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Nordgold increases the capacity of the Gross mine in Yakutia by 2 million tonnes per year
Gold mining company Nordgold has completed the first phase of increasing the ore mining and processing capacity of its largest enterprise, the flagship Gross mine, to 18 million tonnes per year from 16 million tonnes in 2020.
The company is currently working on the development of a feasibility study for the second stage of expansion of production, which provides for an increase in processing up to 24 million tons of ore per year.
Nordgold forms one of the largest gold mining clusters in Russia in Yakutia. It includes the active mines of Gross and Taborny, as well as the promising development project of Tocco. Commissioned in 2018 with a design capacity of 12 million tonnes per year, Gross quickly became Nordgold's largest mine and one of the largest gold mines in the Sakha Republic.
The total volume of capital investments in the first stage of the expansion of the production capacity of the Gross mine amounted to approximately $ 50 million.
The first phase of the expansion project consisted of three main stages:
1. Installation of additional processing equipment for ore processing, including a new 22-meter stacker, three absorption columns, five new pumps and related infrastructure and equipment;
2. an increase in the mining equipment fleet: ten new dump trucks, one excavator and two drilling rigs, as well as a number of auxiliary vehicles, including buses, fuel tankers, mobile repair shops, a truck crane and a front loader;
3. Expansion of auxiliary infrastructure: construction of new facilities in the camp and purchase of laboratory equipment.
The feasibility study for Phase II of the Gross Mine Expansion Project, which will increase production capacity to 26 million tonnes per year, is on track and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. The implementation of the Gross expansion project will increase gold production by about 130 thousand ounces per year after completion of the second phase in 2024, thereby increasing the mine's annual production to about 350 thousand ounces per year.
In addition, Nordgold is continuing with the new Tocco project located in the Gross cluster. The feasibility study for the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021, with construction to begin in 2022.
As a result, by 2025, the Gross cluster will account for more than 50% of Nordgold's total production. As part of its ambitious growth plan, Nordgold aims to increase production by about 20% over the next five years and achieve a competitive edge in total costs, mainly by developing the Gross cluster and reducing costs at its African mines.
Nikolay Zelensky, CEO of Nordgold, said:
“I am delighted to announce the completion of the first phase of our ambitious expansion project at the Gross Mine. I congratulate the project team, the entire Gross team and contractors on this achievement. Thanks to the involved work of hundreds of people, we managed to implement the project on schedule and below the allocated budget. The success of the first phase of expansion and the growing reserves of the Gross mine give us every reason to successfully implement the second phase, which will further increase production of this world-class mining asset. With the completion of the new Tokko mine, the Gross Gold Cluster will produce over 600 ounces per year and employ over 2800 employees. It will become one of the largest gold mining clusters in Russia ”.
The Gross Mining Cluster is a highly promising world-class cluster in the southwest of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), which includes the operating Nordgold Gross and Taborny mines, as well as the Tokko development project.
Commissioned in 2018, Gross is the third mine designed and built from the ground up by Nordgold since 2013, confirming the company's unique expertise in building industry benchmark mines. The Gross was built on time and on budget. Its construction lasted 24 months.
The Taborny mine has been developing the gold ore deposit of the same name by open cut mining since 2002.
In 2020, the Gross cluster produced 11 tonnes of gold, accounting for about 34% of Nordgold's total production of 32,5 tonnes.
The cluster provides over 2000 jobs.
Nordgold intends to implement two development projects in the Gross cluster in the next few years: an increase in the production capacity of the Gross mine and the construction of a new Tokko mine. The company will also continue to invest in geological exploration in the region with the aim of discovering new promising fields.
Nordgold is an international gold mining company with a production volume of more than 1 million ounces (32,5 tons) and 7 employees, operating nine enterprises (in Russia, Kazakhstan, Burkina Faso and Guinea) and a number of promising projects in Eurasia, West Africa, North and South America. Since its founding in 800, the company has established itself as a global leader in building industry benchmarks for large gold mining assets, and has proven its commitment to sustainability, community engagement and environmental responsibility.