The miner expects to achieve 40Koz of gold production this year, while the full heap leach processing capacity of 1.3Mtpa of ore is likely to be reached next year
Gold and silver miner Polymetal has achieved the first gold production at its fully-owned $110m Kutyn mine located in the Khabarovsk region, Russia.
The open pit mine is located in the Tugur-Chumikan district and is 114km north-west of the Albazino mine operated by Polymetal. It was acquired by Polymetal in 2011.
According to Polymetal, the gold production at the Kutyn heap leach facility was 6Koz of gold.
The miner expects to achieve 40Koz of gold production this year, while the full heap leach processing capacity of 1.3 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of ore is likely to be reached next year.
Polymetal said that the processing of the refractory ore will start in 2025 at the Albazino concentrator.
The company estimates that between 2023 and 2030, the average annual output of gold will be around 100Koz.
Polymetal group CEO Vitaly Nesis said: “Remote location, severe climate, and unprecedented supply chain disruptions presented major challenges at Kutyn.
“The project team successfully overcame all difficulties to deliver first production six months ahead of the original schedule. This achievement underscores Polymetal’s outstanding track record in project execution.”
Construction on the gold project took 24 months following the approval from Polymetal’s board in October 2020.
The project’s capital expenditure raised 38% above the original estimate of $80m, with the overrun primarily due to higher fuel prices, expanded scope, and Covid-19 impact on logistics and labour costs, stated the company.
The company estimates that the ore reserves of the Kutyn mine are projected at 12 million tonnes of open-pit oxide and refractory ore with 1.1Moz of gold equivalent at a grade of 2.9 g/t.