Sawaya’erdun is an ultra-large, undeveloped gold deposit rarely seen in China. It has 119.5 tonnes of gold resources grading 1.56 g/t, of which 60.07 tonnes of gold grading 2.59 g/t can be extracted on an industrial scale, and the other 59.43 tonnes are low-grade gold averaging 1.12 g/t.
Situated on the well-known Central Asian Orogenic Belt, the Sawaya’erdun deposit enjoys good metallogenic conditions. Twenty-one mineralized zones have been identified in the Sawaya’erdun deposit. The main orebody measures 3,660 meters long and 6.22 meters thick on average. Further, the exploration results indicate that there is potential for more discoveries in the deep and surrounding areas of the deposit.
A 140 Ktpa mining permit and a peripheral exploration right have been granted for the project. Construction should commence soon and be expected to complete in two years, which will also serve as foundations for later expansion. Based on the pre-feasibility study by Zijin’s technical team, the project’s throughput is set at 8,000 tonnes per day, with an overall throughput of 2.64 Mtpa.
During the 25-year LOM, the project will start with open-pit mining and then proceed to underground mining. With a design capacity of 2.76 Tpa of gold, the project will benefit from Zijin’s expertise in recovering metal from low-grade, refractory ores. Biological pre-oxidation, a method that is simple, high in investment returns and environmentally friendly, will be used.
On July 14, 2022, Zijin Mining announced its offer to acquire the Sawaya’erdun Gold Mine for RMB 499 million. The mine is situated in Wuqia County, Kezilesu Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang, China. The acquisition will be completed in two steps. First, Zijin will acquire 100% of the equity interest in Xinjiang Weifu Mining Co., Ltd. for RMB 461 million. Second, the remaining RMB 38.2361 million will be paid to acquire the debt interests in Weifu Mining and Tongyuan Mining held by Alexis Investments and other creditors. Upon completion of the acquisition, Zijin will hold a 70% interest in Tongyuan Mining and RMB 263 million worth of debt interests in the company, which holds a 100% interest in the Sawaya’erdun Gold Mine.