Location and History
Buryatzoloto comprises the underground gold mines of Irokinda and Zun-Holba in the Republic of Buryatia in the Russian Federation.
Irokinda is located in the Buryatia Republic, approximately 75 km from the town of Taksimo, where the Baikal- Amur railway station and airport are located. The mine is accessible from an all-season road. Production began in 1985.
Zun-Holba is also located in the Buryatia Republic, approximately 315 km from the village of Kultuk, which is on the Trans-Siberian railway, and 400 km from the city of Irkutsk. It is also accessible by an all-season road. Production began in 1986.
These assets were acquired by Nordgold in late 2008 as part of the controlling interest in High River Gold. Nordgold holds a 90.6% voting interest in Buryatzoloto.
In 2015, Buryatzoloto delivered stable production and strong cost performance. The mines produced 112.7 thousand ounces.
Operating and Financial Highlights
|Ore mined (kt)||683||694||689||686||660||630|
|Ore processed (kt)||691||686||668||695||680||661|
|Gold production (koz)||112.7||119.7||98.5||108.9||134.3||136.1|
|Gold sold (koz)||122.8||109.3||98.4||108.9||134.4||143.8|
|Average realised gold price per ounce sold (US$/oz)||1,172||1,281||1,382||1,665||1,563||1,236|
|Total Cash Cost (US$/oz)||629||793||993||812||672||522|
Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources Summary (31 December 2015)
|Category||Ore (Kt)||Grade (g/t)||Au (Koz)|
|Proven and Probable||1,087||5.04||176|
|Measured and Indicated||1,414||10.24||456|
|Proven and Probable||1,587||6.05||309|
|Measured and Indicated||955||10.57||325|
The Irokinda and Zun-Holba mines are both relatively mature underground operations. Both contain a processing plants, each with crushing, grinding, gravity and flotation circuits. The Zun-Holba plant also contains a CIL circuit and related facilities. For processing, there are two crushing stages and two grinding stages using ball mills, followed by gravity separation, which produces concentrates for both the gravity and flotation circuits. The gravity circuit is used to recover free gold, after which smelting produces doré bars. Flotation is used to recover finer gold particles into a flotation concentrate. At the end of 2014, Buryatzoloto employed approximately 3,000 people.
Milling and Classification
CYANIDE LEACHING AND SORPTION
- Further operational improvement initiatives will continue at both the Buryatzoloto mines of Irokinda and Zun-Holba, targeting the same volume and grade of mining material at improved efficiencies. The recovery will increase slightly in 2016.
- Irokinda will continue Decline development and ore production from lower horizons of Vein #3 and Vein Serebryakovskaya.
- Irokinda plans to increase plant efficiency in 2016 through reconstruction of the crushing complex scheduled for completion in Q1 2016, which will enable an increase in crushing volume and a reduction in the size of crushed material.
- Optimisation of the gravity circuit, scheduled for completion in Q2 2016, will result in recovery improvement. Weightometers for the mining fleet and conveyors will be constructed in 2016 to increase the accuracy of operational statistics.
- The mine will target Ore Reserve replacement from exploration drilling at the high-grade Vysokaya Vein. Irokinda will also start development of the Medvegya and Sluchainaya Veins. In 2016, the mine plans to continue the study of Veins 2&3, Hrebtovaya, Serebryakovskaya and Petrovskaya aiming at increasing resources.
- At Zun-Holba, mechanised development of the Zun-Holba 2 Decline will be accelerated in 2016 in order to access the Deep horizons. Dewatering infrastructure required for the existing Shaft levels will be commissioned on the 1290 horizon.
- The mine will also continue to develop exploration Declines from which deep targets in the Dalnaya, Kvartsevaya, Kontaktovoe and Severnoe-3 zones can be drilled out in the most efficient manner. Ore drilled in these targets will be incorporated in mineable reserves as drilling is completed in 2016.
- The Zun-Holba mine in 2016 will be focused on the implementation of mechanisation projects, aimed at increasing the productivity of mining with a special focus on mining quality and effective reporting systems.
- Mining of Kvartsevaya and Kontaktovoe ore bodies from the Decline should commence in 2016.