Kinross: A Summary of Kinross’ Global Interests
FORT KNOX, Fairbanks, Alaska–The Fort Knox and True North mines are operated by Fairbanks Gold Mining Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kinross. Both mines are large, low-grade open pits, tucked away in an area that has a long history of placer mining. The Fort Knox mill produced its first dor bar in December 1996 using CIP technology and, at >400,000 oz/year, is currently the largest source of gold production for Kinross.
ROUND MOUNTAIN, Tonopah, Nevada –Gold occurs in a large epithermal deposit on the margin of a buried caldera, and is recovered using conventional open pit methods and both heap leaching and milling. This is a very important operation, recovering over 700,000 ounces of gold annually, with Kinross being 50% owner and operator. Although the operation began in 1977 as one of the world’s first heap leach mines, recent exploration success at the nearby Gold Hill deposit has the potential to add to the current mine life.
LUPIN, Contwoyto Lake, Nunavut–In 1982, Lupin became Echo Bay’s first gold mine. The deposit is hosted in iron formation. High production costs forced a temporary closure from 1998 until the first quarter of 2000. A new skip winze, sunk the following year, helped rationalize mining and cut costs. Recent high costs have necessitated restructuring of the operation.
NEW BRITANNIA, Snow Lake, Manitoba –The deposit is known to be relatively thick with good vertical and horizontal continuity. It produced over 600,000 ounces between 1949 and 1958. Since its reopening in 1995, a further 700,000 ounces of gold have been produced by this underground mine and mill.
KETTLE RIVER, Republic, Washington –When production began in 1990, Kettle River was the only gold mine in the state. Reserves were depleted last year, and the underground mine and mill were mothballed after turning out over 1 million ounces. However, thanks to recent high-grade exploration success, plans are being made to restart operations next year.
PORCUPINE JOINT VENTURE, Timmins, Ontario–This joint venture consists of the Hoyle Pond mine, Bell Creek mill, Pamour project and Nighthawk property (formerly owned by Kinross) and the Dome mine and mill (formerly owned by Placer Dome). The Dome, opened in 1910 and Canada’s oldest gold mine, is in its last full year of production from underground, and has an open pit and stockpiles for the next few years. Hoyle Pond is a high-grade, narrow-vein underground gold mine with a production record that tops 1 million ounces of gold. A refreshed feasibility study is underway for an open pit on the Pamour property to replace the Dome when it is exhausted.
MUSSELWHITE, Pickle Lake, Ontario –This is an underground mine hosted by a highly tectonized iron formation. The mill features crushing, rod-and-ball milling, gravity recovery, and a CIP circuit. Commercial production began in 1997 and is expected to continue for many years.
AQUARIUS, Timmins, Ontario–The Aquarius deposit was test-mined from both surface and underground in 1988-89. The project obtained its environmental approval in 2000 for an open pit operation. The feasibility of the Aquarius project is being revisited in light of improved gold prices.
BRASILIA, Minas Gerais, Brazil –Brazil’s second-largest gold producer has an open pit and a milling capacity of 20 million t/year. Gold is recovered by flotation, gravity and CIP-CIL. There are probably another 20 years of production in the deposit, which consists of quartz boudins within a dark grey phyllite containing lenses of carbonate, sulphide crystals, and LA COIPA, Copiapo, Chile –La Coipa is hosted in an epithermal deposit containing three main oxide zones. An open pit and Merrill-Crowe plant will continue to produce gold for about another five or six years, but the potential to identify additional reserves on the property is excellent, as evidenced by the recently-discovered Puren deposit.
CRIXAS, Goias State, Brazil–Gold occurs in quartz veins, massive sulphide horizons and quartz-sericite schists. The ore is mined underground using mainly mechanized cut-and-fill or room-and-pillar techniques. The mill uses Merrill-Crowe recovery methods.
REFUGIO, Copiapo, Chile–The Refugio gold mine is operated by Compania Minera Maricunga, equally owned by Kinross and Bema Gold. It was a large open pit heap leach project, but it was placed on care and maintenance in May 2001. An extensive drilling program is underway in the hopes of identifying enough reserves to reopen the mine early next year.
KUBAKA, Northern Evensk District, Russia–The mineralization at Kubaka is found in near-vertical quartz adularia veins. The mill, with SAG/ball mill, CIL and CIP circuits, is operating on ore stockpiled from exhausted open pits supplemented with remnant underground mining of the Kubaka deposit. Additional ore feed in 2004 and beyond is expected to come from the Birkachan deposit and possibly the Tsokol vein.
BLANKET, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe–Kinross acquired the Blanket mine in 1993. Although political and monetary instability continue to plague the country, this small underground producer and tailings retreatment operation continues to contribute about 40,000 oz Au per year to Kinross.