Pogo Gold Mine Stops Operation by Electric Facility Accident

Sumitomo Metal Mining and Sumitomo Corporation announced on Saturday Pogo gold mine in Alaska stopped operation which is jointly developed by the firms and Teck Cominco of Canada. Electric wire was accidentally cut by a contractor during construction of mining facility and some of electric power system was burnt out on Friday. Mine operation has fully stopped due to electric power failure. The damage extent is now assessed and it is unclear when the operation will resume.Pogo gold mine started gold production in February 2006 and the current operation rate was 50-60%. The mine was scheduled to enter full production in and after January-March 2007 when the additional equipment will start operations which are tailing filtration and ore treating equipment. However, the full operation might be delayed due to the accident.Sumitomo Metal Mining has 51% ownership interests for Pogo mine with 40% by Teck Cominco and 9% by Sumitomo Corp, which is the first project for which Sumitomo Metal Mining holds a majority interests to develop overseas mines. Total developing investment will become US$ 378 million. The mine is located 90 miles southeast from Fairbanks, Alaska, which reserves 152 tonnes of gold and is estimated to produce average 12 tonnes per year under full production.