The Poltava mine is an open-pit iron ore mine in operation in the Poltava region of Ukraine. It is one of the world’s largest suppliers of iron ore pellets to the global steel industry.
The mine is operated by Ferrexpo Poltava Mining (FPM), a subsidiary of Swiss mining company Ferrexpo.
Poltava comprises the Gorishne-Plavninskoe and Lavrikovskoe (GPL) deposits, which are mined at a depth of 300m.
Mining activities on Poltava commenced in 1960 and the mine produced its first batch of iron ore concentrate in 1970, followed by iron ore pellets in 1977.
The Poltava mined a total volume of 80 million tonnes (Mt) and processed about 17Mt of high-grade iron ore in 2020.
Poltava is expected to support mining operations for over 50 years with its existing ore reserves of more than one billion tonnes.
Location and site details
The Poltava iron ore mine is located in the area consisting mainly of flat agricultural land in the Komsomolsk town, Poltava region, Ukraine.
The mine is 340m deep and 6km long and lies approximately 300km south of the Kyiv city near the Dnieper River, adjacent to the rail and port facilities.
Poltava iron ore mine background
The Poltava iron ore mine was initially operated as a state-owned enterprise of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) with the name, the Dneprovsky Mining and Concentration Plant.
The mine name was later changed to Poltava State Mining and Concentration Plant in 1981 and thereafter officially renamed to JSC Poltava GOK following Ukraine’s independence in 1991. It was again changed to Ferrexpo Poltava GOK and then to FPM.
The Gorishne-Plavninske and Lavrikovskoe (GPL) deposits are part of the southern section of the Kremenchuk Magnetic Anomaly, a magnetite orebody that stretches approximately 50km towards the north.
The Kremenchuk anomaly is a portion of the Kryvyi Rih-Kremenchug metallogenic zone of ferruginous-siliceous formations.
Estimated reserves and resources
The Gorishne-Plavninske and Lavrikovskoe (GPL) deposits were estimated to hold approximately 1,154Mt of proven and probable reserves grading at 32% iron (Fe) and 24% magnetic iron, as of June 2020.
The total measured, indicated, and inferred mineral resources were estimated to be about 2,862Mt at a grade value of 31% Fe and 23% magnetic iron.
Mining method and ore processing
The Poltava mine is an open-pit mining operation involving the usage of excavators and haul trucks to deliver high-grade magnetite iron ore to the processing plant located adjacent to the mine.
The processing plant has a nameplate capacity of 35 to 40Mt of ore based on the types of ore processed and pellets produced. It comprises a crushing facility and a beneficiation system to upgrade the raw iron ore with a magnetic content of about 25% to 30% iron (Fe) for the production of concentrate grading at 65% Fe.
A pelletising plant receives the concentrate and heats it at 1,300ºC to produce high-grade iron pellets that include blast furnace pellets grading 65% Fe or 67% Fe direct reduction (DR) pellets.
The production lines are equipped with mixing technology, delivered by EIRICH, for conditioning of fine ores.
The pelletiser plant uses sunflower husks as a biofuel to replace natural gas.
The infrastructure at the Poltava iron ore site consists of a mine, a processing plant and a pelletiser.
It includes a pellet processing workshop equipped with two 20 tonnes (t) overhead cranes delivered by Kyiv Crane Machinery Plant.
The mining fleet consists of trucks and shovels, high precision drills and auxiliary units.
The Poltava mine operations are powered by electricity supplied through a regional distribution network.
Metso Outotec was awarded a contract to provide equipment to expand a production line at the Poltava mining iron ore grate-kiln pellet plant in November 2021. The contract scope included equipment supply for modifications to the travelling grate, rotary kiln and annular cooler.
Metso also commissioned a floatation plant equipped with Vertimill for fine milling of the product up to 68% iron content in 2014.
Wenco International Mining Systems was contracted to deliver a fleet management system for mining operations at Poltava.