Despite a number of obstacles, including supply chain disruptions and its remote location, Polymetal said the team at its Kutyn gold mine in Far East Russia have recorded first production, and did it six months ahead of schedule.
Following a successful construction completion and commissioning, the Kutyn heap leach facility produced 6,000 ounces, putting it on the road to its 40,000-oz. goal for 2022.
Full heap leach processing capacity of 1.3 million tonnes per year will be reached in 2023, and processing of refractory ore at its Albazino concentrator will commence in 2025.
Average annual output from 2023 to 2030 will be approximately 100,000 oz.
Polymetal noted that it was able to complete construction at the project within 24 months of board approval of its plans. While it recorded a 38% overage in its capital expenditure budget of US$110 million, officials cited the expanded project scope – including addition of refractory ore mining and ore haulage road – along with higher fuel prices, COVID-19 impact on logistics and labor costs for the total.
“Remote location, severe climate, and unprecedented supply chain disruptions presented major challenges at Kutyn,” CEO Vitaly Nesis said.
“The project team successfully overcame all difficulties to deliver first production six months ahead of the original schedule. This achievement underscores Polymetal’s outstanding track record in project execution.”
The Kutyn deposit is located in the Tugur-Chumikan District of the Khabarovsk Territory, Far East Russia, 600 km from Khabarovsk. The Kutyn site can be accessed using a winter road from Albazino or by sea through the seasonal port of Ulban on the Sea of Okhotsk.
It is wholly owned by Polymetal and expects to operate as an open-pit and underground mine at least through 2028.