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Exploration

Overview

Sustained greenfield and brownfield exploration programmes are key to our long-term growth, alongside the cost-effective drive to increase our resource base through the development of next-generation assets.

To optimise our portfolio of exploration projects, we focus on areas adjacent to our processing or potential hubs (brownfield), and on assets with the potential to become sizeable, standalone operations (greenfield). The advancement of all exploration projects is subject to rigorous review through pre-determined project stages, which are linked to our estimate of the resource potential and its economic prospects.

Exploration results

Polymetal completed 421 km of exploration drilling in 2017, up 48% year-on-year as the scope of exploration expanded to include new assets, mostly Prognoz and Nezhda, in addition to continued exploration efforts at existing operations.

2018 HIGHLIGHTS

  • Group Ore Reserves increased by 15% year-on-year and are now estimated at 24.0 Moz of gold equivalent (GE). The main drivers were the successful resource-to-reserve conversion at Mayskoye and the completion of a revised estimate at Nezhda following the Company’s consolidation of 100% ownership in the property. The share of gold in Ore Reserves increased to 93%.
  • Mineral Resources (in addition to Ore Reserves) grew 44% year-on-year to 26.3 Moz of GE on the back of an initial Mineral Resource estimate at Prognoz and Bolshevik (Kyzyl), as well as the revised estimate at Nezhda. The share of gold in Mineral Resources stands at 80%, silver at 17%.
  • The average grade in Ore Reserves remained largely unchanged over the previous year at 3.8 g/t of GE and remains one of the highest in the sector. The average grade in Mineral Resources increased 8% to 5.1 g/t of GE on the back of high-grade additions at Nezhda and Prognoz.
  • In 2018, the Company continued to use conservative price assumptions of US$ 1,200/oz for gold and lowered the silver price from US$ 16/oz to US$ 15/oz.
  • GE Ore Reserves per share grew 6% year-on-year.
  • Polymetal completed 350 km of exploration drilling in 2018.

2019 OUTLOOK

In 2019, Polymetal will continue to invest in both near-mine and green-field exploration projects. One key area of focus will be the implementation of new exploration techniques including airborne geophysics and 2-D seismics. The Company is also evaluating the benefits of investing in junior explorers through strategic cooperation agreements.

The key objectives are as follows:

  • Complete a full revaluation of Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources at Kyzyl based on actual operating statistics and additional exploration results
  • Achieve upgrade of inferred resources into higher categories and/or resource-to-reserve conversion at the following properties:
    • Saum and Pescherny at Voro
    • Levoberezhny at Svetloye
    • Perevalnoye and Lunnoye deep horizons at Dukat
    • Elevator at Varvara
    • Flanks and smaller ore bodies at Nezhda
    • Eastern extension of Bakyrchik at Kyzyl
  • Prepare updated Mineral Resource estimates at Prognoz and Viksha
  • Prepare an updated Ore Reserve and Mineral Resource estimate at Veduga
Major greenfield projects
  • Viksha Republic of Karelia, Russia
  • Nezhda Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, Russia
  • Prognoz Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, Russia