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By Patricia Jones
Mining News Editor 

Reclamation complete at Ryan Lode gold mine


Last updated 2/15/2004 at Noon

Alaska state regulators have signed off on completed reclamation work at the shuttered Ryan Lode mine some 10 miles northwest of Fairbanks in the midst of a hilltop residential area.

But gold prospecting work will continue this year at the old heap leach mine site by its owners, Fairbanks Gold Mining Inc., which owns and operates the Fort Knox gold mine about 30 miles away.

Fairbanks Gold, a subsidiary of global mining giant Kinross Gold, spent nearly $800,000 on reclamation and closure work at Ryan Lode since acquiring it from LaTeko Resources in 1999.

Cleanup work from prior owners includes: plugging historic drill holes and wells; removing and disposing of diesel-soaked soil and lead contaminated soil and buried 55-gallon drums containing assay crucibles. Land reclamation included exploration pads, access roads, four ponds, a laydown yard, process components and heap leach pads.

Fairbanks Gold will continue to monitor water quality at the reclaimed site for the next 35 years, according to the company's press release announcing reclamation completion and acknowledgement of that work from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Additionally, the company plans to continue exploration work at Ryan Lode, which kicked off in 2002 with an extensive drilling program. Last summer, crews drilled 29 holes, although original plans submitted to state regulators called for up to 68 holes.

In a Nov. 25, 2003 exploration presentation, Kinross executives listed Ryan Lode as one of the company's projects that achieved "defining additional reserves or resource ounces" by the end of 2003.

During a Jan. 29 conference call that described planned exploration work in 2004, Kinross executives said exploration work would continue at Ryan Lode. A resource model is currently being calculated, which will help geologists plan future work at Ryan Lode and at other targets in the area.


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