Russian gold mining company Polyus has agreed to acquire a 100% stake in the Chulbatkan gold deposit in the Khabarovsk region of the Russian Far East, from Highland Gold Mining group of companies in a $140m contract.

This project was one of the assets acquired recently by Highland Gold from Kinross Gold in a $340m deal.

The latest deal is subject to additional certain post-completion adjustments.

Based on engineering studies, the Chulbatkan high-grade greenfield project is planned to be developed as an open-pit mine with heap leach processing.

According to the latest JORC-compliant estimates, the Chulbatkan holds probable gold reserves of more than 56Mt containing approximately 2.9Moz of gold at an ore grade of 1.6g/t.

PJSC Polyus CEO Alexey Vostokov said: “Chulbatkan fits Polyus’ portfolio of assets, leveraging our deep experience in managing bulk open-pit assets.

“The project is also planned as a heap leach operation, a technology which Polyus successfully deployed at Kuranakh in 2017. We will now focus on an integration of Chulbatkan into our project pipeline, and believe that the project will contribute to our long-term growth strategy.”

Based on the results of the pre-feasibility study (PFS), which was announced in November 2021, the Chulbatkan project has the potential to produce around 2Moz of gold at an average all-in sustaining cost of $580/oz during its mine life of seven years.

Polyus’ technical team will review the project’s key outcomes of previous studies. Subsequently, the team will move ahead with the development of the project’s feasibility study.

Highland Gold CEO Vladislav Sviblov said: “We see a significant potential synergetic effect between the operating mine Kupol and our own Kekura asset. We are focused on direct production synergy maximisation in order to extend the Kupol mill operational lifetime.”