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Nordgold completes Phase 1 of Gross Mine Expansion Project

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Global Mining Review,

Nord Gold plc, an internationally diversified gold producer, has completed Phase 1 of the expansion of mining and processing capacity of its largest mine, the flagship Gross mine (Yakutia, Russia) from 16 million t of ore processed in 2020 to 18 million tpy of ore.

Nordgold has successfully built an established position in the world class, highly prospective Gross Region, which includes Gross, as well as the Taborny mine and the Tokko development project. Launched in 2018 with the nameplate capacity of 12 million tpy, the Gross mine has developed quickly to become Nordgold’s largest mine, and one of the largest gold mining operations in Sakha Republic.

The total capital expenditure on the Phase 1 of Gross expansion was approximately US$50 million, 15% lower than initially planned, again highlighting Nordgold’s track record of completing major development projects in line with, or below budget. CAPEX savings were achieved due to innovative engineering decisions, construction materials costs optimisation and lower than planned mining fleet cost.

The Phase 1 expansion consisted of:

  • The installation of additional processing equipment including a new 22-m stacker, three adsorption columns, five new pumps and all associated infrastructure and services.
  • An increase in the mining fleet with the addition of 10 new mine trucks, one excavator and two drilling rigs and a number of auxiliary vehicles, including buses, fuel trucks, mobile repair units, a crane truck and a front loader.
  • The expansion of auxiliary infrastructure, including new camp facilities and laboratory equipment.

Work on the feasibility study for the Gross Phase 2 expansion project to increase mining capacity to 26 million tpy is on schedule and expected to be completed by the end of 2021. The production expansion at Gross is anticipated to add approximately 130 000 oz/y of gold production once Phase 2 is completed in early 2024, thereby increasing the Gross mine annual production to approximately 350 000 oz.

In addition, Nordgold continues development of the new Tokko project, adjacent to the Gross mine. It is expected that the project feasibility study will be completed by the end of 2021, with construction beginning in 2022.

As a result, by 2025, the Gross Region will contribute over 50% of Nordgold’s production. Nordgold has ambitious growth plans and is targeting approximately 20% production growth and a 20% improvement in AISC over the next five years, primarily as a result of the development of the Gross Region along with lower costs at its African mines.

Nikolai Zelenski, Nordgold CEO, said: “I am delighted to report we have completed Phase 1 of our ambitious Gross expansion project. Once again, I would like to send my congratulations to the team on the ground who continue to beat expectations by bringing this project in on time and ahead of budget. The success of Phase 1 and a growing reserve footprint of Gross gives us confidence in delivering Phase 2, which will see further growth from this world class mining asset. Our position in the Gross region is a key point of difference for Nordgold – the region is a low cost, low risk, high quality region and in Tokko, we are primed to deliver on yet another first class new development opportunity. Once Tokko is complete, the Gross region will account for over 600 thousand ounces of annual production, which in turn will provide major cost benefits to the overall Group.”

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Russian mining news Gold mining news European mining news