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Gold mine expansion moves forward in Nye County

Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corp. is moving forward with the Round Mountain gold mine expansion, the company announced.

Phase W is expected to extend mining by five years and increase the life of the mine’s production by 1.5 million gold ounces at one of Kinross’ top performing mines near Round Mountain in Nye County, Kinross announced in a news release on Sept. 18.

Dave Hendriks, president and general manager of Round Mountain Gold Corporation, said the company is going forward with the Phase W project at Round Mountain, pending the permitting process, which is proceeding “as planned.”

“Phase W is expected to solidify a long-term promising future for the mine. The Phase W project expects to add approximately 1.5 million gold ounces to the life of the mine and extend mining by five years, providing the steady employment, taxes and support to the local community that Round Mountain has always provided,” Hendriks said in an email statement.

Kinross officials previously had said that the current mine is running out of reserves. Without the proposed expansion, mining would be done in 2019, and processing of new ore would be completed in 2022.

The Round Mountain Phase W feasibility study contemplates a layback of the current pit, construction of a new carbon in-column plant and heap leach pad, additions to the mining fleet and equipment, and relocation of some existing infrastructure.

Stripping of Phase W ore is expected to begin in early 2018, pending the permitting process. Construction and relocation of infrastructure is expected to be completed by quarter two in 2019, and initial low-grade Phase W ore to be encountered in mid-2019.

Phase W is expected to generate incremental cash flow of $265 million, extend mining by five years from 2020 to 2024, and sustain the operation’s annual production at an average of approximately 341,000 gold ounces through 2024, at an average cost of sales of $765 per ounce, Kinross said in a press release.

With the go-ahead decision for Phase W, procurement activities for long lead items and mining equipment have already commenced, the company said. Additional state and federal permitting for the project is required and is proceeding as planned, Kinross officials said.

According to the press release, as a result of the Phase W feasibility study, estimated proven and probable mineral reserves at Round Mountain increased from 1.3 million gold ounces as of Dec. 31, 2016, to 3.1 million gold ounces.

Kinross is a Canada-based senior gold mining company with mines and projects in the United States, Brazil, Russia, Mauritania, Chile and Ghana.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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