The mining and smelting facility in the Magadan Region launched by Russia’s gold producer Poluys that develops the Natalka gold deposit during the 3rd Eastern Economic Forum, will make Russia the world’s second-biggest gold producer after China, press service of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East reported Wednesday.
“The largest facility in Russia and one of the largest worldwide has been launched in the Magadan Region. The volume of ore processing will exceed 10 mln tonnes per year, while the volume of gold production will equal 13 tonnes per year. This brings the country’s gold production up by 5%, which makes Russia the second-biggest gold producer in the world after China,” Polyus CEO Pavel Grachev was quoted as saying.
Poluys officially launched the first stage of hot commissioning of Natalka on September 5. Following completion of the hot commissioning, full production is expected to be launched at Natalka before the end of 2018 as earlier guided, the company said.
Natalka is located in the Tenkinskiy District of the Magadan Region, approximately 400 km away from the city of Magadan and 130 km from the district center Ust-Omchug. The deposit was initially discovered in 1942. In 1944, pilot mining using conventional underground stopping methods at the Natalka deposit was launched. In 1945, the Natalka deposit was incorporated under the entity Rudnik Imeni Matrosova. In 1972, a processing plant was built.
In August 2003, the government auctioned a 38% stake in Matrosov Mine, which controlled the license for Natalka deposit. Polyus won the auction and completed the acquisition of the stake in 2004. Between 2005 and 2008, the company consolidated 100% of Matrosov Mine and, by extension, the Natalka deposit.
According to the current life of mine plan, the expected mine life of Natalka is 31 years of open pit mining based on anticipated production volumes. The deposit has ore reserves of 16 moz and mineral resources totaling 34 moz, according to the JORC Code methodology, and is the 15th largest gold asset globally by reserves.