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Polymetal engineering

As a subsidiary of our holding company, Polymetal Engineering plays a key role at all stages of the general production process, from initial investment to actual project construction (ICP). It boasts a wide range of engineering expertise and it’s impressive track-record serves only to reaffirm its competitive advantage in the appraisal of new exploration and development opportunities. Polymetal Engineering’s most prominent influence has been in areas of deposit design, technological advances, and the optimization of existing operations.

Company’s main activities at ICP stages:
Pre-investment stage
  • Declaration of intent
  • Justification of investment
Investment stage
  • Product design (feasibility studies, design documents)
  • Research and engineering solutions commentary
Operational stage
  • Complete document design for the refurbishment, technical re-equipment or liquidation (conservation) of operations

Technology underpins everything we do - from collecting accurate and unambiguous results in mineral analysis and other studies, to using innovative computer modeling techniques in the completion of ensuing project design stages. In fact, all our project designs are based on research activities and geological findings conducted by our engineers.

We believe the company’s structure is well directed towards the ability to design successful turnkey mining and processing operations. Our engineering division is split into the R&D and Ecology Departments that comprise 185 professionals, including 21 doctoral associates.

To maintain high levels of performance, we require all of our professionals to comply with annual training and auditing programmes. As a result, the nature of our research and design activities is heavily regulated to align with ISO 9001:2008 Certificates and CPO Membership standards.

Project Design

Our R&D engineers resort to the use of cutting-edge equipment and advanced software (such as 3D computer modeling techniques) to increase the efficiency of our research processes and to attain live feedback during the design and construction stages. This enables us to constantly monitor our projects and make necessary adjustments at any investment phase.

As a department, we have brought 15 plants into operation across different regions of the Russian Federation and the CIS. If we were to exclude the reconstruction of the Dukat and Kubaka plants, as well as the acquisition of the Varvarinskoye Hub and Kapan deposit, all of our developed projects are considered green-field. What is more, our ore processing technologies and 3D geological models of ore bodies have been recognized and accredited by various international bodies as one of the most well-organized.

In 2014, on the back of our acquisition of the Kyzyl project, a branch of Polymetal Engineering was established in Kazakhstan in order to comply with all of the country’s regulatory requirements. The Kazakhstan branch is currently developing all the necessary project design documentation.

All of our mine designs are developed using the latest Datamine Software, in addition to which, we have created our own information content within DATAMINE to support the application of geological data to our feasibility studies. In effect, we are able to forecast geological conditions, calculate reserves and establish design capacities for many of our mining operations. All of our computer models are kept up-to-date as it helps to carry out short-term planning of mining operations. Specifically, it helps us mitigate our operations in accordance with economic parameters.

Computer modeling stages for our deposits:
  • Geological modeling of ore bodies using cutting-edge techniques including geostatistical ones;
  • Geomechanic ore and surrounding rock models;
  • Optimized model of diluted ore with the account of technological and economic constraints of open pit, underground, or combined mining;
  • 3D mining schedule
  • Financial model
  • Other modeling depending on the project design stage

34 of Polymetal’s key professionals in mineral resources and ore reserve assessments have been granted membership in London’s Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, and were accredited by JORC as Competent Persons (13 of them work in Polymetal Engineering). Polymetal Engineering has issued a public Competent Person Reports on Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves that align to CRIRSCO reporting (JORC) for third parties.

Starting from 2010, our engineering designs of auxiliary infrastructure facilities were transferred to an AVEVA PDMS (plant design management system), which emphasizes the use of innovative GRAPHICS FROM DATA technology. Many of our engineers have been working together online to make a single 3D data model to visualize results, perform multi-variant analysis and have immediate access to the process and other related information. With all of these aspects, we can determine any discrepancies and automatically fix any issues to avoid their publication in the design documents. Starting from the second half of 2011, many of our employees in Polymetal’s main office and on-site had on-line Internet access to the digital 3D model via the Aveva Engineering Internet Portal. We believe that this software is a huge break-through in regards to communication between Polymetal Engineering and our countrywide operations. By implementing this technology into our daily use, we can review, discuss and approve design solutions, regardless of the location.

Furthermore, another development in 2012 solved the problem of integrating our design data, and transferring it into the 1C system. We consider this a huge step towards the management of our design process, supply, construction and operation.

We plan to connect project design and data storage systems with the documentation workflow.

Research

The research activities of Polymetal Engineering are aimed at the development of our processing technologies for the ores of gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc and platinum-group metals. Cutting-edge technologies and modern equipment enables Polymetal to achieve consistently high recovery rates. This success is based on the experience of our team both in the FSU and internationally. The company’s in-house engineering experience was a key factor in the decision to construct the Amursk POX facility, which is the first of its kind in the Russian Federation.

An important part of this success is our cooperation with foreign producers of equipment and reagents who take part in testing of new technological solutions.

It is very important in the discipline of design engineering to foresee all possible environmental problems. Hence as part of our study phase, we actively search for environmental protection solutions.

Ore-processing circuits:
  • Ore treatment — ore crushing and grinding
  • Pre-concentration. X-Ray radiometric sorting and separation
  • Gravity concentration
  • Magnetic separation
  • Flotation producing collective and selective concentrates
  • Combined gravitation & flotation and magnetic circuits
  • POX for refractory gold ores
  • Standard agitation digestion, various sorption leaching: CIP, CIL, RIL
  • Cyanide leaching of gold, silver and concentrates with zinc precipitation
  • Heap leach
  • Combined processing and hydrometallurgy circuits
  • Thickening and filtration of circuit products
Environmental protection technologies:
  • Chlorination of cyanide-bearing discharge water
  • Detoxification of waste products with sulfur compounds (IV)
  • Detoxification of HL waste by natural factors
  • Detoxification of cyanide waste with activated carbon as a catalyst of oxidation processes
  • Heavy metals, arsenic and stibium removal from waste waters
  • Recirculated water supply
  • Conditioning of recycled liquors by reverse osmosis
  • Semi-dry storage of tailings from processing plants
  • Preventing contamination related to pit, mine and undersoil waters

Polymetal Engineering has notably advanced assay labs where we carry out research for mineral processing. To develop recovery technologies, we study the mineral and processing features of ore. We also develop custom-made, highly efficient ore-processing technologies with the help of advanced laboratory equipment. Our research activities are therefore supported by the company’s own assay and mineralogical labs.

Key activities include:
  • Preparation of initial data for feasibility studies
  • Development of processing procedures to design new processing plants, to refurbish facilities and parts of existing ones
  • Prepare our processing manuals for existing plants
  • Adjust our process manuals whereby ore parameters are updated, or new technology is introduced
  • Supervise during the design, construction and commissioning
  • Recommend operational control technologies
  • Analyze our operations and development of process improvement