PJSC Polyus (LSE, MOEX PLZL) (Polyus, or the Company), the largest gold producer in Russia, is proud to announce that the first stage of hot commissioning of Natalka has been officially launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin via video-link during a ceremony at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. Following completion of the hot commissioning, the Company anticipates that full production will be launched at Natalka before the end of 2018 as earlier guided.
The Natalka deposit is Polyus’ main greenfield project, located in Magadan, the Russian Far East. The processing plant is the largest in Russia, with capacity of 10 mtpa. Following a ramp-up it is expected to reach annual production of c. 420470 koz for the duration of the mine life.
Natalka has Ore Reserves of 16 moz and Mineral Resources totalling 34 moz according to the JORC Code methodology, and is the 15th largest gold asset globally by reserves.
Natalka’s major processing equipment, including the primary crusher, the crushed ore conveyer, the primary SAG mill and the main ball mill, is currently in operation having undergone a successful trial run. The construction of auxiliary facilities and supporting infrastructure is ongoing.
Pavel Grachev, Chief Executive Officer of Polyus, commented:
We are delighted to announce the long-anticipated launch of Natalka, Polyus’ main greenfield project and the largest gold mine in the Russian Far East. Natalka will provide up to 470 koz of additional production annually and support our targeted increase in overall gold production to approximately 2,8 moz by 2019. The project will also foster economic growth in the region through the creation of 2,000 jobs at the mine and the processing plant.
Natalka is located in the Tenkinskiy District of the Magadan Region, approximately 400 km away from the city of Magadan and 130 km from the district center Ust-Omchug.
The Natalka deposit was initially discovered in 1942. In 1944, pilot mining using conventional underground stoping methods at the Natalka deposit was launched. In 1945, the Natalka deposit was incorporated under the entity Rudnik Imeni Matrosova (Matrosov Mine). In 1972, a processing plant was built.
In August 2003, the Government auctioned a 38 per cent stake in Matrosov Mine, which controlled the license for Natalka deposit. Polyus won the auction and completed the acquisition of the stake in 2004. Between 2005 and 2008, the Company consolidated 100 per cent of Matrosov Mine and, by extension, the Natalka deposit.
According to the Company’s current life of mine plan, the expected mine life of Natalka is 31 years of open pit mining based on anticipated production volumes.
Polyus (www.polyus.com) is the largest gold producer in Russia and one of the top 10 gold miners globally with the lowest cost position. Based on its 2016 Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources, Polyus ranks second by attributable gold reserves and third by attributable gold resources among the world’s largest gold mining companies.
Polyus group’s principal operations are located in Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk and Magadan regions and the Sakha Republic (Yakutia).
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Forward looking statement
This announcement may contain «forward-looking statements» concerning Polyus and/or Polyus group. Generally, the words will, may, should, could, would, can, continue, opportunity, believes, expects, intends, anticipates, estimates or similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements relating to future capital expenditures and business and management strategies and the expansion and growth of Polyus’ and/or Polyus group’s operations. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond Polyus’ and/or Polyus group’s ability to control or estimate precisely and therefore undue reliance should not be placed on such statements which speak only as at the date of this announcement. Polyus and/or any Polyus group company assumes no obligation in respect of, and does not intend to update, these forward-looking statements, except as required pursuant to applicable law.