Location and History



Neryungri mine (Tabornoe gold deposit) is located in the southwestern Sakha (Yakutia) Republic in Russia some 125km northeast of the Ikabya station on the BAM railway. It is around 200 km from the town of Chara and is accessible via an all-season road (a 10 hour journey) or alternatively a one hour helicopter flight to site. The workforce is accommodated on site and power is generated by diesel generators.

Tabornoe ore is mined at a rate of 3Mtpa, ore grades at Tabornoe are typically between 1.0 and 1.3 g/t with gold recovery from heap leach and downstream adsorption and desorption circuits varying between 63% and 73%.

The area is mountainous the project is at an elevation of 1,100m to 1,300m above sea level. The climate is very cold much of the year, there is snow cover between October and May and a short hot summer. Rivers are frozen from November to April and permafrost extends to approximately 400m depth although up to 3m of soil may defrost in the summer.

Nordgold acquired the mine in 2007. The Mining licence for Tabornoe covers an area of 0.93km2 and has been held by Neryungri since 2001; it is currently valid until the end of 2020.

The Neryungri mine operates the Tabornoe gold deposit and is the location for Nordgold’s pilot stage Gross project.

Neryungri delivered outstanding results in 2015 mainly due to realisation of the satellite Gross project pilot stage operation, during which ore mined at the Gross deposit was processed at the Neryungri heap leach facility. In 2015, gold production increased by 28% YoY to 84.1 koz (including 8 koz of gold doré produced and unrefined at the end of 2014, which was refined in Q1 2015), driven by higher ore mined and processed volumes.

Operating and Financial Highlights

2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Run of mine (kt) 16,976 16,243 18,068 11,519 9,479 10,636
Waste mined (kt) 12,272 12,692 16,282 9,427 7,003 8,426
Ore mined (kt) 4,703 3,551 1,786 2,092 2,475 2,209
Stripping ratio (tn/tn) 2.61 3.57 9.12 4.5 2.8 3.8
Ore processed (kt) 4,211 3,848 2,891 3,084 2,622 2,201
Grade (g/t) 0.69 0.73 0.88 1.02 1.16 1.32
Recovery (%) 75.0 75.0 75.0 75.0 75.0 75.0
Gold production (koz) 84.1 65.9 66.5 66.3 73.0 58.9
Gold sold (koz) 84.1 65.9 66.4 66.7 73.0 62.8
Average realised gold price per ounce sold (US$/oz) 1,145 1,255 1,348 1,671 1,617 1,266
Revenue (US$/m) 96.2 82.7 89.6 111.4 118.0 79.5
EBITDA (US$/m) 49.0 28.9 13.2 52.7 57.8 37.4
Total Cash Cost (US$/oz) 553 721 1,017 767 611 555
AISC (US$/oz) 641 855 1,186 - - -

Tabornoe Deposit Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources Summary (31 December 2015)

Category Ore (Kt) Grade (g/t) Au (Koz)
RESERVES
Proven and Probable 32,6630.73769
RESOURCES
Measured and Indicated 39,7960.881,123
Inferred 8,9390.93267


For more information, please see Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves Press Release

Technology

Neryungri has a processing plant with crushing and heap leach extraction capabilities. Operations at Neryungri utilize the simplest heap leach extraction method available, due to the highly oxidized low-grade ore. Production at Neryungri is subject to significant seasonal variations due to harsh winter temperatures. The majority of crushing and stockpiling of ore occurs from May to September, and the majority of gold production occurs from July to December, as the cyanide spray used in heap leaching cannot penetrate frozen ore.

Milling and Classification
Nordgold’s open pit operations use conventional surface mining methods involving drilling and blasting, followed by a load and haul process allowing for selective mining of the ore. Ore from the pit is then transported to a designated stockpile and fed into a crushing circuit. The sized ore is then conveyed to a Heap Leach Facility.
HEAP LEACH
The ore is heaped on a clay lined leach pad where it is irrigated with the sodium cyanide leach solution. The solution percolates through the heap and leaches gold from the minerals. The leach solution containing the dissolved cyanide gold ("pregnant solution") is then collected, treated in a process plant to recover gold on carbon and then recycled to the heap after reagent levels are adjusted.
Elution
The final gold loaded carbon is removed and washed before undergoing elution. Elution is achieved by introducing the gold loaded carbon to a solution of caustic at a high temperature (>110°C) and under high pressure. This results in the reversal of the attachment process, with the gold detaching from the carbon back into solution. This produces a small volume of solution with a high gold concentration.
Electrowinning
The gold loaded eluate solution that emerges from the elution process is passed through electrowinning cells, where gold is deposited onto the cells’ cathodes.
Smelting
The cathodes then undergo a smelting process, further refining the gold and leading to the eventual production of gold ingots suitable for transport to a refinery.

2016 Deliveries

  • The Gross pilot stage operation by Neryungri will subside. This will result in lower ore mined and processed volumes in 2016; some of the Gross ore volumes will be replaced by increased ore mining from the Tabornoe pit. A combination of lower processing volumes and recovery will result in a slightly lower gold output in 2016.
  • The mine will construct a new heap leach pad in 2016.
  • Neryungri plans to start mining Trench 7 and the Tyomny zone, as well as performing additional exploration for Trench 7, and east & southwest flanks of the Tabornoe pit. Neryungri will also continue to invest in near-mine exploration to upgrade reserves.
  • A Tokkinsky target on the western edge of the South Uguy exploration area produced very encouraging drill intersections in 2015, which will be followed up by additional drilling in 2016.

CONTACTS

Olga Ulyeva


Head of Media Relations
tel.+7 495 644 44 73 #707 6632

ROMAN MEZHUEV

RECRUITMENT MANAGER
tel.+7 495 644 44 73

OLEG BAZALEEV

HEAD OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
tel.+7 495 644 4473 #707 6746