ArmInfo. The company Polymetal liked Armenia, which predetermined the decision to make a significant investment. Vitaly Nesis, the head of the company told in an interview with Interfax.
According to him, before this, investment was small. "We looked at how the industry works in the country, what is the regulatory system, the workforce, suppliers, contractors, local communities and we liked the country. It was decided to make a more significant investment," said Vitaly Nesis, adding that from the point of view of state regulation, Armenia, of course, is not Australia, but somewhat better than Russia.
Earlier it was reported that Polymetal Int (uniting assets of Polymetal) completed the audit of the mineral resources of the Lichkvaz project in Armenia. According to JORC, they are 600 thousand ounces (18.7 tonnes) of gold equivalent for underground mining processing. The Lichkvaz deposit contains 4.3 million tonnes of ore with an average grade of 4.2 g/t, containing 600 thousand ounces (18.7 tones) of gold equivalent. The mineral resources are confirmed by independent auditors of CSA Global. In 2016, Polymetal planned to conduct a significant amount of additional drilling in Lichkvaz in order to estimate the JORC ore reserves in the third quarter of 2017 and prepare a combined operation plan for the Kapan and Lichkvaz projects. Polymetal intends to extract and transport ore for processing to the Kapan enrichment plant. The deal for its acquisition was closed on April 28, 2016.
Polymetal International plc has increased its stake in the Lichkvaz deposit in Armenia to 100%. The purchase was made for 1,084,853 of its own shares for $ 9.7 million (0.26% of the increased share capital). The deposit is located in Meghri, Syunik region in the south of Armenia, 380 km south of Yerevan. It is a region with developed infrastructure (electricity, water, housing) and access to skilled labor. According to the historical estimate of the deposit (not JORC), the estimated resources are 2.4 million tones of ore with a content of 6.9 g/t, which corresponds to approximately 0.5 million ounces of gold equivalent. The deposit is a series of semi-vertical zones of crushing and steeply dipping of veins 4-5 meters in thickness, located in andesite. The length of the system is 800 meters along the strike and in the north it is covered with glacial tilla. The Lichkvaz deposit is a part of the Mediterranean fold belt (Tethys) and, in the opinion of the Company, has a high geological exploration potential. In the mid-1990s, the Lichkvaz-Thei deposit was owned by Iberian Resources. In 2008, the board of directors of the Australian company Tamaya Resources, which owns 82.6% of the shares of Iberian Resources, announced the conservation of the project to extract gold at this deposit. According to the company, depreciation expenses in Armenia were higher, and gold reserves are lower than expected. In this regard, the company decided to postpone the additional exploration of the polymetallic Lichkvaz-Tei deposit in Meghri, which was considered promising. According to preliminary estimates of Iberian Resources, gold reserves in this deposit are 17 tons. It is noted that the mineralization of the deposit turned out to be more complicated than expected and test works for the organization of a cheaper production cycle were unsuccessful. Tamaya Resources decided to turn off investment activities in Armenia and no longer invest additional resources, since the development of the Meghri deposit requires big funds. The preliminary cost of the investment program for 2009 was $ 65 million.
The Polymetal company, registered on Jersey, is producing and exploring in four regions of Russia - the Magadan and Sverdlovsk, Khabarovsk and in Chukotka, as well as in the Republics of Kazakhstan and Armenia. Group "ICT" of Alexander Nesis is the ultimate beneficiary of about 27% of the share capital of Polymetal, 13% of the company belongs to the Czech PPF Group NV Petra Kellner. In addition, about 1% of the authorized capital is controlled by the management of the company and the director, 19% by private persons and 40% by individual investors.