VANCOUVER, B.C. Addressing the Global Resources Conference in Tampa, Fla, Jay Taylor, president and CEO of PLACER DOME, outlined his company's plans for 2003.
Exploration expenditures will increase to US$60 million, compared to US$52 million last year. About US$36 million of this year's spending will be at or around existing operations. The Kalgoorlie area of Australia will receive US$8 million. These Australian properties recently came into the Placer Dome portfolio with the acquisition of AurionGold.
A total of US$220 million is earmarked for existing operations including Campbell in Ontario, South Deep in South Africa, Zaldivar in Chile, and others. Information about all Placer Dome properties can be found at www.placerdome.com.
Taylor also pointed out the company's advances in the R&D field. It is testing the patentable MiniMole prototype. If successful, the machine would remove miners from the face and cut down development and waste dilution. Placer Dome and Vehicle Projects LLC of Denver, Colo., have also demonstrated the first-ever fuel-cell-powered mining vehicle in an operating underground mine. A similarly powered load-haul-dumper will be next. Spending plans total US$10 million on these and other technology projects, including alternatives to cyanidation in certain carbonaceous ores.
Placer Dome estimates that 2003 gold production will be 3.5 million oz at cash and total costs of about US$194/oz and US$256/oz. Copper output is forecast to be 400 million lb at cash and total costs of US$0.49/lb and US$0.64/lb.