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Frozen Natalka

Recognized as the largest in Russia gold deposit Natalkinskoye on the Kolyma needs a reassessment of resources

Frozen Natalka

The Matrosov Mine, a subsidiary of Polyus Gold, has postponed the start of mining the Natalka deposit in the Tenkinsky district of Kolyma for an indefinite period.

Almost 42 billion rubles have already been invested in the construction of production facilities at the mine. The world's largest mill for processing ore was brought to the place of production. Now the pace of construction is reduced, the workers are sent on forced leave. The Russian Ministry of Development of the Far East became interested in the situation at the Matrosov mine. From the start of the enterprise depends, including the replenishment of the budget of Kolyma.

Где золото?

The mine named after Matrosov for many years was the flagship of the Tenkin district. For 58 years, annually, he supplied to the gold coin box of Russia one and a half tons of precious metal. Then less - a ton per year. In October 1944, on the order of Dalstroy, the deposit in the upper reaches of the Natalka stream was named after Matrosov. In those years, the issue of the start of production was solved promptly, and already in 1945, when the vertical shaft of the mine and the cyanide shop were completed, the mine and the factory became separate enterprises and became part of the Tenkinsky Mining Department. Start-up to full design capacity was timed to the Victory Day.

In July 1956, the first 128 Komsomol members arrived at the mine. Upper and Molodyozhny villages were prepared for their arrival. In the year 55-year anniversary in 2000, the company employed one thousand thirty-three people. At the end of the 1990-ies, in order to carry out the reconstruction and start open production at the Natalka deposit, they began to look for an investor. The tender for development of the field was won by the Eurasian investment pool of Norilsk Nickel. However, the new investor for some reason gradually curtailed production, and large-scale construction work began.

In 2003, the company Polyus Gold became the owner of the largest gold deposit in Russia. And from that moment on, the history of the endless transfers of the mine was launched. At the beginning of 2011, Rosprirodnadzor had complaints about the Matrosov mine. The company was accused of violating the license agreement, but no sanctions followed, then the license agreement was changed: the action was extended to 2036, and the commissioning date of the mining and processing plant was postponed to December 2014. And now it is already clear that there will be no launch this year. A reassessment of resources is required again.

Deferred profit

On the construction sites of the mine named after Matrosov, and there are about three hundred, now almost deserted. Street work turned. It makes no sense, they explain at the enterprise, that the launch of the mine was again postponed indefinitely.

"The pace of construction has declined. In anticipation of the final, more precise decision, we are engaged in the fact that we pull up those works that were somewhere not completed, while we stopped working in the open air. In general, everything is at a minimum, "- said the director of the branch of the company" Polyus Story "Mikhail Mirchuk.

It is officially recognized that the Natalka deposit, which took up the Matrosov mine, is the largest in terms of gold reserves in Russia. In its bowels almost a thousand tons of precious metal, but it's on paper. Actually, the enterprise produced almost ten million tons of ore, containing approximately 250 thousand ounces of gold, which is lower than expected volumes. Therefore, the company "Polyus Gold" announced the need to reassess resources. Although at the mine itself it is believed that it is not only, but, rather, not so much in reserves. "The situation, firstly, with the price of gold is unstable, the price is low. If it was at the level of 1400-1500 dollars per ounce, probably the question would not have been so acute. We would most likely have worked. And today, of course, the economy becomes the cornerstone. In any case, we are an enterprise that is aimed primarily at making a profit, "the management of the Matrosov mine explained.



But anyway, while there is a reassessment of resources, the future fate of the mine is not clear. The people who worked in the construction industry, mainly shift workers, were now in limbo. The employees of the mine are massively sent to forced leaves. Of the one and a half thousand people there will be only about three hundred. Here, the decision of the company's management about the future fate of the mine is awaited.

Problems with the budget

The failure of Matrosov is a separate problem for the Kolyma budget. Economists note a decline in revenues in the next three years. Compared with the current year, to the 2017, the revenues of the Kolyma budget will be reduced by almost two and a half billion. The costs are three billion. The deficit, according to preliminary estimates, should be slightly more than two billion seven hundred thousand.

The main part of the revenues to the regional budget is the tax on the extraction of minerals. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Magadan Region has provided a forecast for the extraction of precious metals up to 2017. Already in the 2015 year on the Kolyma plan to get 31 a ton of yellow metal, and in 2017 - 41. Such growth should ensure the launch of two deposits of the Yano-Kolyma gold province - Pavlik and Natalkinsky. Matrosov planned to issue up to fifteen tons of precious metal annually, but now the beginning of mining there is generally questionable.

"In order to level the situation in the budget, we seriously overestimate the work of other mining enterprises, which this year produced a significant increase. We are counting on the fact that next year will be the same. And the launch of a new large enterprise at the Pavlik deposit, I think, largely compensates for the mortgaged calculations that the Matrosov mine could have given, "said Vladimir Pecheny, Governor of the Magadan Region.

However, it is clear that the indicators in 41 ton to 2017 year Magadan region without work on the Natalka deposit will not work. For comparison, in 2014 on the Kolyma will get a little more than 20 tons of precious metal.

Technical solutions must be found.

In the situation with the Matrosov mine, the Ministry of Russia for the development of the Far East is also considering. First Deputy Minister Alexander Osipov visited the construction sites of the enterprise.

“Technical solutions will be found, another thing is how long their search will take. After that, the organization of an operating model that is beneficial for the investor so that he can recoup his costs. It may be necessary to look for a co-investor in order to share investment and costs and risks, ”said Alexander Osipov.

According to the preliminary findings of Polyus Zolota, a decrease in the estimate of the resources of the Natalka deposit by 15-20% is expected. In this case, the company may have to look for new approaches in its development. Final conclusions are promised at the end of January next year.

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