Russian exploration and development firm Polyus is planning to make a final investment decision (FID) on the Sukhoi Log gold deposit in eastern Siberia by 2020-2021.

Depending on the FID, the company expects to commence production around 2026 with construction capital expenditure estimated to be between $2bn and $2.5bn.

Polyus recently completed the scoping study and verification drilling programme of 43,000m at the gold deposit and is preparing for the pre-feasibility phase.

The study highlighted directions related to additional geological, engineering and infrastructure development.

Polyus CEO Pavel Grachev said: “We have made serious progress in the development of Sukhoi Log during the last 14 months following the acquisition of the licence.

“We are committed to developing the asset in the most disciplined and efficient manner.”

“Sukhoi Log is a one-of-a-kind deposit whose quality and scale are outstanding. We see it as a cornerstone of the future development of Polyus.

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“While there is a long way to go until the production launch, we are committed to developing the asset in the most disciplined and efficient manner.”

The results of the scoping study indicated mill throughput capacity of 30Mtpa, average annual production of 1.6Moz and aggregate cash cost of $420-$470/oz.

Using conventional gravity/flotation process, the Sukhoi Log processing facility will treat an average of 30Mt of ore a year.

The facility will have two parallel communition lines, each with an annual processing capacity of 15Mt of ore.

Polyus expects to achieve a recovery of 88-90% at the Sukhoi Log Mill and intends to conduct additional testwork for 2018-2019.

Before making the FID, the company will invest around $30m a year to undertake geological and engineering studies at Sukhoi Log.

Measured and indicated mineral resources estimate is slated for the fourth quarter of this year and the company expects to publish proved and probable ore reserves estimate in 2020.