Russian gold miner PJSC Polyus reported a maiden ore reserve estimate for its Sukhoi Log project at 540 million metric ton (mt) with an average grade of 2.3 grams per mt of gold and containing 40 million ounces (oz) of gold as of May 31. This estimate ranks Sukhoi Log as the largest gold deposit both among greenfield assets and operating gold mines, according to the company.

This 2020 Sukhoi Log ore reserve estimate is based on the 2019 mineral resource model as well as a number of studies and additional mine planning activities undertaken by AMC Consultants.

“The publication of the maiden Ore Reserve estimate represents a significant milestone for Polyus’ long-term development strategy, and confirms Sukhoi Log’s position as one of the world’s highest-caliber gold deposits,” Polyus CEO Pavel Grachev said.

The addition of 40 million oz of gold, secures Polyus’ top-2 position among the world’s largest gold mining companies by attributable reserves.

The estimated mineral resources for Sukhoi Log stand at 1.11 billion mt, with an average grade of 1.9 g/mt Au and containing 67 million oz of gold as of May 31. An exploration drilling program throughout 2019 enabled an increase of the estimated indicated mineral resource by 18 million oz to 46 million oz of gold.

Polyus continues in-fill drilling campaigns. This drilling is designed to improve the confidence of inferred mineral resources and will allow the company to better define the gold mineralization within the future pit area, where Polyus said it expects to carry out mining activities during the first years of Sukhoi Log’s operations. The company is also proceeding with further geotechnical drilling

“We continue to focus on the next stages of the project’s development,” Grachev said. “We expect to provide the next update on Sukhoi Log later in 2020, with the announcement of the prefeasibility study results.”