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October 14, 2009

Major stripping work started at the Ozernoye lead and zinc deposit

A major hard rock stripping operation was conducted at the open-pit mine of the Ozernoye lead and zinc deposit (Republic of Buryatia) on October 14.  More than 800 five- to six-meter deep holes were drilled for the operation.  These were then loaded with 35 tons of water-resistant explosives, helping loosen more than 150,000 tons of hard rock.
The event was witnessed by: Republic of Buryatia President and Government Chairman V. Nagovitsyn, Republic of Buryatia People’s Khural Chairman M. Gershevich, Republic of Buryatia Deputy Government Chairman A. Chepik, Republic of Buryatia Natural Resources Minister B. Agnayev, Head of METROPOL Group of companies M. Slipenchuk, MBC (Metals of Eastern Siberia) Corporation Director General I. Okhtyrsky, Ozernoye Ore Mining and Processing Enterprise Director General I. Fakhrutdinov, and other METROPOL Group senior executives.
In closing, the heads of METROPOL Group of companies and the Republic of Buryatia held a press conference at which they answered questions from the press.

Reference
The Ozernoye polymetal deposit’s license was issued to METROPOL Group of companies subsidiary in 2004.  The licensed site is located in the Yeravninskaya District of the Republic of Buryatia, some 180 kilometers north of the Mogzon Trans-Siberian Railway station, 30 kilometers from the Ulan-Ude – Chita federal highway, and 60 kilometers from the district’s center, the village of Sosnovo-Ozersk, which has a population of more than 10,000 residents.
The Ozernoye deposit’s resource potential has been estimated at 157 million tons of ore, according to the JORC code, with a zinc content of 5.2 percent and a lead content of 1.25 percent.  The deposit’s on-balance reserves of silver are estimated at 4,500 tons.  The gold’s resource potential is estimated at 25 tons.
The Ozernoye Ore Mining and Processing Enterprise has the following projected capacities:
• Mining method – open pit
• Commissioning date: 2012
• Ore mining capacity: six million tons per year
• Average annual production of concentrates: zinc – 740,000 tons, lead – 110,000 tons
Pursuant to the License Agreement and the Ozernoye lead and zinc deposit’s 2009 industrial development schedule, METROPOL Group’s MBC Corporation and the Ozernoye Ore Mining and Processing Enterprise assumed the field’s full-scale development and completion of Phase I construction last July (2009).
The following facilities have been constructed and commissioned within the Ozernoye project’s frameworks so far: a 6,000-square-meter mining village for 300 people, a 1,100-square-meter core storage with a sample preparation laboratory, a 10 KW high-voltage power line, and a cellular communication system.  In addition, survey work was conducted on 85 hectares of woods, with the subsequent removal and storage of 250,000 cubic meters of topsoil and rock overburden.

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