In the light of recent developments, and in the interests of preserving shareholder value, the Board and the Special Committee have decided to consider all possible options available for divestment of JSC Polymetal and its subsidiaries.
|Location||Magadan Region, Russia|
|Operating mines||Birkachan, Tsokol, Burgali|
|Key exploration projects||Burgali, Tumaninskaya, Kegali, Nevenrekan|
|Processing||862 Ktpa CIP/Merrill-Crowe (Kubaka), 1.3 Mtpa heap leach (Birkachan)|
|Ore reserves (JORC)||0.7 Moz GE, 6.8 g/t average grade|
|Mineral resources (JORC)||0.9 Moz GE, 5.5 g/t average grade|
|Production start date||2010|
|Life of mine||2031|
The Omolon hub, formed in 2009, is one of the most fully realized hub concepts in our portfolio today. The hub comprises of the Kubaka processing plant, three operating mines - Tsokol, Birkachan, Burgali as well as several near-mine development projects with high-grade open-pittable reserves and significant long-term potential. All parts of the hub are centred around the 850 Ktpa Kubaka CIP plant, which serves as the processing facility for operating mines in the area and future near-mine feedstock. In addition, the Company operates a 1 Mtpa seasonal heap leaching circuit at the Birkachan mine.
In 2022, gold production was 4% lower year-on-year. Kubaka mill recorded a planned decline in gold grade and production. It processed lower-grade silver ore and, with the Merrill-Crowe circuit remaining idle, silver production was also down.
At the heap leach facility, depletion of the Birckachan heap leach ore reserves resulted in lower grades, while stacking volumes also declined year-on-year due to rehandling of the previously stacked ore.
Underground mining at Burgali commenced and will replace ore tonnage from the Burgali open-pit.
- Flowsheet improvements at Kubaka stabilised gold recovery.
- Achieved design capacity for the dry tailings facility.
- Modernisation of the water discharge system at Glavny mine.
- At Burgali, Mineral resources increased by 159 Koz of GE compared to the last year’s estimate (138 Koz of GE in 2021).
- At Nevenrekan, mineral resources amounted to 45 Koz of GE (46 Koz of GE in 2021).
- At Kegali, mineral resources were estimated at 101 Koz of GE with an average grade of 7.9 g/t.
- The 2.5 MWh solar power plant reached planned capacity and now generates 20% of the required electricity for Kubaka mill.
- Full transition from wet tailings storage to a safer method of dry stacking completed.
- More than 50% of heat consumption comes from a heat recovery system.
- 79% of water used on site is in a closed cycle or treated wastewater.
- Start of underground mining at Burgali
- Construction of the infrastructure needed to commission Nevenrekan mine.
The history of the Omolon hub starts with the Kubaka deposit, which was first discovered in 1979. The Kubaka processing plant was built in the early 1990’s, and between 1996 and 2006, Kubaka was the largest gold producer in Russia, until the plant was put on care and maintenance due to the depletion of reserves at the deposit.
In 2008, Polymetal acquired the Kubaka plant together with four mining properties: Birkachan, Oroch, Tsokol and Prognozny. Shortly after, exploration activities commenced at Birkachan and Oroch with an objective to determine whether the recommencement of the Kubaka plant would be economically justified. In 2010, the modified plant was restarted and by 2011, a new processing section was launched that enables the plant to process ores with high silver content. The plant now includes a new leaching circuit, counter-current decantation and a Merrill Crowe circuit.
As a result of a rigorous approach to M&A activity, coupled with comprehensive near-mine exploration, Polymetal was able to consolidate several additional neighbouring licensed areas with robust transportation infrastructure. As a result, we were able to create a reliable and stable operation with low costs, all centred around one regional processing plant with multiple sources of feedstock.
Tsokol is a highly weathered near-surface vein deposit with almost vertical adularia-quartz veins form a continuous mineralised zone. It was first discovered in 1984. Ore shoots within the vein structure are on average 4 m wide, up to 110 m high and vary in length from 50 to 90 m. The ore is free-milling and is expected to yield gold recoveries of up to 95 per cent.
The mining and exploration licence covers an area of 2.5 square kilometers in the Srednekansk district of the Magadan Region and is located approximately 230 kilometres from the Kubaka processing plant. Olcha mineralisation is of the conventional low-sulfide epithermal type, free milling and with very high-grade bonanza-type shoots.
The Birkachan mineralisation is located in a 150 to 200 m wide zone. The mineralisation comprises two distinct types: gold-silver veins and disseminated stockwork. The individual veins generally have an average width of up to
The Kubaka plant currently uses only conventional CIP cyanidation technology. Run-of-mine ore is crushed in a jaw crusher, followed by two-stage milling (SAG mill and ball mill), thickening, CIP leaching, desorption, electrolysis, carbon regeneration and doré smelting. This processing option will continue to be utilised in the long term for ores with low silver content, such as ores from the Birkachan and Tsokol mines.
|Ore Reserves||Tonnage, Mt||Gold grade, g/t||Silver grade, g/t||Copper grade, %||GE grade, g/t||Gold, Koz||Silver, Moz||Copper, Kt||GE, Koz|
|Mineral Resources||Tonnage, Mt||Gold grade, g/t||Silver grade, g/t||Copper grade, %||GE grade, g/t||Gold, Koz||Silver, Moz||Copper, Kt||GE, Koz|