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Polymetal’s Nezhda mine produces first concentrate ahead of schedule

Smelter at Amursk POX. Credit: Polymetal International plc

Following the completion of all construction and commissioning activities, Polymetal announced on Monday that its Nezhda mine in Yakutia, Russia, has successfully produced its first gold and silver concentrate, about two weeks ahead of the November 1 target date.

The concentrator is now entering a ramp-up period and is expected to reach its nameplate capacity and full design recovery by April 2022, the precious metals miner said.

Nezhda is Russia’s fourth-largest gold property, containing an estimated proved and probable reserves of 4.4 Moz gold equivalent at average grade of 3.6 g/t. Mineral resources (additional to ore reserves) comprise 8.1 Moz gold equivalent with average grade of 5.1 g/t.

Construction of the 2 Mtpa open-pit mine and combined gravity/flotation concentrator were built in 38 months following the final construction decision. Total project capex by the time of full ramp-up will be approximately $370 million.

“Starting production on schedule, first announced in Q4 2018, demonstrates Polymetal’s executing strength in the face of multiple challenges,” Polymetal CEO Vitaly Nesis said in a news release.

“The mine should ramp up to full capacity and start generating free cash flows by Q2 2022,” Nesis added.

This year, Polymetal plans to produce up to 30,000 oz gold equivalent at Nezhda with average production of 180,000 oz per year in 2022-2024 at estimated AISC of $850-900/oz.

Further production upside is linked to the opportunity of processing ore from the high-grade Prognoz silver deposit that is wholly owned by Polymetal.