FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Kinross Gold Corp. estimates it will spend more than $30 million to bring its True North gold prospect on line during the next three years.
True North is expected to begin production in the first part of 2001 and will create 100 new jobs at the site, located about 25 miles north of Fairbanks.
''If everything goes without major changes, that would be the optimistic time frame,'' said Bill Jeffress, manager of environmental services for Fairbanks Gold Mining, a subsidiary of Toronto-based Kinross.
Jeffress stressed that the company has only submitted a draft plan to state officials. This was done to let state agencies gauge the permitting process with respect to staffing and fees. He said a final plan will be submitted in late March or early April, at which time the public review would begin.
Fort Knox has not yet submitted its reclamation plan for the open-pit mining operation, located 25 miles from Fairbanks in the northwest portion of Pedro Dome. Exploration results have identified about 180,000 ounces of gold reserves.
The company anticipates mining 30,000 tons of ore per day, with a third of that being hauled eight miles each day by truck to the cyanide-processing facility on the other side of Cleary Summit.
Jeffress said crews are still performing drilling work at the site and preparing baseline studies.
Kinross is also discussing the project with homeowners in the Cleary Summit area and negotiating a right-of-way access with some patented claim holders, including the state Mental Health Trust Authority.
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