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The Kamchatka gold mine will live

General Director of JSC "Gold of Kamchatka" Viktor Radko tells about what opportunities can not be missed in the Far East

- Viktor Vasilievich, now in Kamchatka - almost a "gold rush". For the last fifteen years, gold mining companies have not worked, but "just were." Now they began to develop actively, production on them revived. It is even said that soon this industry has a chance to outrun the fish - regional "flagship" ... Is this a real forecast or a utopia?

The Kamchatka gold mine will live
- This is a general enough question and it's not even a matter of reality or utopianism - the fishing industry is historically the flagship in the region. Gold mining is very promising and may become the second pillar of the economy of the region, but you are right: we have really become much more active. A deposit such as Ametistoye is being developed, for example. We launched it in September. For 4 months, in a record short period of time, 4 tons of gold per year were brought out to the design parameters. In January, the "sign" first ton was produced.

Everything has a background, and our industry too. The Aginsky GOK became the first gold mining enterprise in the region, and when we launched it in 2006, it showed its profitability, and the profit gained went into business - for the construction of Amethyst. Then the crisis struck - and it might have had to freeze the project, but our shareholders, Renova Group of Companies, decided to continue construction and launch a unique production facility in the north of the region. This alone, in my opinion, confirms the seriousness of our intentions.

In the field of gold mining in Kamchatka, now operate three large companies - our "Gold of Kamchatka", as well as "Anxious glow" and "Sigma." By itself, such competition proves the industry's prospects in the region. In addition, on the entire peninsula so far only 5-10% All the reserves of precious metals, so we have much to grow, and we intend to invest heavily in geological exploration. Only in 2016 year for these purposes will be sent several hundred million rubles.

- What prevented you from doing this before, before all the crises?

- As I said, our company came to the region before the crises. Business was associated with the need to build infrastructure, sometimes practically from scratch. We ourselves have built more than 130 kilometers of roads. Now, when the development of the Far East is declared a priority, the state makes significant efforts for investors to come to the region. For this, power grids, roads, and so on, are being built, that is, conditions are created for the region to acquire its strategic investors.

- And where is the "Amethyst" and how is the logistics of production built on it?

- "Amethyst" is located in the Penzhinsky district, it is about a thousand kilometers from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. You fly two and a half hours by plane to the village of Tilichiki, then 180 km before the field by helicopter.

More than 800 people work there on a rotational basis.

- But are all these costs justified? Is there any sense in such a business?

- In our business, the price of a product is determined by the world market, that is, all gold miners sell metal at one price, and the main task is to reduce the cost of production. Projects in Kamchatka, despite the worldwide decline in the price of gold, remain cost-effective and allow building long-term development plans due to the high content of metal in the ore - order 9-10 g / t and the relative ease of extraction by the open method.

If they did not pay off (albeit over time), no one would develop production. And it promises great prospects. On the "Amethyst" - the deposits of veined gold. There we have a mine and a factory that produces an alloy of silver and gold. Used advanced technology to extract from ore 95-96% Metal. We then export it to the refinery, where the precious metals are separated and sold.

The reserves will allow exploiting the field for a fairly long period. To date, they are approved by GKZ and constitute 52 tons. But we expect to significantly increase this figure at the expense of additional geological exploration, as there are many veins that were not included in the number of approved reserves.

- Is your work limited only to this field?

- We are not confined to one project. We have 9 licenses, by which we work. For example, in the near future we are launching the Baranievskoye field, which will go to compensate the retiring capacities of Aginskoye GOK. There is also "Kumroch" - a very promising project. The reserves there promise to be very large. We are going to conduct drilling operations on these two fields, in 2016, it is for these purposes that a part of the profit received from the operation of Ametistovoe will be channeled. Already purchased additional equipment for drilling wells on stranded veins.

According to our calculations, the mineral-raw materials base of the Aginskoye field will last for several more years. But every year we carry out a set of measures aimed at ensuring the growth of stocks. The Baranievskoye field will give Aginskoye an additional resource base for another twenty years. Even now, we are transporting ore to Aginskoye GOK from deposits located relatively close to it - from Zolotoy and from Kungurtsevsky. There is already built a road there, it can be operated all year round. With the "Amethyst" is more difficult, you can get there only by the winter road.

- Viktor Vasilievich, what will happen when the deposits discovered in Soviet times are developed? As far as I know, geological exploration in Kamchatka is practically not being conducted now ...

- Firstly, we are conducting additional exploration of the open fields ourselves, building up the resource base. Secondly, as I said above, the development of the Far East is a priority. Both Rosgeology and investors will be interested in expanding the region's mineral and raw materials base.

- Now the gold mining business in Kamchatka needs solid investments. Do you count only on your own funds or on the help of the state in the person of, for example, the Far Eastern Development Fund?

- Basically, of course, our finances are the means of shareholders and bank loans. All fixed assets have already been purchased. Naturally, we will build roads, build additional facilities in the village of Tilichiki and so on. Expenses are a lot. The Development Fund of the Far East supports the construction of infrastructure for newly developed fields. As I have already said, a significant and necessary facility for today is the construction of a road. I should note that it was not easy to get money from the Fund, but our strategy and business plan were included in their investment policy. Now we expect to get for "Ametistovoi" the status of the RIP - a regional investment project, the same as for the Aginskoye GOK.

- And what benefits does it give?

- We have already received exemption from property tax for Ametistovoe. That's all for now. The status of the RIP will allow us to temporarily reduce the severance tax. Now, any means of saving are important, we optimize all the steps in order not to reduce the pace of development projects in the region.

Part of the equipment (the same drilling machines) we can only buy imported. But for the transportation of ore began to buy BELAZ and KAMAZ.

- We are talking about business logic now. But what will your business give to the region in which it operates?

- First, jobs. And not seasonal, but permanent. At our enterprises, employees receive, above all, stability. In addition, they have a decent salary - on the "Amethyst", for example, this is an average of about 80 thousand rubles a month. Now in Kamchatka we have more than 1800 person staff. We are ready to invest in personnel training - we invite specialists for this, but after the completion of the courses and passing the exams, the "teachers" leave. In the future, with the development of mining and gold mining, it is possible (naturally with the participation of the state and with state licensing) to appear vocational training and retraining centers that would work on a regular basis. I think many people living in Kamchatka would be interested in such a professional reorientation. One example: there are many drivers in the province, but special skills and qualifications are needed to work on heavy equipment. Why not organize courses for which, I am sure, would be willing to go to local cadres who are striving to master more modern technology?

And, of course, our main contribution to the economy of the region is taxes. This year alone, the Kamchatka treasury will receive about 800 million rubles from us. A good "increase" to the budget, which would not be without the development of our business. It should also be understood that no large-scale production grows by itself. There is always synergy: roads and power grids are being created, shops and housing are being built (our shift camps at the Aginsky GOK and at Ametistovoy are modern, comfortable dormitories, with double rooms, a dining room, a bath, a gym, etc.). In addition, local business is developing, because we buy necessary goods here, rather than taking them “from the mainland”. The territory receives an incentive to develop.

- In addition, regional authorities usually insist that business be socially responsible, build kindergartens and schools ...

-No time in this case from us no one requires anything and does not ask. Everything that we do is our own initiative. Precisely because we feel our social responsibility, and not just declare it. Some businessmen, of course, declare "I pay taxes, what else do you want from me?". I believe that sometimes you just need to help the territory, because it's normal and correct. The same goes for ecology. Taking advantage of the riches of nature, we must return it in full. And I think it's absolutely right that under today's laws we can not "move the river" without permission. We carefully spend millions on the restoration of the fish population, we control the process of recycling waste products so as not to damage the environment (the tundra is a very fragile ecosystem, it is easy to destroy, it is extremely difficult to restore it). At the "Amethyst" operates a closed cycle of water supply, an isolated storage of solid waste. We export them in the form of a so-called cake (an undissolved residue obtained after the leaching of ore components), this is the generally accepted world technology.

- Victor Vasilievich, and you yourself, as they say, "Whose will be"? How many years have you lived in Kamchatka and where you worked before?

- I always worked there, where the company directed me - first in Kazakhstan, then 11 years in the North Urals, five years in Komi, two years ago I was invited here, in "Gold of Kamchatka". Associated with my work was not always with gold, but always with mining, because by profession I am a mining engineer.

- According to your rich experience - what does Kamchatka look like in comparison with other regions that you know well?

- Each region has its own characteristics, its own charm, dignity. Impossible to compare. Even outwardly. Kazakhstan, for example, is beautiful in early spring, when tulips are blooming and the steppe is so joyous. But at the end of April, everything was already burnt out and brownish-yellow. The most beautiful place of the Urals - taiga dense, mountains. Komi with its pristine rivers, beautiful fishing. About Kamchatka - what can I say for a long time, everything has been said long ago about her beauty and power. And in other things as well, when it comes to the economy, resources, production. We must see these strengths and take them into account to the maximum, in each region they are different.

- What are the "Gold of Kamchatka" further plans in the region? Will you buy new licenses for development of deposits?

- Now you know about the nearest plans, and as for the new licenses - if they are interesting, then why not.

- Are you going to be listed on the stock exchange, as your competitors are already doing?

- Now the main task is to grow, in fact, three times the output (up to 5-6 Tons of gold) and keep all development plans, which will allow us to enter into the 10-ku largest in Russia. This is an ambitious and challenging task; 2016 has to show the year if we can handle it. And what to do next - the shareholders will decide.
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