The structure of Rosatom is interested in acquiring a gold mining project in the Irkutsk region with a resource potential of 50 tons and a high metal content. The co-owner of the assets is Rostec. In recent years, Rosatom has been increasing its presence in gold as not only a direct operator, but also a supplier of energy infrastructure. Techservice, which owns two related licenses for prospecting and mining gold at the Gurbey and Svetino deposits in the Irkutsk region, follows from the documentation on the trading floor of Sberbank. According to the documentation, due diligence is being carried out for the planned M&A deal.
25% – the Cypriot company Arsanol Holdings ltd, another 9.75% was with the lawyer Ilya Rybalkin. The co-owner of Arsanol, as Kommersant wrote in December 2019, was Anton Yelistratov, CEO of the Airplane developer, with a 19% share. Rostec did not respond to Kommersant‘s request, Mr. Yelistratov declined to comment.
The total resource potential according to JORC standards reaches 50 tons of gold. An experimental gold recovery plant operates at the deposit. In 2021, 370 kg of gold were produced, and 430 kg are planned for this year. However, already in 2023, the project should reach a capacity of one ton of gold per year. The project, according to the presentation, has high grades – 4.7 g at the Gurbey deposit and 7 g at the Svetino deposit. For the first quarter of 2022, EBITDA was RUB 400 million. per year.
Elkon MMC is part of the mining division of Rosatom and was established in 2007 to develop large deposits of the Elkon uranium ore region. As stated on the MMC website, it is planned to create one of the world’s largest uranium mining enterprises on the basis of the deposits.
ARMZ told Kommersant that in the Aldan region of Yakutia, Elkon MMC is conducting pilot work at a gold deposit Severnoye, where over the past two years the company has created infrastructure and started pilot work. Gold is mined using the open pit method of heap leaching. In June 2021, Interfax reported that Elkon MMC plans to mine gold at the Severnoye deposit during Elkon’s low profitability period.
Another area of activity of Rosatom in terms of precious metals mining is the creation of energy infrastructure. So, in October 2021, Rosatom enterprises participated in the auction for the Kyuchus field. However, the winner was the joint venture of Seligdar and Rostec. Despite this, Rosatom is going to build a reference low-capacity nuclear power plant to supply it with power.
In this regard, the potential value of the company, taking into account the debt, which can be approximately range from 1 billion to 2 billion rubles. Considering the general undervaluation of the metal in the market, investments in gold mining may turn out to be quite attractive.
According to the forecasts of the trading company Heraeus Precious Metals, gold in 2023 will be traded in a fairly wide range of $1620–1920 per troy ounce, taking into account developments in Ukraine, high inflation and growing fears of a recession. The price of gold in euros may exceed the all-time high recorded in March at €1,870 per ounce. February futures on the NYMEX were worth $1,788 on Tuesday.