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Russian gold miner will use nuclear power for its remote Arctic mine

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(Kitco News) - Seligdar, one of the leading gold producers in Russia, announced yesterday that it has won an auction for a license to develop Kyuchus, the largest gold deposit in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russia, for 7.735 billion rubles (~$108 million).

The company said that one major condition of an auction was that the winner, no later than June 2028, should start using at least 35 MW of nuclear energy, which will be supplied by a small-scale nuclear power plant that is planned to be built in Yakutia by Rosatom, the state-owned nuclear corporation.

The second prerequisite that was included in the auction was that the level of production must be at least 10 tonnes of gold per year (~322 thousands of troy ounces) from the date of reaching the design capacity.

The Kyuchus gold deposit is one of the largest in Russia and is located beyond the Arctic Circle in two regions of the Republic: Ust-Yansky and Verkhoyansky. Calculated by Russian geological standards, gold reserves for open pit mining in C1 category are stand at 70.919 tonnes, and in C2 category at 38.416 tonnes; whereas for underground mining, reserves in C2 category amounted to 65.927 tonnes.

Additionally, the Kyuchus gold deposit has resources in category Р1 of 41.949 tonnes, and in Р2 category of 211.081 tonnes.

“The Kyuchus deposit is a complex technical project, but very significant for Yakutia. I am sure that, together with our partners, we will be able to find a technical solution to build the gold mine that will become one of the brands of the Republic,” said President Konstantin Beirit.

Seligdar is a polymetallic mining holding, one of the largest gold mining companies in Russia and the only producer of domestic tin. In terms of tin reserves, it is one of the five largest companies in the world. The company produces gold in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Altai, Buryatia, and also produces tin in the Khabarovsk Territory of Russia.

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