Russia to increase annual gold production to 400 tonnes by 2030
Russia plans to increase the annual gold production to up to 400 tonnes by 2030, that will be a record figure in the history of the country.
Implementation of these plans will take place through the more active development of gold mining fields of the Yano-Kolyma gold-mining province of the country, as well as the fields, which are located in the southern and western areas of the Eastern Siberia, another center of Russia’s gold production.
In the case of Yano-Kolyma, the province covers the area of Russia’s Magadan and Yakutia regions and currently accounts for more than 30% of all Russian gold reserves. Among the largest local fields are the Natalka, Degdecanskoey, Dragznoy and some others.
At the same time, in the case of Eastern Siberia, a particular attention will be paid for the development of Sukhoi Log, Russia’s largest gold field, as well as other local fields, such as Verninskoye, Nevskoe, Olimpiadninskoe, Blagodatnoe and some others.
It is planned that the increase of gold production in Russia will mostly take place through the development of local gold ore fields. In contrast to this, the production of gold at alluvial fields will steadily decline during the next several years, and could be completely stopped by 2050. At present the share of alluvial deposits in the overall structure of gold production in Russia is estimated at about 20%.
According to data of Rosgeologia, (Russia’s state-owned holding in the field of geology), Russia’s overall gold reserves are estimated at 40,000 tonnes, which means that the country will remain one of the world’s leading gold producers till at least 2030.
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Still, despite the existing large reserves, the quality of ores of the majority of Russian ore gold fields is significantly lower, than those in other leading gold nations.
This will require the use of the new, modern production technologies. However, due to existing Western sanctions, Russia currently experiences a shortage of such technologies, as, prior to sanctions war, the majority of them were imported to the country from abroad.
Lack of technologies and the depletion of the existing domestic reserves, according to Sergey Kaszuba, chairman of the Russian Union of Gold Miners, (a public association, which unites Russia’s leading gold producers), will force leading Russian gold producers to start expansion to abroad, and in particular to some African countries, where the production could be associated with lower costs, than those in Russia.
At present Russia ranks the world’s third largest gold producer after China and Australia. In 2015 the volume of gold production in the country amounted to 295 tonnes. According to state plans, this year production will be increased by 1% to 297 tonnes, compared to 2015.
Currently the Russian gold mining industry remains highly consolidated, which is reflected by official statistics, in accordance to which six Russia’s largest companies produce about half of Russian gold.
Eugene Gerden is an international free-lance writer, based in St. Petersburg, who specializes on writing in the field of mining, metals and rare earth metals. ... <Read more about Eugene Gerden>