Petropavlovsk PLC has issued a notification that IRC Ltd, a producer and developer of industrial commodities in which the company is a significant shareholder (31.1%), has today made an announcement in relation to the connection of both ends of the Amur River Bridge. According to local media, the authorities in China’s Heilongjiang province have confirmed that the last steel beam of the Russian-Chinese railway bridge over the Amur River has been installed which means that the main span of the bridge has been connected. Full construction of the bridge is scheduled in July 2019 and is expected to be operational later in 2019.In terms of significance, and as previously announced by IRC, the cost of transporting its premium high-grade 65% iron ore product to China from the K&S (Kimkan & Sutara) mine may be reduced by up to $5 per tonne once the railway bridge is in operation. In addition, the completion of the bridge will shorten the potential shipment time from 7 to 10 days to 3 to 5 days. The K&S mine, 100% owned by IRC, is located in the Jewish Autonomous Region (EAO) of the Russian Far East. It is the second full-scale mining and processing operation that the Group has developed.As set out in IRC’s 2018 fourth quarter trading update of 29 January 2019, there were some operating issues with the Drying Unit which prevented K&S from operating at a higher capacity. After evaluating various mitigating measures, the K&S site team has made certain changes and adjustments to the production and transportation processes. These mitigating actions have allowed the mine to continue ramping up the production. In the second half of February 2019, K&S managed to operate at an average capacity of some 86%.