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Rosatom and Seligdar sign nuclear energy supply agreement for Kyuchus gold deposit

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Global Mining Review,

At Expo 2020 Dubai, which hosted the Russian Day of Small Modular Reactor Nuclear Power Plants on 20 January 2022, Rusatom Overseas JSC (a company of Rosatom) and PJSC Seligdar signed an agreement on the supply and consumption of energy generated by a Small Modular Reactor Nuclear Power Plant (SMR NPP) to develop the Kyuchus gold deposit in Ust-Yanskiy and Verkhoyanskiy districts of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

The agreement signed by Evgeny Pakermanov, President of Rusatom Overseas, and Sergey Ryzhov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of PJSC Seligdar, sets a 40-years period of electrical power supply provided by the first land-based SMR NPP in the world with a RITM-200N reactor, starting from 30 June 2028.

The period of nuclear energy usage can be extended due to a high probability of the deposit’s reserves increasing. The parties intend to sign a contract for energy supply before 30 September 2025. Seligdar PJSC will use at least 35 MW of nuclear-generated electrical energy in the Kyuchus deposit project, which is one of Russia’s largest gold deposits with gold reserves exceeding 175 t.

Evgeny Pakermanov, President of Rusatom Overseas, comments:

“The first-in-the-world SMR NPP construction project is at the active stage of its development; having a guaranteed industrial supplier of SMR NPP energy at this early stage is undoubtedly an important factor of commercial success of the project.”

Sergey Ryzhov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Seligdar PJSC, comments:

“The Kyuchus deposit development is a landmark project not only for PJSC Seligdar, but for the development of the whole Russian Arctic region in general. I am confident that such a reliable source of power as a SMR NPP will contribute to the success of the project for many years to come.”

The construction of a SMR NPP of Russian design that is planned in Yakutia, will employ the most advanced reactor plant RITM-200, which incorporates many years of operating experience of small reactors at the vessels of the Russian icebreaker fleet (more than 400 reactor-years). Six RITM reactors have already been manufactured and installed at three latest omni-purpose icebreakers.

The land-based SMR NPP is designed to supply power to isolated energy grids or remote territories and consumers. It is characterised by compact and modular design, reduced construction time, and high safety standards.

The construction of the plant will ensure an uninterrupted supply of clean energy to the Kyuchus gold deposit, which is one of the largest in Russia. The gold reserves amenable to open-pit mining comprise 70.9 t of C1 reserves and 38.4 t of C2 reserves, amenable to underground mining – 65.9 t of C2 reserves; resources – 41.9 t of P1 resources and 211.1 t of P2 resources.

The SMR NPP commissioning is scheduled for 2028 in Ust-Kuiga town of the Ust-Yanskiy district of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

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