Sumitomo Metal Mining Starts Operation of Pogo Gold Mine

Sumitomo Metal Mining and Sumitomo Corporation announced on Monday the firm started the production at Pogo gold mine, which is the joint development project with Teck Cominco of Canada in Alaska of USA. They produce gold dore, which is intermediate product after gold ore screening and refining, and sell the product in gold ingot after the consignment production at refinery. They started the operation a month ahead of the original schedule to start in March. They try to pump up the operation targeting around 12 tonnes of gold production in 2006. The mine is around 90 miles south east of Fairbanks in Alaska. The mine with 152 tonnes of reserve is expected to keep the operation for 10 years. The ore contains 17-18 kilogram of gold per tonne of mined ore. Sumitomo Metal Mining controls 51% of the project with 40% share by Teck Cominco and 9% share by Sumitomo Corp. They paid total around US$ 357 for the development depending on the share. They transport the mined ore to ore treatment facilities for gravity concentration to collect course grain. The grain is processed further by floatation and cyan leaching to produce gold dore with around 95% of gold and around 6% of silver. The project is the first as Japanese firm controls more than half of offshore major gold mine. The project is also the first as major holding offshore project for Sumitomo Metal Mining, which developed the mine from early stage including the acquisition of mining lease and exploration to mining. The mine is the first investment in gold mine for Sumitomo Corp.