London-listed Eurasia Mining is considering bringing on board mining contractors to operate more than one openpit at the West Kytlim platinum and gold mine in the Ural mountains to mitigate the risk of a single operator.
This comes as the contractor, RegionMetall, discontinued operations in mid-October after having produced 211 oz of raw platinum in the current mining season. The contractor’s mining method is sensitive to weather conditions.
However, Eurasia has continued to mine since mid-October using its own enrichment plant, some of the contractor’s equipment and additional machinery that it hired from local providers. By November 29, the company had produced a further 135 oz of raw platinum.
Eurasia pointed out on Tuesday that its wash plant, which had operated for only one month, had produced 38% of the season’s current total production of 346 oz of raw platinum. Modifications to upscale the plant for use in the 2018 season are being considered.
Eurasia stressed, however, that it had maintained positive relations with the contractor, despite continued modifications to their processing scheme.
Next year, the company plans to progress mining to more openpit sites. The current plan is for two pits to be mined by contractors and one by Eurasia itself as owner-operator.
The reserves targeted at Malaya Sosnovka in the 2016 and 2017 trial mining seasons remain a focus for the 2018 season, as well as the Kluchiki and Bolshaya Sosnovka mine sites, which are also ready for development.
Meanwhile, the company also announced that it had lodged an application for its two-million-ounce Monchetundra platinum group metals and base metals project on the Kola peninsula.
The application is being reviewed by the Russian federal commission on suboil use, Rosnedra. The review process should take between five and twelve months.
Eurasia was granted a discovery certificate, guaranteeing mining rights, in July.