Petropavlovsk has announced the “technical launch” of the flotation plant at its Pioneer operations in Russia’s Far East, becoming the second facility in the gold miner’s portfolio able to process refractory gold ore and produce flotation concentrate.
Denis Alexandrov, CEO of Petropavlovsk, said: “The successful launch of the Pioneer flotation plant represents a key strategic milestone for the company. We are pleased to have commissioned the facility slightly ahead of the mid-year target we set when I joined the company last year.
“The new plant will enable Petropavlovsk to take full advantage of Pioneer’s substantial refractory ore reserves while providing an additional source of own-mined concentrate for our state-of-the-art Pressure Oxidation (POX) Hub.”
The new Pioneer flotation plant has the capacity to process 3.6 Mt/y of refractory gold ore. Once fully operational, the plant is expected to deliver more than 100,000 t/y of refractory gold concentrate for treatment at its POX Hub, the company says.
The opening of the Pioneer flotation plant doubles the group’s capacity to process refractory gold ore which, including the existing Malomir flotation plant, now stands at 7.2 Mt/y. Pioneer is expected to become fully operational by July and to produce around 60,000 t of concentrate in 2021.
Petropavlovsk said the construction of a third line at the Malomir flotation plant remains on track, and will add an additional 1.8 Mt/y of flotation capacity from the September quarter of 2022, bringing the total combined group capacity to 9 Mt/y.
“The launch of Pioneer flotation and expansion at Malomir will reduce the reliance of the POX Hub on treating lower-margin third-party concentrates,” the company added.