Polymetal signs swap deal to acquire 85% stake in Kazakhstan deposit

17 April 2018 (Last Updated April 17th, 2018 12:34)

Gold mining firm Polymetal International has signed an agreement to exchange its Tarutin property in Russia with 85% of the Russian Copper Company's (RCC) East Tarutin copper-gold property in Kazakhstan.

Gold mining firm Polymetal International has signed an agreement to exchange its Tarutin property in Russia with 85% of the Russian Copper Company’s (RCC) East Tarutin copper-gold property in Kazakhstan.

The transaction will see Polymetal acquire an 85% stake in the East Tarutin deposit’s licence holder, Tarutinskoye, in exchange for the transfer of 100% ownership of Vostochny Basis, which is the current license holder for the Tarutin deposit.

The East Tarutin licence covers a total area of 66.4km² and is located in the Karabalyk municipal district of the Kostanay region.

“This asset swap simplifies operational management of the Varvara hub and avoids the complications of cross-border ore shipment, while preserving significant exploration optionality.”

It forms the eastern extension of the mineralised trend that covers the border between Russia and Kazakhstan.

Polymetal Group CEO Vitaly Nesis said: “East Tarutin represents a much better fit for Polymetal in terms of logistics and potential size of reserve.

“This asset swap simplifies operational management of the Varvara hub and avoids the complications of cross-border ore shipment, while preserving significant exploration optionality.”

The East Tarutin property has estimated mineral resources of 6.4 million tonnes (Mt) of ore at 1.06% copper and 0.07 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold, or 354,000 ounces (oz) of gold equivalent.

Meanwhile, Polymetal’s Tarutin licence area spans an area of 1.8km² and comprises a reserve estimate of around 4.6Mt of ore at 1.39% copper and 0.09g/t of gold, or 333,000oz of gold equivalent.

The company noted that the swap deal is intended to provide synergy for both parties as a result of the properties’ improved logistical fit with the existing processing facilities.

East Tarutin is situated on the Kazakh side of the border, where the Varvara processing plant is located.

The transaction will help reduce the ore haulage distance to 110km compared to the required 150km for Tarutin due to its location on the other side of the border.

In addition, Polymetal has also closed the acquisition of a 45% stake in the Prognoz silver property in Russia from Polar Acquisition.

The completion of the deal increases Polymetal’s stake in the property to 50%.