Location and History

Suzdal

The Suzdal mine is located 55 km southwest of the city of Semey (formerly Semipalatinsk) in the Znamenka Rural Administrative district within northeastern Kazakhstan, and approximately 600 km east-southeast of the capital city of Astana.

Suzdal operates underground mine, processing plant with crushing, grinding, flotation, BIOX, CCD and CIL circuits.Operations at Suzdal are among the most technologically advanced within Nordgold – the plant possesses the necessary technology to process refractory sulphide ore, and the BIOX processing circuit at the mine was the first in Eurasia. In addition in June 2016, Suzdal launched an innovative Outotec HiTECC (Hot Leach) process at its Suzdal mine in Kazakhstan to recover gold from both historical and CIL future tailings. Suzdal is the second mine worldwide to launch a commercial Outotec HiTeCC circuit.

The climate of the region surrounding the Suzdal is typical continental, with maximum summer temperatures ranging from +23°to +42°C, and minimum winter temperatures ranging from -25°C to -40°C. Precipitation is generally light, with about 330 mm per year. Snow is present from mid-November, with the total snow accumulation for the winter of approximately 25 cm to 30 cm. The depth of freezing is 1 m to 1.5 m. In general, work at the Suzdal mine can be conducted on a year-round basis.

The headquarters of Alel is located in Semey. The nearest to the site airport with daily flights to Astana (capital of Kazakhstan) and from Astana to all parts of the world. and rail links are located in Semey. Local gravel roads provide access from the main highway to the site and between the site entrance and the operational areas.

The Suzdal mine is serviced by good roads from the city of Semey. The drive to the Suzdal mine сonsists of 32 km of paved road, followed by 23 km on a reasonably well graded dirt road to the south. The total driving time to the mine in good weather is approximately 60 minutes. The city of Semey can be accessed via a number of paved roads which link it to other cities in Kazakhstan and Russia.

The Suzdal mine is owned 100% by Alel which is in turn held 100% by Nordgold. Nordgold assumed responsibility for Suzdal in 2009. Nordgold gained its interest in the Suzdal mine through the acquisition of Celtic Resources Holdings Ltd. (Celtic) which, in turn, had a 100% indirect shareholding in Alel, the local operator.

Suzdal increased gold production in 2016 by 8% to 81.4 thousand ounces.

Operating and Financial Highlights

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Ore mined (kt) 551 536 512 453 431 400 348
Ore processed (kt) 543 575 546 512 491 509 334
Grade (g/t) 6.99 6.42 6.73 7.25 7.61 6.79 9.38
Recovery (%) 66.4 66.4 64.0 69.1 65.3 60.9 70.8
Refined gold production (koz) 81.4 75.3 76.8 81.1 90.9 81.6 81.6
Gold sold (koz) 81.4 75.4 76.7 81.1 90.9 81.5 87.3
Average realised gold price per ounce sold (US$/oz) 1,260 1,150 1,252 1,357 1,679 1,589 1,223
Revenue (US$/m) 102.6 86.7 96.1 110.1 152.6 129.5 106.7
EBITDA (US$/m) 62.8 38.1 36.6 46.9 54.4 53.5 68.0
Total Cash Cost (US$/oz) 491 634 705 733 802 780 511
AISC (US$/oz) 582 766 868 884 - - -

Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources Summary (31 December 2015)

Category Ore (Kt) Grade (g/t) Au (Koz)
RESERVES
Proven and Probable 3,283 6.48 684
RESOURCES
Measured and Indicated 4,433 6.56 934
Inferred 2,8854.35404
Total (M+I+I) 7,318 5.69 1,338

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

Technology

The Suzdal gold mine is an underground mine.

The mine facility contains a processing plant with crushing, grinding, flotation, BIOX, CCD and CIL circuits. The operations at Suzdal are among the most technologically advanced within Nordgold, as the plant possesses the technology necessary to process refractory sulphide ore. The BIOX processing circuit at the mine was the first in Eurasia.

Suzdal
The Suzdal gold mine is an underground mine. The mine facility contains a processing plant with crushing, grinding, flotation, BIOX, CCD and CIL circuits.
Milling and Classification
Ore is sourced from underground operations using conventional mining methods involving drilling and blasting, followed by load and haul to the run of mine (ROM) stockpiles where it is either directly fed to the primary crusher or stockpiled. The ore is crushed to a P80 15 mm using a two or three-stage crushing circuit with screening. The crushed material is then conveyed to a grinding circuit consisting of deferent size ball mills.
FLOTATION
The metallurgical process at the Suzdal utilise flotation circuits. Flotation is a method of separating minerals depending on their ability to attach to air bubbles. The flotation process consists of producing a mineral concentrate through the use of chemical conditioning agents followed by intense agitation and air-sparging of the agitated ore slurry to produce a mineral rich foam concentrate. At Suzdal ore after crushing goes to flotation and the flotation concentrates pass to the Biox plant.
BIOX®
The BIOX® process was developed for the pre-treatment of refractory sulphide ores and concentrates ahead of a conventional cyanide leach to increase gold recovery. During the bacteria-chemical process in BIOX® tanks sulphide minerals oxidize, arsenic and iron leach in to solution that liberate gold. At Suzdal the flotation concentrate, at 20% pulp density, splits into four streams which pass to four primary reactors in parallel, combined and then pass three secondary reactors in series. The total residence time is 4 days consisting of two days each for both primary and secondary tanks. The Suzdal BIOX® achieves 98% sulphides oxidation.
CYANIDE LEACHING AND SORPTION
At Suzdal mine the cyanidation of the bio-oxidised flotation concentrate is carried out in a carbon in leach (CIL) circuit. During the CIL stage, pulp flows through several tanks where sodium cyanide and oxygen have been added to dissolve gold into solution. In the absorption stage, this pulp flows through several tanks containing activated carbon. Gold then attaches onto the activated carbon, which is moved counter current to the pulp, while screens separate the barren pulp from the gold-loaded carbon.
Elution
The gold loaded carbon is removed and washed before undergoing desorption. Desorption is achieved by introducing the gold loaded carbon to a solution of sodium cyanide at a high temperature (>110°C) and 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 desorption 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 doré bars for transport to a refinery. Dore bar is an alloy of gold, silver, copper and other metals containing between 50%-90% gold.

2017 Deliveries

  • To maintain the production volumes in line with those of 2016.
  • Based on the successful outcome from the study to start processing old tails during winter with HiTeCC in December 2017.
  • To evaluate the installation of a centrifuge system or gravity system.
  • To strengthen exploration activities. More focused and aggressive drilling of over 50,000 m in Ore Body 1–3 and 4.
  • To align exploration success with proving Ore Reserves for the mine to аccess and development to meet and sustain the plant capacity of 550kt per annum.
  • To focus on stabilising plant operations (quality technical and employees operators) to improve the recovery.
  • To finalise metallurgical test work of Ore Body 4 with Tomsk University aiming to improve the understanding of future ore and improvements in recovery.

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