Polyus is all set to invest $600m to construct Mill-5, add an in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) system and upgrade mining fleet at its Blagodatnoye mine in Siberia, Russia.

The latest move comes after the company’s Board of Directors made a final investment decision on the mill construction for which the feasibility study (FS) has already been concluded.

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As assumed in the findings, continued open pit mining down to the bottom elevation of 70mrl with simultaneous throughput expansion will support the long-term development of the Blagodatnoye mine.

The IPCC system will start deliveries of ore to both Mill-4 and Mill-5.

With regard to the pit development, the proportional use of large-scale mining equipment is expected to be increased.

The nominal processing capacity of Mill-5, as per the FS is eight million tonnes a year, thereby increasing total throughput capacity at the Blagodatnoye complex to 17 million tonnes annually combined.

At the mill, Polyus expects to apply a conventional gravity-flotation flowsheet, which is similar to the one at Mill-4.

The grade in ore processed at Mill-5 is expected to average 1.4 gram per tonne for the mine life.

The estimated recovery rate at Mill-5 in the first five years of operations is 87.9% and TCC is estimated to average $320 per ounce.

Based on the current construction schedule, the Mill-5 at Blagodatnoye mine is slated for launch in 2025 after which it is expected to provide 390,000 ounces of incremental gold volumes.

The principal operations of Polyus are located in Siberia and the Russian Far East: Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk and Magadan regions and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).