Gold output in Russia continues to grow, increasing by 9.26 percent in 2019 year-on-year, the country’s Ministry of Finance said on Monday.

The volume of bullion production reached 343,54 tons compared with 314,42 tons in 2018.

Production for the period included over 286 tons of mined gold, the ministry reported. Accompanying mining surged 23.8 percent to 19 tons, while secondary mining rose to 38.49 tons.

Data showed that production of mined silver fell 11.1 percent to 996.17 tons year-on-year.

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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.

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Moscow’s growing appetite for the yellow metal comes as Russia, together with some other countries, is diversifying its reserves away from the US dollar. Last year, the Central Bank of Russia reported that the share of the greenback fell from 43.7 percent to 23.6 percent in 12 months from March 2018.