FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Fairbanks Gold Mining found more gold than expected in 2002 and the additional gold will extend the life of the Fort Knox mine by two years, general manager Rick Dye said Wednesday.
Operations at the mine would end in 2010 rather than 2008, as previously expected.
The company is working to boost its number of employees from 388 to 425 this year, as the price of gold remains relatively high. The company said it is spending $11 million on the expansion of its operating fleet.
''2002 was the best year that Fort Knox has had for adding resources,'' Dye said.
Fairbanks Gold Mining plans to spend $3.5 million on additional exploration this year, Dye said. ''Our goal is to continue adding mine life and stay here for a lot longer than 2010.''
Fairbanks Gold Mining Inc. owns and operates the Fort Knox and True North mines.
Calculations for the new reserve are based on a gold price of $300 per ounce. The price of gold was more than $350 an ounce Wednesday.
''The market has been so depressed for so long that until the company is comfortable that this is a sustained and sustainable price, we won't make any significant changes to our operations,'' Dye said.
Last year, Fairbanks Gold Mining produced more than 410,000 ounces of gold.
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