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The First Ore Mining Company Completed Field Season on Yuzhny Island, Novaya Zemlya Archipelago
Drilling of geological exploration wells, geoenvironmental research, engineering surveys, topographic surveys and hydrography were carried out as part of preparation for the development of the Pavlovskoye polymetallic deposit. This is the largest deposit in Russia with reserves of 47.7 million tons of ore (2.49 million tons of zinc, 549 thousand tons of lead and 1.194 thousand tons of silver). The project involves the construction of the northernmost mining enterprise, the characteristics of which will allow Pavlovsky Mining and Processing Plant to take a leading position among domestic producers.
The works on Novaya Zemlya were carried out by specialists and vehicles of RUSBURMASH, JSC (a specialized company of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. for geologic exploration and drilling operations) on request of The First Ore Mining Company, JSC. Drilling of 5 thousand running meters of exploration wells, 970 running meters of wells as part of engineering surveys, works on sub-bottom profiling of 32,755 running meters, seismic tomography, electrical resistivity tomography, and topographic survey of 24 thousand hectares were carried out in the most difficult natural and climatic conditions. 11 tons of samples were taken for further laboratory research. To design the port, engineering hydrographic and engineering geophysical surveys, hydrological observations in the water area of Bezymyannaya Bay were carried out. Upon the work completion, wells, drilling sites and access roads were reclaimed.
«2020 field season is the final stage of the deposit exploration. Based on the work results, we will be able to assess the mineral resources and ore reserves in line with the international JORC code. This will increase the financial attractiveness of the project, raise additional funding and ensure agreements with key partners, including long-term contracts for the supply of products from the Pavlovskoye deposit. The engineering surveys were conducted to find optimal technical solutions as part of preparing the Pre-Feasibility Study, which will reduce the capital costs of the Arctic project implementation,» said Igor Semenov, Executive Director of The First Ore Mining Company, JSC.
Let us remind you that in 2013–2015 unique exploration works were carried out in the Russia’s northernmost lead-and-zinc deposit. The results of these activities allowed to assess the lead-and-zinc ore reserves, obtain information on their technological properties, on the hydrogeological and mining conditions of the deposit development. Based on the exploration results, the Federal Agency for Subsoil Use (Rosnedra) approved the permanent exploration conditions and reserves of silver-containing lead-and-zinc ores of industrial grades for their open-cut mining.
It is planned to produce up to 47 thousand tons of lead and 223 thousand tons of zinc concentrates annually at Pavlovsky Mining and Processing Plant. Both domestic and major foreign industrial groups expressed their interest in the products. The project is already being implemented in collaboration with technology partner: Finnish Outotec, which is a leading player in the market of mining process solutions. In 2019, the companies signed a cooperation agreement envisaging that Outotec would develop a comprehensive production technology for high-latitude mining processes. Mining and geological conditions allow for low-cost open-cut mining with a small stripping ratio due to the shallow ore occurrence. Economic and operational efficiency is planned to be achieved through innovative process engineering solutions, including the placement of the thickening plant on a floating platform, the use of digital technologies and robotic automation.