* Proven, probable gold reserves rose to 90.5 mln ounces
* Total resources rose by 29 pct to 161.1 mln ounces
* Polyus believes its gold reserves are world’s 3rd largest
MOSCOW, March 14 (Reuters) - Leading Russian gold producer Polyus Gold increased its proven and probable reserves by 12 percent from previous audits, the company reported on Wednesday.
“This reinforces our standing as having the third largest gold reserves in the world and will underpin our ambitious development strategy,” German Pikhoya, chief executive officer of Polyus Gold, said in a statement.
The Toronto-based Barrick Gold, the world’s top gold miner, has the largest gold reserve base in the world. It was able to replace proven and probable reserves in 2011, keeping them just shy of the 140 million ounce mark. .
World number two Newmont Mining increased its gold reserves by 6 percent to 99 million ounces in 2011.
Proven and probable reserves of Polyus increased to 90.5 million ounces of gold from the previous 80.7 million ounces level, results of independent audits, conducted in compliance with JORC Code, showed.
Total measured, indicated and inferred resources rose by 29 percent to 161.1 million ounces of gold.
“As we are targeting aggressive production growth, Polyus Gold is committed to continue to focus on increasing its world-class resource base,” Pikhoya added.
Proven and probable reserves at the company’s biggest mine, Olimpiada in central Russia, rose to 32.1 million ounces from 13.0 million ounces.