Russian miner Polymetal International has commenced production at its new Kyzyl mine in Kazakhstan after the completion of all construction and commissioning activities.
The production of the first gold concentrate from the Kyzyl mine was originally slated for next month, as per the company’s January 2018 updated plan.
The capital expenditure for the project is anticipated to be around 3% lower than the previously announced $325m budget, including 62Mt of pre-stripping.
Polymetal International group CEO Vitaly Nesis said: “Polymetal is delighted and proud to successfully complete the largest development project in the company’s history ahead of time and below budget.
“Significant cash flow and net income contributions from Kyzyl should start in Q4 2018.”
Deliveries of concentrate to companies which signed off-take deals are expected to begin next month, while shipments to Polymetal’s Amursk POX will start in September.
Polymetal has started a three-month period of increased productivity at the Kyzyl concentrator, following which it is scheduled to reach nameplate capacity of 150kt per month and recoveries of 86% by October this year.
The company expects to achieve production of 80koz of payable gold at the mine this year, before ramping up output to 280koz in 2019 and 330koz thereafter.
Kyzyl is estimated to contain JORC-compliant gold reserves of 7.3Moz at 7.7g/t of Au, with an expected mine life of ten years for the open pit, followed by an additional 14 years of underground mining.
The company noted that the presence of additional JORC-compliant gold resources of around 3.1Moz at 6.8g/t presents a strong case for further expansion.