Polymetal Picks Up 9.1% Stake In Russian Rare Earth Element Project

Anastasia Bogdanova | March 20, 2020 | Views: 48 | Source: Morning Star

(Alliance News) – FTSE 100 gold miner Polymetal International PLC has bought a stake in a rare earth metal producer, it said on Thursday.

Polymetal has spent USD20 million for 9.1% in ThreeArc Mining Ltd, which owns the Tomtor niobium and rare earth metals project in the north-west of Yakutia region, Russia.

ThreeArc will use the proceeds to fund a pre-feasibility study and an initial JORC-compliant ore reserve and mineral resource estimate at Tomtor.

The Tomtor mine, Polymetal said, is considered one of the biggest and highest-trade rare earth metals projects in Russia as well as one of the highest-grade development stage niobium sites on the planet.

Niobium is mostly used to make high-strength steel for use in the automotive and aerospace industries. There are only three major niobium mines in the world, two in Brazil, and one in Canada.

Polymetal Chief Executive Vitaly Nesis commented: “Investment in Tomtor provides us with a high-quality exposure to the electric-vehicle revolution by establishing a strategic beachhead in the niobium and rare earth element markets.

“Our capital injection and our engineering expertise will be key in driving the project forward. We intend to consider any further potential steps of Polymetal’s engagement with the asset after the completion of JORC-compliant reserve estimate.”

Polymetal shares were 8.0% lower on Thursday morning in London at 1,005.00 pence each.

By George Collard; georgecollard@alliancenews.com

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