5 Jun 2023 14:56

Polymetal thinking of accelerating construction of POX hub in Kazakhstan

MOSCOW. June 5 (Interfax) - Polymetal is evaluating the options to accelerate the construction and commissioning of the Ertis POX facility in Kazakhstan to fully sever the link between the company's subsidiaries in Kazakhstan and its blocked subsidiaries in the Russian Federation, Polymetal said in a statement.

"The company, its board, and the special committee continue to ensure that the ongoing operations in Kazakhstan remain unaffected and are reviewing potential restructuring of the current arrangements for the processing of refractory ore mined at Kyzyl deposit in Kazakhstan, to ensure that none of its subsidiaries in Kazakhstan are exposed ton the risk of sanctions implications," it said.

Polymetal currently processes concentrate from the Kyzyl field at the Amursk POX hub in the Khabarovsk territory. The United States in May imposed blocking sanctions against JSC Polymetal, the group's subsidiary in Russia. JSC Polymetal is a legal entity registered in Russia that which acts, among other things, as the holding company for the group's assets located in Russia.

Polymetal has agreed on the boundaries of the site for a pressure oxidation or POX hub in Kazakhstan, with negotiations on the delivery of the autoclave itself expected in June, the gold and silver miner's CEO Vitaly Nesis said last week. There is an understanding on the main technological equipment. In June, negotiations will be held on the transportation of the autoclave, the hub's core, to the site. Nesis said in an interview with the Kazakh publication Kursiv.

Polymetal had planned to build what will be its third POX hub in Sovietskaya Gavan in Russia's Khabarovsk territory, but decided in 2022 to think about moving it to Kazakhstan's Pavlodar region, around 500 km from its Kyzyl field.

Project capex has been estimated at $730 million and capacity around 250,000-300,000 tonnes of concentrate per year. The formal adoption of an investment decision has not yet been reported.

Polymetal is Russia's biggest silver miner and one of the biggest gold miners. It has operations in Russia's Magadan and Sverdlovsk regions, the Khabarovsk Territory, Yakutia, Chukotka, and in Kazakhstan. Polymetal's largest shareholder is ICT Group owned by Alexander Nesis and associates with around 24%