ALASKA - ST ANDREW GOLDFIELDS of Oakville (near Toronto) has the required mine operating permits in hand for its Nixon Fork gold mine in the west-central part of the state. Production is slated for this summer. The permits (waste management, tailings dam, reclamation, air quality and operating plan) will be in force as soon as St Andrew posts a reclamation surety bond.
The Nixon Fork mine operated between 1995 and 1998, recovering 137,750 oz of gold and 2.1 million lb of copper during that time. St Andrew plans to refurbish and upgrade the existing 140-tonnes/day mill, including the installation of a cyanide leach circuit. The previous plant was based on a gravity separation and flotation process. The company anticipates that the installation of a cyanide leaching circuit will improve recovery rates and provide a higher grade flotation concentrate. New facilities will be installed to retreat the existing tailings.
In its 2004 annual report (the latest available) St Andrew put measured resources at 23,400 tonnes grading 36.8 g/t Au, indicated resources at 63,000 tonnes grading 33.2 g/t Au, and inferred resources at 151,000 tonnes grading 12.7 g/t Au. Total contained gold is estimated to be 156,300 oz.
Engineering is expected to be completed in April of this year and onsite construction will commence in May. Retreatment of the existing tailings is expected to begin in July with processing of underground ore expected to start in the early fall.
The company's website can be found at www.StAndrewGoldfields.com.