JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Encouraged by the recently published resource estimate for the Nezhdaninskoye gold deposit, in Yakutia, Russia, LSE-listed Polymetal has decided to increase its shareholding in the joint venture (JV) project to 24.7%, with an option to acquire the remaining stake.
A new shareholder agreement has been negotiated, under which Polymetal will acquire an additional 7% share from its partner, Ivan Kulakov, for $8-million, which increases its interest to 24.7%.
A call option has also been agreed on, which will allow Polymetal to acquire the remaining 75.3% in Russia's fourth-largest gold deposit.
CEO Vitaly Nesis said on Monday that the new shareholder agreement will give Polymetal decision-making flexibility and offers the group a clear path to consolidating full ownership in the asset.
“Exploration at Nezhda confirmed a very large high-grade property with substantial openpit potential. The asset fits perfectly with Polymetal's core competencies in refractory ore processing and remote asset development,” he said in a statement.
The project has a measured, indicated and inferred mineral resource of 70.6-million tonnes at 4.7 g/t gold and 13 g/t silver, containing 10.7-million ounces of gold and 29.7-million ounces of silver, or 10.9-million ounces of gold equivalent.
Polymetal aims to publish an initial reserve estimate by the end of 2017.
Located in north-east Yakutia, in the Tompon district, Nezhda is considered remote with access by an all-season unpaved road, and no grid connection. The climate is characterised by long severe winters and short hot summers.
Polymetal currently envisions the construction of an openpit mine and a conventional concentrator on-site with concentrates processed at the Amursk pressure oxidation plant or sold to third party offtakers.