Coeur Alaska Announces U.S. Forest Service Decision to Complete Environmental Assessment for Kensington Gold Mine Modified Plan of Operationsadmin
May 11, 2008 Filed Under: Lead Mining, Precious Metal
Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation said today that the U.S. Forest Service has evaluated public and agency comments submitted on the Draft Supplemental Information Report for the Kensington Gold Mine in Alaska. Based on the responses and agency input, the Forest Service has announced that an Environmental Assessment (EA) is the preferred level of review, which could allow for a conclusion of permitting for an alternative tailings facility later this year. Construction of the mine and mill is essentially completed except for the tailings facility.
“We appreciate the timely review of the Modified Plan of Operations by the Forest Service. The EA process will provide a well-defined and timely permitting pathway for the paste tailings plan,” said Dennis E. Wheeler, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Coeur. “Coeur is now confident the environmental review process can be completed in 2008, allowing Kensington to be brought into production in 2009.”
The draft Supplemental Information Report (SIR) prepared by the Forest Service supported the technical soundness of the paste tailings plan. The site selected for constructing the paste tailings facility in the Modified Plan of Operation is the same site as was studied for locating the dry tailings facility earlier, but is smaller and involves less area disturbance. It also requires less energy than the dry tailings facility. A Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement was prepared for a dry tailings facility at the same site in 1997.
In a separate press release issued last week, the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council indicated their support for the paste tailings plan as a preferred alternative over the dry tailings facility. Coeur and SEACC collaborated in developing the new plan. The plan, supported by over 900 studies, includes an environmental monitoring component and extensive reclamation requirements.
Kensington is a major gold project located about 45 miles northwest of Juneau with an estimated annual production profile of approximately 140,000 ounces of gold. Construction of all surface facilities, except for the tailings facility, is essentially completed. In addition, the almost 3-mile horizontal access tunnel has been constructed. The tunnel connects the Jualin mine site, where the plant and mill are located, and the Kensington ore body. Proven and probable reserves measure approximately 1.4 million ounces of gold.
Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation is one of the world’s leading silver companies and also a significant gold producer, with anticipated 2008 production of approximately 16 million ounces of silver, a 40% increase over 2007 levels. Coeur, which has no silver or gold production hedged, is now set to commence production at the world’s largest pure silver mine – San Bartolomé in Bolivia – and is currently constructing another world-leading silver mine – Palmarejo in Mexico. The Company also operates two underground mines in southern Chile and Argentina and one surface mine in Nevada; and owns non-operating interests in two low-cost mines in Australia. The Company also owns a major gold project in Alaska and conducts exploration activities in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico and Tanzania. Coeur common shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CDE, the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol CDM, and its CHESS Depositary Interests are traded on the Australian Securities Exchange under symbol CXC.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities legislation in the United States, Canada, and Australia, including statements regarding anticipated operating results. Such statements are subject to numerous assumptions and uncertainties, many of which are outside the control of Coeur. Operating, exploration and financial data, and other statements in this press release are based on information that Coeur believes is reasonable, but involve significant uncertainties affecting the business of Coeur, including, but not limited to, future gold and silver prices, costs, ore grades, estimation of gold and silver reserves, mining and processing conditions, construction schedules, currency exchange rates, and the completion and/or updating of mining feasibility studies, changes that could result from future acquisitions of new mining properties or businesses, the risks and hazards inherent in the mining business (including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, weather or geologically related conditions), regulatory and permitting matters, risks inherent in the ownership and operation of, or investment in, mining properties or businesses in foreign countries, as well as other uncertainties and risk factors set out in filings made from time to time with the SEC, the Canadian securities regulators, and the Australian Securities Exchange, including, without limitation, Coeur’s reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. Actual results, developments and timetables could vary significantly from the estimates presented. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Coeur disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additionally, Coeur undertakes no obligation to comment on analyses, expectations or statements made by third parties with respect to Coeur, its financial or operating results or its securities.
Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation Investor Contact: Karli Anderson, 208-665-0345 Director of Investor Relations or Media Inquiries: Tony Ebersole, 208-665-0777
Director of Corporate Communications
Source: Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation