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By Sarah Hurst
Mining News Editor 

Foo: DNR's loss is Placer Dome's gain

Steps down as Alaska Department of Natural Resources mining section chief, returns to company to head Donlin Creek project


Last updated 3/27/2005 at Noon

The chief of the mining section within the Alaska's Department of Natural Resources, Stan Foo, has taken a senior position with Placer Dome. Foo, 48, left DNR in mid-March, having worked there since 2001. He will now be Placer Dome's project manager for Alaska, representing the Vancouver-based company in the state and heading the Donlin Creek project, a joint venture with NovaGold.

Foo spent 15 years of his career with Placer Dome and was an independent resource consultant for two years before moving to DNR. He started working for Placer Dome in 1984 as a geologist at the Cortez mine in Nevada, helping to identify numerous gold occurrences, including the Cortez Pipeline. He was promoted to general superintendent at Cortez before taking the position of mine and maintenance superintendent at the Bald Mountain mine, also in Nevada, in 1996. A year later he became Alaska state manager for Placer Dome.

Completing the permitting for the Pogo project was one of the biggest accomplishments during Foo's tenure at DNR, he told Mining News. Foo emphasized that everything he achieved at DNR was a team effort, and one of the highlights for him was working with the large mine permitting unit. Other achievements included permitting for the expansion of True North and making an agreement between DNR and the Bureau of Land Management to allow placer mine operators on federal land to use the state bond pool, Foo said.

In addition, Foo and his staff worked on legislation to revise the financial assurance regulations for mining in the state, so that large mines would pay the cost of reclamation instead of the $750 per acre that placer miners are required to pay. "It is a more realistic approach to reclamation for large mines, and a stricter regulation than before," Foo said. He also noted the permitting for the expansion of the Greens Creek tailings facility. "There has been a more focused effort to keep permits moving, without stalling," he said.

Foo's advice to his successor? "Be ready to hit the ground running. DNR is a very good group to be associated with. I've really enjoyed working with Tom Irwin and Bob Loeffler." Irwin is the commissioner for natural resources and Loeffler is director of the Division of Mining, Land and Water.

Placer Dome thanked James Fueg and Leslie Jensen for their efforts at Donlin Creek in a release March 3. Fueg was acting project manager for the past six months and will continue to be a key member of the project team. Placer Dome hopes to begin construction of the Donlin Creek hard-rock gold mine in southwest Alaska no later than November 2007.


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