Engineering & Mining Journal

JUL 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 21 of 75

REGIONAL NEWS - ASIA 20 E&MJ • JULY 2018 Polyus Planning 1.6 Million oz/y of Gold Production at Sukhoi Log Russia's leading gold producer, PJSC Polyus, has reported the results of a scop- ing study of its open-pit Sukhoi Log gold project in eastern Russia that supports a project producing an average of 1.6 mil- lion ounces per year (oz/y) of gold over a mine life of 35 years. Project develop- ment costs are estimated at $2 billion to $2.5 billion, and total cash costs of production are estimated in the range of $420/oz to $470/oz of gold produced. The Sukhoi Log deposit is located only 6 km from Polyus's Verninskoye open-pit mine, which produced 205,700 oz of gold in 2017. The location provides the project with ready access to off-site infrastructure. Project development is currently based of 58 million oz of JORC-compliant in- ferred resources at a gold grade of 2 g/mt. Measured and indicated mineral resource estimates are planned for the fourth quar- ter of 2018. Proved and probable ore re- serve estimates are expected in 2020. The average waste:ore mining ratio for the Sukhoi Log deposit is estimat- ed at 2.2:1. Mill throughput capacity is planned at 30 million mt/y. Processing will be based on a conventional gravity/ flotation flowsheet, with two parallel com- minution lines of 15 million mt/y of ca- pacity each. Gold recovery is forecast in the range of 88% to 90%. Polyus CEO Pavel Grachev said, "We have made serious progress in the de- velopment of Sukhoi Log during the last fourteen months following the acquisition of the license. Sukhoi Log is a one-of-a kind deposit, whose quality and scale are outstanding. We see it as a cornerstone of the future development of Polyus. "While there is a long way to go until the production launch, we are committed to developing the asset in the most disci- plined and efficient manner." An investment decision and start of construction capex spending for Sukhoi Log are planned for 2020 or 2021, with a production start tentatively planned for in or around 2026. Prior to making an investment deci - sion, Polyus will be spending about $30 million per year on Sukhoi Log geologi- cal and engineering studies. An ongoing drilling program will continue into 2019, including 105 km of in-fill drilling; 18 km of geometallurgical, geotechnical, and hydrogeological drilling; and 31 km of deep levels and orebody flanks drilling. Work has begun on a Sukhoi Log pre- feasibility study, with completion planned for the first half of 2020. A feasibility study is currently planned for completion in early 2021. MMG to Sell Sepon MMG Ltd. will sell its 90% interest in Lane Xang Minerals (LXML), which owns the Sepon mine in Lao PDR, to Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Co Ltd., for $275 mil- lion, the company said. Sepon's current copper operation has a projected mine life to around 2020; however, the mine life has the potential to be extended as a primary gold operation. MMG CEO Jerry Jiao said the agreement is a positive outcome for all stakeholders, including LXML Sepon employees, the government of the Lao PDR, and the local communities and businesses in the region. "[Chifeng] is an experienced gold miner who is well-suited and focused on extending the life of Sepon through the transition from copper production to primary gold operations," Jiao said. "We look forward to supporting them through a smooth ownership transition and watch- ing with interest as they develop the next phase in the life of this great mine." LXML Sepon produced its first oxide gold in 2003, commencing large-scale copper operations in 2005 and to date has produced more than 900,000 metric tons (mt) of copper and 1.2 million ounc- es (oz) of gold. MMG has engaged Standard Chartered Bank as its financial advisor and Linklat- ers as its legal counsel on the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018. Rio Tinto, Minmetals Sign Formal JV Agreement for Mineral Exploration Rio Tinto and Minmetals formalized a contract to establish a 50:50 joint ven - ture to explore for world-class mineral deposits in China. This move follows a A technician pulls copper cathode at the Sepon tank house. (Continued on p. 25)

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