

0.10

-30%

 

 

 

 

Days off work following accidents

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

0

0

n/a

Russia

1,156

877

+32%

Total

1,156

877

+32%

 

 

 

 

CONTRACTORS

 

 

 

Injuries

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

0

0

n/a

Russia

4

12

-67%

Total

4

12

-67%

   including

 

 

 

      Fatalities

 

 

 

      Kazakhstan

0

0

n/a

      Russia

0

0

n/a

      Total

0

0

n/a

      Severe injuries

 

 

 

      Kazakhstan

0

0

n/a

      Russia

0

0

n/a

      Total

0

0

n/a

 

 

 

 

LTIFR (per 200,000 hours worked)

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

0

0

n/a

Russia

0.12

0.31

-61%

Total

0.08

0.21

-62%

 

Employees

Our average headcount in 2023 decreased slightly by 0.3% y-o-y to 14,647 employees, with approximately half working on a fly-in/fly-out basis at remote sites. Our voluntary turnover rate significantly  decreased to 4.7% in 2023, compared to 8.4% in 2022. The voluntary staff turnover for assets in Russia was 5.6% while in Kazakhstan it comprised 1.4%.

We continue to observe higher labour market competition and increased demand for mining experts, that is why we offer employees competitive salaries and a range of opportunities for professional development, such as succession planning, mentorship and a Talent Pool programme. In 2023, our Talent Pool consisted of 456 employees prepared to take up leadership positions in the future, 78 of which gained promotion during the year.

The share of women in Polymetal’s workforce remained stable at 21% in 2023. We continue to promote a culture of equal opportunity through training and communications. In order to eliminate workplace bias, empower diverse teams and attract and retain people with different background, we have adopted a Diversity and Inclusion Programme, which includes training and engagement activities, diversity metrics and targets, collaboration with educational institutions and ongoing internal communication. Among other actions, this led to an increase in the proportion of women in leadership positions by 1% to 23% in 2023. Besides managing gender diversity issues, we aim to eliminate discrimination based on age or disability. For example, we have created an interactive online course on inclusion practices. This course provides an informed understanding of disability, highlighting the potential risks of bias at work and has also been incorporated into the induction programme for new employees.

 

2023

2022

Change

Average headcount

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

3,202

3,219

-0.5%

Russia

11,445

11,475

-0.3%

Total

14,647

14,694

-0.3%

 

 

 

 

Share of female employees

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

20%

20%

0%

Russia

22%

22%

0%

Total

21%

21%

0%

 

 

 

 

Share of female managers

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

21%

22%

-5%

Russia

23%

22%

5%

Total

23%

22%

5%

 

 

 

 

Voluntary turnover

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

1.4%

4.6%

-70%

Russia

5.6%

9.4%

-40%

Total

4.7%

8.4%

-44%

   including

 

 

 

      For female employees

 

 

 

      Kazakhstan

2.5%

2.9%

-14%

      Russia

5.1%

8.2%

-38%

      Total

4.6%

7.1%

-35% 

      For male employees

 

 

 

      Kazakhstan

1.1%

5.1%

-78%

      Russia

5.8%

9.8%

-41%

      Total

4.7%

8.7%

-46%

Climate and Energy

Accepting the need to take urgent action to mitigate human-made impacts on climate, we are committed to reducing our own impact and developing an approach to potential carbon neutrality. Our strategy is focused on those projects that comprehensively reduce our GHG emissions and also the net adverse impact on water resources and biodiversity.

In 2023, we adhered to our climate targets of reducing our direct and energy-related emissions, and we are gradually adapting our Climate Action Plan to the new circumstances and potential changes in Group structure. In our Climate Strategy, we give unconditional priority to real decarbonisation projects and state that offsetting is reserved only for hard-to-abate or residual emissions.

Our 2023 direct emissions (Scope 1) decreased by 4% compared to 2022 mainly due to the implementation of energy efficiency measures, while our indirect energy-related emissions (Scope 2) increased due to legislative changes in the energy market of Kazakhstan and the resulting lack of opportunity to purchase green electricity from the grid. Further efforts within the Kazakhstan segment are therefore focused on commissioning in-house solar power plants with a total capacity of up to 40 MW at Varvara and Kyzyl.

We have continued to reforest territories equal to those that had been disturbed by our activities. In 2023, we planted 430 thousand saplings on almost 200 hectares of land in regions where we operate. In addition, as part of our commitment to actively fostering a favourable environment for all stakeholders in our operating regions and taking initial steps towards implementing a Net Positive Impact approach, we are undertaking a voluntary pilot project to plant a new forest not far from Varvara site in Kazakhstan.

 

 

2023

2022

Change

ENERGY

 

 

 

Total energy consumed (GJ)

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

3,542,140

3,471,719

2.0%

Russia

7,205,597

7,285,162

-1.1%

Total

10,747,737

10,756,881

-0.1%

 

 

 

 

Energy intensity (GJ per Koz of GE produced)

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

7,296

6,417

+14%

Russia

5,867

6,179

-5%

Total

6,271

6,254

+0.3%

 

 

 

 

GREENHOUSE GAS (GHG) EMISSIONS

 

 

 

Scope 1 GHG emissions (CO2 eq. Kt)

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

208

201

+3%

Russia

516

550

-6%

Total

724

751

-4%

 

 

 

 

Scope 2 GHG emissions (market based, CO2 eq. Kt)

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

252

216

+17%

Russia

111

115

-3%

Total

363

331

+10%

 

 

 

 

Scope 1 + Scope 2 (CO2 eq. Kt)

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

460

417

+10%

Russia

627

665

-6%

Total

1,087

1,082

+0.5%

 

 

 

 

GHG intensity of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions

(kg of CO2e per oz of GE)

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

947

771

+23%

Russia

511

564

-4%

Total

634

629

+4%

 

Environment

Our Environmental Management System (EMS) is the cornerstone of our approach. All production sites in Kazakhstan and most of them in Russia are certified to the ISO 14001 global standard. Our EMS is supported by specific systems for cyanide and tailings management, as well as internal and external auditing.

The monitoring of both water quantity and quality is a key focus within our EMS. Given the predicted physical impacts of climate change on our operations, vigilance in monitoring water risks is crucial for our assets in Kazakhstan. We strive to continually enhance our water efficiency by employing metering and auditing practices for water consumption, coupled with the meticulous management of the quality of wastewater. The majority of the water we use in ore processing is circulated in closed water cycles. Overall, 93% of our on-site water consumption is via a closed cycle of treated waste water (compared to 91% in 2022). We remain committed to our ambitious goal of reducing fresh water usage for processing per unit of production by 55% by 2030, compared with the 2019[13]. In 2023, we decreased our fresh water intensity for ore processing by 53%, compared with 2019, to 125 m³/1,000 t (2022: 49%).

We operate seven TSFs and four dry stacking facilities in Kazakhstan and Russia, and are carrying out technical closure works at two TSFs. Wherever possible, we have implemented dry cake stacking in order to eliminate affecting both ground and surface water, as well as the surrounding area, and we currently store 70% in dams and 30% as dry cake.

 

2023

2022

Change

WATER

 

 

 

Fresh water withdrawn (th. m3)

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

1,273

1,290

-1%

Russia

2,010

2,054

-2%

Total

3,283

3,344

-2%

 

 

 

 

Water reused and recycled (th. m3)

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

11,569

11,089

+4%

Russia

34,329

23,353

+47%

Total

45,898

34,442

+33%

 

 

 

 

Total water used (th. m3)

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

12,842

12,378

+4%

Russia

36,338

25,408

+43%

Total

49,181

37,786

+30%

 

 

 

 

Share of water recycled and reused

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

90%

90%

+1%

Russia

94%

92%

+3%

Total

93%

91%

+2%

 

 

 

 

Fresh water use for processing intensity
(m3/ Kt of processed ore)[14]

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

178

188

-5%

Russia

99

112

-12%

Total

125

138

-9%

 

 

 

 

WASTE

 

 

 

Share of waste recycled (including overburden)

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

8%

10%

-20%

Russia

33%

42%

-21%

Total

17%

23%

-26%

 

 

 

 

Share of dry stacking in tailings disposal

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

n/a

Russia

30%

28%

+7%

Total

30%

28%

+7%

 

Communities

We aim to maintain open dialogue with neighboring communities, ensuring transparent feedback mechanisms in all regions where we operate. In 2023, we responded to all of the 780 enquiries received from locals, surveyed 1,174 community representatives and held 90 stakeholder engagement events. The outcomes of such engagement inform our social investment programmes. Polymetal’s social investments amounted to US$ 17.6 million in 2023 (including US$ 7.3 million in Kazakhstan) and were targeted to projects in education, local infrastructure, sports, culture and Indigenous Minorities of the North support (compared to US$ 23 million in 2022). No cases of human rights violations connected to Polymetal’s employees or contractors were reported in 2023.

 

2023

2022

Change

Total community investment (US$ million)

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

7.3

8.8

-17%

Russia

10.3

14.4

-28%

Total

17.6

23.2

-24%

 

 

 

 

Enquiries from communities received and responded to

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

335

223

+50%

Russia

445

616

-28%

Total

780

839

-7%

 

 

 

 

Stakeholder meetings and events

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

21

22

-5%

Russia

69

58

+19%

Total

90

80

+13%

 

 

 

 

Number of respondents to community polls

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

79

100

-21%

Russia

1,095

1100

-0.5%

Total

1,174

1,200

-2%

 

2024 outlook for Kazakhstan business

Safety remains a top priority for Polymetal. We will continue to focus on further improvements in health and safety metrics and maintaining zero fatalities across our operations and among on-site contractors conducting business on behalf of the Group.

In 2024, we expect stable operational results in Kazakhstan as well as a positive investment decision on the Ertis POX. The Company expects its Kazakhstan assets to deliver stable production at approximately 475 Koz of GE.

We will continue running a number of development projects at existing operations, aimed at either extending the life-of-mine or reducing costs despite the planned depletion of higher-grade ore sources. At Kyzyl, the Company intends to push the throughput further to the 2.6 Mtpa level by the second half of 2024. We are in the process of reducing our reliance on diesel power, and with it our environmental impact, through renewable energy projects. This includes upgrading dump trucks from diesel fuel to gas at Kyzyl and progressing the 40 MWh solar power plant and gas power plant for Varvara and Kyzyl located at Varvara’s operating site.

At the same time, we will focus on advancing our long-term project pipeline. At Ertis POX, we plan to undertake engineering work, order technological equipment and prepare the construction site. The investment decision is expected to be made by the Board in the second half of 2024, with the start-up in 2028.

Polymetal will aim to pursue growth opportunities in Kazakhstan and selected Central Asian countries. We are looking for precious and base metal assets where we can apply our deep competencies in engineering, development and operations.

Financial review

market summary

Precious metals

Despite multiyear-high interest rates and bond yields, markets remained disturbed by looming recessionary fears and the ongoing global geopolitical conflicts, which made investors lean towards safe-haven assets such as gold. In H1 2023, along with the peaking interest rates, gold price reached the lowest boundary of US$ 1,811/oz before beating 2022 all-time high and reaching US$ 2,078/oz in H2 2023 on the back of elevated geopolitical and security risks, and indications of rate cuts in 2024. The average LBMA gold price in 2023 was US$ 1,943/oz, an increase of 8% compared to the prior year.

In 2023, gold demand remained strong at 4,448 tonnes, only 5% below the very exceptional 2022, when the world saw post pandemic re-opening and the escalation of the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Gold accumulation momentum in the recent years continued into 2023 – over 1,037 tonnes were added to central banks’ reserves, with China purchasing the most, while Kazakhstan being the one the biggest sellers.

Despite an elevated gold price, jewelry demand proved to be strong and maintained on par with 2022 at 2,093 tonnes. The removal of COVID restrictions in 2022 paved the way for 2023 jewelry demand hike in China – the world’s largest jewelry consumer. China’s annual jewelry consumption increased by 10% y-o-y to 630 tonnes, which was partially offset by India’s price sensitivity and as a result volume of gold jewelry purchases.

Third consecutive annual gold ETF outflow along with the weakening demand for bars and coins pulled overall investment demand to 945 tonnes – a 15% y-o-y drop (2022: 1,113 tonnes). In 2023, global soaring inflation, record-high bond yields and waves of liquidity issues within the banking sector attracted investors to a strong US dollar and risk-free government bonds away from the gold investments.

Consequences of the COVID relief stimulus payments by governments has not spared the technology market. Notwithstanding advances in the artificial intelligence, major chip manufacturers experienced downturn, which was reflected in the gold demand. Tech demand for gold dropped by 4% y-o-y to 298 tonnes for the first time sinking below 300 tonnes mark.

Having started the year by largely tracking gold dynamics, the silver price reached annual low of US$ 20.1/oz in March. It did not then, however, see the same dramatic upturn as gold. Investors preferred to stick to the more superior safe-haven gold. Even though silver briefly rallied to US$ 26.0/oz in April on the back of the geopolitical tension and economic uncertainty, it failed to maintain the momentum and averaged at US$ 23.3/oz for the year, up 7% (2022: US$ 21.8/oz).

Foreign exchange

The Group’s revenue and over 72% of borrowings are denoted in US Dollars and Renminbi, while the majority of the Group’s operational costs are denoted in Russian Rouble and Kazakh Tenge. As a result, changes in exchange rates affected the Company’s financial results and performance.

The Russian Rouble demonstrated significant devaluation relative to 2022. Continuous geopolitical escalation, capital outflows and a US$ 169.4 billion decrease in exports, as a result of deteriorating oil prices pulled the Rouble rate to a high level of 101 RUB/US$ in August of 2023. Towards the year-end, the Rouble somewhat improved to 89.7 RUB/USD on the back of the emergency 350bps rate hike by the Central Bank of Russia and re-introduction of capital control measures, including variable export duties and mandatory sales of foreign currency revenues. The average annual Rouble rate was 85.3 RUB/US$ (2022: 68.6 RUB/US$).

Although, consistent geopolitical tension within the CIS region, global strengthening of the USD as well as a weakening average oil price of US$ 82 per barrel (2022: US$ 101 per barrel) posed significant pressures, the Kazakhstani tenge remained steady at 456 KZT/US$ (2022: 461 KZT/US$) throughout 2023. This has been driven by increased oil exports, and significant sales of foreign currency and gold reserves by the National Bank of Kazakhstan.

 

Revenue

SALES VOLUMES

2023

2022

Change

 

 

 

 

Gold, Koz

1,400

1,376

+2%

Silver, Moz

16.6

18.5

-10%

Gold equivalent sold[15], Koz

1,608

1,622

-1%

 

 

Sales by metal

(US$m unless otherwise stated)

 

2023

2022

Change

Volume variance,  US$m

Price variance,  US$m

Gold

 

2,640

2,392

+10%

41

206

Average realised price[16]

US$ /oz

1,929

1,764

+9%

 

 

Average LBMA price

US$ /oz

1,943

1,802

+8%

 

 

Share of revenues

 

 87%

 85%

 

 

 

Silver

 

363

383

-5%

(40)

20

Average realised price

US$ /oz

22.8

21.9

+4%

 

 

Average LBMA price

US$ /oz

23.4

21.8

+8%

 

 

Share of revenues

 

12%

14%

 

 

 

Other metals

 

22

26

-15%

 

 

Share of revenues

 

1%

1%

 

 

 

Total revenue

 

3,025

2,801

+8%

(13)

 237

In 2023, revenue grew by 8% y-o-y driven by the growth of gold and silver average realised prices. Gold sales increased marginally by 2% y-o-y. Silver sales decreased by 10% due to significant tightening of concentrate exports regulations in Russia, which led to material accumulation in sea ports of concentrates from Russian assets.

The Group’s average realised gold price was US$ 1,929/oz in 2023, up 9% from US$ 1,764/oz in 2022, slightly below the average market price of US$ 1,943/oz. The Group’s average realised silver price was US$ 22.8/oz, higher by 4% y-o-y, but 3% below the average market price of US$ 23.4/oz since two-thirds of annual sales were skewed towards the first half of 2023 with weaker average prices.

The share of gold sales as a percentage of total revenue increased from 85% in 2022 to 87% in 2023, driven by a corresponding shift in production and sales volume by metal.

 

 

Revenue, US$m

Gold equivalent sold, Koz

OPERATION

2023

2022

Сhange

2023

2022

Сhange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

893

933

-4%

459

533

-14%

Kyzyl

518

554

-7%

271

322

-16%

Varvara

365

379

-4%

188

212

-11%

Other[17]

10

n/a

n/a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russia

2,132

1,868

+14%

1,144

1,089

+5%

Total revenue

3,025

2,801

+8%

1,603

1,622

-1%

The decrease in sales volumes during the period had a negative impact on revenues at all operating mines in Kazakhstan, which was partially offset by higher commodity prices. Difficulties with inventory conversion into sales were particularly pronounced with concentrates going through Russian Far Eastern ports, including Kyzyl concentrate being sold to China. Management will continue to work to resolve this issue during the first half of 2024, particularly focusing on Kyzyl.

At Varvara, sales volumes broadly followed production volumes, which decreased as a result of planned grade decline.

COST OF SALES

 

 

 

 

(US$m)

2023

2022

Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash operating costs

1,454

1,513

-4%

On-mine costs

632

741

-15%

Smelting costs

532

567

-6%

Purchase of metal inventories from third parties

127

69

+84%

Mining tax

163

136

+20%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Costs of production

1,734

1,836

-6%

Depreciation and depletion of operating assets

280

324

-14%

Rehabilitation expenses

 

 (1)

 n/a

 

 

 

 

Total change in metal inventories

(282)

(152)

+86%

Increase in metal inventories

(276)

(216)

+28%

(Reversal)/Write-down of inventories to net realisable value

(6)

64

n/a

 

 

 

 

Idle capacities and abnormal production costs

7

6

+17%

Total cost of sales

1,459

1,690

-14%

           

 

 

CASH OPERATING COST STRUCTURE

2023

2022

 

US$m

Share

US$m

Share

 

 

 

 

 

Services

490

34%

576

38%

Consumables and spare parts

406

28%

438

29%

Labour

257

18%

285

19%

Mining tax

163

11%

136

9%

Purchase of metal inventories from third parties

127

9%

69

5%

Other expenses

11

1%

9

1%

Total cash operating cost

1,454

100%

1,513

100%

The total cost of sales decreased by 14% in 2023 to US$ 1,459 million, reflecting the positive impact of the Russian Rouble depreciating by 24%. The devaluation impact from Russian operations offset domestic inflation (9% y-o-y in Kazakhstan and 7% y-o-y in Russia) and increase in mining tax.

The cost of services and of consumables and spare parts were down 15% and 7% y-o-y, caused mostly by a weaker Rouble compared with 2022.

The cost of labour within cash operating costs was US$ 257 million, a 10% decrease over 2022, mainly stemming from local currency devaluations, which outweighed the annual salary increases (tracking domestic CPI inflation).

Mining tax increased by 20% y-o-y to US$ 163 million, mainly driven by an increase in average realised prices, as well as gold mining tax rates in Kazakhstan increasing from 5% to 7.5%.

The increase in purchases of third-party metal inventories by 84% was mostly driven by larger volumes of high-grade third-party ore processed at the Varvara flotation circuit.

Depreciation and depletion was US$ 280 million, down 14% y-o-y, largely driven by the positive effect of a weaker Rouble. US$ 26 million of depreciation cost are included within the total increase in metal inventories (2022: US$ 52 million).

In 2023, a net metal inventory increase of US$ 276 million (2022: US$ 216 million) was recorded. The increase was mainly represented by concentrate build-up at Russian assets, due to the tightening of concentrate exports regulations in Russia. The Company expects the bulk of this increase to be reversed during the course of 2024, particularly at Kyzyl.

The Group recognised a US$ 6 million reversal (2022: US$ 65 million write-down) to the net realisable value of heap leach ore at Russian mines (see Note 17 of the condensed consolidated financial statements).

General, administrative and selling expenses

(US$m)

2023

2022

Сhange

 

 

 

 

Labour

215

243

-11%

Services

19

15

+27%

Share-based compensation

11

13

-15%

Depreciation

7

10

-30%

Other

22

30

-27%

Total general, administrative and selling expenses

274

311

-12%

General, administrative and selling expenses (“SGA”) decreased by 12% y-o-y from US$ 311 million in 2022 to US$ 274 million in 2023, mainly reflecting a decrease in staff costs in US Dollar terms driven by devaluation of the Rouble.

Other operating expenses

(US$m)

2023

2022

Change

 

 

 

 

Exploration expenses

35

62

-44%

Social payments

34

44

-23%

Bad debt allowance

19

(1)

n/a

Provision for investment in Special Economic Zones

15

14

+7%

Taxes, other than income tax

14

15

-7%

Additional tax charges/fines/penalties

2

n/a

Change in estimate of environmental obligations

(7)

(2)

n/a

Other expenses

7

7

n/a

Total other operating expenses

117

142

-18%

Other operating expenses decreased to US$ 117 million in 2023 (2022: US$ 142 million) mainly due to the reduction in exploration costs and a scheduled decrease in social payments in accordance with existing partnership agreements.

TOTAL Cash costs

In 2023, total cash costs per gold equivalent ounce sold were US$ 861/GE oz, down 8% y-o-y. The depreciation of the Russian Rouble against the US Dollar outweighed inflationary pressures and planned grade decline.

The table below summarises major factors that have affected the Group’s TCC and AISC dynamics y-o-y:

RECONCILIATION OF TCC AND AISC MOVEMENTS

TCC, US$/oz

Change

AISC, US$/oz

Change

Cost per AuEq ounce 2022

942

 

1,344

 

RUB and KZT rate change

(156)

-17%

(209)

-16%

Domestic inflation

66

+7%

93

+7%

Change in average grade processed

22

+2%

22

+2%

Sustaining capex increase

n/a

41

+3%

Other

(13)

-1%

(16)

-1%

Cost per AuEq ounce 2023

861

-8%

1,276

-5%

 

Total cash cost by segment/operation, US$/GE oz

 

Cash cost per GE ounce, US$/GE oz

Gold equivalent sold, Koz

OPERATION

2023

2022

Change

2023

2022

Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

 903

 728

+24%

459

533

-14%

Kyzyl

 704

 602

+17%

271

322

-16%

Varvara

 1,189

 920

+29%

188

212

-11%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russia

 845

 1,046

-19%

1,144

1,089

+5%

Total Group TCC

 861

 942

-9%

1,603

1,622

-1%

               

Kazakhstan

  • Kyzyl’s total cash costs were at US$ 704/GE oz, significantly below the Group’s average level, albeit up 17% y-o-y, because of a planned gradual grade decline towards the open-pit reserve average (8% decrease in 2023) and an 16% decrease in sales volumes.
  • At Varvara, TCC were at US$ 1,189/GE oz, up by 29% year-on-year, on the back of a planned grade decline of 13%, combined with a 11% decrease in sales volumes and inflationary headwinds.

Russia

  • Across the Group’s Russian mines, TCC were at US$ 845/GE oz, down by 19% year-on-year, mainly on the back of Rouble depreciation.

Analysis of 2H 2023 versus 1H 2023 performance:

Total cash costs per GE oz

 

 

Cash cost per GE oz, US$ /oz

Gold equivalent sold, Koz

 

OPERATION

2H 2023

1H 2023

Change

2H 2023

1H 2023

Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

928

871

+7%

253

206

+22%

 

Kyzyl

743

649

+14%

158

113

+40%

 

Varvara

1,239

1,138

+9%

95

93

+1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russia

 746

975

-24%

650

494

+32%

 

Total Group TCC

 797

 944

-16%

903

 700

+29%

In 2H 2023, TCC were 16% lower compared to 1H 2023 at US$ 797/GE oz, driven by the increase in sales volumes combined with local currency depreciation.

Kazakhstan

  • At Kyzyl, total cash costs in 2H 2023 were at US$ 743/GE oz, up 14% half-on-half, as material work-in-progress was accumulated in 2H 2023 to be released in 2024.
  • At Varvara, TCC increased by 9% compared to 1H 2023 to US$ 1,239/GE oz on the back of planned gradual grade declines.

Russia

  • Across the Group’s Russian mines, TCC were at US$ 746/GE oz, decreasing by 24% half-on-half, mostly driven by 32% increase in sales volumes further supported by 21% Rouble depreciation, with an average rate of 93 RUB/USD in 2H 2023 compared to 77 RUB/USD in 1H 2023.

 

ALL-IN SUSTAINING AND all-in cash costs

All-in sustaining cash costs amounted to US$ 1,276/GE oz, down 5% y-o-y, broadly in line with TCC dynamics, reflecting the decrease in capitalised stripping on the back of completed stripping campaigns at  Dukat.

AISC by operations were as follows:

All-in sustaining cash costs by segment/operation, US$/GE oz

OPERATION

2023

2022

Change

 

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

 1,263

 1,067[18]

+18%

Kyzyl

 920

 852

+8%

Varvara

 1,592

 1,144

+39%

 

 

 

 

Russia

 1,281

 1,4801

-13%

Total Group AISC

 1,276

 1,344

-5%

AISC at all operating mines generally followed TCC dynamics.

In Kazakhstan, AISC increased by 18% to US$ 1,263/oz, which was mostly driven by the decrease in sales volume, resulting in the spread of sizeable sustaining capital expenditure (including investments in new tailing storage facilities at Varvara) over a limited amount of ounces sold.

In Russia, AISC decreased by 13% to US$ 1,281/oz, on the back of sales increase, coupled with lower stripping volumes after completion of large stripping campaigns in 2023.

 

Total, US$m

US$ /GE oz

RECONCILIATION OF

ALL-IN COSTS

2023

2022

Change

2023

2022

Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of sales, excluding depreciation, depletion and write-down of inventory to net realisable value (Note 4 of financial statements)

1,212

1,355

-11%

754

837

-10%

Adjusted for:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate expenses

(10)

0

n/a

(5)

 

n/a

Idle capacities

 (7)

 (6)

+14%

 (4)

 (4)

0%

Treatment charges deductions reclassification to cost of sales

 77

 60

+28%

 48

 37

+30%

SGA expenses, excluding depreciation, amortization and share-based compensation (Note 4 of financial statements)

116

 133

-13%

 72

 82

-12%

Adjusted for:

 

 

 

 

 

 

SGA expenses of development  projects

 (7)

 (16)

-57%

 (4)

 (10)

-60%

Total cash costs

 1,381

 1,528

-10%

 861

 942

-9%

Corporate SGA expenses and other operating expenses

 225

 271

-17%

 140

 167

-16%

Capital expenditure excluding development projects

 365

 275

+33%

 228

 170

+34%

Exploration expenditure (capitalised)

10

15

-37%

 6

 9

-33%

Capitalised stripping

65

92

-30%

 40

 57

-30%

All-in sustaining cash costs

 2,045

 2,181

-6%

1,276

1,344

-5%

Finance costs (net)

 135

 111

+22%

 84

 68

+24%

Capitalised interest

 49

 35

+38%

 30

 22

+36%

Income tax paid

 216

 234[19]

 -8%

 135

 144

 -6%

After-tax all-in cash costs

 2,445

 2,562

-5%

 1,526

 1,579

-3%

Capital expenditure for development projects

 241

 422

-44%

 150

 260

-42%

SGA and other expenses for development assets

 20

 40

-51%

 12

 25

-52%

All-in costs

 2,705

 3,024

-11%

 1,688

 1,865

-9%

                 

 

Adjusted EBITDA[20] and EBITDA margin

 (US$m)

 

2023

2022

Change

 

 

 

 

Profit/(loss) for the year

 528

 (288)

n/a

Finance cost (net)[21]

 135

 111

+22%

Income tax expense/(benefit)

 315

 (44)

n/a

Depreciation and depletion

 261

 282

-7%

EBITDA

 1,239

 61

n/a

 

 

 

 

Net foreign exchange loss

 174

 32

n/a

 Impairment of non-current assets, net

 126

825

n/a

(Gain)/loss on disposal of subsidiaries, net

 (113)

 2

n/a

Share-based compensation

 11

 13

-15%

Change in fair value of contingent consideration liability

 8

 20

n/a

Other non-cash items

 13

 65

n/a

Adjusted EBITDA

 1,458

 1,017

+43%

Adjusted EBITDA margin

 48%

36%

+12%

Adjusted EBITDA per GE oz

907

628

+44%

Adjusted EBITDA by segment/operation

(US$m)

 

OPERATION

2023

2022

Change

 

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

439

516

-15%

Kyzyl

332

361

 -8%

Varvara

137

177

 -22%

Attributable corporate and other costs

(30)

(22)

+36%

 

 

 

 

Russia

1,019

501

+103%

Total Group Adjusted EBITDA

1,458

1,017

+43%

In 2023, Adjusted EBITDA increased by 43% y-o-y to US$ 1,458 million, with an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 48% (2022: 36%), driven by the cost dynamics described above combined with a 9% increase in the gold average realised price.

Other income statement items

Polymetal recorded a net foreign exchange loss in 2023 of US$ 174 million compared with an exchange loss of US$ 32 million in 2022, mostly attributable to the revaluation of the US Dollar-denominated borrowings of Russian operating companies, the functional currency of which is the Russian Rouble. This was partially offset by a foreign exchange loss on intercompany loans with different functional currencies in lending and borrowing subsidiaries.

The Group does not use any hedging instruments for managing foreign exchange risk, other than a natural hedge arising from the fact that the majority of the Group’s revenue is denominated or calculated in US Dollars.

In 2023 the Group recognised an impairment charge of US$ 165 million in respect to Amursk POX due to continued use of Amursk POX processing facility to treat Kyzyl refractory concentrate on the terms of a new tolling agreement, as entailed by provisions of JSC Polymetal divestment. See Note 14 to the condensed consolidated financial statements.

Income tax expense for 2023 was US$ 315 million compared to US$ 44 million benefit in 2022. For details refer to Note 13 of the condensed consolidated financial statements.

Net earnings, earnings per share and dividends

The Group recorded a net profit of US$ 528 million in 2023, compared to loss of US$ 288 million in 2022 which was largely driven by impairment charges.

In September 2023, the Group effectively disposed of 50.1% stake in Amikan and recognised a gain on disposal of US$ 113 million. See Note 3 to the condensed consolidated financial statements.

The underlying net earnings attributable to shareholders of the parent company were US$ 615 million, compared with US$ 440 million in 2022:

Reconciliation of underlying net earnings[22]

(US$m)

 

2023

2022

Change

 

 

 

 

Profit/(loss) for the financial period attributable to shareholders of the parent company

 528

 (288)

n/a

(Reversal)/write-down of inventory to net realisable value

 (6)

 64

n/a

Foreign exchange loss

 174

 32

+444%

Change in fair value of contingent consideration liability

 8

 20

-60%

(Gain)/loss on disposal of subsidiaries, net

 (113)

 2

n/a

Impairment of non-current assets, net

 126

 825

n/a

Tax effect

 (103)

 (216)

-52%

Underlying net earnings

 615

440

+44%

Basic profit per share was US$ 1.11 compared to US$ 0.61 loss per share in 2022. Underlying basic EPS[23] was US$ 1.30, compared with US$ 0.93 in 2022.

 

Capital expenditurE[24]

(US$m)

Sustaining

Development

Capital stripping and underground development

Exploration

Total

2023

Total

2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Development projects

241

1

242

249

   Kazakhstan

23

1

24

        Ertis POX

23

23

        Other

1

1

Russia

218

1

218

249

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating assets

365

65

9

438

543

Kazakhstan

79

42

121

102

     Varvara

55

13

68

39

     Kyzyl

24

29

53

62

Russia

286

23

9

319

442

Total capital expenditure

365

241

65

10

679

794

In 2023, total capital expenditure was US$ 679 million[25], down 14% y-o-y, and 3% below the lower end of the guidance range of US$ 700-750 million, because of the substantial positive impact of the Russian Rouble devaluation on local-currency costs. Capital expenditure excluding capitalised stripping costs was US$ 614 million in 2023 (2022: US$ 679 million).

The major capital expenditure items in 2023 were as follows:

Development projects

  • In Kazakhstan, capital expenditure of US$ 23 million was related to initial investments for the Ertis POX facility which is being developed in order to fully sever the link between the Company’s subsidiaries in Kazakhstan and its blocked subsidiaries in the Russian Federation. A land plot in the Pavlodar Special Economic Zone was successfully secured.
  • Capital expenditure at development projects of US$ 218 million in Russia mainly covered Amursk POX-2 to ensure project completion according to plan in the second half of 2024, as well as mining fleet purchases, spare parts and consumables purchases at Veduga.

Stay-in-business capex at operating assets

  • At Varvara, capital expenditure of US$ 55 million was mainly related to the construction of a tailings storage facility and upgrading the mining fleet.
  • At Kyzyl, capital expenditure in 2023 comprised US$ 24 million, mainly represented by scheduled technical upgrades and expansion of the concentrator capacity to 2.4 Mtpa.
  • Across the Group’s Russian mines, capital expenditure of US$ 286 million was mostly related to infrastructure upgrades, regular mining fleet replacements and maintenance capital expenditure at processing facilities.

Exploration and stripping

  • The Group continues to invest in standalone exploration projects. Capital expenditure for exploration in 2023 was US$ 10 million (2022: US$ 17 million).
  • Capitalised stripping and underground development costs totalled US$ 65 million in 2023 (2022: US$ 115 million) and are attributable to operations with 2023 stripping ratios exceeding their life-of-mine averages during the period, particularly Kyzyl (US$ 29 million), Varvara (US$ 13 million) and Russian mines (US$ 23 million).

 

Cash flows

(US$m)

2023

2022

Change

 

 

 

 

Operating cash flows before changes in working capital

1,074

679

+58%

Changes in working capital

(499)

(473)

+5%

Total operating cash flows

575

206

+179%

 

 

 

 

Capital expenditure

(679)

(794)

-14%

Net cash (outflow)/inflow on M&A

(3)

123

n/a

Other

(24)

(8)

n/a

Investing cash flows

(706)

(679)

+4%

 

 

 

 

Financing cash flows

 

 

 

Net changes in borrowings

380

838

-55%

Repayments of principal under lease liabilities

(21)

n/a

Acquisition of non-controlling interest

(24)

n/a

Contingent consideration paid

(27)

n/a

Total financing cash flows

359

787

-54%

 

 

 

 

Net increase in cash and cash equivalents

228

314

-27%

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the year

633

417

+52%

Effect of foreign exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents

(19)

(98)

n/a

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the year

842

633

+33%

Total operating cash flows in 2023 strengthened y-o-y. Operating cash flows before changes in working capital grew by 58% y-o-y to US$ 1,074 million, as a result of an increase in adjusted EBITDA. Net operating cash flows were US$ 575 million, compared with US$ 206 million in 2022, affected by an increase in working capital of US$ 499 million (2022: US$ 473 million).

Total cash and cash equivalents increased by 33% compared with 2022 and comprised US$ 842 million, with the following items affecting the cash position of the Group:

  • Operating cash flows of US$ 575 million;
  • Investment cash outflows totalling US$ 706 million, up 4% year-on-year, mainly represented by capital expenditure (down 14% y-o-y to US$ 679 million) and cash flows on acquisitions and disposals (US$ 3 million);
  • The gross borrowings increase of US$ 380 million, mostly driven by financing of the Group’s short-term working capital requirements; and
  • Repayments of principal under lease liabilities of US$ 21 million.

 

 

balance sheet, Liquidity and funding

NET DEBT

As at

31 December

2023

As at

31 December

2022

Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Net debt

2,383

2,393

-0%

Total Net debt / Adjusted EBITDA

1.64

2.35

-44%

 

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

 

 

 

Short-term debt and current portion of long-term debt

145

76

+91%

Long-term debt

356

719

-50%

Gross debt

503

795

-37%

Less: cash and cash equivalents

329

518

-36%

Net debt

174

277

-37%

Net debt / Adjusted EBITDA

0.39x

0.54x

-38%

 

 

 

 

Russia

 

 

 

Short-term debt and current portion of long-term debt

860

439

+96%

Long-term debt

1,864

1,797

+4%

Gross debt

2,724

2,236

+22%

Less: cash and cash equivalents

514

119

n/a

Net debt

2,209

2,117

+4%

Net debt / Adjusted EBITDA

2.17x

4.23x

-95%

The Group’s net debt decreased to US$ 2,383 million as of 31 December 2023, representing a Net debt/Adjusted EBITDA ratio of 1.64x, significantly below the 2022 leverage ratio of 2.35x.

The proportion of long-term borrowings of total borrowings was 69% as at 31 December 2023 (83% as at 31 December 2022). As at 31 December 2023, the Group had US$ 1.4 billion (31 December 2022: US$ 0.35 billion) of available undrawn facilities, from a wide range of lenders, which allows the Group to maintain its operational flexibility in the current environment.

Gross debt increased by 7% to $3,225 million, of which 73% is denominated in hard currency. Kazakhstan represents 16% of the total debt outstanding, while Russia represents the remaining 84% of the debt.

The average cost of debt increased to 8.3% in 2023 (2022: 5.08%). In Kazakhstan, average interest rates remained low at 3.95%, while for Russian subsidiaries it reached 9.1% as re-financing was available mostly in Roubles or in Renminbi at elevated interest rates.

77% of available cash balances of US$ 842 million is denominated in hard currency. The Group is confident in its ability to repay its existing borrowings as they fall due.

 

INVENTORies

Inventory levels increased by US$ 104 million to US$ 1,294 million for 2023. US$ 274 million of inventory balance relates to Kazakhstan, and US$ 1,020 million of inventory comes from Russia.

This increase of US$ 95 million for the second half of 2023 relates mostly to accumulation in sea ports of concentrates from Russian assets.

 

(US$m)

31 Dec 2023

Change

30 Jun 2023

Change

31 Dec 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kazakhstan

274

+8

267

+77

 190

Сopper, gold and silver concentrate

66

+7

59

+20

39

Ore stock piles

86

+0

86

+14

71

Doré, work in-process, metal for refining and refined metals

 

51

 

-3

54

+26

29

Non-metal inventories

71

+3

68

+16

51

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russia

1,020

+86

934

-66

 1,000

Сopper, gold and silver concentrate

266

+15

252

-6

248

Ore stock piles

173

-19

192

-55

247

Doré, work in-process, metal for refining and refined metals

 

247

 

+81

167

+7

170

Non-metal inventories

333

+10

323

-12

335

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total inventory

1,294

+95

1,199

+9

 1,190

 

Payable metals in inventory accumulated at 31 December 2023 were as follows:

(GE Koz)

Kazakhstan

Russia

Total Group

 

 

 

 

Concentrate and precipitate

65

206

271

Bullions

291

291

Doré

12

23

35

Total payable metals

78

519

597

 

2024 OUTLOOK FOR KAZAKHSTAN BUSINESS

  • The Company expects its Kazakhstan assets to deliver stable production at 475 Koz of GE.
  • Costs are estimated in the ranges of US$ 900-1,000/GE oz for TCC and US$ 1,250-1,350/GE oz for AISC[26]. A y-o-y increase is expected, largely because of the sharp increases in power and railway tariffs in Kazakhstan.
  • Capital expenditures are expected to be approximately US$ 225 million, including US$ 60 million for Ertis POX.
  • The Group currently forecasts positive free cash flow in 2024.

Principal risks and uncertainties

There are a number of potential risks and uncertainties which could have a material impact on the Group’s performance and could cause actual results to differ materially from expected and historical results.

The principal risks and uncertainties facing the Group are categorised as follows:

  •    Operational risks:
    • Production risk
    • Construction and development risk
    • Supply chain risk
    • Exploration risk
  •    Sustainability risks:
    • Health and safety risk
    • Environmental risk
    • Human capital risk
  •    Political and social risks:
    • Legal and compliance risk
    • Political risk
    • Taxation risk
  •    Financial risks:
    • Market risk
    • Currency risk
    • Liquidity risk

A detailed explanation of these risks and uncertainties can be found on pages 100 to 109 of the 2022 annual report which is available at www.polymetalinternational.com.

The directors consider that these principal risks and uncertainties have not changed materially since the publication of the annual report for the year ended 31 December 2022 and continue to apply to the Group for the 2023 financial year.

Further updates will be presented in the full annual financial report for 2023.

Going concern

In assessing its going concern status, the Group has taken into account principal risks and uncertainties, financial position, sources of cash generation, anticipated future trading performance, borrowings and other available credit facilities, and forecasted compliance with covenants on those borrowings, and capital expenditure commitments and plans.

In the going concern assessment, the Group also considered the implications of sanctions imposed by U.S. Department of State on JSC Polymetal, the Company’s subsidiary in the Russian Federation. In February 2024, the Group entered into contracts for the divestment of its Russian business through a sale of 100% JSC Polymetal’s shares to a third party, JSC Mangazeya Plus, as described in Note 24. On 16 February 2024, US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) confirmed to the Company that it would not impose sanctions on non-US persons, including Polymetal International Plc, for participating in or facilitating such a transaction. The Group determined that these implications did not have any material effect on the Group’s liquidity position and its ability to finance its obligations.

On 7 March 2024 the transaction was approved by the Shareholders General Meeting and, following receipt of required regulatory approvals, the transaction was completed on the same day.

To assess the resilience of the Group’s going concern assessment in light of the macroeconomic volatility, management performed the stress downside scenario that is considered plausible over the next 12 months from the date of approval of the 2023 condensed consolidated financial statements. As such, this does not represent the Group’s ‘best estimate’ forecast, but was considered in the Group’s assessment of going concern, reflecting the current evolving circumstances and the most significant and plausible changes in macro assumptions identified at the date of performing of the going concern assessment.

The Group has already taken precautionary measures to manage liquidity and provide flexibility for the future. In addition, it was assumed that the Group has adapted its sales routes and supply chain and the net cash flows generated will be available for use within the Group. Under the stress scenario, the Group’s income and profits are affected by simultaneous decrease of gold prices by 5% and local currency appreciation by 10%, as well as 10% overrun of development capital expenditure.

At the reporting date, the Group holds US$ 329 million of cash and US$ 100 million of undrawn credit facilities (excluding assets sold in March 2024), which when combined with the forecast net cash flows under the stress scenario above, is considered to be adequate to meet the Group’s financial obligations as they fall due over the next 12 months. No borrowing covenant requirements are expected to be breached in the stress scenario. The Group expects to settle obligations as they fall due but also has mitigating actions available such as reducing production volumes and variable mining costs where possible, reducing and deferring non-essential and non-committed capital expenditure.

The Board is therefore satisfied that the Group’s forecasts and projections, including the stress scenario above, demonstrate that the Group has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for at least 12 months from the date of approval of the 2023 condensed consolidated financial statements and that it is appropriate to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the condensed consolidated financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2023.

Directors’ responsibility statement

Directors are responsible for the preparation of the condensed consolidated financial statements that present the financial position of Polymetal International Plc (the “Company”) and its subsidiaries (the “Group”) as of 31 December 2023, and the results of its operations, cash flows and changes in equity for the year then ended based on the recognition, derecognition, measurement and classification principles of International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”).

 

In preparing the condensed consolidated financial statements, directors are responsible for:

  • properly selecting and applying accounting policies;
  • presenting information, including accounting policies, in a manner that provides relevant, reliable, comparable and understandable information;
  • providing additional disclosures when compliance with the specific requirements in IFRSs are insufficient to enable users to understand the impact of particular transactions, other events and conditions on the Group’s consolidated financial position and financial performance; and
  • making an assessment of the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern.

 

Directors also are responsible for:

  • designing, implementing and maintaining an effective and sound system of internal controls throughout the Group;
  • maintaining adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the Group’s transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the consolidated financial position of the Group, and which enable them to ensure that condensed consolidated financial statements of the Group comply with IFRS;
  • taking such steps as are reasonably available to them to safeguard the assets of the Group; and
  • preventing and detecting fraud and other irregularities.

 

Condensed consolidated financial statements of the Group for the year ended 31 December 2023 were approved by Board of Directors on 14 March 2024.

 

By order of Board of Directors:

 

Evgueni Konovalenko

Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

 

Vitaly Nesis

Group Chief Executive Officer

14 March 2024

 

Polymetal International plc

 

Condensed Consolidated income Statement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Year ended 

 

 Year ended 

 

Note

31 December 2023

 

31 December 2022

 

 

US$m

 

US$m

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

5

3,025

 

2,801

Cost of sales

6

(1,459)

 

(1,690)

Gross profit

 

1,566

 

1,111

 

 

 

 

 

General, administrative and selling expenses

10

(274)

 

(311)

Other operating expenses, net

11

(117)

 

(142)

Impairment of non-current assets, net

14

(126)

 

(825)

Share of loss in joint ventures

16

(2)

 

Operating profit/(loss)

 

1,047

 

(167)

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign exchange loss, net

 

(174)

 

(32)

Gain/(loss) on disposal of subsidiaries

3

113

 

(2)

Change in fair value of financial instruments

20

(8)

 

(20)

Finance expenses

12

(162)

 

(119)

Finance income

 

27

 

8

Profit/(loss) before income tax

 

843

 

(332)

 

 

 

 

 

Income tax

13

(315)

 

44

Profit/(loss) for the year

 

528

 

(288)

 

 

 

 

 

Profit/(loss) for the year attributable to:

 

 

 

 

Equity shareholders of the Parent

 

528

 

(288)

 

 

528

 

(288)

Earnings/(loss) per share (US$)

 

 

 

 

Basic

21

1.11

 

(0.61)

Diluted

21

1.11

 

(0.61)

 

 

 

 

Polymetal International plc

 

condensed Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Year ended 

 

 Year ended 

 

Note

31 December 2023

 

31 December 2022

 

 

US$m

 

US$m

 

 

 

 

 

Profit/(loss) for the year

 

                           528

 

                                    (288)

Other comprehensive (loss)/income, net of income tax

 

                          (528)

 

                                     338

Items that will not be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss

 

 

 

 

Effect of translation to presentation currency

 

                             17

 

                                        

 

 

 

 

 

Items that may be reclassified to profit or loss

 

 

 

 

Fair value (loss)/gain arising on hedging instruments during the year

20

                              (8)

 

                                      16

Exchange differences on translating foreign operations

 

                          (592)

 

                                     365

Currency exchange differences on intercompany loans forming net investment in foreign operations, net of income tax

 

                             55

 

                                     (43)

Total comprehensive income for the year

 

                          

 

                                      50

 

 

 

 

 

Total comprehensive income for the year attributable to:

 

 

 

 

Equity shareholders of the Parent

 

                          

 

                                      50


Polymetal International plc

 

condensed Consolidated Statement of Financial Position

 

 

 

 

Note

31 December 2023

 

31 December 2022

Assets

 

US$m

 

US$m

 

 

 

 

 

Property, plant and equipment

15

2,998

 

3,392

Right-of-use assets

 

76

 

131

Goodwill

 

11

 

14

Investments in associates and joint ventures

16

129

 

13

Non-current accounts receivable

 

107

 

31

Other non-current financial assets

 

9

 

24

Deferred tax asset

13

192

 

142

Non-current inventories

17

115

 

133

Total non-current assets

 

3,637

 

3,880

 

 

 

 

 

Current inventories

17

1,178

 

                       1,057

Prepayments to suppliers

 

180

 

                         185

Income tax prepaid

 

46

 

                           64

VAT receivable

 

131

 

                         148

Trade and other receivables

 

261

 

                         103

Other financial assets at FVTPL

 

5

 

                           10

Cash and cash equivalents

23

842

 

                         633

Total current assets

 

2,643

 

2,200

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

6,280

 

6,080

 

 

 

 

 

Liabilities and shareholders’ equity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current borrowings

18

(1,005)

 

(514)

Accounts payable and accrued liabilities

 

(240)

 

(270)

Income tax payable

 

(20)

 

(11)

Other taxes payable

 

(81)

 

(68)

Current portion of contingent consideration liability

20

(15)

 

(9)

Current lease liabilities

23

(18)

 

(25)

Total current liabilities

 

(1,379)

 

(897)

 

 

 

 

 

Non-current borrowings

18

(2,220)

 

(2,512)

Contingent and deferred consideration liabilities

20

(29)

 

(112)

Deferred tax liability

13

(252)

 

(107)

Environmental obligations

 

(69)

 

(76)

Non-current lease liabilities

23

(52)

 

(106)

Other non-current liabilities

 

(26)

 

(28)

Total non-current liabilities

 

(2,648)

 

(2,941)

Total liabilities

 

(4,027)

 

(3,838)

NET ASSETS

 

2,253

 

2,242

 

 

 

 

 

Stated capital account

21

 

2,450

Share capital

21

14

 

Share premium

21

2,436

 

Share-based compensation reserve

 

33

 

35

Cash flow hedging reserve

 

8

 

16

Translation reserve

 

(2,063)

 

(1,543)

Retained earnings

 

1,825

 

1,284

Total equity

 

2,253

 

2,242

 

 

 

 

 

Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity

 

                      (6,280)

 

                      (6,080)

 


Polymetal International plc

 

condensed Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year ended

 

Year ended

 

Note

 

31 December 2023

 

31 December 2022

 

US$m

 

US$m

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash generated by operating activities

23

 

575

 

206

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from investing activities

 

 

 

 

 

Purchases of property, plant and equipment

 

 

(679)

 

(794)

Net cash (outflow)/inflow on asset acquisitions

3

 

(24)

 

123

Proceeds from disposal of subsidiaries, net of cash disposed of

3

 

21

 

5

Loans advanced

 

 

(60)

 

(19)

Repayment of loans provided

 

 

29

 

3

Contingent consideration received

 

 

7

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash used in investing activities

 

 

(706)

 

(679)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from financing activities

 

 

 

 

 

Borrowings obtained

23

 

1,324

 

3,885

Repayments of borrowings

23

 

(944)

 

(3,029)

Repayments of principal under lease liabilities

23

 

(21)

 

(18)

Acquisition of non-controlling interest

 

 

 

(24)

Contingent consideration paid

23

 

 

(27)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash from financing activities

 

 

359

 

787

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net increase in cash and cash equivalents

 

 

228

 

314

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the year

23

 

633

 

417

Effect of foreign exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents

 

 

(19)

 

(98)

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the year

23

 

842

 

633

 

Polymetal International plc

 

condensed Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity

 

 

 

 

Note

Stated capital account

Share capital

Share premium

Share-based compensation reserve

Cash flow hedging reserve

Translation reserve

Retained earnings

Total equity

 

 

US$m

US$m

US$m

US$m

US$m

US$m

US$m

US$m

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balance at 1 January 2022

 

2,450

31

(1,865)

1,587

2,203

Loss for the year

 

(288)

(288)

Other comprehensive income, net of income tax

 

16

322

338

Total comprehensive income/(loss)

 

16

322

(288)

50

Share-based compensation

 

13

13

Acquisition of non-controlling interest

 

(24)

(24)

Transfer to retained earnings

 

(9)

9

Balance at 31 December 2022

 

2,450

35

16

(1,543)

1,284

2,242

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profit for the year

 

528

528

Other comprehensive loss, net of income tax

 

(8)

(520)

(528)

Total comprehensive income/(loss)

 

 

 

(8)

(520)

528

Redomiciation to AIFC

21

(2,450)

14

2,436

 

 

 

Share-based compensation

 

11

11

Transfer to retained earnings

 

(13)

13

Balance at 31 December 2023

 

14

2,436

33

8

(2,063)

1,825

2,253

 

1.           General

 

Corporate information

Polymetal Group is a leading gold and silver mining group, operating in Kazakhstan and Russia.

Polymetal International plc (the “Company”) is the ultimate parent entity of Polymetal Group. The Company was incorporated on 29 July 2010 as a public limited company under Companies (Jersey) Law. On 8 August 2023, the Group completed the re-domiciliation of the Company from Jersey to the Astana International Financial Centre (“AIFC”), Republic of Kazakhstan. The Company is listed on the AIX, which has become the Company’s primary stock exchange, while its listing on London stock exchange was cancelled on 28 August 2023. The Company also maintains a secondary listing on Moscow Exchange (MOEX).

On 19 May 2023, JSC Polymetal, the holding company for the Group’s assets located in the Russian Federation, and its subsidiaries were designated by the U.S. Department of State pursuant to Executive Order 14024 for operating in the metals and mining sector of the Russian economy. Following the designation the Board of Directors of the Company (the “Board”) set up a special committee of independent non-executive directors to ensure full and comprehensive compliance with U.S. sanctions. The Company and its non-Russian subsidiaries are not subject to blocking sanctions.

In the light of these developments, and in the interests of preserving shareholder value, the Board and the Special Committee undertook a strategic process to review all possible options in respect of JSC Polymetal and its subsidiaries (JSC Polymental Group) divestment in order to restore value for Polymetal shareholders and de-risk its ongoing operations.

Based on circumstances existing as of 31 December 2023, the Group has determined that JSC Polymetal and its subsidiaries did not meet the definition of the disposal group in accordance IFRS 5 Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations. 

In February 2024, the Group entered into contracts for the divestment of its Russian business through a sale of 100% JSC Polymetal’s shares to a third party, JSC Mangazeya Plus, as described in Note 24. On 16 February 2024, US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) confirmed to the Company that it would not impose sanctions on non-US persons, including Polymetal International Plc, for participating in or facilitating such a transaction. On 7 March 2024, following receipt of required regulatory and shareholder approvals, the transaction was completed.

 

Going concern 

In assessing its going concern status, the Group has taken into account principal risks and uncertainties, financial position, sources of cash generation, anticipated future trading performance, borrowings and other available credit facilities, and forecasted compliance with covenants on those borrowings, and capital expenditure commitments and plans.

In the going concern assessment, the Group also considered the implications of sanctions imposed by U.S. Department of State on JSC Polymetal, the Company’s subsidiary in the Russian Federation, and the imminent sale of Russian business in March 2024, as described above. The Group determined that these implications did not have any material effect on the Group’s liquidity position and its ability to finance its obligations.

On 7 March 2024 the transaction was approved by the Shareholders General Meeting and, following receipt of required regulatory approvals, the transaction was completed on the same day.

To assess the resilience of the Group’s going concern assessment in light of the macroeconomic volatility, management performed the stress downside scenario that is considered plausible over the next 12 months from the date of approval of the 2023 condensed consolidated financial statements. As such, this does not represent the Group’s ‘best estimate’ forecast, but was considered in the Group’s assessment of going concern, reflecting the current evolving circumstances and the most significant and plausible changes in macro assumptions identified at the date of performing of the going concern assessment.

The Group has already taken precautionary measures to manage liquidity and provide flexibility for the future. In addition, it was assumed that the Group has adapted its sales routes and supply chain and the net cash flows generated will be available for use within the Group. Under the stress scenario, the Group’s income and profits are affected by simultaneous decrease of gold prices by 5% and local currency appreciation by 10%, as well as 10% overrun of development сapital expenditure.

At the reporting date, the Group holds US$ 329 million of cash and US$ 100 million of undrawn credit facilities (excluding assets sold in March 2024), which when combined with the forecast net cash flows under the stress scenario above, is considered to be adequate to meet the Group’s financial obligations as they fall due over the next 12 months. No borrowing covenant requirements are expected to be breached in the stress scenario. The Group expects to settle obligations as they fall due but also has mitigating actions available such as reducing production volumes and variable mining costs where possible, reducing and deferring non-essential and non-committed capital expenditure.

The Board is therefore satisfied that the Group’s forecasts and projections, including the stress scenario above, demonstrate that the Group has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for at least 12 months from the date of approval of the 2023 condensed consolidated financial statements and that it is appropriate to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the condensed consolidated financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2023.

Basis of presentation

The Group’s annual condensed consolidated financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2023 are prepared in accordance with the recognition, derecognition, measurement and classification principles of  International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The financial statements have been prepared on the historical cost basis, except for certain financial instruments which are measured at fair value as of end of the reporting period and share-based payments which are recognised at fair value as of the measurement date.

The accounting policies and methods of computation applied are consistent with those adopted and disclosed in the Group’s annual report for the year ended 31 December 2022 on pages 177 to 187, except as described below.

During the year ended 31 December 2023 management has reviewed the segmental presentation of financial information it requires to assess performance and allocate resources, As a result the presentation of segmental information was re-assessed, including comparative information as described in Note 4.

The Group determined that starting from August 2023, following the re-domiciliation of the Company from Jersey to AIFC in Kazakhstan and due to the accumulation over time of those factors which are the main determinants of functional currency, there had been a change in facts and circumstances surrounding the operations of the Company, indicating that the functional currency of the Company and some of its intermediate holding companies had changed from the US Dollar to the KZT. In accordance with IAS 21 The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates, this change has been accounted for prospectively from 1 August 2023.

New standards adopted by the Group

  • IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts, effective for annual period beginning on or after 1 January 2023 with earlier application permitted;
  • Amendments to IAS 1 and IFRS Practice Statement 2 requiring that an entity discloses its material accounting policies, instead of its significant accounting policies, effective for annual period beginning on or after 1 January 2023 with earlier application permitted;
  • Amendments to IAS 12 clarifying that the initial recognition exemption does not apply to transactions in which equal amounts of deductible and taxable temporary differences arise on initial recognition, effective for annual period beginning on or after 1 January 2023 with earlier application permitted;
  • Amendments to IAS 12 – International Tax Reform – Pillar Two Model Rules, introducing a temporary exception to the accounting requirements for deferred taxes in IAS 12, so that an entity would neither recognise nor disclose information about deferred tax assets and liabilities related to Pillar Two income taxes; and
  • Amendments to IAS 8 replacing the definition of a change in accounting estimates with a definition of accounting estimates, effective for annual period beginning on or after 1 January 2023 with earlier application permitted.

The Group has determined that these standards and interpretations do not have a material impact on its condensed consolidated financial statements or are not applicable to the Group.

New accounting standards issued but not yet effective

The following amendments to the accounting standards were in issue but not yet effective as of date of approval of these condensed consolidated financial statements:

  • Amendments to IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements regarding non-current liabilities with covenants, effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2024, with early application permitted;
  • Amendments to IFRS 16 Leases regarding lease liabilities in sale and leaseback transactions, effective for annual period beginning on or after 1 January 2024 with earlier application permitted;

Amendments to IAS 7 Statement of Cash Flows and IFRS 7 Financial Instruments: Disclosures regarding supplier finance arrangements, effective for annual period beginning on or after 1 January 2024 with earlier application permitted;

  • Amendments to IAS 21 The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates: Disclosures of information that enables users of financial statements to understand the impact of a currency not being exchangeable, effective for annual period beginning on or after 1 January 2025 with earlier application permitted; and
  • Amendments to IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial Statements and IAS 28 Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures regarding the sale or contribution of assets between an investor and its associate or joint venture, the effective date of the amendments has yet to be set. However, earlier application of the amendments is permitted.

The Group has determined that these standards and interpretations are unlikely to have a material impact on its condensed consolidated financial statements or are not applicable to the Group.

 

2.           Critical accounting judgements and key sources of estimation uncertainty

In the course of preparing the condensed consolidated financial statements, management necessarily makes judgements and estimates that can have a significant impact on those financial statements. The determination of estimates requires judgements which are based on historical experience, current and expected economic conditions, and all other available information.

Estimates and underlying assumptions are reviewed on an ongoing basis, with revisions recognised in the period in which the estimates are revised and in the future periods affected. The judgements involving a higher degree of estimation or complexity are set out below.

Critical accounting judgements

The following are the critical accounting judgements (apart from judgements involving estimation which are dealt with separately below), made during the year that had the most significant effect on the amounts recognised in the condensed consolidated financial statements.

Re-assessment and impairment of Amursk POX CGU

Impairment charges are assessed at the CGU level. Significant management judgement is applied in determining the Group’s CGUs, particularly when assets relate to integrated operations, and where changes in CGU determinations could impact the impairment recognised. It was previously determined that Amursk POX represented a shared corporate asset in accordance with IAS 36 Impairment of assets. During the year ended 31 December 2023, the Group has determined that due to the changes in the mode of assets utilisation that generate a revenue stream for Amursk POX, it became a separate CGU. Such changes included continued use of Amursk POX processing facility to treat Kyzyl refractory concentrate on the terms of tolling agreement, as entailed by provisions of JSC Polymetal divestment (Notes 1, 24) and the offtake arrangement over Veduga concentrate, described below. This judgement was applied to the impairment review as of 31 December 2023, resulting in impairment charge of US$ 165 million (Note 14).

 

Indicators of Impairment and reversal of impairment

The Group considers both external and internal sources of information in assessing whether there are any indications that CGUs are impaired. The external sources of information the Group considers include changes in the market, economic and legal environment in which the Group operates, that are usually not within its control, and are expected to affect the recoverable amount of CGUs. Internal sources of information include the manner in which mining properties, plant and equipment are being used or are expected to be used; and indicators of the economic performance of the assets, historical exploration and operating results. The primary external factors considered are changes in spot and forecast metal prices, market rates of returns that form discount rates, and changes in laws and regulations. The primary internal factors considered are the Group’s current mine performance against expectations, changes in mineral reserves and resources, life of mine plans and exploration results.

Assets (other than goodwill) that have been previously impaired should be assessed for indicators of both impairment and impairment reversal. Such assets are generally carried on the balance sheet at a value close to their recoverable amount at the last assessment. Therefore in principle any change to operational or macroeconomic parameters could result in further impairment or impairment reversal if an indicator is identified.

During year ended 31 December 2023 the Group determined that due to updated operational plans and futher advancement of the project, impairment loss previously recognised for Veduga was fully reversed as detailed in Note 14. As a result the reversal of impairment loss of US$ 68 million was recorded.

Other significant operating assets that the Group has previously impaired include Nezhda-Prognoz and Kutyn CGU. These assets had a combined carrying value of US$ 751 million as at 31 December 2023. Despite the external indicators such as commodities’ prices and foreign exchange rates showed favorable changes, there is no significant positive change in these CGUs’ expected economic performance, and therefore no indicators of the reversal of previously recognised impairment loss were identified.

Veduga (Amikan GRK LLC) Joint Venture

In September 2023, the Group disposed of  the stake in Amikan LLC (holder of Veduga deposit license), which resulted in loss control of over subsidiary, as described in Note 3. The Group retained interest of 49.9% in Amikan and entered into a number of corporate arrangements with the new shareholder regarding project financing, governance and operations.

When the Group enters into an arrangement where it has the power to participate in the financial and operating policy decisions of an investee or into arrangements with other parties for the joint ownership of particular assets or developments, it must assess whether the arrangements constitute significant influence, control, joint operations or a joint venture based on the rights and obligations of the parties to the arrangements.

Based on the governance structure of the investee, it was determined that the arrangement requires the unanimous consent of the parties sharing control. The preliminary offtake arrangement to purchase the output by Amursk POX, entailed by the shareholders agreement, does not indicate that the parties have rights to the substantially all economic benefits of the assets and, therefore, in effect do not have the obligation for liabilities, as pricing mechanism relates only to the market metal price and related adjustments is in line with the market practice, with no additional financing arrangements.

Therefore it was concluded that the joint arrangement provides the parties with rights to the net assets of the arrangement and, therefore, the retained investment represents a joint venture. The retained investment was initially recognised at fair value as of date of transaction, as described in Note 3.

Accounting for acquisitions

To determine the appropriate accounting approach to be followed for an acquisition transaction, the Group applies judgement to assess whether the acquisition is of a business, and therefore within scope of IFRS 3 Business Combinations, or is of a group of assets that do not constitute a business and is therefore outside scope of IFRS 3. In making this determination, management evaluates the inputs, processes and outputs of the asset or entity acquired. Judgement is used to determine whether an integrated set of activities and assets is capable of being conducted and managed for the purpose of providing a return in the form of dividends, lower costs or other economic benefits directly to investors or other owners, members or participants. The acquisitions of subsidiaries during reporting year have been assessed as asset acquisitions (Note 3).

Recoverability of exploration and evaluation assets

Exploration and evaluation assets include mineral rights and exploration and evaluation costs, including geophysical, topographical, geological and similar types of costs. Exploration and evaluation costs are capitalised if management concludes that future economic benefits are likely to be realised and determines that economically viable extraction operation can be established as a result of exploration activities and internal assessment of mineral resources.

According to IFRS 6 Exploration for and evaluation of mineral resources, the potential indicators of impairment include: management’s plans to discontinue the exploration activities, lack of further substantial exploration expenditure planned, expiry of exploration licences in the period or in the nearest future, or existence of other data indicating the expenditure capitalised is not recoverable. At the end of each reporting period, management assesses whether such indicators exist for the exploration and evaluation assets capitalised, which requires significant judgement. During the year ended 31 December 2023 the Group recognised impairment loss related to the individual exploration and evaluation assets of US$ 29 million as detailed in Note 14.

Use of estimates

The preparation of financial statements requires the Group to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts of the assets and liabilities recognised, amounts of revenue and expenses reported, and contingent liabilities disclosed, as of the reporting date. The determination of estimates is based on current and expected economic conditions, as well as historical data and statistical and mathematical methods as appropriate.

Key sources of estimation uncertainty

Key sources of estimation uncertainty reflect those sources of estimation uncertainty which may have a possible material impact of resulting in a material adjustment to the carrying amount of assets and liabilities within the next financial year. They include: cash flow projections for impairment testing and impairment reversal, valuation of contingent consideration assets and liabilities and calculation of net realisable value of stockpiles and work-in progress, mineral reserves and resources assessment and life of mine plans, useful lives of production and other assets, environmental provision and recoverability of deferred tax assets.

DCF models are developed for the purposes of impairment testing, valuation of contingent consideration assets and liabilities, calculation of net realisable value of metal inventories and assessment of the recoverability of deferred tax assets. Expected future cash flows used in DCF models are inherently uncertain and could change over time. They are affected by a number of factors including ore reserves, together with economic factors such as commodity prices, exchange rates, discount rates and estimates of production costs and future capital expenditure.

  • Ore reserves and mineral resources – Recoverable reserves and resources are based on the proven and probable reserves and resources in existence. Reserves and resources are incorporated in projected cash flows based on ore reserve statements and exploration and evaluation work undertaken by appropriately qualified persons (see below). Mineral resources, adjusted by certain conversion ratios, are included where management has a high degree of confidence in their economic extraction, despite additional evaluation still being required prior to meeting the required confidence to convert to ore reserves.

 

  • Commodity prices – Commodity prices are based on latest internal forecasts, benchmarked against external sources of information. Polymetal currently uses flat real long-term gold and silver prices of US$ 1,900 per ounce for 2024, US$ 1,800 per ounce from 2025 per ounce (2022: of US$ 1,800 per ounce for 2023, US$ 1,700 per ounce from 2024) and US$ 23 per ounce (2022: and US$ 20 per ounce for 2023, US$ 21 per ounce from 2024), respectively.

 

  • Foreign exchange rates – Foreign exchange rates are based on observable spot rates, or on latest internal forecasts, benchmarked with external sources of information for relevant countries of operation, as appropriate. The RUB/US$ exchange rates are estimated at 90 RUB/US$ for 2024 (2022: 65 RUB/US$ for 2023,  at 73 RUB/US$ for 2024 and 75 RUB/US$ from 2025). The KZT/US$ exchange rate are estimated at 450 KZT/USD for 2024 and 500 KZT/USD for 2025 and beyond (2022: 450 KZT/US$ for 2023, at 502 KZT/US$ from 2024), respectively.

 

  • Discount rates – The Group used a post-tax real discount rate of 12.5% for Russia assets and 8.7% for Kazakhstan (2022: 14.1% for Russia assets and 9% for Kazakhstan). Post-tax cash flow projections used in the value in use impairment models are discounted based on these rates.

 

  • Operating costs, capital expenditure and other operating factors – Cost assumptions incorporate management experience and expectations, as well as the nature and location of the operation and the risks associated therewith. Underlying input cost assumptions are consistent with related output price assumptions. Other operating factors, such as the timelines of granting licences and permits are based on management’s best estimate of the outcome of uncertain future events at the balance sheet date.

 

Sensitivity analysis

The impairment charge of US$ 165 million for Amursk POX property, plant and equipment was recognised during the year ended 31 December 2023 (Note 14). The recoverable amount was estimated based on a value in use calculation.

The impairment assessment is inherently sensitive to plausible changes in certain economic and operational key input assumptions within the next financial year, which could increase or reduce the CGU’s recoverable value estimate.

Management performed an analysis as to whether a reasonably possible adverse change to any of the key assumptions would lead to further impairment. The table below summarises the outcomes of the following isolated scenarios and respective additional impairment that would be recognised.

Scenario

US$m

 

 

10% simultaneous decrease in gold and silver prices over the life of mine

73

10% appreciation in RUB/US$ exchange rates;

6

10% increase in operating expenses over the life of mine

60

1% increase in the discount rate applied

26

 

Each of the sensitivities above has been determined by assuming that the relevant key assumption moves in isolation, and without regard to potential mine plan changes and other management decisions which would be taken to respond to adverse changes in existing management projections.

The sensitivities of contingent consideration liabilities measured at FVTPL of  US$ 44 million at 31 December 2023 (31 December 2022: US$ 36 million) and inventories held at net realisable value of US$ 80 million at 31 December 2023  (31 December 2022: US$ 95 million) to a reasonably possible change in key assumptions described above are not considered material due to materiality of the respective balances.

Recoverability of deferred tax assets

Deferred tax assets are reviewed at each reporting date and reduced to the extent that it is no longer probable that sufficient taxable profit will be available to allow all or part of the deferred tax asset to be utilised. This review takes into account the factors such as estimated future production, projected commodity prices, operating costs, future capital expenditure, as described above. If actual results differ from these estimates or if these estimates must be adjusted in future periods, the financial position, results of operations and cash flows may be negatively affected. Deferred tax assets arising from tax losses carried forward, as well as applicable tax legislation, are described in Note 13.

Climate change

We have assessed and set out the Group’s climate risks and opportunities as part of our commitment to climate disclosure within the Strategic Report. Mitigation and adaptation measures that may be required in the future to combat the physical and transition risks of climate change could also have potential implications for the Group’s financial statements. This would be the case where assets and liabilities are measured based on an estimate of future cash flows.

In preparing the Group’s financial statements, climate-related strategic decisions have impacted the following:

  • Our decarbonisation and clean energy initiatives considered and approved by the Board were included in future cash flow projections, underpinned by estimates for recoverable amounts of property, plant and equipment, as deemed relevant; and
  • The provision for mine closure costs impacted by climate risks and opportunities.

We have adopted both mitigation and adaptation measures within our climate management system. We focus on renewable energy, carbon-intensive fuel replacement and innovative technologies to both mitigate climate change impacts and to reduce our carbon footprint. The adaptation measures we use are based on climate models, which inform the design, construction, operation and closure of our mining assets.

Significant judgements and key estimates made by the Group may be impacted in the future by changes to our climate change strategy or in global commitments to decarbonisation. This could, in turn, result in material changes to the financial results and the carrying values of certain assets and liabilities in future reporting periods. As at the reporting date, the Group believes that there is no material impact on balance sheet carrying values of assets or liabilities.

3.           ACQUisitions and disposals

Veduga (Amikan GRK LLC)

In September 2023, the Group has agreed to cancel its historic call and put options and a shareholder agreement over 40.6% share in GRK Amikan LLC (“Amikan”) with the previous joint venture (JV) partner (refer to the transaction disclosure in the condensed consolidated financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2020). This allowed the Group to form a new joint venture over Amikan. The 40.6% stake was acquired from the previous JV partner by a new third party. Subsequently, JSC Polymetal disposed of its 9.5% stake in Amikan to the same third party for a сash consideration of US$ 21 million. As a result, the Group now owns 49.9% interest of Amikan.  Simultaneously, JSC Polymetal entered into number of corporate arrangements with the new shareholder regarding Amikan project financing, governance and operations.

In 2020 at the inception of options the Group determined that the call option over 40.6% stake represents a derivative containing potential voting right, that provided the Group access to the returns associated with related ownership interest, and thus in accordance with IFRS 10 Consolidated financial statements the Group accounted for the options over 40.6% interest as is they were already exercised and consolidated 100% interest in Amikan with the option exercise price recognised as a deferred consideration payable. At the disposal date, the fair value of deferred consideration payable amounted to US$ 88 million, which was recognised as a part of the consideration received on disposal.

As a result of this transaction the Group has effectively disposed of 50.1% interest of the investee. The retained interest of 49.9% was valued at the fair value of US$ 110 million at the date when control was lost in accordance with IFRS 10 requirements. The fair value was determined based on consideration received from third party for 9.5% stake, which was supported by life-of-mine model.

Based on the governance structure of the investee, policy-making processes and the board of directors composition, it was determined that all key decisions require the unanimous consent of the parties sharing control and provides the parties of the joint arrangement with rights to its net assets, therefore, the investment was classified as a joint venture. Subsequently, the investment is accounted for using the equity method.

The summary of transaction is presented below.

 

 

US$m

Property, plant and equipment

                162

Inventories

22

Other assets

3

Income tax

(14)

Accounts payable

(3)

Intercompany loans and other accounts

                 (64)

Net assets disposed of

                106

 

 

Cash consideration received

                  21

Deferred consideration cancelled

                  88

Fair value of  the investment retained

                110

Less net assets disposed of

(106)

Gain on disposal of subsidiary

                113

 

Other acquisitions

Other individually insignificant acquisitions of exploration assets during the year ended 31 December 2023 of US$ 52 million in total, related to consolidation of certain former joint ventures, including the Baksy project project in Kazakhstan (Note 16), and the acquisition a number of exploration interests in Russia. All transactions represented asset acquisitions in accordance with IFRS 3 Business Combinations, as the acquired companies did not have any substantive processes required to create outputs. The summary of net assets acquired is presented below:

 

Baksy

 

NORK LLC

 

OGK LLC

 

Utkinskaya

 

Uenma

 

TOTAL

 

US$m

 

US$m

 

US$m

 

US$m

 

US$m

 

$m

Property, plant and equipment

19

 

5

 

3

 

19

 

6

 

52

Other assets/(liabilities), net

(1)

 

 

1

 

 

 

Intercompany loans and other accounts

(5)

 

(4)

 

(1)

 

 

 

(10)

Net assets acquired

13

 

1

 

3

 

19

 

6

 

42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of equity investment reclassified

 

 

1

 

 

 

1

Loan assignment

 

 

 

17

 

 

17

Cash consideration

13

 

1

 

2

 

2

 

6

 

24

Total consideration

13

 

1

 

3

 

19

 

6

 

42

 

 

4.           Segment Information

The Group’s operating segments are aligned to those businesses that are evaluated regularly by the chief operating decision maker (the CODM) in deciding how to allocated resources and in assessing performance. Operating segments with similar economic characteristics are aggregated into reportable segments.

In May 2023, following the designation of JSC Polymetal by the U.S. Department of State pursuant to Executive Order 14024, the governance and management structure of the Group was changed. As a part of ring-fencing the Group’s Russian subsidiaries to ensure sanctions compliance the management of the Russian operations has been delegated to the executives of JSC Polymetal, while the Company’s Board and management focused on the operations of the Group’s assets located in Kazakhstan, as well as separation of the Group’s assets by jurisdiction, as described in Note 1.

As a result of these changes management of the Company has re-assessed presentation of financial information by segments it requires to assess performance and allocate resources. It was concluded that jurisdiction-based reporting format is more meaningful from a management and forecasting perspective, as well as better aligned to the new management structure, internal reporting and processes. The comparative information was presented in line with the current year format.

Therefore the Group has identified two reportable segments in 2023:

  • Kazakhstan (Varvarinskoye JSC, Komarovskoye Mining Company LLC, Bakyrchik Mining Venture LLC);
  • Russian Federation (aggregating Khabarovsk, Magadan, Ural and Yakutia operating segments).

 

The measure which management and the CODM use to evaluate the performance of the Group is a segment Adjusted EBITDA, which is an Alternative Performance Measure (APM).

The accounting policies of the reportable segments are consistent with those of the Group’s accounting policies under IFRS. Revenue and cost of sales of the production entities are reported net of any intersegmental revenue and cost of sales, related to the intercompany sales of ore and concentrates.

Business segment current assets and liabilities, other than current inventory, are not reviewed by the CODM and therefore are not disclosed in these condensed consolidated financial statements. Additionally, net debt is included in performance measures, reviewed by CODM. The segment adjusted EBITDA reconciles to the profit before income tax as follows:

 

 

 

4.           Segment information (continued)

 

 

 

Period ended 31 December 2023

Period ended 31 December 2022

 

 

KAZAKHSTAN

 

RUSSIA

 

Total

KAZAKHSTAN

RUSSIA

Total

Revenue from external customers

 

893

 

2,132

 

3,025

933

1,868

2,801

Cost of sales, excluding depreciation, depletion and write-down of inventories to net realisable value

 

378

 

833

 

1,211

340

1,015

1,355

Cost of sales

 

442

 

1,017

 

1,459

415

1,275

1,690

Depreciation included in Cost of sales

 

(64)