Nordgold receives construction permit for Gross project
- Large scale all-season open-pit heap leach project, located in Yakutia, Russia, adjacent to existing Neryungri mine.
- Pilot stage operation confirmed excellent operating and economic fundamentals.
- Construction expected to commence late 2015/early 2016 and to require approximately US$260 million of capital investment over a two year construction period.
- Gross expected to mine c.12 million tonnes of ore and to produce c. 230 koz of gold per year at full production for 17 years.
- Major development project follows successful launch of Bissa mine in January 2013 which fully paid back investment within 21 months of launch.
Amsterdam, Netherlands, July 31, 2015 - Nord Gold N.V. (“Nordgold” or the “Company”, LSE: NORD), the internationally diversified low-cost gold producer, is pleased to announce it has received a construction permit for the Gross project in Russia. The project is now fully permitted, which enables Nordgold to progress it towards construction.
Gross, one of the Company’s key development projects, is located in southwestern Yakutia, adjacent to the Nordgold’s well-established Neryungri mine. Nordgold has conducted an extensive exploration programme to identify the deposit and its reserves. Gold Reserves at Gross, as at December 31, 2014, were 4.5 Moz (up 25% from previous estimate), while Mineral Resources were 8.6 Moz.
Nordgold updated the Gross Feasibility Study at the beginning of 2015, which confirmed the economic viability of an all-season open-pit heap leach project giving an IRR of approximately 25% at a long-term gold price of US$1,100/oz and an IRR of almost 40% at a long-term gold price of US$1,250/oz. Gross is expected to mine approximately 12 million tonnes of ore and to produce approximately 230 koz of gold per year at full production for 17 years.
The economic attractiveness of the Gross project was also confirmed by a pilot stage operation, launched in February 2014. In 2014, 1.8 million tonnes of Gross ore was processed and 29 koz of gold produced at the heap leach facility of the satellite Neryungri mine. As a part of the pilot stage, commercial scale metallurgical tests were carried out in which achieved recovery levels were in excess of what had been estimated in the Feasibility Study – recovery of 82.5% after an irrigation period of 150 days for -40mm ore. This pilot stage production is delivering recoveries at above 80% and low production costs, which provides strong confidence in the successful performance of the Gross project.
Nordgold will invest approximately US$8.5 million in detailed design works in 2015, while continuing the Gross pilot stage with the aim of producing approximately 35 koz of gold this year.
Construction is expected to begin in late 2015 or early 2016 (subject to Board approval), with production starting up to two years later. The project will require approximately US$260 million of capital investment during construction. Nordgold will keep the market closely informed of progress during the construction phase. The Company is currently considering different options for Gross project financing.
The construction of Gross will be Nordgold’s third greenfield project developed from exploration to production and follows the successful launch of the Bissa mine in Burkina Faso in January 2013, which fully paid back investment within 21 months after launch. Nordgold continues to expand the Bissa mine with the proposed construction of a heap leach operation at the nearby Bouly project which is expected to commence production in 2016.
Nikolai Zelenski, Nordgold CEO, commented:
“Gross is core to our long term growth pipeline and with its superior parameters has the potential to develop into a major asset in our overall portfolio. We have already demonstrated our ability to successfully deliver greenfield mining projects with the construction of our flagship Bissa mine in Burkina Faso. This gives us confidence that we can also deliver Gross. We are pleased to have been awarded a Construction permit and look forward to progressing the project towards production.”Nikolai Zelenski, Chief Executive Officer, Nordgold
Nordgold (LSE: NORD) is an internationally diversified low-cost gold producer established in 2007 and publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. The Company has expanded rapidly through carefully targeted acquisitions and organic growth, achieving a rate of growth unmatched in the industry during that period. In 2014, Nordgold’s gold production increased to 985 thousand ounces from 924 thousand ounces in 2013. The Company operates 9 mines and has 2 development projects, 4 advanced exploration projects and a diverse portfolio of early-stage exploration projects and licenses in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Russia, Kazakhstan, French Guiana and Canada. Nordgold employs more than 8,000 people.
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