Location and Description of the Project
Gross is an important development project in Yakutia, adjacent to the well-established Neryungri (the Tabornoe gold deposit) open pit heap leach operation. The project is located in the southwestern Yakutia, some 125 km northeast of the Ikabya station on the BAM railway and some 4 km to the east of Neryungri.
Nordgold has conducted an extensive exploration programme to identify the Gross deposit and its reserves. Proven and probable gold reserves at Gross, as at December 31, 2015, were 4.4 moz, while measured and indicated resources were 7.7 moz and inferred resources were estimated at 0.9 moz.
A Feasibility Study confirmed the economic viability of an all-season open-pit heap leach project giving an IRR of approximately 25% at a long-term gold price of US$1,100/oz and an IRR of almost 40% at a long-term gold price of US$1,250/oz. Gross is expected to mine approximately 12 million tonnes of ore and to produce approximately 230 koz of gold per year at full production for 17 years.
Gross project in Russia was fully permitted in 2015 and de-risked by a successful two year trial. The trial delivered recoveries at above 80% and low production costs, which provides strong confidence in the successful performance of the Gross project.
In November 2015, the Board approved construction of a low-cost large-scale Gross mine. The work will start in 2016 with production beginning in Q1 2018.
In 2016, Nordgold will invest approximately US$125 million in Gross construction. The project will require approximately US$250 million of total capital investment during construction.
The proximity of Neryungri is enabling Nordgold to benefit from economies of scale, an expert knowledge of the local geology and shared expertise from Neryungri’s management team.
The construction of Gross will be Nordgold’s third greenfield project developed from exploration to production and follows the successful launch of the Bissa mine in January 2013 and the Bouly mine in September 2016 in Burkina Faso.