London-listed miner Polymetal is considering selling its Russian assets as it seeks to win back investors who dumped its shares following the invasion of Ukraine.
The gold and silver producer said on Tuesday it had appointed advisers and set up a committee of independent directors to evaluate the potential disposal.
By focusing on its assets in Kazakhstan, the company hopes to win back its place in widely followed FTSE indices and put itself on the radar of institutional investors who have shunned companies with significant exposure to Russia.
Mines owned by Polymetal in Kazakhstan currently produce over 500,000 ounces of gold per year and recorded sales of almost $1bn in 2021.
“The primary objective of the potential transaction is to restore shareholder value by seeking to allow the market to appropriately value the company’s Kazakhstani assets and de-risk its ongoing operations,” the company said in a statement.
Shares in Polymetal rose 30 per cent to 234p on news of the potential sale but are still down more than 80 per cent this year.
While the company has not been placed under UK, US or EU sanctions, it has suffered an exodus of shareholders, including Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Polymetal’s biggest shareholder is a company connected to its founder, Russian businessman Alexander Nesis. While the miner produces most of its gold in Russia, its main holding company is incorporated in Cyprus.
That company is in turn owned by an entity domiciled in Jersey, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.