Engineering & Mining Journal

JAN 2019

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Page 14 of 59

REGIONAL NEWS - ASIA JANUARY 2019 • E&MJ 13 Petropavlovsk Processing Refractory Gold Concentrate at New POX Hub Petropavlovsk PLC started processing re- fractory gold concentrate at the new Pres- sure Oxidation (POX) Hub at its Pokrovs- kiy mine site in the Amur region of far southeast Russia in late November. The company has three active mines in the Amur region: Pioneer, Malomir and Albyn. The Pokrovskiy site is mined out. The new POX plant benefits from the site's infrastructure, including the processing plant building. Initial POX processing was through Autoclave 1, the first of four autoclaves that will be installed in the plant. Com- missioning of Autoclave 2 was under way in late November, with processing of concentrate planned to begin before year end. Autoclaves 3 and 4 are scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2019. Petropavlovsk has 20.86 million oz in JORC-compliant gold resources. Approxi- mately 46% of the total is refractory, so the new POX Hub will play an important role in the company's future production. Its gold production in 2018 was forecast to be in the range of 420,000 ounces (oz) to 450,000 oz. When the POX Hub is fully online, the company anticipates produc- tion will increase to a range of 500,000 oz to 550,000 oz per year (oz/y). The process of sulphide oxidation in Autoclave 1 was working well, achiev- ing gold recovery of 93%, close to de- sign recovery of 98%. The high recov- ery showcased the ability of the facility to effectively process the metallurgical complexities contained in refractory con- centrate from the Malomir mine. The resulting pulp is being processed using conventional resin-in-pulp technology at the recently refurbished Pokrovskiy plant. The first gold doré pour was expected be- fore year end. Petropavlovsk CEO Dr. Pavel Maslovs- kiy said, "Today's announcement marks a significant moment in the company's his- tory, as we begin to process our refractory ore via the newest and most technolog- ically advanced POX processing facility in Russia, a month ahead of schedule. There remains considerable work to be undertaken before we can reach full ca- pacity; however, this initial performance is hugely encouraging for the company. "Delivering an initial gold recovery rate of about 93% at the POX Hub is tes- tament to the many years of hard work, research, and partnerships with key tech- nical experts." Wafi-Golpu Signs MOU With Papua New Guinea Newcrest Mining Ltd. and its Wafi-Gol- pu joint-venture partner Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state of Papua New Guinea. The MOU is an affir- mation of the parties' intent to proceed with the Wafi-Golpu project, subject to finalization of the permitting process and Newcrest and Harmony board approvals. The MOU established the framework for the parties to progress the permitting of the Wafi-Golpu project as quickly as practicable in accordance with applica- ble regulatory processes, Newcrest said. It provides a framework of key terms to be included in the mining development con- tract and other related agreements with the state, including provision for stability to underpin the significant long-term in- vestment required to develop and operate the project. The MOU also reaffirms the intention of the parties to complete the permitting process and achieve grant of a special mining lease by June 30, 2019. "We have been working constructively with the government of Papua New Guin- ea to progress permitting of the project and recently achieved key milestones in this process with completion of our fea- sibility study update in March 2018 and environmental impact statement in June 2018," said Newcrest Managing Director and CEO Sandeep Biswas. "This MOU builds on that progress and captures our joint understanding of the terms and timeline that we are working toward." Wafi-Golpu is completing the approv- al processes to commence a substantial work program, including establishment of underground access for further drilling of the Golpu deposit and the construction of a bridge over the Markham River, which is an integral feature of the proposed new Northern Access road from the Highlands Highway to the mine site. Petropavlovsk mines and processes gold from the Amur region along the Russian border with northern China.

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