Location and History
The Suzdal mine is located 55 km southwest of the city of Semey (formerly Semipalatinsk) in the Znamenka Rural Administrative district within northeastern Kazakhstan, and approximately 600 km east-southeast of the capital city of Astana.
Suzdal operates underground mine, processing plant with crushing, grinding, flotation, BIOX, CCD and CIL circuits.Operations at Suzdal are among the most technologically advanced within Nordgold – the plant possesses the necessary technology to process refractory sulphide ore, and the BIOX processing circuit at the mine was the first in Eurasia. In addition in June 2016, Suzdal launched an innovative Outotec HiTECC (Hot Leach) process at its Suzdal mine in Kazakhstan to recover gold from both historical and CIL future tailings. Suzdal is the second mine worldwide to launch a commercial Outotec HiTeCC circuit.
The climate of the region surrounding the Suzdal is typical continental, with maximum summer temperatures ranging from +23°to +42°C, and minimum winter temperatures ranging from -25°C to -40°C. Precipitation is generally light, with about 330 mm per year. Snow is present from mid-November, with the total snow accumulation for the winter of approximately 25 cm to 30 cm. The depth of freezing is 1 m to 1.5 m. In general, work at the Suzdal mine can be conducted on a year-round basis.
The headquarters of Alel is located in Semey. The nearest to the site airport with daily flights to Astana (capital of Kazakhstan) and from Astana to all parts of the world. and rail links are located in Semey. Local gravel roads provide access from the main highway to the site and between the site entrance and the operational areas.
The Suzdal mine is serviced by good roads from the city of Semey. The drive to the Suzdal mine сonsists of 32 km of paved road, followed by 23 km on a reasonably well graded dirt road to the south. The total driving time to the mine in good weather is approximately 60 minutes. The city of Semey can be accessed via a number of paved roads which link it to other cities in Kazakhstan and Russia.
The Suzdal mine is owned 100% by Alel which is in turn held 100% by Nordgold. Nordgold assumed responsibility for Suzdal in 2009. Nordgold gained its interest in the Suzdal mine through the acquisition of Celtic Resources Holdings Ltd. (Celtic) which, in turn, had a 100% indirect shareholding in Alel, the local operator.
Gold doré production in 2015 increased to 79.3 koz, compared with 76.8 koz in 2014 due to higher volumes of ore processed and higher recovery.
Operating and Financial Highlights
|Ore mined (kt)||536||512||453||431||400||348|
|Ore processed (kt)||575||546||512||491||509||334|
|Refined gold production (koz)||75.3||76.8||81.1||90.9||81.6||81.6|
|Gold sold (koz)||75.4||76.7||81.1||90.9||81.5||87.3|
|Average realised gold price per ounce sold (US$/oz)||1,150||1,252||1,357||1,679||1,589||1,223|
|Total Cash Cost (US$/oz)||634||705||733||802||780||511|
Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources Summary (31 December 2015)
|Category||Ore (Kt)||Grade (g/t)||Au (Koz)|
|Proven and Probable||3,975||5.97||763|
|Measured and Indicated||5,031||5.41||875|
The Suzdal gold mine is an underground mine.
The mine facility contains a processing plant with crushing, grinding, flotation, BIOX, CCD and CIL circuits. The operations at Suzdal are among the most technologically advanced within Nordgold, as the plant possesses the technology necessary to process refractory sulphide ore. The BIOX processing circuit at the mine was the first in Eurasia.
Milling and Classification
CYANIDE LEACHING AND SORPTION
- Suzdal will continue ore production from the historical Ore body 4 and commence processing of these ores after trial processing as a separate stream into the plant for BIOX adaptation.
- Suzdal gold production in 2016 will benefit from higher CIL recovery due the commissioning the HiTeCC Leaching (Hot Leach) project. The project is scheduled for completion in H1 2016 with commercial levels of production scheduled for Q3 2016. The Hot Leach plant will allow Suzdal to process both historical and future tailings at an annual rate of 100 kt. The historical tailings for Retreatment Reserve totals 575 kt at 7.14 g/t. Test work has shown that 65% gold recovery from historic tailings is achievable.
- The mine plans to explore and develop ore bodies 1-3 deep levels (-200m to -260 mRL) as well as ore definition drilling in ore bodies 2 and 4.