Petropavlovsk Extending Development Period for Pressure Oxidation Hub

Worker adjusts equipment at Petropavlovsk’s pilot plant in Blagoveschensk, Russia, where it does bulk sample testing and training
of personnel in preparation for the launch of a pressure oxidation project at its Malomir mine.
Petropavlovsk plc announced in midMay that it is extending by 12 to 18 months the development period for the pressure oxidation hub and related flotation plant it is building at its Malomir operations in Russia’s Far East. Petropavlovsk is Russia’s second-largest gold producer and is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. The company produced 710,400 oz of gold in 2012 and is forecasting 2013 production of 760,000 to 780,000 oz from a combination of four hard rock mines and alluvial operations in Russia’s Far East.

Extending the development schedule for the pressure oxidation hub allows Petropavlovsk to defer $150 million in expenditures that would have been incurred in 2013.

Petropavlovsk’s pressure oxidation hub is designed to process flotation concentrates of refractory ores from its Pioneer and Malomir mines. The company has more than 10 million oz of gold in its reserve base, and about half of this total is in refractory ores at Malomir and Pioneer. The two mines also have oxidized, non-refractory ores.

Outotec has the contract for project management services for the pressure oxidation hub project, including detailed technical design of the pressure oxidation plant, equipment selection, oversight of equipment manufacturing, installation and commissioning.

Petropavlovsk Chairman Peter Hambro said, “Slowing down the development of the pressure oxidation project does not affect our production outlook for 2013 and 2014 due to recent successes in the company’s exploration program, especially at Pioneer and Albyn. The discovery of new, non-refractory resources next to existing production facilities has validated the group’s long-term strategy of investment in a comprehensive exploration program in areas with well-known geology and excellent infrastructure.

“The group is still committed to completing the pressure oxidation hub and considers it a long-term strategic project that will provide the basis for further profitable growth,” Hambro said.

As featured in Womp 2013 Vol 07 -