Kinross Gold said its Dvoinoye underground gold mine in Russia has started commercial production.

Situated in Chukotka region, the mine is anticipated to produce between 235,000 and 300,000 of gold equivalent ounces per annum during its first three full years of production.

The cost of sales for the combined Russian operations between 2014 and 2016 is estimated to be $545-$600 per gold equivalent ounce.

Kinross said that at peak production, the mine is anticipated to produce 1,000t of ore per day, which will be transported to Kupol through an all-season road.

The Kupol mill has been expanded from 3,500t to 4,500t per day to process the additional Dvoinoye ore.

First ore from development activities at Dvoinoye was delivered to Kupol in the second quarter of 2013.

Total production in 2013 is expected to be about 25,000 gold equivalent ounces.

The gold mine, which is expected to have a mine life of seven years, is Kinross’s fourth facility operated in Russia.

Kinross CEO Paul Rollinson said Dvoinoye is a low-cost mine that ‘reflects the company’s focus on maximising margins and cash flow at both its existing operations and growth projects’.

"I congratulate the Kinross team in Russia for delivering this important project on time and on budget, despite the challenges of a remote northern location and the difficult conditions facing the mining industry," Rollinson added.

Dvoinoye had proven and probable gold reserves of about 1.1 million gold equivalent ounces, as of 31 December 2012, with an average gold grade of 17.8 grams per tonne.

Kinross’s ordinary course application to renew the Dvoinoye subsoil license was approved in September 2013 and extends until 1 January 2023.