Nordgold’s flagship mine
Gross is located in the world class highly prospective Gross Region in the southwest of the Russian Federation’s Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
Gross Region includes:
Gross provides a solid foundation for Nordgold’s current performance and is central to our longer term production profile.
Gross is the third greenfield project developed by Nordgold from exploration to production since 2013, cementing the Company’s position as a leading developer of world-class gold mines.
The mine was built in 2018, on time and on budget.
Gross supports more than 1,100 jobs.
The Gross mine is an open pit heap leach operation accessible by an all-season road from the Ikabya station on the BAM railway (80 km away).
Gross Mine Expansion
Launched in 2018 with the nameplate capacity of 12 million tonnes of ore per year (mtpa), the Gross mine has developed quickly to become Nordgold’s largest mine, and one of the largest gold mining operations in Sakha Republic.
Completed in September 2021 on time and ahead of budget. As a result, Gross mining and processing capacity increased to 18 mtpa, up from 16 mtpa in 2020.
Expected to increase mining and processing capacity of the Gross mine to 26 mtpa.
Gross utilises a simple, capex-light and low-cost heap-leach processing method, due to the favorable metallurgical properties of the highly oxidised low-grade ore.
Gross also uses a dynamic leach pad divided into ten panel, meaning there is a permanent pad onto which ore is stacked for leaching. At the conclusion of the leach cycle, the leached ore is reclaimed and safely stored at a separate waste storage facility.
The leach solution at Gross is heated to largely eliminate the impact from low winter temperatures on leach kinetics.
Environmental considerations and diligence have been key since the very beginning of Gross’s design and construction. From the outset, our objective was to ensure Gross represented an industry leading example of environmental stewardship.
The Gross leach pad and associated drains, ponds and waste storage facility were designed in accordance with industry best practice and include the impervious permanent pad base consisting of a COLETANCHE® five layer membrane laid over a compacted base.
The five layers consist of an anti-root film, a glass fleece, a non-woven geotextile, an elastomeric bitumen binder and finally a layer of sand.
Gross mine environmental management framework is ISO 14001 (International standard for Environmental Management Systems) certified.
Ongoing environmental monitoring includes:
- Analysis of ambient air quality at the border of sanitary protection zone, near shift camp and around waste disposal sites.
- Control of emission sources (by estimate).
- Analysis of surface waters of the Usu River tributaries Pravy Gross, Levy Uss and Unnamed streams before and after possible impact of production activities.
- Analysis of wastewater at the discharge location.
- Analysis of groundwater near the landfill and waste rock dump.
- Control of soils near the landfill, leached ore dump and waste rock dump.
We endeavour to minimise our environmental impacts on biodiversity. A biodiversity survey forms part of our environmental impact studies which are carried out during the early stages of project development.
Explore the fascinating world of plants and animals of Gross Region
Administratively, the Gross mine is in the Tyanya National Nasleg within the Olekminsk District of Yakutia. The Tyanya National Nasleg is a territory traditionally inhabited by indigenous minorities. The only residential settlement in the Nasleg is Tyanya village, home to roughly 500 residents, 155 km north of the Gross mine.
As with all its operations, Nordgold engages with the local community within the framework of social and economic agreements; community needs and concerns are discussed, and then actions to be taken are formalised by the resulting agreements.
Targeted financial assistance has been provided to the Olekminsk District for more than 10 years as part of Nordgold’s social and economic agreements with the local administration, the nomadic tribal community Tyanya, and Tyanya National Nasleg. In 2013 — 2021, more than US$500,000 was transferred to the local communities under the agreements. Additionally, the Company provides targeted support for local events, festivals and celebrations.
There are no specially protected natural territories or cultural heritage landmarks within the limits of licence sites.