Polymetal International plc (LON:POLY) announced its exploration update for the year ended 31 December 2018, and reports its Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources as at 1 January 2019 in accordance with the JORC Code (2012)1.
“In 2018, Polymetal significantly expanded its mineral inventory on the back of a twofold increase in Ore Reserves at Nezhda, a 5-year life-of-mine extension at Mayskoye and confirmation of a world-class resource at Prognoz”, – said Vitaly Nesis, Group CEO of Polymetal, commenting on the results. “In 2019 we will continue to focus on extending the life-of-mine at producing assets”.
Group Ore Reserves increased by 15% year-on-year and are now estimated at 24.0 Moz of gold equivalent (GE). The main drivers were the successful resource-to-reserve conversion at Mayskoye and the completion of a revised estimate at Nezhda following the Company’s consolidation of 100% ownership in the property. The share of gold in Ore Reserves increased to 93%.
Mineral Resources (in addition to Ore Reserves) grew 44% year-on-year to 26.3 Moz of GE on the back of an initial Mineral Resource estimate at Prognoz and Bolshevik (Kyzyl), as well as the revised estimate at Nezhda. The share of gold in Mineral Resources stands at 80%, silver at 17%.
The average grade in Ore Reserves remained largely unchanged over the previous year at 3.8 g/t of GE and remains one of the highest in the sector. The average grade in Mineral Resources increased 8% to 5.1 g/t of GE on the back of high-grade additions at Nezhda and Prognoz.
In 2018, the Company continued to use conservative price assumptions of US$ 1,200/oz for gold and lowered the silver price from US$ 16/oz to US$ 15/oz.
GE Ore Reserves per share grew 6% year-on-year.
Polymetal completed 350 km of exploration drilling in 2018.
1) Hereinafter Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources are reported as from continuing operations (Kapan mine sold in January 2019 was classified as a discontinued operation as at 1 January 2019).
Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources summary
|1 January 2019 (1)||1 January 2018||Change, %|
|Ore Reserves (Proved + Probable), gold equivalent Moz||24.0||20.9||+15%|
|Zinc, Kt (2)||18.1||85.8||-79%|
|Average reserve grade, g/t||3.8||3.9||-2%|
|Ore Reserves per share, GE oz/per share||0.05||0.05||+6%|
|Mineral Resources (Measured + Indicated + Inferred), gold equivalent Moz||26.3||
|Average resource grade, g/t||5.1||4.7||+8%|
1) Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources from continuing operations (Kapan mine sold in January 2019 classified as a discontinued operation as at 1 January 2019).
2) Mineral Resources are additional to Ore Reserves. Ore Reserves of Lead are not presented due to the immateriality and are not included in the calculation of the gold equivalent. PGM Mineral Resources are presented separately and are not included in the calculation of the gold equivalent. Discrepancies in calculations are due to rounding.
In 2019, Polymetal will continue to invest in both near-mine and green-field exploration projects. One key area of focus will be the implementation of new exploration techniques including airborne geophysics and 2-D seismics. The Company is also evaluating the benefits of investing in junior explorers through strategic cooperation agreements.
The key objectives are as follows:
Complete a full revaluation of Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources at Kyzyl based on actual operating statistics and additional exploration results
Achieve upgrade of inferred resources into higher categories and/or resource-to-reserve conversion at the following properties:
Saum and Pescherny at Voro
Levoberezhny at Svetloye
Perevalnoye and Lunnoye deep horizons at Dukat
Elevator at Varvara
Flanks and smaller ore bodies at Nezhda
Eastern extension of Bakyrchik at Kyzyl
Prepare updated Mineral Resource estimates at Prognoz and Viksha
Prepare an updated Ore Reserve and Mineral Resource estimate at Veduga