Largest Gold Mines in Russia: Q2 2020 Overview

Gold production in Russia amounted to 1,427 koz in Q2 2020 and was flat y-o-y. Olimpiada was the largest gold operation in Russia. Eight out of the top ten largest gold mines in Russia increased their gold output.

Based on quarterly reported data, Mines and Metals estimates that Russia’s gold production amounted to 1,427 koz in Q2 2020 and was virtually unchanged (+1%) compared to Q2 2019 output (1,414 koz).

The top 10 largest gold mines in Russia produced 1,036 koz of gold in Q2 2020, a 4% increase over Q2 2019 (992 koz).

With 308 koz of gold mined in Q2 2020, Polyus’ gigantic Olimpiada operation was the largest gold producing center in Russia. Total gold output (refined and concentrate) declined by 12% compared to Q2 2019 (351 koz).

Olimpiada is followed by Kinross’ Kupol mine (131 koz). Gold production at Kupol rose by 3% over Q2 2019 (128 koz).

Polyus’ Blagodatnoye mine is third with 116 koz of gold output achieved in Q2 2020.

Fourth largest gold operation in Russia was Polyus’ Natalka mine (110 koz).

Nordgold’s Gross mine is fifth with 78 koz of gold mined in Q2 2020. 25% production growth achieved at Gross y-o-y has lifted this mine one position up in the ranking.

The complete list is below.

Largest gold operations in Russia: Q2 2020 Overview. Source: Mines and Metals.

OperationMajor owner / operatorQ2 2020 Au production, kozQ2 2019 Au production, koz% change
1OlimpiadaPolyus308351-12
2KupolKinross1311283
3BlagodatnoyePolyus11610412
4NatalkaPolyus1108727
5GrossNordgold786225
6VerninskoyePolyus686211
7AlbazinoPolymetal625513
8BystrinskoyeNorilsk Nickel584431
9KuranakhPolyus585015
10MalomirPetropavlovsk4649-5
Total1,0369924

1. Olimpiada. 308 koz.

Located in one of Russia’s most prolific gold mining provinces, Olimpiada is largest gold mine in Russia, one of the largest gold mines on the globe, and Polyus’ largest operation. The mine began production in 1996 and currently accounts for over a half the Moscow-based company’s total gold output. The ore mined at the site is processed at three plants with a combined capacity of 13 million tonnes of ore annually. To treat Olimpiada’s sulphide ores, Polyus employs BIONORD, the Company’s proprietary bio-oxidation technology.

2. Kupol. 131 koz.

Kupol is a high grade underground mine located in the Chukotka region of the Russian Far East. It is second largest gold mine in Russia and has one of the lowest operating costs in Kinross’ portfolio. Kupol’s consistently strong operating results make it a model for successfully operating in a remote region, with the nearest major city approximately 200 kilometres away. Supplies and equipment are transported to the mine from around mid-January to early May via a 380-kilometre winter road. Kupol’s mill was expanded in 2013 from 3,500 to 4,500 tonnes per day to process additional ore from the nearby Dvoinoye mine.

3. Blagodatnoye. 116 koz.

Located only 25 kilometres away from Polyus’ flagship operation, Olimpiada, Blagodatnoye is the Company’s second largest mine. Commissioned in July 2010, it boasts a processing capacity of 8 mln tonnes of ore per year, which makes it one of the largest ore processing plants in the Russian gold mining sector.

4. Natalka. 110 koz.

Natalka is located in the Magadan Region on the northern Pacific coast of Russia, in one of the most remote and cold parts of the country. It is a major open-pit gold deposit which was discovered in 1942. Polyus acquired Natalka in 2008. The construction of a mining complex began in 2012, and active full-scale mining was launched in early 2013. However, mining and construction works at the mill were soon halted. Construction at Natalka restarted in 2016. Mining operations were relaunched in January 2017, and hot commissioning was successfully completed at the mill. Polyus fully ramped up production at Natalka in the second half of 2018.

5. Gross. 78 koz.

Gross gold mine. Source: Nordgold.

Gross is Nordgold’s new flagship mine in Russia. Launched in September 2018, it is the third greenfield project developed by Nordgold from exploration to production over the last six years, cementing the Company’s position as a leading developer of world-class gold mines.

The mine is located in the southwestern Yakutia, some 125 km northeast of the Ikabya station on the BAM railway and only 4 km to the east of another Nordgold mine, Taborny.

The Gross mine is an open pit heap leach operation with expected average annual gold production of 200 koz over a period of 17 years.

Gross employes over 1,000 people, and is a major contributor to the economic and social development of the Far East of Russia.

The proximity of Taborny creates a number of synergies allowing Nordgold to benefit from economies of scale, expert knowledge of local geology and experienced personnel.

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