Sukhoi Log, in eastern Siberia, has been confirmed as the largest gold deposit among both greenfield assets and operating gold mines, with a mineral reserve containing 40-million ounces of gold, London-listed Polyus announced on Thursday.
Sukhoi Log has an ore reserve estimate of 540-million tonnes with an average grade of 2.3 g/t.
The addition of 40-million gold ounces has secured Polyus its top-two position among the world’s largest gold mining companies by attributable reserves, said CEO Pavel Grachev.
“We are pleased with the results yielded by our exploration programme at Sukhoi Log. The publication of the maiden ore reserve estimate represents a significant milestone for Polyus’ long-term development strategy and confirms Sukhoi Log’s position as one of the world’s highest-calibre gold deposits,” Grachev said in a statement.
The mineral resources for Sukhoi Log stand at 1.11-billion tonnes, with an average grade of 1.9 g/t gold and containing 67-million ounces of gold. Exploration and verification drilling throughout 2019 enabled an increase of the estimated indicated mineral resource by 18-million ounces to 46-million ounces of gold.
The company recently exercised its right to accelerate the buyout of RT Business Development’s participation interest in SL Gold – the holder of the Sukhoi Log deposit and licence. The company would consolidate its participation interest from 78% to 100% or a total consideration of $128.2-million.
Polyus said it would announce prefeasibility study results for Sukhoi Log later this year. The company previously indicated that a mine at Sukhoi Log would cost between $2-billion and $2.5-billion.