Polymetal announces that its associate ThreeArc Mining Ltd. (ThreeArc, in which Polymetal owns 9.1%) has completed an initial Mineral Resource estimate in accordance with the JORC Code (2012) for the Buranny area of Tomtor niobium and rare-earth metals project (Tomtor).
'Tomtor's initial Mineral Resource estimate confirmed its large scale and substantial potential value. The next two milestones on the path to investment decision are the initial reserve estimate and completion of the PFS, both expected in early 2021', said Vitaly Nesis, Group CEO of Polymetal.
According to the JORC-compliant statement, Mineral Resources as at 31 December 2019 comprise 13.2 Mt of ore available for open-pit mining at 5.9% Nb2O51+15% REO2 grade (including 2.8% of NdPr3 oxides) containing 0.8 Mt of Nb2O5 and 2.0 Mt of REO.
The resource estimate is based on data from two exploration campaigns: a preliminary one in 1990-1997 including 448 drill holes with total length of 30 km followed by a detailed campaign in 2014-2018 comprising 204 drill holes with total length of 12 km.
The Mineral Resource audit completed by SRK Consulting is the first independent audit of the Tomtor project.
The initial Ore Reserve estimate and Pre-Feasibility Study are expected to be finalised in early 2021.
Tomtor is located in the north-west of Yakutia. It is one of the largest and highest grade rare earth elements (REE) projects in Russia and considered to be the highest grade development stage niobium (Nb) project globally. The deposit was discovered in 1977 with initial statutory reserves approved in 1999. In 2013, ICT established ThreeArc Mining Ltd., a subsidiary of which purchased the Tomtor license subsequently. In March 2020, Polymetal acquired a 9.1% stake in ThreeArc for US$ 20 million. The proceeds were allocated to Pre-Feasibility Study and initial JORC-compliant Ore Reserve and Mineral Resource estimate preparation.
The project is comprised of the Tomtor open-pittable deposit and the Krasnokamensk Hydromet Facility (KHF) which will be built near the town of Krasnokamensk located in South-Eastern Siberia close to the border with China being the location of Russia's largest uranium mine and associated processing and tailings storage infrastructure.
Polymetal International plc (together with its subsidiaries - 'Polymetal', the 'Company', or the 'Group') is a top-10 global gold producer and top-5 global silver producer with assets in Russia and Kazakhstan. The Company combines strong growth with a robust dividend yield.
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