Key facts

Location Krasnoyarsk Region, Russia
Ownership 59.4%
Ore Reserves (JORC) 4.0 Moz of GE at 3.9 g/t average grade
Mineral Resources (JORC) 1.3 Moz of GE at 4.5 g/t average grade
Capacity 2.0 Mtpa
Mining Open-pit (10 years) followed by underground (12 years)
Processing Conventional Flotation + Amursk POX/Pacific POX
Production start Q2 2025

Overview

Veduga is a high-grade refractory gold deposit located in Krasnoyarsk Region, the top gold producing region of Russia. Polymetal currently owns 59.4% stake in Veduga and holds a call option to increase its stake to 100% at a pre-determined price giving VTB a fixed rate of return on initial investment. Following the final statutory clearance which is expected in Q2 2022, Polymetal plans to fully consolidate the asset.

In November 2021 the Board of Polymetal has approved a  US$ 447 million investment in the 4.0 Moz asset, based on the results of the Preliminary Feasibility Study (“PFS”). First production is expected in Q2 2025.

Project capital costs in 2022-2029 are estimated at US$ 447 million, including US$ 77 million spend on a skip shaft and underground infrastructure construction incurred after the launch of the processing plant in 2027-2029, and US$ 58 million of capitalized stripping costs. CAPEX will be fully funded out of free cash flow.

Veduga has obtained the status of a Regional Investment Project, so should benefit from reduced income tax for the project in 2025-2028 and reduced Mineral Extraction Tax until 2034.

Polymetal envisages the following conceptual development timeline for the Veduga gold project:

  • Federal Anti-Monoploy Service approval and increase of Polymetal’s share to 100% via call-option execution: Q2 2022
  • Start of construction: Q3 2022
  • Commissioning: Q1 2025
  • First production: Q2 2025
  • Full ramp-up: Q3 2025.
Location History Geology and Mineralisation Operations Ore reserves and mineral resources

Veduga is a high-grade refractory gold deposit located in a prolific Northern Yenisey gold belt in the Krasnoyarsk Region, 520 km north from regional centre of Kranoyarsk (population of approximately 1.1 mln) and 160 km south from municipal centre of Severo-Eniseyskiy (population of approximately 6,700). Veduga comprises 4 license plots with the total area of 18 sq.km. The property is accessible by an all-year road and has direct access to the federal power grid. It is located 60 km from the largest producing gold mine in Russia, Olimpiada (owned by Polyus).

Veduga was first discovered in 1977 and was extensively explored between 1988 and 1996, which resulted in the estimation of the forecast resources according to the Russian State Reserves Commission (GKZ). In 1998, exploration campaign was continued with C2 level gold reserves approved by GKZ in 2002.

In 2006, Polymetal acquired 50% stake in the project from Anglogold Ashanti. In 2012, mining of oxide ore started. In the same year, the rest of Anglogold Ashanti’s stake was bought out. In 2014, initial NI-compliant Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources estimate was prepared by Snowden. In 2016, mining of sulfide ore started. In 2018, Polymetal increased its share in Veduga to 74.3%. In 2019, JORC-compliant reserves increased from 1.3 Moz of gold to 2.8 Moz. In 2020, VTB Bank, one of the Russia’s largest banks, invested US$ 71 million in exchange for a 40.6% stake in Veduga. Polymetal retains 59.4% ownership and a call option to acquire VTB’s stake in the future.

The Veduga deposit is a gold-sulphide mineralised formation and belongs to the pyrite-arsenopyrite-antimonite mineral type. Mineralisation is represented by two contiguous sub-vertical ore bodies with an average true width of 20 and 35 m. Thickness of the ore bodies varies from 5 to 70 meters. Down dip, the mineralized bodies have been traced for 150-980 m and are currently open at depth.

Veduga ore is single refractory. Gold is closely associated with sulphides in the form of finely dispersed inclusions which determines the need for fine primary grinding of the ore prior to froth flotation.

The concentrator with a capacity of 2.0 Mtpa incorporates crushing, grinding, primary flotation and secondary flotation followed by carbon-in-pulp cyanidation of secondary (free-milling pyrite) concentrate. Primary (refractory) concentrates will be thickened, filtered, dried and bagged for off-site processing at Amursk POX-2 and off-take facilities. Loaded carbon from pyrite concentrate cyanidation will be transported to Amursk POX-2 for carbon stripping and dore production. Tails will be thickened, filtered, and dry stacked in tailings storage facility. Part of tailings will be used for backfill at the underground mine. Gold recovery to concentrate is expected to average 85%, with a mass pull ratio of 8%. Average concentrate gold grade expected at 43 g/t is expected. An additional 96.5% will be recovered to dore.

Ore Reserve and Mineral Resource as at 1 February 2021

Ore Reserves Tonnage, Mt Gold grade, g/t Silver grade, g/t Copper grade, % GE grade, g/t Gold, Koz Silver, Moz Copper, Kt GE, Koz
Total 31,870 3.9 - - 3.9 4,048 - - 4,048
Mineral Resources Tonnage, Mt Gold grade, g/t Silver grade, g/t Copper grade, % GE grade, g/t Gold, Koz Silver, Moz Copper, Kt GE, Koz
Total 35,590 4.7 - - 4.7 5,252 - - 5,252

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2019