Polymetal: Ore Reserves, Mineral Resources and Exploration update as at 1 January 2021

Source: EQS

Polymetal International plc (POLY)
Polymetal: Ore Reserves, Mineral Resources and Exploration update as at 1 January 2021

01-March-2021 / 10:00 MSK
Dissemination of a Regulatory Announcement, transmitted by EQS Group.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


Release time

IMMEDIATE                                                               LSE, MOEX, AIX: POLY / ADR: AUCOY

Date

01 March 2021

 

Polymetal International plc

Ore Reserves, Mineral Resources and Exploration update as at 1 January 2021

Polymetal announces its Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources as at 1 January 2021 in accordance with the JORC Code (2012) and exploration update for the year ended 31 December 2020.

"We delivered maiden reserve estimates at several of our projects resulting in a substantial increase in total Group Ore Reserves. We are confident in our ability to continue per share reserve accretion while maintaining conservative price assumptions", said Vitaly Nesis, Group CEO of Polymetal. "This year we are going to significantly advance our greenfield exploration with the aim of extending resource base at a relatively low finding cost".

2020 HIGLIGHTS

  • In 2020, Group Ore Reserves increased by 10% year-on-year to 27.9 Moz[1] of gold equivalent (GE) driven by initial Ore Reserve estimates at East Bakyrchik (Kyzyl), Prognoz, and Pesherny (Voro hub). This has more than compensated for depletion and ownership dilution at Veduga. GE Ore Reserves per share grew by the same 10%.
  • Share of Ore Reserves for open-pit mining stood at 53%, up by 2 percentage points (p.p.) year-on-year, while share of refractory reserves amounted to 72%, declining by 2 p.p. Both of these developments are attributable to Prognoz reserve initial estimate.
  • Share of silver in Ore Reserves increased by 5 p.p. to 11% also on the back of the significant contribution from Prognoz.
  • Mineral Resources (additional to Ore Reserves) declined by 14% year-on-year to 21.8 Moz of GE primarily due to resource-to-reserve conversion. This conversion was partially offset by new Mineral Resource estimates at Albazino (Talgiy) and Veduga. Mineral Resources inclusive of Ore Reserves were essentially stable at 49.7 Moz of GE.
  • The average grade in Ore Reserves was marginally up year-on-year and stood at 3.8 g/t of GE. Average GE grade in additional Mineral Resources was down 10% year-on-year. Polymetal GE grades continue to be one of the highest within the sector globally.
  • Polymetal maintained conservative price assumptions for both Ore Reserve and Mineral Resource estimates at US$ 1,200/oz for gold and US$ 15/oz for silver. Short-term price assumptions used for tactical mine planning and sequencing are US$ 1,500/oz and US$ 20/oz respectively.

 

Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources summary (1), (2)

 

1 January 2021

1 January 2020

Change, %

 

 

 

 

Ore Reserves (Proved + Probable), gold equivalent Moz

27.9

25.2

+10%

Gold, Moz

24.9

23.7

+5%

Silver, Moz

246.3

116.0

+112%

Average reserve grade, g/t

3.8

3.7

+0%

 

 

 

 

Ore Reserves per share, GE oz/per share

0.059

0.054

+10%

 

 

 

 

Mineral Resources (Measured + Indicated + Inferred), gold equivalent Moz

21.8

25.4

-14%

Gold, Moz

19.5

20.3

-4%

Silver, Moz

191.9

337.7

-43%

Average resources grade, g/t

4.7

5.2

-10%

  1. Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources from continuing operations. Lichkvaz, Oroch, Sopka Kvartsevaya, Dalneye and Irbychan mines were classified as discontinued operations as at 01.01.2020 and are not included in this estimate. Base metal are not included in the 2021 GE calculation, while they were included in calculation of the 2020 GE.
  2. Mineral Resources are additional to Ore Reserves. Mineral Resources of platinum group metals and rare earth metals are given separately and are not included in the calculation of the gold equivalent. Discrepancies in calculations are due to rounding

2021 OUTLOOK

In 2021, Polymetal will continue to invest in both near-mine and greenfield exploration projects in order to increase Ore Reserves.

The key objectives are:

  • Complete an updated Ore Reserve estimate at Veduga.
  • Prepare an initial Ore Reserve estimate at Talgiy (Albazino hub) and Elevator (Varvara hub)
  • Complete an initial Ore Reserve estimate at Tomtor REM project.
  • Significantly step-up activity levels in greenfield exploration including commencing of drilling campaigns at several JVs with juniors.

 

Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources structure by metal as at 1 January 2021

 

Ore Reserves

Mineral Resources

 

 

 

Gold

89%

89%

Silver

11%

11%

Total

100%

100%

Ore Reserves reconciliation, GE Moz (1)

Ore Reserves, 01.01.2020

Depletion

Revaluation

Change in ownership (2)

Initial Ore Reserve estimate

Ore Reserves, including  base metals, 01.01.2021

 

Exclusion of base metals from GE

Ore Reserves, 01.01.2021

25.2

-1.9

+0.6

-0.6

+4.8

28.2

-0.4

27.9

  1. Any discrepancies in calculations are due to rounding.
  2. Sale of a stake in Veduga and North Kaluga.

Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources as at 1 January 2021 (1)

 

Tonnage

Grade

Content

 

Mt

GE, g/t

GE, Moz

Ore Reserves

 

 

 

Proved

68.6

2.4

5.4

Probable

162.4

4.3

22.5

Proved + Probable

231.0

3.8

27.9

 

 

 

 

Mineral Resources

 

 

 

Measured

14.8

4.0

1.9

Indicated

47.7

3.9

6.0

Measured + Indicated

62.5

3.9

7.9

Inferred

82.9

5.2

13.9

Measured + Indicated + Inferred

145.4

4.7

21.8

  1. Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves in accordance with the JORC Code (2012). Mineral Resources are additional to Ore Reserves. Detailed tables for Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves with a breakdown by deposits and metals are given below. PGM and Rare earth metals Mineral Resources are presented separately and are not included in the calculation of the gold equivalent. Any discrepancies in calculations are due to rounding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exploration areas and volumes (mine site exploration excluded) (1), (2)

 

Drilling, km

 

2020

2019

Brownfield

 

 

 

 

 

Kyzyl

2.4

5.3

 

 

 

Albazino hub

51.7

13.2

 

 

 

Omolon hub

8.0

11.8

 

 

 

Varvara hub

13.7

45.3

 

 

 

Dukat hub

3.3

0.6

 

 

 

Svetloye

3.6

2.8

 

 

 

Voro hub

12.6

22.3

 

 

 

Subtotal

95.2

102.4

 

 

 

Greenfield

 

 

 

 

 

Yakutia

12.7

43.1

Nezhda

4.9

1.8

Prognoz

7.8

41.4

 

 

 

Kutyn

25.5

16.1

 

 

 

Veduga

27.0

19.2

 

 

 

Urals

5.1

3.9

 

 

 

Viksha

22.2

11.9

 

 

 

Other

0.7

1.9

 

 

 

Subtotal

93.3

96.1

Total

188.5

198.5

  1. Any discrepancies in calculations are due to rounding.
  2. Excluding exploration at JVs.

EXPLORATION RESULTS

As of 31.12.2020, the company owned 123 licenses for prospecting, exploration and mining of gold, silver, PGMs and base metals. 34 of these licenses were obtained in 2020 while 12 licenses have been relinquished. During the reporting year, geological activities were carried out at 70 projects at 68 licensed properties. In total, 189 km of drilling was completed.

Kyzyl

  • In 2020, an initial Ore Reserve estimate for East Bakyrchik (Kyzyl) was completed amounting to 2.2 Moz of gold with an average grade of 3.7 g/t. The total Kyzyl Ore Reserves increased to 10.1 Moz with an average grade of 5.4 g/t. The Ore Reserve estimate for East Bakyrchik incorporates data from the 29.9 km drilling campaign (168 drill holes) conducted in 2015-2020. Additional Kyzyl Mineral Resources amounted to 1.7 Moz of gold for underground mining with an average grade of 3.8 g/t.
  • Also, in 2020, Polymetal continued exploration drilling at East Bakyrchik in order to confirm the possibility an extension of the open pit and an increase in resources. 10 drill holes totaling 2.4 km were completed resulting in better definition of the ore bodies' outlines and the boundaries of mineralisation.
  • In 2021, further exploration at Eastern Bakyrchik sites is planned to convert open-pit Mineral Resources into the Indicated category. Additionally, Polymetal is planning exploration drilling to prospect the eastern flank of the Kyzyl shear zone including the Sarbas and Karmen deposits. Also, deeper levels of the ore body 1 will be traced to increase Inferred resources.

 

Albazino hub

  • In 2020, exploration activities included exploration drilling (9.3 km) along the flanks and delineation of the ore body at the Anfisa open pit.
  • Exploration was carried out at the Talgiy section of the Urkachik area (92,000 m3 of trenches, 42.4 km of drilling). In the central zone of the main ore body, detailed exploration activities were conducted to complete Russian statutory resource estimate (GKZ). Exploration activities have been further continued on the flanks in order to delineate and trace ore bodies down dip. According to the initial estimate, Mineral Resources amounted to 0.5 Moz of gold with an average grade of 4.4 g/t.
  • In 2021, the Company plans to prepare the GKZ reserve estimate at Talgiy, as well as to continue exploration drilling aiming to delineate ore bodies, upgrade Mineral Resource categories and convert them into Ore Reserves.
  • In 2020, 25.5 km of exploration drilling and 24,400 m3 of trenches were completed at Kutyn. Most of the exploration work was focused on Mineral Resources of heap leachable ore on the flanks of the ore zones and the upgrade of Mineral Resource categories. Besides, exploration drilling was carried out to assess the quality and availability of the primary ore. As a result, the Company identified intercepts which could be developed via underground mining. 
  • In 2021, the Company will continue to delineate heap leachable ore bodies at Kutyn and conduct additional exploration on the flanks of the explored ore zones to verify new promising areas. Detailed drilling will be carried out at the main ore zones to convert Mineral Resources into Ore Reserves.

Omolon hub

  • At Burgali, 4.5 km of exploration drilling was completed along the explored ore bodies of the northern zone. This resulted in a 36% increase of Ore Reserves compared to the 01.01.2020 estimate to 121 Koz of GE, while additional Mineral Resources amounted to 96 Koz. The increase at Burgali partially compensated for the reserve decrease at other deposits of the Omolon hub.
  • In 2021, aside from completion of the ore bodies delineation at the northern zones of Burgali, exploration drilling is planned at the southern and central zones aiming to increase the deposit's resources.

Varvara hub

  • In 2020, at Elevator, 8.1 km of drilling was completed (44 drill holes). The goal was to explore the primary gold ore for open-pit mining. The preliminary internal estimate confirmed a potential increase of Mineral Resources at the deposit.
  • In 2021, the Company will carry out detailed exploration at the deposit in order to upgrade Mineral Resource categories and to convert them into Ore Reserves.

Dukat hub

  • During the reporting year, exploration activities were focused at the Doroninskaya area (a new license in 2020). Evaluation drilling of 2.9 km was completed.
  • In 2020, the Company conducted airborne geophysical survey with a new MMT method (Mobile Magneto Tellurics). The covered area totaled 1,300 km2. As a result, 10 anomalous zones were identified. In 2021, Polymetal will start exploration drilling at these areas.

Svetloye hub

  • In 2020, exploration activities were conducted on the flanks of the ore zones using surface trenching. A number of ore intercepts at new and explored ore bodies were identified at the Emmy, Lyudmila and Tamara deposits, which will be further studied in 2021 with the aim to increase mineral resources.
  • Exploration results and open pit boundaries extension offset depletion and resulted in an increase in Ore Reserves to 499 Koz of GE.

Voro hub

  • At Voro, exploration was focused mostly on the western section of the oxidized ores. 1.7 km of drilling was completed. In 2021, the Company is planning to continue exploring nearby promising areas.
  • Drilling was carried out at the Salda property with the aim of tracing the identified mineralisation along strike and dip. In total, 3.9 km was drilled (48 drill holes). Testing of run-of-mine samples demonstrated that the ore is suitable for processing at the Voro plant. In 2021, the Company plans to continue exploration at the property and its flanks.

Nezhda

  • In 2020, exploration activities were carried out on the southern and eastern flanks aimed at extending Nezhda's mineral resources. 4.9 km of drilling and 123 km of trenches were completed. The drilling campaign allowed to define ore zones with potential for increase in mineral resources as well as confirmed further exploration potential of previously underexplored ore zones.
  • In 2021, Polymetal is planning to continue exploration activities on the flanks of the deposit to identify new mineralised zones and update the mineralisation model of the known ore bodies, as well as to verify the newly revealed geochemical anomalies.

Prognoz

  • In 2020, 7.6 km of infill drilling was completed at the Glavnaya and Boloto ore zones, which resulted in significant upgrade of resources categories and allowed to prepare them for mining.
  • According to the initial estimate prepared in 2020, Ore Reserves amounted to 142 Moz of silver, with an average grade of 560 g/t. Additional Mineral Resources totalled 100 Moz of silver with an average grade of 552 g/t.
  • In 2021, Polymetal will continue infill drilling at the Glavnaya zone in order to prepare it for operation as well as exploration drilling at the promising geophysical anomalies.

Veduga

  • In 2020, exploration drilling at the deeper levels of the Ore body 1 was performed to assess its resource potential as well as at the Strelka section in order to trace ore bodies along strike and dip. 27 km of drilling was completed. The updated additional Mineral Resource estimate for Veduga increased sevenfold compared to last year and totalled 1 Moz of gold (based on Polymetal's share in the project of 59.4%). Additionally, Polymetal started to build an exploration decline in order to conduct the detailed exploration of the Ore body 1 to a horizon of -100 m and to prepare it for mining.
  • In 2021, Polymetal will continue evaluating deeper levels of the Ore body 1 and delineate ore bodies at the Strelka zone. The Company is planning to complete development of the exploration decline to a horizon of +200 m and build an exploration drift at this level. The updated Ore Reserve estimate is planned to be completed by the year end. Licensing and exploration activities at the new promising areas are also expected.

PGMs

  • In 2020, 14.3 km of exploration drilling was completed on the flanks of the Kenti and Shargi ore zones at the Viksha PGM deposit aiming to upgrade Mineral Resource categories. As a result, the share of 3E Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources increased from 65% to 90%, while the total volume of Mineral Resources decreased by 11% to 5.4 Moz year-on-year.
  • In 2021, the Company plans to complete a Feasibility Study and GKZ reserve estimate at Viksha.

JUNIOR JOINT VENTURES

Taimyr JV

  • The Taimyr JV is a joint venture between Polymetal and an independent junior exploration company, where Polymetal owns 70% with a call-option to acquire the remaining 30% stake following the completion of an initial JORC-compliant Mineral Resource estimate. The JV is aimed at discovering a copper-molybdenum-gold mineralisation in the Taymyr Peninsula, Krasnoyarsk region, Russia.
  • In 2020, the JV delivered all necessary materials and equipment to Саре Chelyuskin and assembled a field camp. The planned exploration activities for the year were completed. As a result, the company compiled data on the geochemical and metasomatic zonation accompanying the prospected intrusions, and new points of Cu, Au, Mo mineralisation were identified. The geochemical sampling results suggest the presence of several types of ore mineralisation within the prospected areas, including gold and copper-molybdenum-porphyry with gold.
  • In 2021, the company plans to continue exploration of the revealed anomalies of Cu, Mo, Au, and at new promising areas.

Matenvunay (Chukotka), JV with MEN

  • JV with MEN (Mineral Exploration Network (Finland) Ltd), an experienced UK-based junior explorer with a strong track record of prospecting in Finland and Spain, is aimed at discovering a near-surface gold mineralisation in the Chaunsk region of Chukotka, Russia. Polymetal owns 25% in the entity with an option to increase its stake to 80% by contributing RUB 60 million (US$ 0.8 million) upon completion of the first-year field programme. Polymetal also retains a 5-year option to increase its interest to 100% subject to positive exploration results.
  • In 2020, based on exploration activity, eight mineralised zones (with a length from 650 to 1 240 m and with an assumed thickness of about 150 m) were identified within three exploration areas.
  • In 2021, drilling and trenching will be continued to intercept and study ore bodies within the identified mineralisation zones.

Southern Urals project, JV with Rosgeo

  • The joint venture with Rosgeo, the largest Russian geological exploration holding, is focused on exploration at the Novopetrovskaya property in the south of the Republic of Bashkortostan to discover a pyritic copper-zinc mineralisation. Polymetal holds 75% in the JV and a 7-year option to acquire the remaining 25% interest following the Russian statutory reserve estimate (GKZ).
  • Rosgeo carried out exploration work on the Novopetrovskaya area in 2014-2017; as a result, intercepts of copper-zinc pyrite ores were received, indicating the potential discovery of significant deposits with high copper and zinc content. The mineralisation is expected to be located at a depth of 400-500 m suitable for underground mining.
  • In 2020, the JV carried out permitting and exploration planning activities. In 2021, the company plans to complete 31 km of exploration drilling.

 

Please find the full PDF version of the announcement at the link at the bottom of the page.

 

 

 

About Polymetal 

Polymetal International plc (together with its subsidiaries - "Polymetal", the "Company", or the "Group") is a top-10 global gold producer and top-5 global silver producer with assets in Russia and Kazakhstan. The Company combines strong growth with a robust dividend yield.

Enquiries

Media

 

Investor Relations

FTI Consulting

Leonid Fink

Viktor Pomichal

+44 20 3727 1000

Polymetal

Evgeny Monakhov

Timofey Kulakov

Kirill Kuznetsov

ir@polymetalinternational.com

+44 20 7887 1475 (UK)

 

+7 812 334 3666 (Russia)

Joint Corporate Brokers

 

Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc

Andrew Foster

Richard Brown

 

 

Panmure Gordon

Daniel Norman

John Prior

+44 20 7425 8000

 

 

 

 

 

+44 20 7886 2500

RBC Europe Limited

Marcus Jackson

Jamil Miah

+44 20 7653 4000

Forward-looking statements

This release may include statements that are, or may be deemed to be, "forward-looking statements". These forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this release. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the words "targets", "believes", "expects", "aims", "intends", "will", "may", "anticipates", "would", "could" or "should" or similar expressions or, in each case their negative or other variations or by discussion of strategies, plans, objectives, goals, future events or intentions. These forward-looking statements all include matters that are not historical facts. By their nature, such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors beyond the company's control that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding the company's present and future business strategies and the environment in which the company will operate in the future. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. There are many factors that could cause the company's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. The company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the company's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based.

 


[1]) GE as at 01 January 2021 includes gold and silver only here and further in the report unless otherwise stated. Base metals are excluded due to their immateriality.


Attachment

File: Polymetal: Ore Reserves, Mineral Resources and Exploration update as at 1 January 2021


ISIN: JE00B6T5S470
Category Code: MSCH
TIDM: POLY
LEI Code: 213800JKJ5HJWYS4GR61
Sequence No.: 94473
EQS News ID: 1171793

 
End of Announcement EQS News Service

fncls.ssp?fn=show_t_gif&application_id=1171793&application_name=news&site_id=acquiremedia3