Anglo-Russian precious metals mining company Polymetal International has exercised its option to increase its stake in the Baksy property in Kazakhstan to 75% by buying out one of the project’s shareholders.

By exercising the option, Polymetal’s stake in the project has been increased from 7.5% to 75%. The remaining 25% stake is held by state-owned JSC Kazgeology.

In 2019, Polymetal purchased a 7.5% indirect stake in the project. At the time, the company was granted an option to increase its interest to 75% by providing exploration funding through issuing loans.

During 2019–22, Polymetal carried out 20km of diamond core drilling at the Baksy property.

Polymetal International group CEO Vitaly Nesis said: “Baksy fits the company’s strategy of focusing on copper-gold assets and expanding its presence in Kazakhstan. We plan to continue active exploration and expect the JORC-compliant ore reserve estimate and positive production decision in 2024.”

Covering a total licence area of 776km², the Baksy project is located 300km from the Polymetal-owned Varvara processing plant in northern Kazakhstan.

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In a press statement, Polymetal said: “The area has an excellent industrial infrastructure with power lines and railway spur immediately adjacent to licence boundaries.

“Mineralisation is located within the external contact of a large granitic intrusion and comprises high-grade skarns, as well as disseminated stockwork. The geological structure of the Baksy licence area represents many characteristics typical of large-scale copper-gold deposits.”

Polymetal plans to undertake exploration work, which will focus on identifying additional high-grade areas and assessing the economic potential of the large-scale, lower-grade central area.