Polymetal International Twofold increase in ore reserves at Kutyn gold project

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Polymetal International PLC (LON:POLY) has today announced a twofold increase in Ore Reserves at the Kutyn gold project to 0.8 Moz of gold in accordance with the JORC Code (2012).

  • The updated JORC-compliant open-pit Ore Reserves estimate as at 1 October 2019 comprises 8.4 Mt of ore with an average grade of 3.0 g/t containing 812 Koz of gold. This represents a 110% increase in gold contained in comparison with the previous reserve estimate prepared in 2015.
  • The growth of reserves is attributable to the updated geological model based on 32.3 km of drilling (440 diamond drill holes) and 180 thousand m3 of trenching conducted in 2017-2019.
  • The reserves represent only oxidised material suitable for heap leaching (average recovery based on extensive geometallurgical work is 70.7%). Life-of-mine stripping ratio is 8.1 t/t.
  • The reserve assessment is based on a 1.3 Mt per year heap leach facility. The flowsheet envisions two-stage crushing to -40 mm, stacking by truck and the Merrill-Crowe process to recover gold. Annual average production is estimated to be approximately 80 Koz of gold.
  • Mineral Resources of Kutyn (additional to Ore Reserves) amount to 6.6 Mt of ore for open-pit and underground mining with an average grade of 3.7 g/t representing 785 Koz of gold contained.
  • 2020 work plan at Kutyn includes 13 km of exploration drilling to continue resource-to-reserve conversion as well as the commencement of statutory permitting and the establishment of a permanent access road from the sea access point.

“The new reserve estimate significantly enhances the value of Kutyn for a potential acquirer or partner”, said Vitaly Nesis, Group CEO of Polymetal. “We continue to evaluate various strategic options and plan to announce a transaction in 2H 2020”.

Ore Reserves (Proved + Probable) changes

Category 01.01.2015 01.10.2019 Change, %
Tonnage, Mt 3.7 8.4 +130%
Au grade, g/t 3.3 3.0 -9%
Au content, Koz 386 812 +110%

ORE RESERVE AND MINERAL RESOURCE STATAMENT

Kutyn Open Pit Ore Reserves

Ore Reserves  Tonnage, Gold grade, Gold content,
Mt g/t Koz
Proved 1.9 3.5 211
       
Probable 6.5 2.9 601
       
Total Proved+Probable 8.4 3.0 812

Kutyn Mineral Resources

Mineral Resources Tonnage, Gold grade, Gold content,
Mt g/t Koz
Measured
Open-pit 0.0 4.5 1
Underground 0.6 4.3 76
Total Measured 0.6 4.3 77
       
Indicated
Open-pit 1.0 3.2 102
Underground 2.0 4.5 295
Total Indicated 3.0 4.1 396
 
Measured + Indicated
Open-pit 1.0 3.2 103
Underground 2.6 4.5 370
Total Measured + Indicated 3.6 4.1 473
       
Inferred
Open-pit 2.5 2.9 228
Underground 0.6 4.3 84
Total Inferred 3.1 3.2 312
 
Measured + Indicated + Inferred
Open-pit 3.5 3.0 330
Underground 3.2 4.4 454
Total Indicated + Inferred 6.6 3.7 785

Note: Mineral Resources are additional to Ore Reserves. Discrepancies in calculations are due to rounding.

ABOUT KUTYN

Kutyn deposit is located in the Khabarovsk Territory, Far East Russia, 114 km north-west of the Albazino mine operated by Polymetal and 10 km from the Sea of Okhotsk. The license area covers 120 square kilometres. The Kutyn site can be accessed using a winter road and by sea through the deep-water Gulf of Ulban from July through October.

Polymetal International acquired the deposit in 2011. During the extensive exploration campaign from 2012 through 2014, the Company completed a total of 31.8 km drilling and 245 thousand m3 of trenching with the focus on near-surface heap leachable mineralisation including the extensions of known ore bodies. In September 2014, following the acquisition of the Kyzyl project, Polymetal announced the decision to postpone development of the Kutyn project and suspended further exploration activities. The asset was marked for sale/JV due to relatively small size in terms of the Company’s target portfolio and focus on Kyzyl and other larger projects. The exploration campaign was recommenced in 2017.

To date, 10 zones of mineralisation have been identified extending for up to 2 km along strike. The zones of mineralisation are represented by several subparallel lenses with the average ore body thickness of 4 m.

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