Irkutsk
Ulan-Ude

Blagoveshchensk
Chita
Yakutsk

Birobidzhan
Vladivostok
Khabarovsk

Magadan
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Anadyr
Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky
Moscow

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Golden sum 2020

Has 2020 become a "golden" year for the profile industry? Is it worth investing in precious metal? Answers in the industry report on the results of gold mining in the Far East

Last year, against the backdrop of the crisis caused by the pandemic and the emerging risks for the global economy, gold became a very attractive asset for investors. In the summer, prices for precious metals exceeded USD 2 per troy ounce (USD 2 per ounce), renewing their all-time high in September 067 (USD 2011 per ounce). Although by the end of November, gold prices were down more than 1% from the high, by the end of December there was a recovery to $ 920 per ounce, and the year ended at $ 15 per ounce. The continued volatility in the markets allows for the possibility of renewed price increases. At the same time, the volume of gold exports from the Russian Federation at the end of 1 increased by 900 times compared to 1 - up to 887 tons (2020 billion US dollars). The growth of Russian exports was also facilitated by the fact that in the spring the Ministry of Industry and Trade began granting general export licenses to organizations producing precious metals.

Golden sum 2020
Photo: polymetalinternational.com
The Far East still produces the largest volume of gold in the country - more than 160 tons, about 65% of all precious metals mined in the Russian Federation. Despite the restrictions associated with the epidemiological situation, production at large industrial facilities did not stop for long periods, as a result, most regions of the Far Eastern Federal District showed an increase in production indicators at the end of the year.

The highest mining results in 2020 were achieved by subsoil users of the Magadan Region - 49,14 tons, an increase of 6% compared to the level of 2019. The volume of mining precious metal in this region amounted to 30,36 tons, alluvial - 18,8 tons. The main producers in Kolyma are JSC Polyus Magadan (a part of PJSC Polyus), LLC ZRK Pavlik (IC Arlan), which are part of Polymetal JSC Serebro Magadana and LLC Omolonskaya Gold Ore Company.

In particular, 14 kg of gold were produced at the new and largest Natalka GOK of the Polyus Magadan company. Recall that the GOK was brought to its design capacity in 035 - then production was about 2019 tons. At the other large field, Pavlik (JSC ZRK Pavlik), production increased by 13% YoY to 5,9 tonnes. As for alluvial mining, its growth in relation to 7 amounted to 091%, reaching the maximum level in the last 2019 years. Among the companies working on alluvial gold, the leader is JSC "Susumanzoloto", whose production result for the year amounted to 2,2 tons of precious metal.
Meanwhile, Omolonskaya ZRK is preparing to start developing the Burgali gold-silver deposit with reserves of 89 thousand ounces of metal (Severo-Evensky District), the ore from which will be processed at the Kubaka GOK. In 2020, the company received a positive opinion from Glavgosexpertiza for design documentation and engineering survey results. The ore will be processed at the gold recovery plant of the Kubaka GOK.

The volume of gold production in Yakutia in 2020 reached about 39 tons, which exceeded the result of 2019 by 2,5 tons. At the Nordgold mines in the Olekminsky region - Taborny and Gross (LLC Neryungri-Metallic), a total of 11,05 tons were produced, while at the Gross mine production increased by 7% compared to 2019. This year, the processing capacity of Gross should be increased by 24% (up to 18 million tons of ore). The result of JSC Polyus Aldan, which is part of PJSC Polyus, exceeded 7,5 tons of precious metal (at the Kuranakh ore field), including due to the modernization of the Kuranakh gold processing plant (Aldan region), and PJSC Seligdar produced about 7 tons (GRK Nizhneyakokitsky "And GRK" Ryabinovy ​​"in the Aldan region). The Taryn Gold Ore Company (GV Gold, Taryn GOK, Drazhnoye deposit in Oymyakonsky District) is also a major subsoil user of the region, which has not yet published its results for 2020.

It should be noted that the implementation of a large-scale Polymetal project is planned for the current year in Yakutia - the launch of production at the Nezhdaninskoye gold deposit (Tomponsky district) - the fourth largest in the Russian Federation. Ore reserves of the deposit are estimated at 4,4 million gold equivalent ounces, resources - at 8,1 million gold equivalent ounces. Annual production at Nezhdaninskoye is estimated at 155-180 thousand gold equivalent ounces. The commissioning of the flotation plant at the field is to take place at the end of 2021.

Among the leaders among the Far Eastern regions in terms of gold mining is the Khabarovsk Territory, where about 2020 tons of gold were mined in 25, which generally corresponds to the result of 2019, when the region set a historical record for the production of precious metals (25,2 tons ).

Polymetal is a major subsoil user of the Khabarovsk Territory.

A significant contribution to production performance was made by Polymetal's flagship enterprise, the Amur Hydrometallurgical Plant (AGMK), located in the Amur Region of the Khabarovsk Territory. At the end of 2020, production at AGMK increased by 13% compared to 2019, reaching 15,1 tons of gold. Taking into account Polymetal's enterprises in Russia and Kazakhstan, as well as third-party suppliers, the plant processed 2020 thousand tonnes of concentrate in 215 (+ 2% by 2019).



At the end of 2020, the company's enterprises also showed moderate production growth. Thus, at LLC Resursy Albazino (Polina Osipenko district), production last year amounted to 8 tons of gold, which is 1% higher than in 8. Svetloye LLC (Okhotsk region) produced 2019 tons of gold in 2020. Ore production increased by 3,7 percent due to work at the Emmy open pit.



It should be noted that AGMK is actively working on the implementation of the project of the second stage of the enterprise (AGMK-2). In the summer of 2020, an autoclave with a capacity of 250-300 thousand tons of concentrate twice refractory ores per year was installed at the plant. Equipment from Belgium (Coek Engineering) was delivered on time, despite the logistical difficulties caused by the pandemic. The commissioning of the second stage of the plant is scheduled for 2023.

Also, mining in the Khabarovsk Territory was carried out by JSC Mnogovershinnoye, a member of Highland Gold Mining, and LLC NGK Resurs at the Polyanka deposit in the Nikolaevsky region, where the first ton of gold was produced last year, and LLC Amur Zoloto (part of Kopy Goldfields) at the Perevalnoye and Krasivoe deposits, as well as at the placers in the Ayano-Maisky region. At the same time, production at Perevalnoye in 2020 increased by 25% against the level of 2019, amounting to 30,01 thousand ounces. At the Yubileiny GOK, where ore from the Krasivoe deposit is being processed, production decreased by 16% (to 14,13 thousand ounces) due to the low content of precious metals in the ore (reduction in grade by 10%). In general, for the year Amur Gold produced 53,11 thousand tons of gold ounces, which is comparable to the results of 2019.

Chukotka Autonomous Okrug in 2020 was in fourth place in the Far Eastern Federal District in terms of gold production. Earlier in the region, there was a downward trend in production due to the depletion of reserves of the main developed assets. Last year, the production level was in line with the 2019 result, amounting to 24,42 tons. Production of precious metal ore increased slightly - by 2%, to 22,45 tons, while at placers there was a decrease in production by 16% (to 1,97 tons). The bulk of gold production in Chukotka is concentrated on the assets of the Kinross Gold company - the Kupol deposits in the Anadyr region (JSC Chukotka Mining and Geological Company) and Dvoinoye in the Chaunsky District (LLC Severnoe Zoloto), where in 2020 10 604,8 , 3 kg and 802,7 XNUMX kg, respectively. The subsoil user expects to extend the life of the Kupol by increasing its resource base through geological exploration.

Another large object is the Mayskoye deposit in the Chaunsky district, which is being developed by LLC ZK Mayskoye, a subsidiary of Polymetal, which produced 4,3 tons of gold in a year. The annual result of JSC "Mine Karalveem" (Auramine Resources within the Leviev Group) at the Karalveemskoye field in the Bilibinsky region amounted to 1 kg, and the Highland Gold Mining ("Russdragmet") LLC "Rudnik Valunisty" at the Valunistom deposit (Anadyr region ) provided 575,6 kg. Among the organizations specializing in alluvial gold, the highest indicators were achieved by the Artel of Prospectors Shakhtar at the gold placers of the Ryveemskoye deposit (Iultinsky district) - 1 kg.
The main prospects for gold mining in Chukotka are associated with the development of the Baim ore zone. In 2021, Highland Gold Mining plans to commission the Klen gold deposit (Bilibinsky district), which is part of the Baimskaya zone, where the company intends to extract about 1,5 tons of gold per year (reaching the design capacity and starting commercial production in 2023. ). Maple reserves are estimated at 627,3 thousand ounces of gold. The launch of the processing plant on Klene is scheduled for 2025. Development of another new HGM field, Kekura (Bilibino district), is to begin in 2023.

In the longer term, the Baimsky GOK with a processing capacity of 70 million tonnes of ore per year on the basis of the Peschanka gold-copper deposit, which the Kazakh company KAZ Minerals (GDK Baimskaya) expects to build by 2027, should also contribute to gold mining. Completion of the bank feasibility study of the project is scheduled for the current year.

At the same time, a reduction in gold production in 2020 was demonstrated by the Amur Region, where 23 kg of precious metal were produced - 734,7% less than in 9,7.The situation in the industry in the region is now significantly different from 2019. when an increase of 2019% was recorded. Ore gold production decreased to the greatest extent - by 15,3%, amounting to 14 kg, while at placers the reduction was only 15%, to 150,3 kg. This result is primarily associated with a drop in production indicators of the largest gold producer in the region - GK Petropavlovsk, which last year faced financial difficulties and corporate conflicts. A decrease in production was observed at almost all of the company's assets. In particular, at the Malomyr mine (Selemdzhinsky district), gold production decreased by 1%, amounting to 8 584,4 kg, at the Albynsky mine (Selemdzhinsky district), the reduction was 22%, to 4 358,3 kg, and at the Pokrovsky mine (Magdagachinsky district ) production decreased by 26%, to 3 kg.

Despite the fact that other subsoil users of the Amur Region increased their production volumes in comparison with 2019, they were unable to reverse the overall negative trend. Thus, Priisk Solovyevsky increased production by 10%, to 3 kg of precious metal - 431 kg of alluvial gold (the highest result at placers) and 2 kg of ore gold at the Solovyevskoye deposit (Tyndinsky district), and LLC Berezitovy, a subsidiary of Nordgold mine "(Berezitovoye deposit, Tyndinsky district) for the year received 391 kg, which is 1% higher than the result of 040. Among the subsoil users developing placers, LLC Maristy increased production by 2% (up to 113,1 kg ), and by 11,3% - PJSC "Priisk Dambuki" (up to 2019 kg).

As for the group of regions with less significant volumes of production, we note that in the Trans-Baikal Territory in 2020, 9,5 tons of gold were produced. Over the year, a noticeable increase in gold mining was demonstrated by the Mangazeya Group of Companies - by 28%, to 1 kg. Mangazeya develops three gold deposits - Nasedkino in the Mogochinsky region, Kochkovskoye (Gazimuro-Zavodskoy region) and Savkinskoye (Nerchinsko-Zavodskoy region). At the same time, the first gold was mined at Nasedkino last year, and commissioning work began at the mining and processing enterprise. The company expects to extract a total of up to 065 tons of gold at the deposit, and the production capacity of the GOK should be 30 tons of gold per year. Gold mining in the region is also carried out by Highland Gold Mining - at the Novo-Shirokinsky mine (Gazimuro-Zavodskoy district), the processing capacity of which is expected to increase by the end of 3 (from 2021 thousand tons to 800 million tons of ore). In turn, JSC "Priisk Solovyevsky" completed the washing season in Transbaikalia with a result of 1,3 kg of gold, which is 318,6% less than in 14,1.

In Kamchatka, gold production has been growing for the second year in a row, after a significant drop in 2018. In 2020, production increased by 9% compared to 2019, reaching 6 kg. Significant growth was demonstrated by JSC Kamchatskoye Zoloto, which is a part of JSC "Gold of Kamchatka" (GC "Renova") - by 863%, producing 68 kg of gold (Bystrinsky district). Also significantly - by 1%, increased production at the Ozernovskoye field of JSC "SiGMA" (Karaginsky district), amounting to 049 kg. Developing the Asachinskoye deposit in the Elizovsky region, JSC "Trevozhnoye Zarevo" (Trans-Siberian Gold) increased the production of precious metals by 61% - up to 1 kg.

Kamchatka subsoil users, which reduced production in the past year, are also Kamgold JSC and Ametistovoe JSC, which are part of Gold of Kamchatka. Kamgold has reduced production at the Aginskoye field (Bystrinsky District) five times - to only 36 kg. The decline in production by Ametistovoe JSC at the field of the same name in the Penzhinsky District was 17% - to 2 kg. The "Zolot Kamchatka" noted the difficulties caused by the pandemic with the supply of foreign equipment and the import of shift workers, which could affect the final production indicators. Nevertheless, in order to restore production, Amethystovoye expects to involve the Central and Southern sections of its field in development. In particular, in the Central area it is planned to extract an average of 542 kg of gold per year, in the South - 800 kg. Underground mining is scheduled to begin this year. Also "Amethystovoye" last year received a positive opinion from Glavgosexpertiza on the project for the construction of an underground mine at the "Vostochny" site of the Amethystovoye deposit (revision of the under-pit reserves until 400).

Gold production continues to decline in Buryatia. In January-October 2020, 4 kg of gold were mined in the republic, which is 167,06% less than in the same period in 6,4. Production at mines in ten months decreased by 2019%, to 1 kg , and on placers - by 2%, up to 460,32 12,5 kg. Ore gold is mined by Nordgold, PJSC Buryatzoloto, at the Irokinda and Kholbinsky mines. At the same time, at the Irokinda mine (Muisky district), at the end of the year, the production of precious metals was still increased by 1%, to 706,74 thousand ounces, and in the future, the subsoil user expects to replenish ore reserves through exploratory drilling of the Vysokaya and Serebryakovskaya »With a high gold content.

In general, the gold mining industry of the Far East over the past year has reached rather high indicators. Nevertheless, in a number of regions, subsoil users are faced with a gradual depletion of mined resources, which puts them in front of the need to make further investments in geological exploration and expansion of the resource base. It should be noted that in connection with these challenges at the federal level, last year, changes were prepared in the profile state program for the reproduction of natural resources, implying adjustments to the conduct of geological exploration at the expense of the budget. The Ministry of Natural Resources proposes to concentrate efforts primarily on the reproduction of the mineral resource base of existing mining centers, which are characterized by high risks of depletion, and at the same time - with a high socio-economic significance. Today, the Far Eastern Federal District is preparing for the implementation of a number of large-scale projects that should make a significant contribution to the growth of precious metal production in the macroregion, although they can bring first results only in the medium term - over the next 5-10 years.
September 25: current information on coronavirus in the Far East
Digest of regional events and latest statistics