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 scoping study of its open-pit Sukhoi Log gold project in eastern Russia that supports a project producing an average of 1.6 million ounces per year (oz/y) of gold over a mine life of 35 years. Project development 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 inferred resources at a gold grade of 2 g/mt. Measured and indicated mineral resource estimates are planned for the fourth quarter of 2018. Proved and probable ore reserve estimates are expected in 2020.

The average waste:ore mining ratio for the Sukhoi Log deposit is estimated 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 comminution lines of 15 million mt/y of capacity each. Gold recovery is forecast in the range of 88% to 90%.

Polyus CEO Pavel Grachev said, “We have made serious progress in the development 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 disciplined 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 decision, Polyus will be spending about $30 million per year on Sukhoi Log geological 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 prefeasibility study, with completion planned for the first half of 2020. A feasibility study is currently planned for completion in early 2021.

As featured in Womp 2018 Vol 07 - www.womp-int.com