Nezhda

Russia’s 4th largest gold deposit

Key facts

Location North-east Yakutia, Russia
Ownership 100%
Ore Reserves (JORC), Nezhda hab (Nezhda + Prognoz) 6.8 Moz GE at 3.8 g/t average grade
Mineral Resources (JORC), Nezhda hab (Nezhda + Prognoz) 9.8 Moz GE at 5.1 g/t average grade
Mining Open-pit +underground
Processing 2.2 Mtpa Flotation/Gravity concentration + off-take/ Amursk POX
Production start date October 2021
Life of mine 2050
Employees >908
Key 2021 numbers

Overview

Nezhda is Russia’s fourth largest gold property located in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). The asset was fully consolidated by Polymetal in 2018. The construction took 38 months and the project was commissioned in October 2021.

The operation currently comprises open-pit mine and 2.2 Mtpa concentrator producing gold, silver and gravity concentrates which are sold to third parties and planned to be fully treated at the Amursk POX-2 after its launch in H2 2024. The underground mine is planned to be commissioned in 2037 and last until 2049. Starting from September 2022, 100% of energy for Nezhda is being sourced via the power line. Tailings from the plant are stored in the form of dry cake.

Location History Geology and Mineralisation Operations Reserves and Resources Exploration

Nezhda is a gold deposit in Russia, located in northeast Yakutia in the Tompon municipal district, approximately 480 km east from the city of Yakutsk (population of 350,000). The property is remote with access by an all-season unpaved road and no grid connection. The nearest federal highway is 110 km away from the deposit by all-year unpaved road. The highway provides direct access to the Khandyga river port (170 km) and the Nizhniy Bestiakh railway spur (540 km). The climate is characterized by long severe winters and short hot summers. The relief is moderately mountainous with relative altitudes above valley floors not exceeding 600 m.

The Nezhda gold deposit was discovered in 1951 during the Allakh-Yunskaya geological exploration expedition. From 1959, the deposit was subject to several exploration and evaluation initiatives resulting in newly identified ore zones. In 1975, a 180 Kt per annum underground mine and concentrator was commissioned at Nezhda with over 2 Mt of ore mined and processed before the operation was placed on care and maintenance in 2005. Polyus acquired the asset in 2006, subsequently undertaking an extensive exploration program and completing several technical studies.

Polymetal first entered into the joint venture for the property in 2015, acquiring a 15.3% stake in the South-Verkhoyansk Mining Company («SVMC») which owns the mining and exploration license for the property. In July 2017, the company has agreed to increase its stake to 24.7% with a call option to buy out the remaining 75.3% in 2018, subject to certain conditions. In 2018, after the Board approved the start of project construction, Polymetal consolidated 100% interest in Nezhda.

The deposit is composed of large mineralised zones, representing areas of intense brecciation comprised of crushed and sheared, hydrothermally altered, sedimentary rocks that have been variably enriched in quartz. The Nezhda mineralisation is double refractory due to the encapsulation of fine gold particles within sulphide minerals and significant presence of preg-robbing carbonaceous material.

Nezhda Ore Reserves estimate as at 1 January 2022
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
Nezhda 47.5 3.3 18.79 - 3.4 5,013 28,660 - 5,146
Prognoz 8.0 0.0 481.31 - 6.4 0 124,640 - 1,662
Total 55.5 - - - 3.8 5,013 153,300 - 6,808
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
Nezhda 55.6 4.7 11 - 4.8 8,479 19,721 - 8,570
Prognoz 4.4 0.0 662 - 8.8 0 93,685 - 1,249
Total 60.0 - - - 5.1 8,479 113,406 - 9,820
Mining

The open pit will be mined over 18 years via conventional drill-and-blast and truck-shovel methods, with a subsequent gradual switch to underground mining that will last for 13 years. The underground mine will utilise long-hole stoping with partially consolidated backfill.

Metallurgy and processing

The concentrator incorporates crushing, two-stage grinding, gravity and flotation, concentration. Concentrates are thickened, filtered, dried and bagged for off-site processing. Tails are thickened, filtered, and dry stacked in a fully lined tailings storage facility. Gold, silver and gravity concentrates which are sold to third parties and planned to be fully treated at the Amursk POX-2 after its launch in H2 2024.

  • In 2021, most of the exploration was carried out at the southern flank of the deposit. 9.5 km of core drilling and 40,000 m3 of tranches were completed. The results confirmed further potential of Mineral Resource extension.
  • Ore Reserves increased by 734 Koz (mainly underground) to 5.1 Moz of GE with an average grade of 3.4 g/t. Additional Mineral Resources were up by 500 Koz to 8.6 Moz GE with an average grade of 4.8 g/t.
  • In 2022, drilling will continue at the flanks to assess ore bodies with open-pit resources extension potential.

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2019