WINNEMUCCA, Nevada The Turquoise Ridge gold mine, part of the Getchell property, is going back into production by the end of next year. PLACER DOME has given the 300,000-oz/year project the green light. Development is to begin in May and take about 18 months.
Gold was previously recovered beginning in 1991 from the oxide cap of the Turquoise Ridge deposit. Underground production began in 1998, but was suspended in July 1999 pending further development drilling and the completion of a development plan.
The cost of getting Turquoise Ridge back into production is expected to be US$80 million (US$41 million for underground development, US$26 million to refurbish the existing mill, and US$14 million for surface work and initial operating costs). If Placer Dome could make other processing arrangements, the cost of restarting the mill would be avoided.
According to Placer Dome, the Turquoise Ridge deposit has mineral reserves containing 2.7 million ounces Au (at a gold price of US$300/oz). Another 1.5 million ounces are contained in measured and indicated resources, and a further 2 million ounces are listed as inferred. The mine would have a life of nine years. Cash and total costs are forecast to be US$215/oz and US$265/oz, respectively.
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