05 March 2020, Zug, Switzerland. Solway plans to develop a low-cost gold leaching operation by recovering gold from historic dumps located in the Zabaikalsky region of Siberia. Last month, Solway acquired the Dyrovatskaya license covering 10.8 km2 of tailing dumps generated from Kluchevskoe’s open pit operations between 1932 – 2002.
According to the preliminary economic assessment, the Dyrovatskaya license area is estimated to have measured and indicated leach plant tailings resources of 16.128 tonnes Kt @ 0.80 g/t Au containing 41.437 koz of gold. The project’s life expectancy is approximately 11 years at production of 2.5 Mtpa. The overall CAPEX required for waste dump production is estimated to be $49.51 million, including capital needed for renewal of the mining fleet, processing plant maintenance and covering the costs of mine closure and reclamation.
In its attempts to make a transition to a more circular economic business model by developing sustainable, low carbon, resource efficient, and yet competitive operations, Solway thrives on complex challenges. Solway is taking its first steps towards reprocessing waste rock and tailings to extract metals and minerals that escaped the initial mining process.
This new project aims to introduce a methodology which combines environmental management of mining wastes with long-term economic value creation. In addition, the new project should help the Group to research custom, environmentally conscientious management strategies for handling lower-value byproducts.
The advantages of reprocessing the Dyrovatskaya tailing dumps are multifold: the site is easily accessible, it has a well-developed infrastructure and a good transportation system, the presence of previously trained, qualified workers living in the region, relatively low investment risk, and a clear technological scheme supported by the expertise Solway gained in its management of the Kurilgeo gold mining project.
Solway believes that in addition to the economic value, revitalising mine tailings can also address some of the environmental and social challenges present in this historic mining area. These new operations will provide employment opportunities and breathe new life into the neighboring communities. This project can lead to environmental restoration of exhausted mining areas, new employment opportunities and the release of new land space.
The project is now at an advanced stage. Solway plans to conclude its pre-feasibility study within seven months. An execution schedule and budget will be presented to Solway’s board of directors after the feasibility study is completed, a suitable funding solution is approved, and the necessary permits have been obtained.
“Projects like this are a real opportunity for Solway to address a major mining industry issue – tailings – and to highlight the positive aspects of mining: job creation, economic stimulation, and socio-economic benefits for the local communities,” commented Dan Bronstein, chairman of the board of Solway Investment Group.