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Precious metals mining company Polymetal International has reported an upgrade to the mineral resource estimate at its Prognoz silver deposit in Russia.

Based on the new resource estimate, the company has raised the property’s resource base to 256Moz of silver equivalent at 789g/t. The latest estimate comes after the company completed 532 additional diamond drill holes (71,276 m) during 2017-2018.

Highlights of the resource estimate include a 19% decline in pure silver contained from 293Moz to 237Moz, and a 25% rise in average silver grade from 586g/t to 731g/t.

Meanwhile, average vein width increased by 15% from 1.9m to 2.2m as per the new estimate.

Polymetal Group CEO Vitaly Nesis said: “In-fill drilling results exceeded our expectations and strengthened our belief that Prognoz may succeed Dukat as one of the largest primary silver deposits in the world.”

The company intends to complete 24.3km of diamond drilling in 2019 in order to upgrade the existing inferred resources to indicated category.

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By GlobalData

Polymetal also aims to carry out 15.7km of further diamond drilling to establish new resources on extensions of Main and Swamp Zones along the strike.

“Prognoz may succeed Dukat as one of the largest primary silver deposits in the world.”

Once the campaign is completed, the company will have access to at least 60Moz of contained silver.

Other works include advanced testing and mapping of all indicated resources to determine the preferred processing route and tailings storage method.

Polymetal noted that these activities are essential for the completion of the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) and estimation of JORC-compliant ore reserves at the Prognoz deposit.

The company expects to achieve results of the PFS in the first half of 2020.