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GV Gold provides FY20 operating results

Published by
Global Mining Review,


GV Gold (Vysochaishy, PJSC), together with its subsidiaries, one of the largest and fastest-growing gold mining companies in Russia, has released its operating results for the year ended 31 December 2020.

FY20 highlights

  • Total gold production reached 272 000 oz (including gold in concentrate), up 5% y/y.
  • The 21% y/y increase in gold production at the Taryn mine strategic growth project was driven mainly by a significant increase in the average grade of gold in the ore as a result of the successful completion of the scheduled opencast reconstruction aimed at the development of new reserves.
  • Gold production at the Ugakhan and Golets Vysochaishy deposits remained practically unchanged from the previous year. The main focus was on measures to improve the assets’ operating efficiency and expand the resource base.
  • In 2020, the company re-estimated its reserves and resources in compliance with the JORC Code: M and I&I resources increased by 11% to 7.7 million oz of gold; P&P reserves were confirmed at the level of 4.5 million oz, which makes it possible to completely replenish the reserves depleted since 2017.
  • The Svetlovskoye deposit was attributed the status of a promising deposit; its confirmed gold reserves are estimated at around 1.6 million oz in accordance with proprietary assessment data.
  • The company was able to maintain uninterrupted production at its facilities despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The company continues to take measures to prevent the spread of the virus at all of its production assets.
  • Revenue from sales of refined gold and gold in concentrate is estimated at US$469 million (+41%).
  • Early in 2021, the Board of Directors approved a new dividend policy providing for an increase in payouts to 40% of EBITDA.
  • The company’s 2020 IFRS consolidated financial statements are expected to be released in March 2021.

2021 guidance

  • In 2021, the company expects to produce 290 – 300 000 oz of gold.
  • The company will carry on implementing its organic growth programme aimed at improving the quality of existing assets and optimising costs through improved operating efficiency.

Vladislav Barshinov, GV Gold CEO, said: “In a challenging epidemiological environment, the safety of our employees and their families, continuity of production and consistent implementation of our strategic initiatives, as well as the support for the regions where we operate remain GV Gold’s key priorities. We promptly adapted our business to function under new conditions: we developed and implemented a set of comprehensive measures to establish comfortable conditions for pre-rotation observation of rotational workers and switched our offices to a remote format. The impact of these measures can be seen in the lack of outbreaks of the disease at the company’s enterprises, the uninterrupted functioning of all mines and the implementation of production growth plans.

“Having identified a new growth cycle, the company increased gold production by 5% in 2020. This target was achieved thanks to the operating efficiency improvement programme being implemented at all business units. The Taryn mine enjoyed the best result, with an increase of 21%. The opencast reconstruction was completed at the mine, providing access for development of the new reserves approved in 2019.

“One of the key priorities of our operations is the expansion of the resource potential of our assets, enabling the company’s steady organic growth. In 2020, we updated our resources and reserves estimate in compliance with the JORC Code: our resources had grown by 11% since 2017 to 7.7 million oz, while our reserves were confirmed at the level of 4.5 million oz.

“The next stage in GV Gold’s development is linked to the implementation of two promising projects – Svetlovsky and Krasny – the scale of which is comparable with that of our flagship assets – Ugakhan and Taryn.”

Operating results

Irkutsk business unit

Golets Vysochaishy

The Golets Vysochaishy mine produced 104 000 oz of gold during the reporting period. This 2% drop was the result of a planned decline in the grade of gold in the ore and the suspension of sluice operations at the placer deposit. In order to improve operating efficiency, the mine implemented a series of measures to expand the capacity of its processing plants and to improve process control; among other things, these measures enabled a 4% increase in the tonnage of processed ore.

The Company continued implementing its programme to expand the Golets Vysochaishy mine’s mineral resource base.

Work is under way on preparation of the design documentation to involve waste dumps and tailings from the early years of the Vysochaishy mine’s operations as an additional resource base. In order to implement the growth strategy through organic growth, the Vysochaishy mine is carrying out exploration of the flanks of the deposit and has been acquiring licences for prospective sites around the asset. In April 2020, the company obtained a positive conclusion from the State Reserves Committee’s expert examination and approval from the Federal Subsurface Resources Management Agency (Rosnedra) on the feasibility study concerning the conditions for continuous exploration and the calculation of reserves at the Golets Vysochaishy deposit. As of 1 January 2020, the balance of C1 and C2 category reserves at the deposit had increased almost tenfold to 22.8 t. The licence for mineral exploration and production at the Golets Vysochaishy deposit has been extended to 2026.

Ugakhan

In 2020, the Ugakhan mine produced 75.6 000 oz of gold. The company managed to maintain production unchanged from the previous year despite the planned decline in the average grade of gold in the ore. The company implemented a series of measures to improve operating efficiency, including by increasing gold recovery.

In the reporting period, the mine continued implementing its ‘Ugakhan +’ project to retrofit the existing production facility in order to expand its annual capacity from 3 800 000 t to 4 400 000 t of ore. Preliminary estimates indicate that the completion of this project will also increase gold recovery and annual gold production by 30 000 – 40 000 oz. The launch is scheduled for 1H22.

In 2021, the company will also continue its programme to expand the Ugakhan mine’s mineral resource base by exploring the licence area and acquiring licences for prospective sites around the asset.

Marakan

In 2020, the Marakan mine produced 8300 oz of gold, up 57% y/y. This growth was the result of an improvement in the quality of ore fed into the processing plant and the conversion of the enterprise into a year-round operation, which made it possible to increase the throughput by 21%. In 2021, the company plans to launch an additional crushing stage – an initiative aimed at improving operating efficiency.

In order to expand the Marakan mine’s mineral resource base, exploration continues at the Ykanskoye and Ozherelie deposits and at the Medvezhy site. The company plans to add these reserves to the balance of the State Reserves Committee in 2021.

Taryn business unit

Taryn

In 2020, the Taryn business unit increased gold production by 64 000 oz, including 30 000 oz in concentrate. The 21% y/y increase was associated with a 12% increase in the average grade of gold in the ore as the result of the completion of the scheduled reconstruction of the opencast at the Taryn mine for the development of new reserves.

As a part of the operating efficiency improvement programme, the enterprise is retrofitting its processing plant. The improved production chain has made it possible to recover concentrate from a part of the fine free gold flowing with the discharge into the flotation tailings. The end-to-end recovery of gold increased by 2.6 percentage points, and the tonnage of gold in concentrate increased by 10%.

As of 1 January 2019, the balance of C1 and C2 category reserves in the Drazhnoye deposit had increased by 30% to 49.8 t of gold. In 2021 – 2023, within the framework of its regional exploration programme, the company will continue its geological survey and follow-up exploration at the Drazhnoye deposit. In 2021, the company also intends to commence commercial development of the neighbouring Peresheek and Terrasovy sites.

Aldan business unit

Bolshoy Kuranakh

Over the washing season of 2020, the Bolshoy Kuranakh placer deposit produced 20 000 oz of gold, up 7% y/y. The growth was largely the result of implementation of the operating efficiency improvement programme and the higher average grade of gold (up 18% y/y).

Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/finance-business/01022021/gv-gold-provides-fy20-operating-results/

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