The Sorsk and Zhireken deposits are open pit mining operations with drilling, blasting, excavation, transporting and dumping operations.
The Sorsk molybdenum deposit contains 58.1 million tonnes of proved molybdenum ore reserves and 140.3 million tonnes of probable molybdenum ore reserves. Based on a capacity of 10.0 million tonnes per annum, the estimated operating life of our Sorsk mine is 20 years, according to the independent technical report prepared by SRK.
The Sorsk molybdenum deposit is located in the territory of the Ust-Abakan district of the Republic of Khakassia in Western Siberia, 105 kilometres to the northwest of Abakan, Khakassia's capital. The deposit is located at the foot of the eastern slope of the Kuznetsk Alatau, an area characterised by mountains of medium altitude which are sharply but not deeply dissected by short and wide plains and ravines.
The deposit was discovered in 1937 and mining began in 1950. The reserves were certified by the State Committee for Reserves of the Soviet Union in 1980. In 1949, the Soviet government began constructing the Sorsk Molybdenum Complex and in 1955 the first concentrator was activated. In subsequent years the plant was expanded to reach a concentrator capacity of approximately 9.0 million tonnes of ore per annum in 1989. Our Group acquired the Sorsk facilities in 2003. In 2005, construction of a ferromolybdenum plant with a design capacity of approximately 4,500 tonnes of ferromolybdenum per annum was commenced. The first stage of the ferromolybdenum plant was put into operation in January 2006, and the second stage was put into operation in November 2006.
The Zhireken molybdenum deposit contains 10.6 million tonnes of proved molybdenum ore reserves and 57.3 million tonnes of probable molybdenum ore reserves. Based on a capacity of 4.0 million tonnes per annum, the estimated operating life of our Zhireken mine is 17 years.
The Zhireken molybdenum mine and processing facilities are located in the Eastern Transbaikal area of Southern Siberia, 400 kilometres from the city of Chita and seven kilometres from the Trans-Siberian Railroad. The nearest airport is located in Chita approximately 400 kilometres from the Zhireken facilities. There are two main entrances to the facilities, one leading from the town of Zhireken and another on the industrial side of the site where the main road for transporting ore away from the site is located.
The Zhireken molybdenum deposit was discovered in 1958 and was initially explored during 1961-1966 by an exploration team from Chita Geological Department of the Ministry of Geology of RSFSR. The deposit's reserves were first certified in 1966. Construction of the Zhireken facilities began in 1982, with the first concentrator being completed in 1988 by the Soviet government. From 1996-1999, the Zhireken plant was inactive and became operational once again in 2000, when substantial resources were invested in related infrastructure. A pilot ferromolybdenum production plant consisting of one hearth furnace was constructed and launched in 2003 and a second hearth furnace was constructed in 2004. In 2005, roasting, crushing, blending and smelting shops were constructed for the processing of molybdenum concentrate into ferromolybdenum. Our group acquired a controlling stake of 75% in Zhireken GOK, the owner of the Zhireken facilities, in 2003 and in 2005 we acquired the remaining 25% in Zhireken GOK.
In July 2011 Sorsk Mining and Processing LLC (Sorsk GOK) of SMR Group won an auction and obtained the right to explore mineral resources and produce copper-molybdenum ores from Agaskyr property located in the Republic of Khakassia. In September Sorsk GOK was issued a license for subsurface use.
Agaskyr Copper-Molybdenum Deposit is located in Ordzhonikidzevski Region of the Republic of Khakassia, and was discovered in 1953. The prospect area is 2.9 sq. km. According to GKZ standards of reserves estimate, the registered reserves reach 310 Mt of B+C1 copper-molybdenum ore, including 155.3 Kt molybdenum, 98.7 Kt copper, 509.1 t silver, and 5.9 t rhenium. Mining and geological conditions of Agaskyr deposit imply its development by open-pit operations.
Current status of the project: