Michael Fischer, President of Kumtor Operating Company, commented the operating results of the 1st quarter of 2012.
– Reduction of gold production in 2012 was due to the accelerated ice movement above the SB Zone at Kumtor. In this situation, a decision was taken to offload this high movement area. The Company is planning to focus on removal of ice in the high movement area by allocating more of the existing mining capacity to ice and waste unload activities. This work will require significant effort and cost over the balance of 2012 and 2013 to gain access to the higher grade ore in the SB Zone. Thus, we are hopeful that the amount of gold that we cannot produce according to this year’s prior guidance will be produced by the end of 2014, even though we will have to remove approximately 50 million tonnes of ice and waste.