According to its data, in January-March, Russian gold mining enterprises produced 64,606kg as a result of associated production. That is 5.11 percent more than in the same period last year.

“The coronavirus pandemic did not impact Russian gold mining companies’ production performance during the first three months of 2020. On the contrary, the results of the first quarter (Q1) maintained the trend of 2019, when Russia reached its record high in gold output,” the chairman of the union, Sergey Kashuba, said.

According to him, some problems occurred later in April-May due to the pandemic-led work rescheduling, and “in this regard we will carefully analyze the results of gold production in the second quarter.”

Kashuba added that: “In the meantime, despite a successful start of the year, we expect just a slight increase of gold production in the country in 2020, in the range of 0.5 -1.0 percent, compared with the previous record year.”

The union also said that production of silver in Russia in Q1 decreased by 3.6 percent compared to the same period of 2019, totaling to 338.92 tons.

Russia has been steadily piling up gold in its national reserves, which hit $566 billion as of May 1. The bullion holdings alone are worth over $126 billion, according to the country’s central bank. The current level of gold and foreign currency holdings is almost 20 percent higher than the target of $500 billion set by the central bank several years ago.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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