Friday, November 9, 2007

Espolon Gold Mine owner, Kinross Gold Corp. to use Cyanide Heap Leaching in Alaska - Is this the future of the Futaleufu River Valley?

FAIRBANKS (Nov. 9, 2007) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is allowing a mining company to use large batches of the toxic chemical cyanide at the Fort Knox gold mine.

Fairbanks Gold Mining Inc. will use the chemical to lengthen the life of the mine by extracting fine particles of gold from extremely low-grade ore. The process is known as heap leaching.

A permit from the corps allows Fairbanks Gold Mining Inc. to start building a heap leaching facility at the mine, 26 miles northeast of Fairbanks. The permit allows the company to discharge waste into federal wetlands.

Mine officials estimate the heap leaching facility should extend the life of the operation by several years.

Fairbanks Gold Mining, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Canadian mining giant Kinross Gold Corp., originally expected Fort Knox to last until 2010. The heap leaching process should keep the mine active until 2014 and the processing facilities going through 2019.

The processing facilities will be around longer than the mine because Fairbanks Gold Mining has been stockpiling millions of tons of low-grade ore with an eye toward using the heap leaching pit to extract more gold.

Here is the full article.