Saturday, November 17, 2007

Kinross Gold, owner of the Espolon Claim, prepares ground for cyanide heap-leaching in Alaska’s biggest gold mine – environmental challenge expected

Kinross Gold Corporation, Fort Knox gold mine tailings dam.


Fairbanks Gold Mining Inc., the operating company at Fort Knox, has received nearly all the permits necessary for the heap leach project, Baker said, although the company anticipates a possible challenge to the wetlands permit recently issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “That will be apparent in the next few weeks,” he said.

Construction crews have started stripping work for the heap leach, although not much more can be completed in winter, he said. Provided any permit challenges are resolved, construction of the valley heap leach is anticipated to progress in 2008 with possible placement of material, Baker said.

Once completed, anticipated gold recovery from the heap leach is 60 percent to 70 percent, Baker said.

Kinross also reported that the company is in the process of completing the necessary land transaction for the Phase 7 pit expansion project. Baker said the company was negotiating with state and federal agencies for access to that mineralized area, located on the west side of the existing pit.

Fort Knox is currently the largest single source of produced gold for Kinross Gold, which acquired the Fairbanks gold mine in the late 1990s. The company also owns mine properties in Canada, the Lower 48, Brazil, Chile and Russia.

Here is the full article.