Russia’s largest gold producer Polyus PJSC announced a new estimate on Thursday, Oct 22, for its enormous, untapped Sukhoi Log gold deposit in Siberia.
The estimate indicates that reserves at Sukhoi Log are bigger than initially thought, making it the world’s biggest by reserves. In a statement reported by Reuters, Polyus said,
“this estimate ranks Sukhoi Log as the largest gold deposit both among greenfield assets and operating gold mines.”
Polyus bought the rights to develop the Sukhoi Log, estimated to contain more than 20% of Russia’s reserves, from the Russian government in 2017.
According to Chief Executive Officer Pavel Grachev, an audit showed Sukhoi Log contains 40 million ounces of proven reserves as measured by international standards, with an average gold content of 2.3 grams per ton.
This makes the field bigger than Seabridge Gold Inc.’s KSM Project in Canada and the Donlin Gold project in Alaska.
The additional 40 million ounces of gold will help to secure Polyus’ position as one of the world’s biggest gold mining companies by attributable reserves. The news also has implications for the total supply of the yellow metal.
Such developments did not escape the attention of crypto investors who’ve long debated the merits of gold vs. bitcoin as a reserve currency or inflation hedge.
Not long ago, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor issued a public stance that bitcoin is a harder asset than gold and is less prone to losing value due to supply pressure. Such developments would seem to support Saylor’s point.
In response to the news, Angel investor and well-known crypto trader using the moniker WhalePanda echoed Saylor’s sentiment by tweeting,
“that’s what you get when you don’t have a fixed supply. Bitcoin fixes this.”
As for Polyus, the company plans to continue development efforts at the Sukhoi Log, which lies almost 6,000 km (~3,728 mi) from Moscow. According to reports, they plan to provide another update by the end of 2020, with the announcement of pre-feasibility study results.
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