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Stand-alone exploration projects

Our exploration activities are focused on five regions in Russia – Khabarovsk, Magadan, Chukotka, Karelia and Ekaterinburg – as well as on Kazakhstan.  

Polymetal currently has 79 licences for geological studies and gold, silver, copper and platinum group metals (PGM) mining, covering a total area of approximately 9,000 km2. Of these licenses, 45 currently involve active exploration activities.

Kutyn

Resources and mineralised potential

In 2015 Snowden has confirmed total open-pit Ore Reserves reported in accordance with the 2012 JORC Code of 3.6 Mt at 3.3 g/t Au for 0.4 Moz of contained gold. Mineral Resources (additional to Ore Reserves) are estimated at 2.3 Mt at 3.1 g/t Au for 0.2 Moz of contained gold.

In addition to that, CSA Global has reported a Mineral Resource for the Kutyn underground mining project of 2.6 Mt at 5.0 g/t Au for 0.4 Moz of contained gold.

Location, history and access 

Kutyn deposit is located in the Khabarovsk Territory, Far East Russia, 113 km north-east of the Albazino mine operated by Polymetal and 10 km from the Sea of Okhotsk. The Kutyn site can be accessed using air transport as well as a winter road and by sea through the deep-water of the Gulf of Ulban from July through October. The project area is unpopulated and covered with taiga forest.

There has been active gold placer mining in the licence area since the 1970s, with hard-rock gold mineralisation discovered in 1979. Limited exploration was carried out from 1978 through 1980 and from 2003 through 2008 and consisted mostly of trenching and surface diamond core drilling.

Polymetal acquired the deposit in 2011. During the extensive mining campaign from 2012 through 2014, the Company completed a total of 31.793 m drilling and 245 thousand m3 of trenching with the focus on near-surface heap leachable mineralisation including the extensions of known ore bodies.

In September 2014, following the acquisition of the Kyzyl project, Polymetal announced the decision to postpone development of the Kutyn project and suspended further exploration activities. The deposit area remains underexplored with only two thirds of the licence area covered and a limited number of anomalies tested to date. 

Geology and mineralisation

Kutyn deposit is located in the north-western margin of the Ulbanskaya geosyncline zone and refers to the Kutyn gold-bearing node. The area comprises Lower Jurassic terrigenous deposits of the Kutynskaya and Algatinskaya strata, the Lower Cretaceous andesitic volcanics, and subvolcanic and plutonic formations of the Later Cretaceous Ulbanskaya volcanic zone. Subvolcanic formations are represented by mafic-felsic dykes.

The deposit has favourable geological structure with mineralisation associated with carbonate-sericite-quartz metasomatic bodies with sulphide-quartz veins, similar to the multi-million ounce Albazino deposit.

To date, 11 zones of mineralisation have been identified with a combined thicknesses up to 100-180 m and extending for 1.5-2 km along strike. The zones of mineralisation are represented by several subparallel lenses with thicknesses up to 20-30 m.

The mineralisation outcrops were further explored by trenches and inclined vertical diamond drillholes to 200-240 m depth. Near-surface material is oxidised to a depth of 30-60 m. The primary mineralisation lenses were traced to 150-240 m depth and remain open at depth. Kutyn exploration database consists of a total of 427 trenches and 593 diamond drillholes.

The oxide Ore Reserves will be mined from three pits, namely the Sedlovinnaya, Rodnikovaya, and Geofizicheskaya zones, which are the largest and the most explored deposits. The average strip ratio for the reserve is 7.5.  

Metallurgy and processing

The Kutyn pre-feasibility study envisions gold production from the oxidised ore will be extracted by placing crushed ore on a heap leach followed by exposure to a weak cyanide solution. Gold will removed from the lixiviante solution using the Merrill Crowe process. The gold precipitate produced at the process plant will be refined into Dore gold bars for final sale.

Metallurgical testing (carried out by CJSC Polymetal Engineering) showed average gold recoveries of approximately 71%.

ORE RESERVE AND MINERAL RESOURCE STATEMENT

The Ore Reserve and Mineral Resource statements audited by Snowden and reported in accordance with the JORC Code (2012) are presented below:

KUTYN OPEN PIT ORE RESERVES:

 Ore Reserve1,2,3
Tonnage
Kt
Grade
Au, g/t
Content
Au, Koz
 Proved

   
 Sedlovinnaya
 1,540
 3.2  157
 Rodnikovaya
 40  9.6  13
 Total Proved
 1,580
 3.3  169
       
 Probable
     
 Sedlovinnaya
 220  3.4  24
 Rodnikovaya
 1,090  3.6  125
 Geofizicheskaya
 760  2.8  68
 Total Probable
 2,070  3.3  217
       
 Proved + Probable
     
 Sedlovinnaya
 1,760  3.2  181
 Rodnikovaya
 1,130  3.8  138
 Geofizicheskaya
 760  2.8  68
 Total Proved + Probable
 3,650  3.3  386

As of 01.01.2015
Cut-off grade was not calculated for any of the pits developed as part of the Kutyn project. The recovery of gold from the ore is dependent upon gold grade and so a general cut-off grade is meaningless. Instead, the pits were optimised on the basis of total value for each of the blocks generated. 
Au price US$ 1,300/oz

KUTYN OPEN PIT MINERAL RESOURCES

Mineral Resources1,2,3
 
Tonnage
Kt

Grade
Au, g/t

Content
Au, Koz
 
 Measured      
 Sedlovinnaya
 190 2.8   17
 Total Measured  190 2.8  17 
       
 Indicated      
 Sedlovinnaya
 190 3.0  18 
 Rodnikovaya
 280 3.3  30 
 Geofizicheskaya
 270 2.6  23 
 Total Indicated  740  3.0  71
       
 Measured + Indicated      
 Sedlovinnaya
380 2.9  35 
 Rodnikovaya
280  3.3  30 
 Geofizicheskaya
270 2.6  23 
 Total Measured + Indicated 930 2.9  88
       
 Inferred      
 Sedlovinnaya
 60  3.1  6
 Rodnikovaya
 220  2.8  20
 Geofizicheskaya
 380  3.2  39
 Itylskaya  160  5.2  26
 Otkrytaya  210  3.0  21
 Dzhuaty  330  2.7  28
 Total Inferred  1,360  3.2  140
       
Measured + Indicated + Inferred      
 Sedlovinnaya
 440  2.9  41
 Rodnikovaya
 500  3.1  50
 Geofizicheskaya
 650  3.0  62
 Itylskaya
 160  5.1  26
 Otkrytaya
 210  3.1  21
 Dzhuaty
 330  2.6  28
 Total Measured + Indicated + Inferred
 2,290  3.1  228

KUTYN UNDERGROUND MINERAL RESOURCES 

The Mineral Resource statement audited by CSA Global and reported in accordance with The JORC Code (2012) is presented below:

Mineral Resources1,2,3,4
Tonnage
Kt

Grade
Au, g/t

Content
Au, Koz
Measured


Sedlovinnaya
550 4.5 80
Total Measured 550 4.5 80




Indicated


Sedlovinnaya
1,140 4.7 175
Rodnikovaya
460 4.9 73
Geofizicheskaya
280 4.4 40
Total Indicated 1,330 4.8 208




Measured + Indicated


Sedlovinnaya
1,140 4.7 175
Rodnikovaya
460 4.9 73
Geofizicheskaya
280 4.4 40
Total Measured + Indicated 1,880 4.8 288




Inferred


Sedlovinnaya
340 4.8 54
Rodnikovaya
180 6.7 39
Geofizicheskaya
280 4.4 40
Total Inferred 750 5.5 133




Measured + Indicated + Inferred


Sedlovinnaya
1,480 4.7 229
Rodnikovaya
640 5.4 112
Geofizicheskaya
510 4.8 80
TotalMeasured + Indicated + Inferred
2,630 5.0 421

1 Small discrepancies may occur due to rounding
2 As of 01.01.2015
3 COG: 3.0 g/t Au
4 Au price US$ 1,300/oz

Maminskoye

Mineralised potential

Probable ore reserves at Maminskoye have been estimated by Snowden in accordance with JORC guidelines at 9.9 Mt of ore at 1.9 g/t gold, representing 0.6 Moz of contained gold. Mineral resources additional to reserves were estimated at 2.1 Mt at 1.4 g/t, representing 0.1 Moz of contained gold. 

Location, access and history

Maminskoye is located in the Sverdlovsk Region of Russia, approximately 70 km from the regional capital Ekaterinburg and 30 km from the city of Kamensk-Uralsk (population 130,000). Our Voro mine is approximately 450 km to the north. The 17.8 km2 licence area is accessible by a paved highway and is adjacent to a 10 kV power line. The Maminskoye licence area covers a 1205 ha (2978 acre) site which includes the potential mine, processing facilities, and waste rock stockpile.

Polymetal acquired Maminskoye in April 2013.

Metallurgy

The heap leaching is the preferable option to treat mineralised material at Maminskoye, as it is expected to be significantly less capital intensive and likely to result in lower unit operating costs. Lower costs, in turn, may permit expansion of both resources and reserves. Extensive test work is ongoing to determine the optimum parameters (crushing size and stacking height) for heap leaching. Scoping study-level estimates indicate the potential for a 2-3 Mtpa operation yielding 80-120 Koz of gold per year.

Status

Polymetal has ceased exploration and postponed the pre-feasibility study in 2014.

 

Viksha

Mineralised potential

The maiden Mineral Resource estimate was completed in Q3 2016. The Mineral Resources comprises 213 Mt of Indicated and Inferred Resources averaging 0.98 g/t of combined precious metals and 0.1% of copper (JORC Code (2012)) . Total content of precious metals is estimated at 6.6 Moz making Viksha one of the largest open-pittable PGM resources in the world. Resources have been constrained by generating a series of optimum pit shells. The pit depths vary from 240 m to 305 m below surface.

Viksha project open-pittable Mineral Resources as of 1 March 2015

Tonnes

Grade

Content

Mt

Pd, g/t

Pt, g/t

Au, g/t

Cu, %

Pd, Moz

Pt, Koz

Au, Moz

Cu, Kt

Viksha

Indicated

27

0.6

0.2

0.1

0.10

0.5

0.1

0.1

29.6

Inferred

52

0.6

0.2

0.1

0.09

1.0

0.3

0.2

49.5

Kenti

Inferred

98

0.6

0.2

0.1

0.11

1.9

0.6

0.4

109.6

Shargi

Inferred

36

0.6

0.2

0.1

0.08

0.7

0.2

0.1

31.7

Total

Indicated+Inferred

213

0.6

0.2

0.1

0.10

4.2

1.4

0.9

220.6

Notes:
1) A cut-off grade of 0.5 g/t palladium equivalent has been applied. The palladium equivalence formula is based on assumed metal prices and overall recoveries. The PdEq formula is: PdEq = Pd(g/t) + Pt(g/t) * 1.57 + Au(g/t) * 1.61 + Cu(%) * 2.33. The conversion factor shown in the formula for each metal represents the conversion from each metal to palladium on a recovered value basis. The assumed prices in the equivalence equation are 750 US$/oz Pd, 1,180 US$/oz Pt, 1,200 US$/oz Au, and 5,700 US$/t Cu. The assumed flotation recoveries used in the PdEq formula are 76.4% Pd, 71.5% Pt, 74.5% Au, and 78.3% Cu. The assumed refinery payables are: 90% Pd, 90% Pt, 94% Au, and 100% Cu
2) Due to the effects of rounding the sum of individual values will not necessarily equal the total

Location, access

The Viksha is a palladium, platinum, gold and copper deposit located in the Republic of Karelia, part of the Russian Federation, which is approximately 90 km north of the regional capital Petrozavodsk (population 300,000) and approximately 450 km from St. Petersburg. The infrastructure in the area is well developed with easy access to grid power, paved roads, and railway. Polymetal’s 100%-owned subsidiary holds a 20-year mining licence for a project area of 47 km2.

Geology

The property lies near the centre of the southern Karelian Craton which is situated within the Archaean granite-greenstone terrain, adjacent to the lower Proterozoic Onega trough.

The ore-bearing gabbro associated with the Koikar sill and host-rock dolerites uniformly occur among the terrigene-carbonate formations. The rock sequence has been incorporated in the synclinal fold. The syncline has an asymmetric structure with gently sloping north-west (15-25°) limb and subvertical south-east limb. The syncline extends for 6.5 km north-south and 1.5 km east-west.

The Viksha deposit comprises three adjacent areas within the north-west limb of the syncline structure: Viksha proper, Kenti, and Shargi. All of them contain platinum, palladium, gold (“Platinum group metals” or “PGM”) and copper mineralisation within the Koikar sill gabbro-dolerites. The outcrop of reef-type mineralisation has been traced for over 20 km.

Viksha mineralisation is localized within the stratified sill rocks at the boundary between the lower gabbro and the upper dolerite zones. The sill has a maximum thickness of approximately 235 m. The underlying dolomite sediments are 40-50 m thick. Mineralised zones are clearly stratified with gold and copper predominance in the upper part, and palladium in the lower part of the mineralisation. The platinum-palladium-gold-enriched layer lies approximately 45 m above the sediments. The reef thickness is 5-11m.

Mineralisation

Mineralisation at the Viksha project is associated with titanium-magnetite, chalcopyrite, and bornite. The most abundant species are Pt arsenide and Pd tellurides. The PGM grain size is 5-9 μm; most PGM are locked or exposed/attached to Cu sulphides, Fe oxides/spinel/ilmenite, and silicate minerals. In contrast, the gold minerals, consisting dominantly of gold-bearing silver and electrum are coarser-grained.

Svetlobor 

Mineralised potential

The area is currently at the initial stage of exploration. At the moment there are no resources estimated according to JORC. Preliminary internal potential estimate showed 1.9 Moz of platinum.

Location, access and history

Svetlobor license area (40 km2) is located on the eastern slope of the Middle Urals in the Sverdlovsk region (Russia), 230 km from Yekaterinburg. The nearest large city is Kachkanar connected with the license area by an unpaved 30 km road. There is a paved road and a railway from Kachkanar to Yekaterinburg.

Geology and mineralisation

Ultrabasic rocks of the license area were the world’s largest source of alluvial platinum: since 1824 in the Is and Tura river valleys over 220 tons of platinum were mined. However, the core deposits have not been discovered yet. Exploration performed in 2007-2009 proved that large mineralised areas can be revealed in the olivine rocks of the Svetlobor and Veresovy Bor with platinum grading of 1-2 g/t.

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