Key Takeaways

One month ahead of schedule, Autoclave 1 has been successfully processing refractory ore concentrate (as of 4 December 2018, 320t was processed), with gold recovery of c.93% nearing projected design recovery of 98%.

Ahead of schedule, Autoclave 2 has commenced hot commissioning and is due to process first concentrate by year end, with Autoclaves 3 and 4 scheduled for launch in Q2 2019

The company is on track for commercial gold production from the POX plant in Q1 2019, as previously guided

POX Operational Update

Following the hot commissioning process of the POX Hub and supporting equipment, announced 27 November 2018, the Company began processing refractory concentrate through Autoclave 1.

The process of sulphide oxidation inside the autoclave vessel is working well, achieving gold recovery of 93%, close to projected design recovery of 98%. The high recovery showcases the ability of the facility to effectively process the metallurgical complexities contained in Malomir refractory concentrate. Autoclave 1 has reached approximately 50% of its processing capacity and ramp-up is ongoing.

The resulting pulp is being processed using conventional resin-in-pulp (“RIP”) technology at the recently refurbished Pokrovskiy plant. First gold doré pour is expected in December 2018, once a sufficient quantity of gold is accumulated in the RIP circuit.

Autoclave 2 has commenced hot commissioning, ahead of schedule, and will start processing refractory concentrate by the year end. The remaining two autoclaves will be launched in Q2 2019.

Petropavlovsk CEO  Pavel Maslovskiy said: “I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all our staff and management for their steadfast work ethic and dedication in driving Petropavlovsk towards delivering gold production from our POX Hub, one of our key milestones. Today’s announcement marks a significant moment in the Company’s history, as we begin to process our refractory ore via the newest and most technologically advanced POX processing facility in Russia, a month ahead of schedule. There remains considerable work to be undertaken before we can reach full capacity, however, this initial performance is hugely encouraging for the Company.

“Delivering an initial gold recovery rate of c.93% at the POX Hub is testament to the many years of hard work, research and partnerships with key technical experts who are leaders in their industries. We look forward pouring our first gold from the facility later this month, once the RIP circuit is fully loaded.

“This operational success helps to underpin our stable growth story, whereby our open pit and high grade underground mining operations are complemented by our unique ability to process complex refractory ore (both our own abundant reserves and optional third party ore), helping to differentiate Petropavlovsk from its Russian peers and offering a strong competitive advantage.”

Source: Company Press Release