Omolon hub

Multiple feed and flexible processing

The Board has proposed to dispose on the Polymetal’s Russian business as this presents the most viable opportunity for the Group to restore shareholder value by removing or substantially mitigating critical political, legal, financial and operational risks to the Polymetal Retained Group.

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Key facts

Location Magadan Region, Russia
Ownership 100%
Operating mines Birkachan, Tsokol, Burgali
Key exploration projects Burgali, Tumaninskaya, Kegali, Nevenrekan
Mining open-pit/underground
Processing 862 Ktpa CIP/Merrill-Crowe (Kubaka), 1.3 Mtpa heap leach (Birkachan)
Ore reserves (JORC) 0.7 Moz GE, 6.8 g/t average grade
Mineral resources (JORC) 0.9 Moz GE, 5.5 g/t average grade
Production start date 2010
Life of mine 2031
Employees 1,130
Key 2022 numbers
* Kubaka Mill
Location History Geology Operations Reserves and Resources

All parts of the Omolon hub are located northeast of the Magadan region in remote and unpopulated areas covered with taiga forest, with only seasonal access. Land transportation between various parts of the Omolon hub is only possible during the winter via unpaved winter roads, some of which have been constructed by Polymetal. Fuel, consumables and spare parts are delivered to Kubaka and Birkachan via a winter road (usually accessible from January to April), mostly through the port of Evensk during the summer (June to October), which is located in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Location

The history of the Omolon hub starts with the Kubaka deposit, which was first discovered in 1979. The Kubaka processing plant was built in the early 1990’s, and between 1996 and 2006, Kubaka was the largest gold producer in Russia, until the plant was put on care and maintenance due to the depletion of reserves at the deposit.

In 2008, Polymetal acquired the Kubaka plant together with four mining properties: Birkachan, Oroch, Tsokol and Prognozny. Shortly after, exploration activities commenced at Birkachan and Oroch with an objective to determine whether the recommencement of the Kubaka plant would be economically justified. In 2010, the modified plant was restarted and by 2011, a new processing section was launched that enables the plant to process ores with high silver content. The plant now includes a new leaching circuit, counter-current decantation and a Merrill Crowe circuit.

As a result of a rigorous approach to M&A activity, coupled with comprehensive near-mine exploration, Polymetal was able to consolidate several additional neighbouring licensed areas with robust transportation infrastructure. As a result, we were able to create a reliable and stable operation with low costs, all centred around one regional processing plant with multiple sources of feedstock.

Processing

The Kubaka plant currently uses only conventional CIP cyanidation technology. Run-of-mine ore is crushed in a jaw crusher, followed by two-stage milling (SAG mill and ball mill), thickening, CIP leaching, desorption, electrolysis, carbon regeneration and doré smelting. This processing option will continue to be utilised in the long term for ores with low silver content, such as ores from the Birkachan and Tsokol mines.

Flowcharts

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
Birkachan 1.4 4.0 7 - 4.0 182 0.3 - 186
Tsokol Kubaka 0.2 3.3 6 - 3.4 18 0.0 - 18
Burgali 0.9 8.9 20 - 9.1 250 0.6 - 256
Nevenrenkan 0.6 6.8 505 - 11.3 121 8.9 - 201
Total 3.0 - - - 6.8 571 9.9 - 661
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
Birkachan 3.5 3.3 8 - 3.4 368 0.9 - 378
Tsokol Kubaka 0.1 7.0 8 - 7.1 31 0.0 - 31
Burgali 0.9 10.2 19 - 10.4 290 0.5 - 296
Nevenrekan 0.1 7.9 410 - 11.6 30 1.6 - 45
Kegali 0.4 6.7 98 - 7.9 86 1.3 - 101
Tumanin 0.3 8.4 76 - 9.4 69 0.6 - 77
Total 5.3 - - - 5.5 875 4.9 - 928

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2019