Projects financed by the EDB
Financing a gold project in Kazakhstan
Astana boosts gold production in cooperation with Eurasian Development Bank
In December 2014, EDB and Bakyrchik Mining Venture owned by Polymetal signed a five-year loan agreement for US $80 million to finance preparatory operations and development at the Bakyrchik gold deposit.
The main purpose of the loan is to finance exploration, audits and the feasibility study, the purchase of mining equipment, and construction.
Polymetal is Russia’s largest producer of silver and second largest producer of gold. In November 2015, it announced the results of the feasibility study for the Kyzyl Project, which comprises the Bakyrchik and Bolshevik gold deposits located in Zharma District, East Kazakhstan Region.
The study confirmed the economic prospects of Polymetal’s approach to project development. Over the first ten years the project will be developed as an open pit, producing 1.8 million tonnes of ore per year. Then underground mining will be introduced, with an annual production of 1.2 million tonnes. The ore will be processed using the floatation method, followed by sale of concentrate to third-party offtakes.
Polymetal estimates its initial capital investment at US $328 million, VAT excluded. An extra US $69 million will be spent for stripping in 2016-2017. Capital investment in operations over the development period will total US $228 million. The commissioning of the underground mine in 2024-2027 is estimated to cost US $202 million. EDB’s loan is planned to be repaid in 2020.
Ore reserves in Bakyrchik amount to 7.3 million ounces of gold, with an average grade of 7.7 g per tonne. The expected operation period is twenty years. Polymetal intends to achieve full production capacity in 2019.
The base scenario also envisages sale of concentrate to Western China, which is closer to the deposit, and to Eastern China where the main plants processing Polymetal’s concentrate from the Mayskoye deposit in the northeast of Russia are located. Preliminary negotiations about pilot shipments were held with potential buyers in the third quarter of 2015. All buyers confirmed their interest in purchasing Kyzyl’s concentrate.
The project will boost Kazakhstan’s production of gold and silver, as well as the development of gold and copper deposits and exploration sites. It will also allow Russia to expand its companies’ presence and Polymetal to increase its overall raw materials base by 50%.