Vancouver – With final EPA permits in hand, Coeur d’Alene Mines (CDE-N) is commencing construction on its Kensington gold mine, located 70 km north of Juneau, Alaska.
The specific authorization awaited was a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, which along with a recently received wetlands permit, allows Coeur to construct the Lower Slate Lake tailings facility, millsite, road improvements and a Slate Creek Cove dock facility.
Kensington hosts proven and probable reserves of 3.8 million tonnes grading 8.6 grams gold per tonne (1 million oz. of contained gold). The planned underground operation has an estimated 10-year mine life and will produce about 100,000 oz. of gold annually.
The company estimates construction costs of US$92 million for the mine and cash costs of about US$220 per oz. of gold.
Coeur, the world’s largest primary silver producer, operates mines in Argentina, Chile and in the U.S. The company is also building its San Bartolome mine in Bolivia, scheduled to come on-stream in 2006 producing over 8 million oz. of silver annually. Annual group silver production in 2004 came in at 14.1 million oz., plus 129,000 oz. gold.
At its recent trading level of US$3.60 per share, Coeur d’Alene Mines posts a market capitalization of US$860 million.