Australia-based company to gain control of Alaska gold mine
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Ownership of a large gold mine southeast of Fairbanks is being transferred to an Australia-based gold mining company.
Japan-based Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. and Sumitomo Corp. are transferring full ownership of the underground mine in Delta Junction to Northern Star Resources Ltd., receiving $260 million in compensation for the transfer, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported last week.
The companies have agreed to the deal that’s expected to go through in October, the companies said in a joint statement.
“By investing in exploration and development, we are confident we can grow the inventory, production and mine life for the benefit of the mine’s employees, contractors, the local community and our shareholders,” said Bill Beament, the executive chairman of Northern Star.
The mine produces about 300,000 ounces (8,500 kilograms) of gold each year, resulting in more than 3.8 million ounces (108,000 kilograms) mined since opening in 2006. It employs 320 direct workers and about 150 contractors.
The mine’s current life expectancy runs through 2020. Northern Star is planning to invest in a “targeted intensive drilling program” to extend the mine’s life, according to company documents.
Pogo Mine spokeswoman Wendie MacNaughton declined to say why Sumitomo decided to divest its interest in the mine, but noted it had put Pogo up for sale.
“They (Northern Star) are going to maintain continuity of operations and employees exactly as it is now,” MacNaughton said.
Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com