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Slide occurs at Round Mountain Gold pit

The Round Mountain Gold Corp. experienced a slide in the southwest corner of its gold pit in the Round Mountain area at the end of October, though the impact of the event will not affect the mine’s production or expansion plans at the site, company leaders have stated.

Round Mountain Gold Corp. had been closely monitoring movement in the area in the southwest corner of the gold pit since earlier in 2018 with a slide taking place on Oct. 28, company officials stated.

“We have seen some movement in the southwest corner of the pit,” said David Hendriks, president and general manager at Round Mountain Gold Corp., in an email. “We anticipated the slide and ensured all personnel and equipment were not in the area.”

Hendriks continued by stating the group does “not expect any significant impact on production or to the Phase W expansion project and are monitoring the situation closely.”

Round Mountain has been preparing for the slide.

“All is in our mining plan and our budgeting process, so we have done all of our planning; work going forward was based around the fact that this was going to happen,” Hendriks said in a phone interview.

The mine employs roughly 800 workers at the Round Mountain mine and is one of Nye County’s largest employers and top private employer in the county, according to information in a second-quarter report from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

In addition to the roughly 800 employees at the site, Hendriks said “at this point in time, we have closer to 300 contractors because we’re in the middle of moving some facilities, so we’re building a new truck shop, a new warehouse, a new leach pad facility, because of how we’re moving the pit boundary back, so we’re expanding the mine.”

Hendriks said the company has expanded its mine life to 2025. With that extension, Hendriks said Round Mountain is “mining another pushback on the west side of the pit.”

Hendriks explained that extensions to the mining life at Round Mountain are typically done in blocks of three to seven years.

“In our situation here, it’s very difficult to add reserves of more than a period of five to seven years because there’s a lot of work required to define the deposit to have a bigger mine life than that in front of us with the deposit we have,” he said. “Other deposits, different situation. But the way our mine is set up, that’s what’s appropriate for us here in Round Mountain.”

Round Mountain Gold Mine is 55 miles north of Tonopah and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corp. Kinross, which held 50 percent ownership of the Round Mountain operation since 2003 through a merger, closed on a deal to acquire the remaining 50 percent of the operation from Barrick Gold Corp. in early 2016.

Kinross also holds another mining project at Bald Mountain in White Pine County and has a global presence as well. The senior gold mining company employs approximately 9,300 people globally and has mines and projects in the U.S., Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Mauritania and Russia, according to information on the company website.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com

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