Polymetal confirms Tomtor as one of the largest and richest REE deposits worldwide
(Kitco News) - Russia’s Polymetal, one of the largest silver and gold mining companies globally, announced today that it has completed an initial Ore Reserve estimate for the Buranny area of the Tomtor niobium and rare-earth metals project, located in the north-west of Yakutia, Russia.
According to the company’s statement, the initial Ore Reserve estimate as at 31 December 2019 comprises 11.4 Mt of ore available for open-pit mining at 6.0% Nb2O5+14.5% REO grade (including 2.8% of NdPr oxides) containing 0.7 Mt of Nb2O5 and 1.7 Mt of REO, which makes Tomtor one of the top-3 rare earths projects globally by reserves.
Mineral Resources (additional to Ore Reserves) amount to 1.5 Mt of ore with an average grade of 4.8% Nb2O5+15.2% REO grade representing 0.07 Mt of Nb2O5 and 0.2 Mt of REO.
The bankable feasibility study of the project, including a number of downstream processing flowsheet improvements is currently in progress. The process has been slowed down due to Covid-related challenges.
The completion of the feasibility study and basic engineering of the project will be contingent on the state approval of the sustainable waste management concept developed for the project and of the respective legislative changes.
"Tomtor confirmed its scale and grade as one of the premier niobium and rare earths deposits globally", said CEO Vitaly Nesis. "The project team will now focus on completion of a bankable feasibility study, paving the way for the investment decision. Permitting issues and a Covid-related slowdown in offshore engineering work remain the key challenges for the project".
Tomtor is located in the north-west of Yakutia. It is one of the largest and highest-grade rare-earth elements projects globally and considered to be the highest-grade development stage niobium project in the world.
Polymetal International is a top-10 global gold producer and top-5 global silver producer with assets in Russia and Kazakhstan.