Location and History
Neryungri mine (Tabornoe gold deposit) is located in the southwestern Sakha (Yakutia) Republic in Russia some 125km northeast of the Ikabya station on the BAM railway. It is around 200 km from the town of Chara and is accessible via an all-season road (a 10 hour journey) or alternatively a one hour helicopter flight to site. The workforce is accommodated on site and power is generated by diesel generators.
Tabornoe ore is mined at a rate of 3Mtpa, ore grades at Tabornoe are typically between 1.0 and 1.3 g/t with gold recovery from heap leach and downstream adsorption and desorption circuits varying between 63% and 73%.
The area is mountainous the project is at an elevation of 1,100m to 1,300m above sea level. The climate is very cold much of the year, there is snow cover between October and May and a short hot summer. Rivers are frozen from November to April and permafrost extends to approximately 400m depth although up to 3m of soil may defrost in the summer.
Nordgold acquired the mine in 2007. The Mining licence for Tabornoe covers an area of 0.93km2 and has been held by Neryungri since 2001; it is currently valid until the end of 2020.
The Neryungri mine operates the Tabornoe gold deposit and is the location for Nordgold’s pilot stage Gross project.
Neryungri delivered outstanding results in 2015 mainly due to realisation of the satellite Gross project pilot stage operation, during which ore mined at the Gross deposit was processed at the Neryungri heap leach facility. In 2015, gold production increased by 28% YoY to 84.1 koz (including 8 koz of gold doré produced and unrefined at the end of 2014, which was refined in Q1 2015), driven by higher ore mined and processed volumes.
Operating and Financial Highlights
|Run of mine (kt)||16,976||16,243||18,068||11,519||9,479||10,636|
|Waste mined (kt)||12,272||12,692||16,282||9,427||7,003||8,426|
|Ore mined (kt)||4,703||3,551||1,786||2,092||2,475||2,209|
|Stripping ratio (tn/tn)||2.61||3.57||9.12||4.5||2.8||3.8|
|Ore processed (kt)||4,211||3,848||2,891||3,084||2,622||2,201|
|Gold production (koz)||84.1||65.9||66.5||66.3||73.0||58.9|
|Gold sold (koz)||84.1||65.9||66.4||66.7||73.0||62.8|
|Average realised gold price per ounce sold (US$/oz)||1,145||1,255||1,348||1,671||1,617||1,266|
|Total Cash Cost (US$/oz)||553||721||1,017||767||611||555|
Tabornoe Deposit Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources Summary (31 December 2015)
|Category||Ore (Kt)||Grade (g/t)||Au (Koz)|
|Proven and Probable||32,663||0.73||769|
|Measured and Indicated||39,796||0.88||1,123|
Neryungri has a processing plant with crushing and heap leach extraction capabilities. Operations at Neryungri utilize the simplest heap leach extraction method available, due to the highly oxidized low-grade ore. Production at Neryungri is subject to significant seasonal variations due to harsh winter temperatures. The majority of crushing and stockpiling of ore occurs from May to September, and the majority of gold production occurs from July to December, as the cyanide spray used in heap leaching cannot penetrate frozen ore.
Milling and Classification
- The Gross pilot stage operation by Neryungri will subside. This will result in lower ore mined and processed volumes in 2016; some of the Gross ore volumes will be replaced by increased ore mining from the Tabornoe pit. A combination of lower processing volumes and recovery will result in a slightly lower gold output in 2016.
- The mine will construct a new heap leach pad in 2016.
- Neryungri plans to start mining Trench 7 and the Tyomny zone, as well as performing additional exploration for Trench 7, and east & southwest flanks of the Tabornoe pit. Neryungri will also continue to invest in near-mine exploration to upgrade reserves.
- A Tokkinsky target on the western edge of the South Uguy exploration area produced very encouraging drill intersections in 2015, which will be followed up by additional drilling in 2016.