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EastRussia Newsletter: Polymetal TGMK project will be able to compete with China - EastRussia | Far East

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EastRussia Bulletin: TGMK Polymetal Project Will Compete With China

EastRussia Bulletin: TGMK Polymetal Project Will Compete With China
Photo: EastRussia
In the Far East, another processing industry may be established, which in the future is able to compete with China in the processing of gold concentrate. In the Khabarovsk Territory Polymetal plans to build a new autoclave plant with a processing capacity of 300 thousand tons of gold concentrate, experts say in the next published issue of the EastRussia bulletin.

Sites of the Sovetskaya Gavan-Vanino transport hub are considered as a possible location for future production, which is due to the presence of energy infrastructure, a railway, an all-season port, and the status of a free port. It is expected that site selection and land design will take about a year. Polymetal intends to disclose an assessment of investments in the project at the end of this year. The project has already created Pacific Hydrometallurgical Plant LLC (TGMK), which may be similar to the already operating Amursky MMC (AGMK) of the company, whose design capacity is 225 thousand tons of ore per year and up to 400 thousand ounces of gold (12,442 t). Nevertheless, AGMK is still working with incomplete loading.

Recently, the export of concentrate has been growing in Russia (in addition to Polymetal, Highland Gold Mining, GeoProMining is also exported) - with 1 t gold in concentrate in 2010 to 8,8 t in 2016, as processing of some stubborn ores inside the country is unprofitable. Construction of hydrometallurgical plants is aimed at changing the situation - processing in Russia, in the future, not only its own raw materials, but also the raw materials of other countries. Thus, the project can compete with Chinese processors of gold concentrate, given the tightening of environmental requirements for them in China. In particular, at present China produces from concentrate concentrates about 150 t gold, 60 t of which provides imported concentrate (from Russia, Australia, Southeast Asia and Latin America), while not doing more environmentally friendly autoclave production - preference is given to pyrometallurgy.

As noted, in Russia, in addition to the AGMK, there is also a YuKK autoclave in the Chelyabinsk region, and another autoclave is being completed in the Amur Region at the Pokrovsky mine by Petropavlovsk (with an annual capacity of 500 thousand tons of concentrate). The profitability of the already operating AGMK is estimated at the level of 50%, which is higher than in China, and this allows us to evaluate the new Polymetal project as promising. Nevertheless, market experts pay attention to the fact that environmental requirements for processing may become tougher in Russia. In addition, it is not clear whether there is a need for such an amount of autoclave production, given that even in the structure of Polymetal is already running one underloaded enterprise.

A detailed analysis of this and other relevant topics can be found in the weekly bulletin EastRussia (https://www.eastrussia.ru/subscribe/).