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A production unit controlled by Polyus Gold, Russia's leading gold producer,
A production unit controlled by Polyus Gold, Russia's leading gold producer, has said it is planning to ask for an extension in launching operations at a major gold deposit, a Russian daily said on Tuesday.

According to Kommersant, the company has cited rising interest rates and an underdeveloped infrastructure as impediments to its ability to reach a production target of 40 metric tons (1.286 mln ounces) of gold a year by 2013, and would like the deadline to be moved to 2022.

The Far East Magadan Region's Natalinskoye deposit is among the world's largest with combined proven and estimated reserves of 1,270 metric tons.

However, experts suggest Polyus risks losing the asset, which accounts for one-half of the company's total reserves.

Last year, President Dmitry Medvedev was irked by the company's failure to stick to its production targets.

"Stop whining! If gold mining profits are too marginal for you, give up this work and we'll find someone else. If you want, we can take the license back," he told Polyus General Director Yevgeny Ivanov at a meeting in Magadan in response to a complaint about the government's lack of haste in providing assistance in developing the deposit.


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