Company officials said advanced construction work was at 94% as of the end of 2017, and since then it has seen early stage commissioning with produced silver powder product at its processing plant. It has also received its hazardous chemical material storage and use licence, and road materials are en route.
Currently at Mangazeisky, there is about five to six weeks of plant throughput stockpiled – a total of about 10,000 tonnes – to ensure the plant will be supplied throughout mine ramp-up. A full mining fleet is now on site and working, an additional four mining trucks have been mobilised, and a drilling and blasting contractor has been retained.
"The progress we have made over 2017 is testament to the extraordinary hard work and professionalism of the entire team at Silver Bear Resources and our wholly owned Russian company Prognoz,” president and CEO Graham Hill said of the open-pit project.
“We believe that 2018 will be a transformational year for the company, as we focus on completing commissioning and ramping up to initial production expected to start early in the second quarter. Over the coming year our objective is to ramp up to full commercial production at Vertikalny [deposit], in addition to identifying additional resources and development opportunities.”
At present, Silver Bear said there are 115 contractors and 142 Prognoz employees at the site as construction and commissioning continue to proceed along the company’s timeline. This year, its main focuses include successful completion of remaining construction and full hot commissioning; ongoing build-up of operational capabilities and staffing as well as the introduction of systems for production monitoring and management accounting; the development of exploration plans for the year that will target new areas of significance; and the creation of strategic objectives for Silver Bear’s growth, including potential M&A activity.