Sumitomo Metal Mining to Increase Expenditure for Pogo Mine

Sumitomo Metal Mining (SMM) and Sumitomo Corporation announced on Wednesday the firms increased the capital investment estimate for the Pogo gold mine project in Alaska to US$ 378 million from previously planned US$ 357 million. The additional expenditure was reviewed at US$ 21 million to modify the tailings filtration plant at Pogo mine after starting gold production on and after February 13, 2006.SMM and Sumitomo Corp found that the throughput of tailing filtration equipment cannot reach the originally planned level due to the adverse effect by ore characteristic and that Pogo mine needs to install another filter. The mine would enter full production in and after January-March 2007 when the additional equipment would start operation. The operating rate of the mine is likely to stay at around 60% by then.SMM has 51% ownership interests for Pogo mine project, Teck Cominco 40% and Sumitomo Corp 9%, which is the first project for which SMM holds a majority interests to develop overseas mines. Each firm bears the capital expenditure for the development along each ownership ratio. Pogo mine reserves 152 tonnes of gold and is estimated to produce average 12 tonnes per year under full production.