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Cover March 2011 Mining Quarterly





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A crew from Arnold Machinery out of Elko assembles a new 36-yard Hitachi hydraulic shovel at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Twin Creeks Mine in Humboldt County.


Twin Creeks digs in for long haul

Adella Harding/photo

Inside cover March 2011 Mining Quarterly



— INSIDE — Long Canyon

Newmont to buy Fronteer — Page 2 BALD MOUNTAIN Expansion nearly complete — Page 16

ROBINSON MINE Busy mining Ruth — Page 27

ROUND MOUNTAIN Starting Gold Hill satellite — Page 33

ELKO MINING EXPO More booths for June event — Page 76


Find the job you want — Pages 86-87

MINING QUARTERLY John Pfeifer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Publisher Adella Harding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Editor To advertise, call 775-738-3118 Mining Quarterly is published in March,June, September and December by the Elko Daily Free Press (USPS No. 173-4320) at 3720 Idaho Street, Elko, Nevada 89801, by Lee Publications Inc., a subsidiary of Lee Enterprises. Periodical postage paid at the Elko Post Office. For change of address write 3720 Idaho St., Elko NV 89801

Mining industry fights new grabs for revenue ELKO — With gold prices still shining and He also said he is spending time in Carson the state and federal governments looking for City explaining what the mining industry more revenue in tough economic times, the already pays in taxes and why the industry mining industry is a target. doesn’t want to be singled out for new taxes. At the national level, President Barack “We’re working to see that the Legislature Obama’s budget proposes a 5 perunderstands our contributions to cent gross royalty for hard-rock the state,” Crowley said. minerals mined on public land as The industry pays more than part of a three-prong plan that $200 million a year in taxes, would affect the industry. including net proceeds, payroll The proposal outlined on the taxes, property taxes and sales U.S. Bureau of Land Manageand use taxes, he said. ment’s website also would switch Crowley also testified in a new exploration and mining projcommittee hearing in February ects from mining claims to minagainst a bill to take away the ing leases. mining industry’s eminent doThe plan also calls for all minmain authority. ing operations on public and pri“As far as the NMA is aware, Adella vate property to pay a fee for the there is no evidence that the cleanup of abandoned mines. eminent domain authority that Harding “Mining has been one of the has been accorded mining comfew bright spots in Nevada’s economy, and it panies in this state for over 125 years has would be a mistake to take any action that been used other than sparingly and only could cost mining jobs,” U.S. Rep. Dean when absolutely necessary to allow signifiHeller, R-Nev., said when word of the pro- cant projects to go forward,” he testified. posed royalty surfaced. Fronteer Gold threatened to use eminent At both the national and state level, moves domain against the Big Springs Ranch in are afoot to urge the U.S. Department of Elko County last year, but the ranch owners Interior to speed up permitting for mining and Fronteer settled and Fronteer purchased projects. the ranch for $12 million. The Nevada Legislature planned to send a Now, Newmont Mining Corp. may own resolution to Nevada’s congressional delega- the ranch if its $2.33 billion purchase of tion asking that the timeline for permits be Fronteer Gold wins Fronteer shareholder trimmed, and U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., approval. See the story on Page 2. said he was looking at a joint letter with Sen. Also in Nevada, the state Commission on Harry Reid, D-Nev., over permit times. Mineral Resources is battling a move to con“Shortening the time could create thou- solidate the commission and Nevada Divisands of jobs,” Ensign said. sion of Minerals into the Nevada Department The Nevada mining industry is on tap to of Conservation and Natural Resources. continue to pay net proceeds of minerals Commission Chairman Fred Gibson said taxes in advance, and the industry is willing the move wouldn’t save money since the to help Nevada with its money troubles in division’s funding comes from mining claim this case. fees, but the consolidation could pose con“The industry is OK with this one,” said flicts of interest. Nevada Mining Association President Tim For example, the division promotes minCrowley. ing while the department’s Division of “It’s important to point out the industry Environmental Protection is charged with was asked to OK prepayment in 2008 and regulating mining. had to come up with the cash to give the state. Articles on mining projects and operaThis was a no-interest loan, and that is the tions in Nevada appear inside the Mining year the state realized the benefit,” he said. Quarterly, along with an interview with an If a new bill doesn’t pass in the current leg- environmentalist about his views on mining. islative session, the mines would go back to ——————— Adella Harding is editor of the Mining paying taxes the regular way, and that could cause a cash-flow problem for the state, Quarterly. She may be reached at Crowley said.


Newmont bets on Long Canyon ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — Newmont Mining Corp. put $2.33 billion on the table in what the company figures is a sure bet that Fronteer Gold’s Long Canyon Project is the next Carlin Trend. “We’ve done extensive due diligence. The more we looked at it, the more we liked it,” said Newmont spokesman Omar Jabara after Newmont announced its offer for Fronteer. “The Long Canyon deposit is in our backyard, and Newmont can recognize a significant new Carlin Trend,” he said. Newmont was the first big company to mine on the Carlin Trend and has been mining on the Carlin Trend since 1966. “We know this region better than anyone,” Newmont President and Chief Executive Officer Richard O’Brien said in early February when Newmont and Fronteer announced their friendly deal. Nevada State Geologist Jonathan Price said later in February that Long Canyon is a Carlin-type deposit, and the discovery “opens a whole new world. It’s exciting to me that a major company now has a stake in it, and that’s good for Elko County.” Price, who also is director of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, said the test of whether it is another Carlin Trend may take a decade, but the discoveries so far qualify as a new mining district. Long Canyon is in Elko County in the Pequop Mountains between Wells and West Wendover and would be the first major gold mine east of Elko. Denver-based Newmont wants to buy Fronteer Gold for Long Canyon and two additional late-stage exploration projects. Fronteer shareholders will vote in April on whether to accept Newmont’s offer. “We’re expecting the deal to close around the end of April,” Jabara said. Newmont plans to pay cash for Fronteer, he said. “We’re fortunate to have a sizable balance sheet right now,” Jabara said. Newmont had roughly $4.8 billion in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities at the end of 2010. Fronteer’s board already approved the proposed sale to Newmont. If shareholders approve, Newmont will gain 100 percent ownership of Long Canyon, Fronteer’s Northumberland Project in Nye County and Sandman in Humboldt County. Newmont also will take over Fronteer’s 40 percent share of the West Pequop Project in the Pequop Mountains that Agnico-Eagle operates and the earlystage South Pequop Project that Golden Dory operates. In addition, Newmont will acquire the Big Springs Ranch that Fronteer bought for $12 million last year adjacent to Long Canyon. The proposed arrangement also calls for the spin-off of Pilot Gold for Fronteer’s remaining exploration proj-


Newmont Mining Corp.

Newmont Mining Corp.’s graphic shows the locations of the Long Canyon, Northumberland and Sandman projects that would come with the company’s proposed purchase of Fronteer Gold. ects in Nevada. While Newmont’s deal is on the table, Fronteer continues exploration at Long Canyon and at Northumberland. “We have one rig operating at Long Canyon, and the construction of the decline at Northumberland has advanced to 635 feet,” Fronteer spokesman Glen Edwards said on Feb. 18. Vancouver-based Fronteer’s plans before the proposed merger were to develop a surface and underground operation at Northumberland, where Western State Minerals mined from 1986 to 1990. Newmont explored Northumberland in the past and is exploring Sandman now under an option agreement with Fronteer. According to Newmont, Sandman holds the potential for a surface mine on the 29-square-mile land package, and a prefeasibility study should be ready in 2012. Fronteer’s president and chief executive officer, Mark O’Dea said Newmont’s plans plug into what Fronteer has been wanting to do in Nevada.

He also said Newmont is the best fit to see Long Canyon through to a producing gold mine. Jabara said Newmont sees a lot of synergies in the development of Long Canyon because Newmont has existing mills and already moves ore around in Nevada to the type of facility that best processes certain types of ore. David Baker, vice president and chief sustainability officer for Newmont, predicted in the teleconference announcing the project that Long Canyon could be in construction in 2015. Fronteer recently reported the measured and indicated resource at Long Canyon totaled 2.2 million ounces of gold, and Newmont expects the deposit to grow. O’Brien said Long Canyon has the potential to grow three or four times the current resource. The arrangement between Newmont and Fronteer covers spinning off 11 early-stage exploration projects in Nevada, two in Turkey and one in Peru into Pilot Gold, See NEWMONT, 3

Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly

Moira Smith, chief geologist for Fronteer Gold’s Nevada projects, describes the Long Canyon gold deposit in the Pequop Mountains in Elko County in October. The map was in the office trailer at Oasis.

Newmont ... Continued from page 2 and O’Dea said he will be chairman of Pilot Gold. “Our core team at Fronteer will move over to Pilot Gold,” O’Dea said, noting the new venture will start with roughly $10 million from the arrangement with Newmont. Fronteer shareholders will have an 80.1 percent chunk of Pilot Gold, and Newmont will own a 19.9 percent stake. The plan to spin off the exploration company is similar to what Fronteer did when it acquired AuEx Ventures last year in an arrangement valued at more than $265 million to gain 100 percent ownership of Long Canyon. That deal created Reno-based Renaissance Gold Inc., which kept exploration projects outside of Long Canyon, West Pequop and South Pequop. The projects Pilot Gold will hold in Nevada include Anchor, Baxter Spring, Brik, Buckskin North, Cold Springs, Easter, Gold Springs 2, New Boston, Regent, Stateline and Viper. The Turkey projects are Halilaga and TV Tower, and in Peru is the Rae Wallace Rights. “Regent has great upside potential,” O’Dea said.


A vehicle heads out of the new exploration decline at Fronteer Gold’s Northumberland Project in Nye County. J.S. Redpath is the contractor.

Newmont executives said in the teleconference that Long Canyon will be a major focus in Nevada, but the company has a pipeline of projects. These projects include expansion of the Leeville underground mine north of Carlin with the Leeville and Turf deposits and getting back to gold production from the Gold Quarry open pit, where pit wall failures affected production, according to O’Brien. Newmont also has growth potential with the recent U.S. Bureau of Land Management approval for the Emigrant Project south of Carlin, and the planned Genesis Project north of Carlin. The Elko BLM District’s draft environmental impact statement on Genesis could be released soon. “We’ve sent a notice of availability to the Washington office,” said Dave Overcast, manager of the district’s Tuscarora Field Office, adding that he didn’t have a time frame for when the EIS would be public. In addition, Newmont has the copper leach project at the Phoenix Mine near Battle Mountain and planned projects called the “Sleeping Giants,” including Mike, Fiberline, Greater Phoenix and Copper Basin deposits.


Mines struggle to fill special jobs ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — With the high price of gold and new and expansion mining projects in Nevada, the hunt goes on for people for the hard-to-fill positions in the industry, as well as for new easier-to-fill jobs. “In 2010, we filled just over 1,000 positions, and we had just under 30,000 applications,” said Dana Pray, recruiting manager for Barrick Gold of North America’s Nevada mines, the Golden Sunlight Mine in Montana and Salt Lake City administration offices. The 30,000 applications include applications from people applying for more than one position, however, so there weren’t actually 30,000 people seeking jobs, Pray said. The 1,000 positions included people for new jobs and to be replacements for vacant slots. Barrick has roughly 4,000 employees in the United States. “For 2011, we’re looking at between 1,200 and 1,500 positions to fill,” Pray

said. “The mining profession overall is in big demand and in tight supply. Today, for instance, we have 300 positions to fill.” The most wanted people are on the technical side, including mining, geological, electrical, mechanical and civil engineers. “Those are difficult to fill at this point, also electricians,” Pray said. Pray said Barrick trains people for entry-level positions, such as equipment operators, lubrication technicians and underground support miners, and planned in mid-February to put 11 people through an underground academy at Turquoise Ridge Mine in Humboldt County in the next few weeks. “We had a huge response,” said Lou Schack, director of communications and community affairs for Barrick Gold of North America. Barrick puts a lot of effort into filling job slots, including attending job fairs and events around the country and recruiting for military veterans. “Yes, we are targeting them,” Pray said. Pray said there are nine people in Barrick’s recruiting department.


Those looking to get hired go through several pre-employment tests, including a fit-for-duty physical and substance abuse testing and a criminal background check, as well as a reference check. Pray encourages job applicants to apply online so they can better track their applications. Barrick has kiosks and people to help at the Elko administration office. “We don’t encourage people to go to the mines, but our office is here for that purpose,” Pray said. Round Mountain Gold Corp. in remote Nye County, a partnership of Barrick and Kinross Gold Corp. and operated by Goldcorp, also feels the hiring pinch. “The toughest struggle without a doubt is the shortage of technical manpower,” Round Mountain General Manager Randy Burggraff said. “We’re pretty much able to keep the hourly workforce full, but there is tremendous difficulty finding technical workers.” He said the mine struggles to find electricians with special knowledge to work in mines, instrumentation technicians, engineers, metallurgists and geologists.

“With the lull in mining 15 years ago, not as many kids went into mining in college, and we’re feeling it now. The ones we already had are retiring,” Burggraff said. Temporary employment agencies also are busy. “This past year has been the busiest year Elko Manpower has had in years,” said Becky Tully, manager of the Elko Manpower office. “The mines are our best customers by far, but when they call us, it is for temporary jobs,” Tully said, estimating 95 percent of the Manpower jobs are at mines. She said the temporary agencies are “a good way to get your foot in the door.” Tully, who has been at the Elko office 19 years, said the office is seeing a lot of people moving to the area looking for jobs after hearing on television that Elko is a good place to look for employment. The arrival of job hunters in Elko and mine recruitment has led to another problem, according to Schack. That’s housing. “One of the big challenges is finding people a place to live,” he said.

Twin Cr eek s

eyes long life

ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor GOLCONDA — The future is looking bright for Newmont Mining Corp.’s Twin Creeks Mine north of Golconda, where plans are under way for the gold mine’s first-ever underground project and for expansion of open-pit mining. “We’re excited about the future, and $1,300 to $1,400 gold helps. The corporation recognizes there is a lot of capital in infrastructure already here,” said Tim Pike, mine operations superintendent. The mine’s infrastructure includes the Sage Mill with two autoclaves and the Juniper oxide mill. The underground exploration project will include roughly 1,600 feet of drift, according to Walt Holland, the mine operations manager. “We will put two diamond drills in there for exploration and defining a target base of 150,000 ounces,” he said. The target for the underground exploration is the Vista Vein, which is to the northeast and under the Vista Pit. “There will be three months in and five months drilling,” Holland said. Small Mine Development expected to begin the portal for the underground project in February and finish the project at the end of May, according to Ron Guill, the founder of SMD who keeps up with the company, although he recently sold it to his managers. Twin Creeks also plans the Vista 7 open-pit project that will expand the Vista Pit, and permitting is under way with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for that project. “We’re putting together the baseline reports now and submitting them to the BLM,” said Doug Barto, senior environmental manager, who said the project is within already disturbed acreage. “It adds five years to the mine life,” he said. Pike said Vista 7 would be a primarily oxide pit that will provide feed for the Juniper mill and for the leach pad. Ken Loda at the BLM’s Winnemucca

ABOVE: Don Massie, left, and Tucker Smith, both of Arnold Machinery in Elko, work in late January to assemble a Hitachi hydraulic shovel at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Twin Creeks Mine in Humboldt County. LEFT: Doug Hinshaw of Winnemucca dispatches mine equipment and haul trucks in late January from a tower above the Mega Pit at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Twin Creeks Mine. The mine uses Minestar to track the trucks. Adella Harding/Mining Quarterly



Twin Creeks ... Continued from page 5 office stated that once the BLM receives the baseline reports, “we can start an environmental assessment in earnest. I believe we are looking at about a September approval date.” Future plans Holland said Vista 8 also is part of the Twin Creeks business plan, but drilling still has to be completed to define Vista 8. “North Mega also is in the business plan. It will be another layback,” he said, adding that Top Hill also is a target. “Then we have Cut 23 and 25 in the outer years of the business plan, that will be laybacks to the Mega Pit,” Holland said. “Everything mentioned has Twin Creeks mining to 2023 and processing to 2036. We have eight growth projects with a potential for 7.5 million ounces, plus the Sleeping Giant, which is called the Fiberline Project east of the Mega Pit.” See TWIN CREEKS, 8

Adella Harding/Mining Quarterly

Haul trucks carry waste material to dump as backfill in the Mega Pit at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Twin Creeks Mine in Humboldt County. The trucks are driving on the backfill pile that splits the giant pit.



Twin Creeks ... Continued from page 6 Pike said Fiberline could add another 8 million ounces. “We’re drilling there now,” he said. Newmont has approved $7 million in drilling at Twin Creeks for 2011, which is roughly two and a half times what Twin Creeks usually spends. Holland said the company realizes that Twin Creeks already has the facilities and land that make it important to keep the operations going for as long as possible. Don Wilhite, the process manager at Twin Creeks, said the projected mine life back in 1997 was to 2006, now Newmont is looking to increase the mine life even further. The facilities at Twin Creeks include the Sage Mill that includes two autoclaves for processing sulfide ore from not only Twin Creeks but other Newmont mines in northeastern Nevada and the Turquoise Ridge Joint Venture near Twin Creeks, as well as the Juniper See TWIN CREEKS, 10


Mechanics Jeff Jones, left, and Pete Pettit talk in late January with Dave Sadler, process maintenance superintendent, about the work they are doing on a secondary ball mill at the Sage processing facility at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Twin Creeks Mine in Humboldt County. Adella Harding Mining Quarterly


Adella Harding/Mining Quarterly

A blast loosens the rock for mining in late January in Cut 22 in the Mega Pit at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Twin Creeks Mine north of Golconda.

Twin Creeks ... Continued from page 8 Mill for processing oxide ores. Wilhite said the Sage Mill cost $300 million in 1997, but “today it would be four times that, so we have a good asset base here.” Barrick Gold Corp. operates Turquoise Ridge and owns 75 percent of the property, while Newmont owns 25 percent and processes the ore at the Sage Mill. Wilhite said roughly 10 to 15 percent of the ore Twin Creeks processes is from Turquoise Ridge.


Sage Mill The Sage Mill reached a milestone last year when the number of ounces going through the mill hit 10 million, and “we’re looking to hit our 20 millionounce mark,” Wilhite said. So far, 16.9 million ounces of gold have been poured at Twin Creeks over the years from 1987 to 2010, including ore coming from Carlin and Turquoise Ridge, he also said in late January. The Sage Mill was designed to processing 204 tons of ore per autoclave per hour, and the mill processed 224 tons per autoclave per hour in 2010, Wilhite said. The autoclaves treats the ore at an average temperature of 440 degrees, said Greg Thies, the process operations general foreman. Newmont has a system for processing ores at its

Twin Creeks and Carlin facilities that depends upon where the ore can best be processed for the best recovery and where the ore is needed to provide the best blend for the facilities. Newmont has a roaster at Carlin, but the only active autoclaves are at Twin Creeks. Oxide ores, which are ores that can be processed through leaching alone or crushing and leaching, stay on the site where mined but autoclaves and roasters are options for the refractory ores that need the extra processing steps to expose the gold. Roasters process the ore through burning, while autoclaves create a chemical reaction that heats the ore without a physical burning process, said the chief See TWIN CREEKS, 12


Adella Harding/Mining Quarterly

Adella Harding/Mining Quarterly

Glenn Alexander, left, senior closure and reclamation engineer for Newmont Mining Corp.’s Twin Creeks Mine, and Tim Pike, mine operations superintendent for Twin Creeks, talk in January about the progress of the West Pit reclamation project. They are standing on the fully backfilled pit.

Glenn Alexander, senior closure and reclamation engineer for Newmont Mining Corp.’s Twin Creeks Mine, stands at the newly reclaimed Pinon tailings dam. The spillway for water runoff on top is in the background and to the right is a lined pond for runoff from the bottom of the dam.

Twin Creeks ... Continued from page 10 metallurgist at Twin Creeks, Blaine Olson. He said laboratory analysis and historic testing tells Newmont where ore can be best processed, and the company relies a lot on historic information acquired over the years on the types of ore. “The autoclaves went into operation in 1997, and in that time we’ve developed a lot of history of the different deposits in Nevada,” he said. The blending of ores is to provide enough “fuel” for the autoclaves. This fuel comes from the ore. “If the gold and sulfide fuel is just right, it provides all the heat necessary to process the ore,” Olson said. Trucks haul ore from Carlin to Twin Creeks, and this ore tends to be from underground mining, and occasionally there are ores at Twin Creeks that need to go to the roaster in Carlin, “but most of the flow is coming to us,” Olson said. Newmont had an autoclave at the Lone Tree Mine in years past, but operation of that autoclave has been suspended. There is no mining at Lone Tree now, although gold is still processed there from residual leaching, and reclamation work continues. The laboratory at Lone Tree also continues to be used for work from Newmont’s Phoenix Mine. Wilhite said the Sage Mill also “very occasionally” processes ore from New-

mont’s underground Midas Mine. Midas has its own mill, however, and the ore at Midas has a lot more silver than the ore at Twin Creeks. The ore going through the Sage Mill averages about a 10th of an ounce of silver for every ounce of gold, Thies said. Twin Creeks continually works to improve the efficiency of the Sage Mill, including the addition of a third pump to each of the two autoclaves last year. Dave Sadler, the process maintenance superintendent, said there also have been improvements to the equipment at Sage, such as the redesigning of the agitator blades for the autoclaves to increase blade life. “From the day commissioned, the changes started,” he said. “The next project will be a new scrubber at the back of the autoclaves to clean up emissions,” Wilhite said. He said Twin Creeks has been “very proactive” and worked with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection to reduce emissions and meet new regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA approved mercury regulations last December, although the state has had regulations for several years. Employee numbers The Twin Creeks Mine has 535 employees, and roughly 160 of those


Adella Harding/Mining Quarterly

Fernando Mojica of Winnemucca, a process operator at the Sage Mill at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Twin Creeks Mine, checks an autoclave. people work in the laboratories and mills, according to Wilhite. Mining is under way in Cut 22 at the Mega Pit, which is a huge open pit split by a mountain of backfill. The whole pit is about 2.5 miles long and probably 1,000 feet deep, said Glenn Alexander, senior closure and reclamation engineer. The newest piece of equipment for

the mining fleet is a $7 million Hitachi hydraulic shovel with a 36-yard bucket that Arnold Machinery out of Elko was assembling on site in late January. Pike said the newest shovel joins a P&H electric shovel, two older Hitachi hydraulic shovels, a Caterpillar loader and 21 250-ton Caterpillar haul trucks See TWIN CREEKS, 13

Twin Creeks ... Continued from page 12 to make up the mining fleet. Twin Creeks began backfilling the Mega Pit with waste rock in 2000, and there currently are about 175 million tons of backfill in the pit, according to Pike, who said 1 billion tons of material have been mined out of Mega over the years. Along with the backfilling at Mega, Twin Creeks also completely backfilled the West Pit and reclaimed the surface. The project received the Excellence in Reclamation Award from state and federal agencies at the Nevada Mining Association convention last fall. West Pit was filled with 24 million tons of waste rock. Reclamation work at Twin Creeks has been ongoing, and Alexander said more than 1,700 acres have been seeded on site, including mainly waste rock dumps and the Pinon tailings dam. Pinon dam reclamation The Pinon dam reclamation is the newest project, and Alexander said the

project was designed to weather a 100-year storm, including a spillway for any storm water or snowmelt that collects on the top. The reclamation work included placing a 5-foot soil covering over the 9 million tons of tails, which is the waste from processing ore, as well as construction of the spillway. Alexander said the spillway sends the storm water from rain and snow out into the desert, but any water that seeps from under the tailings pond goes into a lined pond. He said in late January there had been two runoffs since the construction, spilling out roughly 300 gallons of water a minute for a short time. Twin Creeks crews did most of the work on the dam, but Honeywell was contracted to build the spillway Alexander said the covering and grading of the tailings dam and the spillway construction were ready last summer, and the site was seeded in the fall.

Don Wilhite, process manager for Newmont Mining Corp.’s Twin Creeks Mine in Humboldt County, smiles in January as he guides a tour of the Sage Mill. Adella Harding Mining Quarterly

Electrician Pat Masterson is testing a flocculent system in late January in the Sage Mill at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Twin Creeks Mine in Humboldt County. Adella Harding Mining Quarterly



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Twin Creeks ... Continued from page 13 The seed mixtures were for plants that do well in the high desert, growing well without irrigation. Twin Creeks quit using the 150-acre Pinon dam at about the end of 2001 and uses the one at the Juniper Mill. Twin Creeks also is proud of its safety record, which puts the mine at the top of all Newmont’s operations in North America, with the Phoenix Mine near Battle Mountain a close second, according to Holland. He said the mine has a new safety program called “Talking Safety.” Two hourly employees were brought into the project to talk with other hourly employees and collect safety suggestions from them. Holland said that as of the end of January the program had been under way 60 days, and there were more than 100 suggestions, 75 percent of them already approved for implementation. “This gives them another path to talk with us, and we need their feedback,” Holland said.

BLM approves Emigrant Project ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — Newmont Mining Corp.’s plans for the future include development of the Emigrant Project roughly 10 miles south of Carlin now that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has given the project the green light. The BLM issued the record of decision on the project in late January. “We are pleased with the record of decision for the Emigrant Project located in Elko County,” said Mary Korpi, director of external relations for Newmont in Nevada. “Emigrant is part of our growth portfolio in Nevada and with the approval of the ROD we can now move the project further along our internal project pipeline,” she said. Proposed mining operations would last for about 10 years through 2020 with closure operations continuing until 2024 at the site that is within one

mile of Newmont’s mined-out Rain Mine, according to the final EIS. “We hope to employ 180 folks and protect the environment at the same time,” BLM project leader for Emigrant Tom Schmidt said. Emigrant has been more than five years in the planning and studying stages. The Elko BLM District stated the final EIS analyzed Newmont’s proposed plan of operations and the effects of developing and operating an open-pit mine, constructing a waste rock disposal facility, run-of-mine heap leach pad, permanent stream diversion channel, ancillary support facilities and reclaiming surface disturbances. Newmont will use the shop at Rain, the decision record states. The EIS and decision record address concerns raised in the public comment period in 2008 and 2009. “The BLM got a lot of comments on potential acid generation, and we’re

saying it’s still not ready,” said John Hadder, executive director of Great Basin Resource Watch. Schmidt said Great Basin Resource Watch sent comments after the final EIS during the review period after the final EIS was released. The BLM addressed the acid concerns with plans calling for encapsulating any acid-generating rock in acid-neutralizing material in management plan, if necessary, Schmidt said. The record of decision authorized disturbance of 1,170 acres of public land, including 442 acres of public surface and private mineral estate, and 248 acres of private land. The BLM authorization also allows Newmont to mine 92 million tons of ore and 83 million tons of waste rock and construction of a zero-discharge heap leach on 344 acres, including 214 acres of public land, according to the decision record.


Bald Mountain expansion nears completion ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — Barrick Gold Corp.’s Bald Mountain Mine has a new lease on life as the major expansion project there nears the finish point. “We’re wrapping up, but we’re still in construction. We plan to be done by mid-March,” said Jose Barron, Barrick’s project manager for the Bald Mountain work that is adding years to mine life and adding more jobs. The project cost more than $200 million. Bald Mountain General Manager Dave McClure said the mine is “really in the development phase, probably until around the end of the second quarter.” Massive stripping of dirt and rock that doesn’t contain gold is under way at the Top Pit, but there is a little ore mined there, too. “We’re developing now back into the main ore body,” McClure said. See BALD MTN., 17


Paul Smith, electrical manager for Barrick Gold Corp., talks about the power needs for the Bald Mountain Mine expansion project in White Pine County. The new Mooney Basin South process plant is under construction in the background. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly

Bald Mtn. ... Continued from page 16 He said the ore mined this year will be stacked on the leach pads at Mooney Basin, so the gold production from that ore won’t show up until 2012. Top Pit will be the center of activity at Bald Mountain for the remainder of Bald Mountain’s mine life, McClure said. “We’ve really been in the development stage since we got our permit a year ago, so our gold production will not be as significant as it has been,” Dave McClure he said, but he pointed out that the trend will be up once Top Pit is in ore. “That will really start to occur in 2012.” Gold production Bald Mountain produced 20,000 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter, up from 17,000 ounces in the 2009 quarter, according to Barrick. Total cash costs were $634 per ounce, down from $765 per ounce last year. McClure said there also is still mining in one of the smaller pits on site, Sago, and there is gold production from residual leaching for earlier mining. Most of the See BALD MTN., 18

Ross Anderson/Mining Quarterly

One of the two new P&H electric shovels operating at the Top Pit at the Bald Mountain Mine is parked for P&H MinePro maintenance in early February. The shovels have 47-yard buckets.


Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly

Barrick Gold Corp.’s Bald Mountain Mine is testing this large rubber-tire Caterpillar bulldozer in the Top Pit. Behind the dozer is a Hitachi hydraulic shovel loading a 240-ton Komatsu haul truck with waste rock.

Bald Mtn. ... Continued from page 17 smaller pits on site also will be mined again, he said. “Top Pit will be the anchor,” McClure said. The mine has produced as much as 280,000 ounces of gold in a year, in 2006, but historically the mine has produced between 50,000 and 100,000 a year since the early 1980s. “When we start in 2012, we will be going to the 200,000 to 300,000ounce range,” McClure said, reporting Barrick expects to mine 250,000 tons of material a day beginning in 2012. “To some degree, this can be viewed as new capitalization and a new project. It’s almost like a new project,” McClure said. He said Bald Mountain has always been considered a small mine, but with the current gold reserves, the mine reaches the large category. “The ultimate pit design could be almost as big as Goldstrike,” McClure said, referring to Barrick’s huge open pit operation north of Carlin. Gold production won’t be as high as Goldstrike’s open pit, however, because Bald Mountain’s ore isn’t as high grade. “It’s truly a low-grade mine. Certainly, the high gold price is beneficial to us for reserves and life of mine,” McClure said. All of the Bald Mountain ore will continue to be run-of-mine going

directly to the leach pads, he said. “All of our reserves are oxide.” Still hiring Bald Mountain now has 280 workers, and “that’s up 100 people from this time last year,” according to Andy Thompson, administration and human resources superintendent for the mine. “Our target is to get 360 this year.” He said the hiring process is “all about finding individuals with a good work history and who can fit with the mine’s requirements.” McClure said the workers also have to be willing to be at a remote location and commute a long way. The mine is 70 miles south of Elko and 95 miles northwest of Ely. “We’ve been incredibly fortunate to maintain a pipeline of people interested in coming to Barrick,” Thompson said, and he also reported the turnover rate has been low the past couple of years at 10 percent. He said roughly 65 percent of the employees are coming from Elko and Spring Creek and the rest travel from Ely and Eureka. Lou Schack, director of communications and community affairs for Barrick Gold of North America, said workers going to the new Cortez Hills operations in Lander County now have to travel a


See BALD MTN., 20

Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly

Carl Griswold, left, and Ryan Guthrie, both with P&H MinePro out of Elko, work on the bucket of a giant shovel in February during maintenance at the Bald Mountain Mine in White Pine County.


Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly

Two of Bald Mountain Mine’s new Atlas Copco Pit Viper blast-hole drill rigs with 90-foot masts are drilling holes in the Top Pit in February. The holes will be filled with explosives.

Bald Mtn. ... Continued from page 18 longer distance from Elko than those going to Bald Mountain. The distance from Elko to Cortez Hills is about 85 miles. Barron said there are 260 or so contractors on site for the last phase of construction, including roughly 200 TIC workers and 50 High Mark

Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly

See BALD MTN., 21

Brad Niman of Spring Creek unloads samples from a centrifuge in the assay laboratory at Barrick Gold Corp.’s Bald Mountain Mine in White Pine County. The assay lab gained new space in the mine expansion project.


Bald Mtn ... Continued from page 20 Construction workers, and he said subcontractors from the area have done much of the work. Barron said in early February the shop extension, a 2,800-square-foot assay laboratory extension and the new process plant should be complete by mid-March. Leaching pads The new leach pad at Mooney Basin would be ready within a week or so, he said on Feb. 9. Bald Mountain completed the West Wing leach pad extension last year with a capacity of 1 million square feet, and the newest leach pad is 7 million square feet. The truck shop extension adds new bays for the new 240-ton Komatsu haul trucks that also are part of the expansion project. The extension includes a wash bay that Barron said will be “much better environmentally,” because the water can be collected and recycled, rather than seeping into the ground with the outdoor wash.

An additional warehouse building also was under way at the mine site. “We’ve just expanded the warehouse capacity,” said McClure. The new carbon plant under construction in the Mooney Basin will be the second one at that area of the mining property, and there also is a carbon plant near the administration and shop area. The addition of two P&H electric shovels last year also meant a new electrical substation and new power lines, and the new carbon plant needed new electrical service, as well, according to Paul Smith, electrical manager for Barrick. The steel buildings come from Hansen and Rice out of Utah, including the carbon plant. Bald Mountain added more offices and training rooms as well, Barron said. Although the expansion will be done before spring, there are still more 240ton trucks that will be arriving during the year to bring the total new trucks to 20. “By the end of next week, we will

Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly

High Mark Construction lays the heavy liner in February for the pregnant and barren ponds at the new Mooney Basin South gold processing plant at Barrick Gold Corp.’s Bald Mountain Mine in White Pine County. have 12 commissioned, and in April through July we will commission the last eight trucks,” McClure said on Feb. 19, adding that Bald Mountain also has commissioned three new blast-hole drills and two new bulldozers. The older trucks will run their life cycle, and these include a couple of older 240-ton Komatsu trucks and seven 190ton and 150-ton Caterpillar trucks.

Barron said there were a few snags in the construction project, but he thought the project went smoothly. While the mine is in full production, reclamation will be concurrent, and there will be some backfilling in some phases of Top Pit, according to McClure. Bald Mountain also doesn’t require any dewatering.


Arturo going through permit process ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — Barrick Gold of North America continues to plan the Arturo Project that would expand the Dee Pit northwest of Elko while awaiting the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s approval. “We’re working through the process,” said George Fennemore, Barrick’s Nevada permitting specialist. “We don’t really have a schedule, but we want to get the project going as soon as possible.” The company expected the preliminary draft environmental impact statement for Arturo to be ready sometime in February, but the timeline for public release of the draft EIS will depend upon the time it takes for the preliminary review. “We anticipate the draft EIS being available this summer,” Lesli Coakley, public affairs officer for the Elko BLM District, said in mid-February. The timeline for release of the final EIS and a decision will depend upon the number of public comments, Fennemore said. “We just have to have the EIS process do its See ARTURO, 23


Steve Brower, left, Arturo Project manager, and George Fennemore, Nevada permitting specialist for Barrick Gold of North America, hold up a map of the proposed Arturo open pit mine. The project will expand the Dee Pit, in the background. Adella Harding Mining Quarterly

Arturo ... Continued from page 22 thing,” he said. Arturo is a joint venture with Goldcorp Inc., with Barrick as the operator and 60 percent owner, and Goldcorp as the 40 percent owner of the project that involves not only expanding the pit but going deeper in the pit. “The pit will be sort of a Mickey Mouse shape,” Fennemore said, explaining that the expansion areas will look sort of like mouse ears on each side of the pit. The project is all in Elko County. Arturo mine life Barrick and Goldcorp are planning Arturo for an 11-year mine life, and early estimates are that there would be 350 employees, but Brower said Barrick doesn’t know yet how many of the workers might come from the existing workforce at Barrick. Barrick expects to produce 2 million ounces of gold from Arturo, although exploration could expand production. Plans call for a new leach pad and

Steve Brower, manager of the Arturo Project, stands on the edge of the Dee open pit that Barrick Gold Corp. and joint venture partner Goldcorp Inc. plan to expand. The main portal to Barrick’s Storm underground mine is below. Adella Harding Mining Quarterly

See ARTURO, 24


Arturo ...

A Duckwater Shoshone Trucking truck comes out of the Dee Pit with a load of ore from Barrick Gold Corp.’s Storm underground mine. The ore is going to Barrick’s Goldstrike Mine roughly seven miles away for processing.

Continued from page 23 waste rock dumps, as well as new roads, an office complex, a carbon process plant and a shop. The oxide ores that can be leached will stay on site, while the ore from the deeper mining will be trucked to Barrick’s nearby Goldstrike Mine for processing. Fennemore said Arturo will be largely on an existing mine site, and there won’t be any dewatering needed, which reduces the amount of environmental impact from the project. “Certainly, there will be some environmental aspects. There will be a pit lake formed there, and we have to see how it basically plays into the water resources of the area,” he said. Barrick also changed the plan for a portion of the larger of two waste dumps so the project doesn’t disrupt a mule deer migration area, Fennemore said. The changes were made after comments from the Nevada Department of Wildlife. Barrick also plans to move the old Dee leach pads that has been reclaimed onto the new leach facility for better environmental control, he said. “The waste dump on the east will stay the same, but they had small heap leach pads in the 1980s and 1990s, and we will put the old leach pads on the new. We need to maintain the environment of those facilities. It is easiest to pick them up and put them on the new facilities a bit south of the old leach pad,” Fennemore said. There will be some gold recovery from the old leach material, although it may not cover the cost of the move. “It’s not a money matter, but at least the pads are small,” he said. “Dee did a real nice job with reclamation the first time around.”

Adella Harding Mining Quarterly

Storm underground mine Meanwhile, Barrick’s Storm underground mine at the Dee Pit is still in operation, with J.S. Redpath as the contract miner, and Storm will continue producing gold at least until the pit expansion reaches the portals. “We haven’t turned our back on Storm at all. We’ve still budgeted for Storm exploration,” Brower said. Storm has been in production since 2007. Barrick also continues exploration drilling at Arturo, with one Hard Rock Exploration Inc. rig on site on Feb. 1 “We’re getting an early start this year,” Brower said. The high gold prices make Arturo more attractive to Barrick and Goldcorp, but Brower said they were working on Arturo

before the gold prices rose to more than $1,000 an ounce and are now at more than $1,300 an ounce. Arturo may be the newest mine Barrick will operate in Nevada, but the company plans a large open pit operation at Turquoise Ridge Mine down the line. Turquoise Ridge Barrick President and Chief Executive Officer Aaron Regent cited the proposed project at Turquoise Ridge in Humboldt County as an example of Barrick’s future potential, stating that the underground mine could go from a small mine to a large open pit operation. “We continue to further define this opportunity to mine a lower-grade ore body,” he said, reporting that a prefeasibility study will be done in 2012 on the

project. “Turquoise Ridge has the potential to become a world-class asset.” Turquoise Ridge produced 36,000 ounces of gold for Barrick’s 75 percent ownership in the fourth quarter of last year, down from 42,000 ounces in the 2009 quarter. Newmont Mining Corp. owns the remaining 25 percent of Turquoise Ridge. The Goldstrike Mine produced 288,000 ounces in the fourth quarter at a cash cost of $490 an ounce, mainly due to better-than-expected ore grades from the open pit, according to Regent in the earnings teleconference. Goldstrike’s production totaled 230,000 ounces in the 2009 quarter, produced at a total cash cost of $528 per ounce. See ARTURO, 26

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Arturo ... Continued from page 24 Storm’s production is included in the Goldstrike figures. Cortez Mine The Cortez Mine in Lander County and its new Cortez Hills operations were another high producer for Barrick, with 205,000 ounces of gold produced in the fourth quarter, at a cash cost of $329 per ounce. Cortez’s total production for 2010 was 1.14 million ounces. Regent said the mine “exceeded original guidance on higher-than-anticipated grades.” He also said in the mid-February teleconference the company anticipated the BLM will release its record of decision on a supplemental environmental impact statement on Cortez Hills at any time. The BLM prepared the study after a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, and Barrick has been operating under a tailored injunction while awaiting the BLM’s record of decision. The injunction halted the transport of refractory ore to the Goldstrike Mine north of Carlin for processing and limited

mine dewatering. Schirete Zick, public affairs officer for the Battle Mountain BLM District, said the review period for the final supplemental EIS ended on Feb. 14, “after which the BLM may proceed with the record of decision.” Barrick estimated that the Cortez Mine will produce between 1.3 million and 1.45 million ounces of gold this year from Cortez Hills and the Pipeline Complex that make up the Cortez Mine. Barrick also reported gold production in Nevada included 43,000 ounces from its 50 percent share of the Round Mountain Mine in Nye County, produced at total cash cost of $741 per ounce, up from $585 last year. Kinross Gold Corp. owns the other 50 percent of Round Mountain, which is in the midst of an expansion. The Marigold Mine near Valmy produced 13,000 ounces for Barrick’s onethird share at a total cash cost of $802 per ounce, down from 16,000 ounces at a total cash cost of $505 per ounce last year. Goldcorp owns the remaining twothirds of Marigold and operates the mine. The Bald Mountain Mine in White Pine


Adella Harding/Mining Quarterly

Brad Bowman, a supervisor with J.S. Redpath, the contract miner for Barrick Gold Corp.’s Storm Mine, heads underground in a water truck. The portal is in the Dee Pit that Barrick will expand with the Arturo Project. County produced 20,000 ounces at a total cash cost of $634 per ounce, compared with 17,000 ounces at a total cash cost of $765 per ounce last year, according to the earnings report.

The Ruby Hill Mine produced 33,000 ounces of gold at a total cash cost of $535 per ounce, compared with 4,000 ounces at a total cash cost of $243 an ounce in the 2009 quarter.

Robinson’s Ruth Pit busy place ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor RUTH — The Ruth Pit at Quadra FNX Mining’s Robinson Mine in White Pine County is a beehive of activity, with extra trucks hauling mud out of the bottom of the pit while the larger haul trucks and shovels are doing their thing. Robinson is mining only at Ruth now that mining has ended at the Veteran Pit and producing copper, gold and molybdenum from the ore. “We will probably ship 260,000 tons of concentrate this year. The majority is going to the Japanese and Chinese,” said Robinson Process Manager Tom Bender. Quadra FNX reported Robinson produced 109 million pounds of copper in 2010, including 27 million pounds in the fourth quarter, down from 122.5 million pounds in 2009. The mine also produced 73,000 ounces of gold in 2010, including 16,000 ounces in the fourth quarter, according to Quadra FNX’s production report. Robinson produced 98,970 ounces of gold in 2009. The company estimates Robinson’s copper production this year at between 105 million pounds to 120 million pounds, while gold production will slip to between 45,000 and 50,000 ounces this year. Mining ended at Veteran in the fourth quarter of 2010. Costs are expected to be higher this year at Robinson due to high costs for mud removal in the Ruth Pit, according to Vancouver-based Quadra FNX. Bender said Robinson contracted with N.A. Degerstrom to mine out about 6 million tons of old Alta Gold tails and soils that washed off into the pit so “we can get to the ore underneath.” Alta Gold was mining gold in the Ruth area in the late 1980s. N.A. Degerstrom President Chris Myers said the company “plans to wrap up around the end of June,” after starting the work in mid-November. “It’s a pretty big job,” he said. “At any given time, we run 35 to 40 trucks, depending on the haul.” Myers said the company has roughly 200 people working seven days a week at Robinson. “So far, it’s been a very challenging

ABOVE: A Bucyrus electric shovel loads a 240-ton Caterpillar haul truck in the Ruth Pit at Quadra FNX Mining’s Robinson copper mine near the historic town of Ruth and southwest of the town of Ely in White Pine County. LEFT: Lance Hutchinson of Ruth in midFebruary operates the crusher at Quadra FNX Mining’s Robinson copper mine in White Pine County. At left is Rick Hendrix, the mine’s electrical instrumentation superintendent. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly



Robinson ... Continued from page 27 project, and we’re doing pretty well. We’re pretty much on schedule and doing what we said we would do,” he said. As for the busy traffic in the Ruth Pit with the N.A. Degerstrom trucks hauling the mud, Myers said “it’s quite an orchestrated event” for them to work through the regular haul-truck traffic at the pit. N.A. Degerstrom is based in Spokane, Wash., but has a field office in Elko, an equipment yard in Winnemucca and ground in Fallon. Bender said the Ruth Pit, where there has been mining off and on for more than a century, currently has a sevenyear copper reserve, and there is “twice the amount of moly as at Veteran Pit.” “The price of moly is good. We’ve budgeted 400,000 pounds, but there is a good chance there will be 500,000 even 600,000 pounds,” he said in midFebruary. The mill produces molybdenum See ROBINSON, 29


Mill operator Shawn Cato of Ely takes a sample from a super bag he just filled with molybdenum at the Robinson Mine in White Pine County. The sample will go the assay laboratory. The bags contain roughly 3,000 pounds of molybdenum. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly

Robinson ... Continued from page 28 roughly 20 days out of every 30 days, Bender said, using a special flotation circuit that floats the molybdenum to the top and lets the copper concentrate proceed through the process. High copper, gold and molybdenum prices help with the higher costs at Robinson. Quadra FNX reported the price of copper ended the fourth quarter of last year at $4.40 per pound, after starting the year at $3.34 pound, and the futures price on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange was $4.49 a pound for May delivery. Gold prices have been in the $1,300 to $1,400 range in recent months, and molybdenum is in the range of $17 a pound. Arlo G. Lott Trucking Co. hauls the copper concentrate that also contains gold from Robinson to Quadra’s railloading facility at Wendover, Utah, and the concentrate is then loaded onto rail cars for the trip to the port in Washington. “Each truck hauls four round trips in a

24-hour period,” Bender said. Most of the copper concentrate goes to China or Japan. The molybdenum, however, is loaded into super sacks that weigh an average of 3,000 pounds, and the sacks are loaded onto trucks. “Most of it goes to a mine to be roasted,” Bender said. Freeport McMoRan’s Sierrita Mine south of Tucson, Ariz., roasts the molybdenum into a powder and sold to steelmakers as an alloy metal, he said. Before the copper and molybdenum concentrates are ready for the trucks, however, the ore has to be mined and then goes through a primary crusher and is then stockpiled, to be moved to the mill via a conveyor belt. “Everything goes through the crusher before it goes to the mill,” said Rick Hendrix, electrical instrumentation superintendent at Robinson. Robinson also dewaters roughly 8,500 gallons per minute so the pit is dry enough to mine, but the permit is for up to 18,000 gpm. Along with the mud problem, Rob-

Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly

Assay laboratory technician Lora Romero operates an atomic absorption machine in the lab at the Robinson Mine’s mill and processing facilities. She said she was checking ore for molybdenum content. inson crews also encountered old mine workings at Ruth, and Hendrix said his 87-year-old father John worked in the Ruth Pit years ago and helped with underground work in the pit. Rick Hendrix has worked at Robinson

off and on since 1974 and has been back to stay since 1997, working on the care and maintenance crew after BHP shut Robinson down until Quadra acquired See ROBINSON, 30


Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly

A P&H electric shovel drops a load of material into a 240-ton Caterpillar haul truck in the Ruth Pit in mid-February at Quadra FNX Mining’s Robinson copper mine near the historic town of Ruth in White Pine County.

Robinson ... Continued from page 29 the mine. Quadra started the mill back up in September 2004. Robinson’s most recent project at the mill was construction of an addition for a new XCELL flotation circuit that went into operation in December 2009 to catch the copper that had been going to waste.


“We’re recovering 10 million pounds of copper per year,” Bender said, adding that the cost of operating the circuit is minimal, maybe 1 percent of what is recovered. Robinson has 18 Caterpillar 240-ton haul trucks and four 150-ton trucks in its See ROBINSON, 31

Robinson ... Continued from page 30 Tom Bender, process manager at Quadra FNX Mining’s Robinson Mine near Ely, looks out over the copper flotation facilities at the mill. Robinson produces a copper concentrate and floats off molybdenum for separate sales. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly

mining fleet. The mine currently has 537 employees, but the budget allows for 575 workers, according to Bender, and the company is hiring. Robinson is on the outskirts of the old mining town of Ruth and a few miles from the town of Ely, but the mine is several hours from Las Vegas, Elko or St. George, Utah, which affects worker recruitment, Bender said. Companywide, Quadra FNX reported in January that the company produced 224 million pounds of copper in 2010, including 57 million pounds of copper in the fourth quarter. Quadra FNX had forecast copper production of 265 million pounds for 2010, however. The company also reported production for the year included 7 million pounds of nickel and 148,000 ounces of precious metals, including 2 million pounds of nickel and 38,000 ounces of precious metals in the quarter, including See ROBINSON, 32


Robinson ... Continued from page 31 platinum and palladium for the operations in Canada. Quadra FNX also stated the company expects to produce roughly 240 million pounds of copper, 115,000 ounces of precious metals and 7 million pounds of nickel in 2011. Along with Robinson, the company operates the Carlota Mine in Arizona that produced 29 million pounds of copper cathode in 2011, and the Franke Mine in Chile that produced 41 million pounds of copper in 2011. The company’s Canadian operations at Sudbury produced 49 million pounds of copper, 7 million pounds of nickel and 75,000 ounces of precious metals during 2010. Quadra FNX also reported in February the company was taking over mining operations at Franke. The company stated that Marineer Zona Franca S.A., the local mining contractor at Franke shut down its mining equipment at the site due to financial difficulties, and Quadra FNX would take over the existing mining fleet.


David Steiner of Ely works in midFebruary in the control room in the mill at Quadra FNX Mining’s Robinson copper mine near Ely. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly

Gold Hill

Round Mountain starts developing satellite mine

ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ROUND MOUNTAIN — Round Mountain Gold Corp. has begun developing the Gold Hill satellite mine five miles north of the Round Mountain Mine in Nye County. “The first gold comes out of Gold Hill in the first quarter of 2012, so we’ve got this year for construction,” said Randy Burggraff, vice president and general manager of Round Mountain Gold Corp., 50 percent owned and operated by Kinross Gold Corp. and 50 percent owned by Barrick Gold Corp. Round Mountain is constructing an access road to Gold Hill, a leach pad, process plant and waste dump, as well as starting an open pit. Round Mountain Gold also is preparing for expansion of the Round Mountain open pit to the west that Burggraff said should start in April. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management approved the expansion project in 2010, including deeper mining within the existing pit. Burggraff said in late January the deeper mining “should start any time now.” The pit will be growing westward, but first the way had to be cleared and facilities relocated to make room, and Bruce Thieking, the operations manager at Round Mountain, said the cost is roughly $20 million for the work. The gold gets deeper as the ore body heads west, and the pit is “bounded by geology to the east and economics to the west,” Thieking said, but the high price of gold makes the $20 million for the reloSee ROUND, 34

ABOVE: This area of the open pit at Round Mountain Mine in Nye County will be expanded once all the facilities that were in the way are relocated. LEFT: A haul truck dumps ore into a crusher at Round Mountain Mine in late January while a new conveyor system is under construction in the foreground. The conveyor work is part of the relocation of facilities to make room for expansion of the open pit. Adella Harding Mining Quarterly


Round ... Continued from page 33 cation of facilities worthwhile. “We’re hoping the $1,300-$1,400 gold price holds steady,” Burggraff said. The current mine life for Round Mountain extends to 2016, not counting the time for processing stockpiles and processing ore from residual leaching, but Burggraff said the higher gold prices allow Round Mountain to mine materials not economic at lower prices. Gold production He said Round Mountain had a good year in 2010, producing 358,614 ounces of gold, which was a little higher than the projected 353,100 ounces of gold projected for the year for Kinross and Barrick combined. Round Mountain depends upon the gold price because the cutoff price for gold per ounce changes, and the price needs to be high for Kinross to mine deeper to justify the cost of removing the overburden, Burggraff said. Kinross stated in its earnings report See ROUND, 35


Bruce Thieking, operations manager at the Round Mountain Mine in Nye County, looks out at the future site of the Gold Hill satellite mine about five miles north of the Round Mountain pit. Construction was under way in late January on the access road. Adella Harding Mining Quarterly

Round ... Continued from page 34 that Round Mountain produced 43,521 ounces in the fourth quarter for its share, down from 53,043 ounces in the fourth quarter of 2009. The costs were up at $798 per ounce in the fourth quarter, compared with $487 per ounce in the 2009 quarter. Kinross also reported on Feb. 16 that Round Mountain’s proven and probable reserves for the company’s 50 percent share were at 1.32 million ounces of gold. The relocation work for the expansion opens the way for the pit to go out 300 feet. The primary contractor for the project is Phoenix Industrial, which moved the coarse ore pile and stackers and was constructing the new conveyor system and a new reclaim tunnel. The framework for the conveyor is 60 feet wide. “We’re just getting stuff out of the way for Phase H,” Thieking said as he drove on the site that will become the expanded pit. Round Mountain had a major relocation project back in 2008, too, to make

John Vazquez, left, senior project manager for the engineering firm Interra Logic Inc., and Charles Kinney, project manager for Gold Canyon Construction, look at a map at the intersection of the new Gold Hill access road and the county road that leads to the old Round Mountain town. Adella Harding Mining Quarterly

See ROUND, 36


Round ... Continued from page 34 room for the pit. That time, the mine relocated the primary crusher to make room for Phase G. A temporary conveyor system currently handles moving ore from the primary to the secondary crusher. Access road While the relocation work continues, work to the north involves construction of an access road from the Round Mountain site to Gold Hill, which will be the only way to reach Gold Hill. Workers will come to work at Round Mountain and be bused to Gold Hill, Thieking said. “It’s not a haul road but an access road because all the ore will stay at Gold Hill,” he said, but the road is being built haulroad size because trucks will go from Gold Hill to the truck shop at Round Mountain. The ore mined at Gold Hill will be placed on a leach pad at Gold Hill for processing. Gold Canyon Construction was developing the road in late January and clearing the Gold Hill site for the facilities.

Intermountain Electric out 300 pieces of equipment for of Elko is putting in a new use at all its projects. power line. Vazquez said Round Charles Kinney, the projMountain has a partnership ect manager for Gold Canyon with the Shoshone tribes, for Gold Hill, said the project and the road was designed is being worked out of the so it doesn’t intersect any Elko office, but he is out of culturally significant sites. Arizona. Gold Canyon has an Although the expansion administration office in of the Round Mountain Pit Reno, and offices in Arizona to the west is a major projand Alaska. ect, the BLM approval also Interra Logic Inc. out of included the Fairview and Fort Collins, Colo., is hanKelsey Canyon pits that will dling the engineering work Randy Burggraff be on the edge of the Round for Gold Hill, according to Mountain Pit at the east senior project manager John Vazquez. end, and Burggraff described them as A key point in the road is where it “little pods.” crosses the county road to the old town of Gold Hill isn’t likely to expand beyond Round Mountain. Vazquez said there will the planned pit, however, but there will be sliding gates and railroad-type cross- be more drilling to look for potential, he ing arms at the juncture. said. The county road also has to be supThe environmental impact statement ported to handle haul trucks, Thieking for the expansion also allows for going said. underground, if the company decides to Kinney said Gold Canyon has about 20 try, again. people working on Gold Hill and furnishThe mine did an underground exploes its own equipment. The company has ration project a few years ago, and kept


the potential to re-enter open, although Kinross decided at the time not to mine underground. Employment Round Mountain Gold currently employs 740 people, including those who work for the company medical clinic, child-care center and company store. The number of contractors on site is roughly 120, compared with the normal number of around 50 people, Burggraff said. “The toughest struggle without a doubt is the shortage of technical manpower," Burggraff said. "We're pretty much able to keep the hourly workforce full, but there is tremendous difficulty finding technical workers.” He said the mine struggles to find electricians with special knowledge to work in mines, instrumentation technicians, engineers, metallurgists and geologists. “With the lull in mining 15 years ago, not as many kids went into mining in colSee ROUND, 37

Round ... Continued from page 36 lege, and we're feeling it now. The ones we already had are retiring,” Burggraff said, adding that there is added competition because the mines in Australia are expanding and hiring more of the same needed technical people. Round Mountain Gold also continues with its safety efforts. Burggraff said the expanded inspections the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration started last year have been happening at Round Mountain, as well as at mines throughout the country. “We’ve learned a lot of things and improved safety. It’s not hindering our ability to get the job done, but they are definitely more visible,” he said of the MSHA inspectors. Thieking said the mine recently added two new 250-ton Caterpillar haul trucks to bring the total number of the 250-ton trucks to 17. The mining fleet totals 39 trucks, including older, smaller trucks. Round Mountain Gold also recently remodeled and expanded the outpatient medical clinic on site that provides care for employees and their families, according to the Valley View newsletter the company publishes.

Construction is under way in January on a new reclaim area that is part of the crushing system for ore mined from the Round Mountain open pit in Nye County. Operator Kinross Gold Corp. is relocating facilities to make room for pit expansion. Adella Harding Mining Quarterly


National Summit of Mining Communities in April Organizers hope for 150-200 attendees at Elko event DANIELLE SWITALSKI Mining Quarterly ELKO — Members from many facets in Elko County have come together to bring the fifth annual National Summit of Mining Communities to the Elko Convention Center April 4-7. The summit was originally planned for last fall, however, the date was changed to April in order to bring enough people to the summit to match the sponsorship investment, said Don Newman, executive director of the Elko Convention and Visitors Authority. “We took a look at where we were with all of our registrations, and we found we had 20 sponsors and good support, but for the money invested by our sponsors we didn’t feel we had the attendance to justify it,” Newman said. “We pushed it back to April and felt it would be better represented, and they would get more value for their dollar,” he

said. He said organizers are hoping for 150-200 attendees at this year’s summit entitled “A Focus on the Modern Mining Era.” There is also additional sponsorship this time around. Large sponsors include Great Basin College, Fronteer Gold, Barrick Gold Corp., Newmont Mining Corp., General Moly, AT&T, GeoTemps, Gold Dust West, Modern Concrete Inc., Elko County and the Elko Convention Center. A big push for the mining summit is the website, which Newman said is now developed locally and can be updated with immediate changes. “That’s helping a lot, so the information is current and up to date and as we get sponsors, the information is right there,” Newman said. Economic diversification The conference is focusing on mining or resource-based communities, with


discussion centering around economic diversification and sustainability. The speakers, workshops, panels, presentations and tours will highlight community projects aimed toward building a sustainable future for communities, particularly those that are resourcebased. “We have unique characteristics from other folks and the focus is on the modern era with the mines that work with us proactively so we can sustain ourselves when they have a downturn and go away,” said Pam Borda, executive director of Elko County Economic Diversification Authority and a member of the summit planning committee. Headline presenters will be David Beurle and Juliet Fox of Innovative Leadership Australia/USA. Beurle and Fox will lead participants through a series of workshop sessions See SUMMIT, 39

Summit ... Continued from page 38 and activities to prompt thought and discussion for how today’s resource-based communities can be proactive in building a sustainable future for themselves. Borda said one track throughout the summit is on building economic resilience and diversity with a focus on tools for success. The other track is creating community adaptability and responsiveness with a focus on the environment. Beurle will also lead participants in a “futures game,” which Borda said is scenario planning and allows participants to go through different scenarios and play out what will happen in the future based on the decisions that were made. Case studies Different case studies from areas such as Winnemucca and Round Mountain will also be presented during the summit. These will focus on the success of innovative projects undertaken to sustain a community. “One case study is Winnemucca that has gone through a futures project, and they will share the outcome of that proj-

ect,” Borda said. The summit was started five years ago in Leadville, Colo., and was created in recognition of the diverse environmental and economic effects that mining communities experience as a result of the boom and bust cycles of mining. Newman said they are taking a little different approach to the summit this year by focusing more on the modern era of resource-based communities. Borda said it will take a more positive focus on the ways mining companies can work with communities to ensure sustainability.

Borda said the event’s focus is particularly fitting for Elko because the two largest gold producers in the world, Barrick and Newmont, are good corporate citizens and big supporters of economic development, which will help Elko survive in relation to fluctuations within the industry. “The past four events were in communities that were abandoned by the mining industry and left with a mess to clean up,” Newman said. “We wanted to focus on the modern mining era and showcase the steps and procedures put in place to prevent that from happening.” He said the focus is on what communities do to sustain themselves in relation to the demands put on a community such as work force and high housing costs. “What happens when companies scale back and there’s an impact on the community, or workers coming to a community, does it impact the schools, who pays for the roads with the wear and tear?” Newman said in relation to issues that can occur in resource-based communities. “This (summit) will address a lot of those things.”

Community leaders Borda said the summit is not geared toward mining companies, but the leaders of communities where mining is a part of the economy or was part of the economy. Suggested attendees for the conference include: Executives and board members of chambers of commerce, convention and visitors authorities and economic development agencies, public relations, community relations and corporate social responsibility professionals, mining association representatives, government officials, educators, business owners, managers and concerned citizens of resourcebased communities. “The information that is here is for all of us who have a role for the good of the community,” Borda said. For more information regarding the 2011 National Summit of Mining Communities contact Mardell Wilkins at mardellw or call 775-753-2265. Registrations and information are also available at or by e-mailing info@national


General Moly awaits decisions from state ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — General Moly is awaiting a decision from the State Engineer’s Office over its request to change the use of agricultural water rights to mining and milling use for the company’s planned Mt. Hope molybdenum mine. “We’re expecting a ruling from the state engineer anytime,” said Pat Rogers, director of environmental matters and permitting for General Moly. “We’re anticipating getting a favorable ruling.” The company also continues to await U.S. Bureau of Land Management approval for the planned mine in Eureka County, and the BLM’s decision is now expected late this year or early 2012. State Engineer Jason King’s ruling to change the beneficial use of the water rights General Moly holds on a ranch it owns in Kobeh Valley from an agricultural use to a mining use follows a district court decision to remand the water rights issue to King. The State Engineer’s Office had already granted the permits, but Eureka County

and Diamond Valley growers took that decision to court. Rogers said post-hearing briefs from both sides were due in mid-February, and the ruling would follow. The State Engineer’s Office heard testimony in December from the company’s representatives and from Eureka County and Diamond Valley growers concerned whether the change in use would impact Diamond Valley. Eureka County’s refusal to drop its protests already reduced the amount Diamond Valley alfalfa growers will receive through the trust the company set up last year with stipulations that more money would come to the growers cooperative if they convinced the county to drop its protest. The trust that will be governed by a board also had stipulations for the project approval timeline, so the amount is now at $4 million from a potential of $8 million. The trust is a good program to help growers address the water drawdown in Diamond Valley that already exists, Rogers said. The BLM approval for Mt. Hope won’t


come until a draft environmental impact statement is published, public comment gathered, a final EIS released and then a record of decision. “The DEIS is being drafted and is expected to go out for a 45-day public review period late spring, early summer 2011 with a notice of availability being published in the Federal Register,” said Schirete Zick, public affairs officer for the Battle Mountain BLM District. “We’re anticipating a record of decision six to nine months after publication of the draft,” Rogers said in February. “We’re doing everything we can to make it a quick process, but it’s got to be thorough, and it’s got to be defensible. We want them to do a thorough job.” General Moly has revised projections for the project approval several times. Two years ago, the company optimistically predicted Mt. Hope would be in molybdenum production by the end of this year. “There’s absolutely no question this will be a go. It’s a question of when. We’ve got all the pieces in place, a good management team, good moly prices and

financing,” Rogers said. Molybdenum prices have been up and down since plans began for the project, but the price currently is in the range of $17 per month. Denver-based General Moly is planning a 44-year mine and creation of roughly 400 jobs once the mine is developed 21 miles north of the town of Eureka. The property contains 1.3 billion pounds of proven and probable molybdenum reserves, and Rogers said the mine and processing won’t create mercury emissions, and no cyanide will be used. There also are no sacred Native American sites on the property and no endangered species. “We’ve been working with the Duckwater Tribe,” he said. General Moly also is looking at holding a town meeting in Eureka in March, according to Zach Spencer, manager of external communications for the company. General Moly owns 80 percent of Mt. Hope through a joint venture with POSCO, the world’s fourth largest steel company.



Keeping tabs on Nevada’s mining industry ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — Great Basin Resource Watch keeps a close eye on Nevada’s mining industry to encourage companies and regulators to catch potential problems before a mine goes into production, but the organization isn’t opposed to all mining, according to Executive Director John Hadder. “We want them to focus on the bigger picture. We hope at this point in time they have taken care of things at the onset, and eventually it becomes automatic,” he said. Reno-based Great Basin Resource Watch advocates improved practices and less environmental impact for “a better quality of life, which is coupled with basic economics and part of that is that mines provide jobs,” Hadder said. He said pursuing better quality of life also includes looking to the future of communities and protecting traditional ways, whether for the Western Shoshone tribes or ranchers or miners. “We’re not out to oppose all mines. Cortez Hills is the only one we outwardly opposed,” he said, referring to


Barrick Gold Corp.’s operation in Lander County that was in and out of the courts. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued a final supplemental environmental impact statement on Cortez Hills in January, and Hadder said later in January that Great Basin Resource Watch was continuing to look at the EIS and deciding what to do next. Schirete Zick, public affairs officer for the Battle Mountain BLM District, stated in February that the review period on the supplemental EIS ended Feb. 14, and the record of decision would follow. The BLM completed the study after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals remanded three issues in the full EIS John Hadder back to the U.S. District Court in Reno because the appeals court wanted more analysis. The issues included air quality concerns about trucking refractory ore to Barrick’s Goldstrike Mine north of Carlin, mine dewatering and air particulate matter. Great Basin Resource Watch, the Western Shoshone

Defense Project and the Te-Moak and Timisha tribes filed appeals over Cortez Hills that led to the supplemental EIS and a tailored injunction that Cortez followed while BLM studied the three areas of concern. Cortez agreed not to increase dewatering and not ship refractory ore from Cortez Hills to the Goldstrike under the injunction. Great Basin Resource Watch fought Cortez Hills, but the organization looks at a lot of mining proposals and permits that it doesn’t appeal, Hadder said. “If we think there will be long-term environmental impacts we look at that and pursue it more aggressively,” he said in an interview while in Elko. The organization determines whether its efforts have succeeded by “looking for improvements on the ground,” and he said that while filing appeals may not lead to changes in an approved mine See RESOURCE WATCH, 43

Resource Watch ... Continued from page 42 plan, it may lead to dialogue with a mining company. “We’d rather resolve issues outside of court, if we can. A lot of permits come through that we review and don’t file. But sometimes the appeal process shines a light on a particular issue. If we can create more dialogue with the industry, that’s good,” Hadder said. “Round Mountain did that.” He said Round Mountain Mine in Nye County talked with Great Basin Resource Watch while planning the current expansion project now under way. Great Basin Resource Watch still filed an appeal with the Interior Board of Land Appeals over the project, however. The organization filed the appeal over Round Mountain with the Western Shoshone Defense Project, and the two are often on the same lawsuits. Round Mountain operator Kinross Gold Corp. is expanding the main open pit at the gold mine and starting the Gold Hill satellite mine about five miles south.

Hadder said his concerns are over potential problems with pit lakes after mining at Gold Hill. He said there could be flow-through of water that could contaminate ground water, but Kinross and the BLM disputed Great Basin Resource Watch’s concerns. “They made some modifications to the final EIS, but we’re still not convinced,” Hadder said. The organization also had concerns about Newmont Mining Corp.’s Emigrant Project for south of Carlin. The BLM recently issued a final EIS on the project after redoing a draft EIS for the project, which will be an open pit mine. Hadder said Great Basin Resource Watch also has concerns about Coeur d’Alene Mines Ltd.’s Rochester Mine near Lovelock that the company has received permits to resume mining silver and gold. He said one issue is “some leaking of tailings,” and another is that the mine hasn’t completed an EIS “on all that is going on out there.” Great Basin Resource Watch got its start in 1994 at a time where there were

concerns about Cortez Mine’s proposal for the Pipeline operations and the dewatering needed for mining. Pipeline and Cortez Hills are both part of the Cortez Mine these days, but Pipeline was the first major project for a mine that had been a small operation for many years before Pipeline. The nonprofit organization is funded through private donations and private foundations and has three paid staff, Hadder, and part-timers. Great Basin Resource Watch also contracts with hydrologist Tom Myers and has access to experts when needed, according to Hadder. The organization also uses the Western Mining Action for legal work, and Hadder said that nonprofit group has outside funding so Great Basin Resource Watch can afford to hire the lawyers. Hadder said Great Basin Resource Watch formally changed the name from Great Basin Mine Watch at the beginning of 2008 after determining there were other industries that bore watching and because of interest in pushing for alter-

nate energy in Nevada. He said Great Basin Resource Watch supports solar, wind and geothermal energy production, and he said this could be an “economic engine” for the state. The organization also got involved with El Paso Corp.’s Ruby Pipeline Project and is part of an appeal filed with the 9th Circuit over BLM’s approval of rights of way for the natural gas pipeline. Hadder said he enjoys his job. “I like doing it. I have the opportunity to travel, to get out to the Great Basin and meet people and see the land,” he said of his current job. “I enjoy a sense of that some of what we’re doing will have longterm positive affect on the way people live and the environment.” A chemist, Hadder started with Great Basin Resource Watch in 2006. He said he earlier worked for Citizen Alert for 10 years so he was acquainted with mining issues before coming to work for Great Basin Resource Watch. When working for Citizen Alert, he was involved in the Yucca Mountain battle.


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SMD keeps busy under new owners ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor


ELKO — Small Mine Development is as busy as it has ever been, and founder Ron Guill said that made it a perfect time for him to turn the company over to new owners. “I’m just changing jobs, really. I’ve got interests in other investments, and it was a great time with what we’ve got lined up for work,” he said. Guill sold to a group of senior managers in an internal buyout, and operations continue as they have been, said Cheryl Gmirkin, SMD’s business manager at the Boise, Idaho, office. “It’s an exciting time. We’ve got big shoes to fill,” she said. The company has 10 projects under way, ranging from underground development work at Newmont Mining Ron Guill Corp.’s Leeville Mine north of Carlin to contract mining at the Smith underground mine at Yukon-Nevada Gold Corp.’s Jerritt Canyon Mine north of Elko. Gmirkin said SMD now has nearly 350 employees. The company’s employment numbers have varied over the years, but one of the rougher years was 2009, when the number of workers was down to 237. Although Guill is officially retired from SMD, he was up on all the company’s projects under way or about to start in February. “Leeville is still the biggest with over 100 people,” Guill said, and he said SMD started a new project for Newmont at Full House, also out of Leeville. Full House is a separate project, he said. SMD also has started the Pete/Bajo underground projects out of Newmont’s Pete Pit, also north of Carlin, Guill said. There are two portals. “Pete/Bajo will be ready to mine in the not too distant future,” he said. These new portals also will serve as another access to Leeville when the Carlin East portal is mined out during surface mining. SMD also is doing development work

at the underground Exodus Mine and is “trying to get the high-grade ore out of the old Deep Star,” Guill said. Deep Star’s portal is in the Genesis Pit and was linked to Newmont’s Deep Post Mine that is now closed. Guill said SMD had to redo all the ventilation and other work to get ready to contract mine at Deep Star. The company also is doing development work at Newmont’s Midas underground mine north of Golconda and has expects to do so for another year, he said. “That’s seven for Newmont right now,” Guill said. SMD also continues the contract mining work at Smith, and planned to start a portal for Klondex Mines Ltd. at Fire Creek near Crescent Valley in early March for exploration and test mining. Another job that Guill expected to be under way by mid-February was at Newmont’s Twin Creeks Mine north of Golconda, where SMD would start a portal for underground exploration of the Vista Vein out of the Vista Pit. He said SMD relocated the crew from the Butte Highlands underground project near Butte, Mont., for the Twin Creeks job. Development of Butte Highlands is just on temporary hold, however. “That’s what I will be doing. I am general manager for the joint venture in Montana,” Guill said. The joint venture is with Timberline Resources, and Guill also sits on Timberline’s board. Guill said he started the transition last June to see how the managers would do without him. “I was at 1,000 feet up and watched the action,” Guill said. He decided the managers would do just fine so he is allowing them to purchase SMD out of future profits, and he is around if they need help. In fact, his new office is in the same building as the SMD office. Guill said there has always been “a See SMD, 46

‘The More You JULIE WOOTTON Mining Quarterly ELKO — The Northwest Mining Association’s new public awareness campaign is designed to help college students understand how the mining industry affects their daily lives. The More You Dig “aims to educate college students about the importance of mining in their daily lives, change public perception and generate positive media for the mining industry,” according to the campaign brochure. Isabelle LaBranch, a freelance writer and spokeswoman for the campaign, said it’s the first time the mining industry has made an effort to reach out to college students. “We want to remind (students) that everything good doesn’t come from Costco and Walmart,” LaBranch said. “There’s a supply chain here.” For instance, the average cell phone contains 17 minerals. LaBranch said there’s a huge green movement on many college campuses, but students may not realize, for example, that they can’t have a hybrid


Isabelle LaBranch, a freelance writer and spokeswoman for The More You Dig campaign, shows a brochure to Tim Matusiak of Procon Mining and Tunneling in British Columbia at a booth during the Northwest Mining Association convention in December in Spokane, Wash. Adella Harding Mining Quarterly

See DIG, 46


Dig ... Continued from page 45 car without minerals. “College students are only getting the point of view of environmentalists,” she said, and the mining industry should be represented too. LaBranch, a 24-year-old public relations and advertising graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, used to work as a nanny for an exploration geologist, who approached her about designing the campaign. Journalism students at UNR frequently work with nonprofit organizations and design campaigns for them and helped with The More You Dig, she said in February. LaBranch planned to visit a number of college campuses in February, including UNR, to raise awareness about the mining industry. Besides connecting with college students in person, The More You Dig campaign actively uses social media, such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. “(The campaign) is also about getting industry professionals out there on social media,” LaBranch said, which is a first for the mining industry. She said she’s pushing mining companies to get on the campaign’s Facebook page and try to create a conversation with students. Another goal is to reach students on the campaign website. “We wanted to be able to relate it to

college students,” LaBranch said. The website includes a “Mining in Your Dorm Room” feature that allows students to see how the minerals industry provides elements that go into everyday dorm room items such as aluminum water bottles and cell phones. The website also includes information about careers in mining, profiles of young people working in the mining industry, and several different blogs. LaBranch said she maintains the blogs and updates them when minerals or other mining-related topics come up in world news. She also has a new blog about mining legislation. The website pays tribute to the campaign’s mascot, “Digger,” a college student studying mining engineering who works at a mine during the summer. Details about several competitions can also be found on the campaign website. Winners will receive scholarships from the Northwest Mining Association. “It’s pro-mining and we’re working to change the public perception of mining,” LaBranch said about the campaign. The campaign has links to large companies that belong to the Northwest Mining Association and a goal is to be “really transparent” throughout the campaign, she said. For more information on The More You Dig Campaign, visit

SMD ... Continued from page 44 small operation” in the Boise office to handle payment of bills and human resources. “My philosophy has always been that the superintendents out in the field are autonomous to their own jobs,” he said. Guill started SMD in Spokane, Wash., in July 1982 and moved it to St. George, Utah, “when we landed a real project in January 1983.” The company moved to Boise in 1994. The shop remained there until the


Battle Mountain shop took over all the work. SMD acquired the large shop there in 2009, and Guill said “it is a wonderful facility. It is amazing the high quality of work done there, and it is where we train our mechanics.” SMD also trains truck drivers. SMD General Manager Keith Jones said in the announcement on Guill’s retirement that “the new owners share in Ron’s vision and are excited to begin the next chapter with this great company.”

Jerritt Canyon wants to keep mill busy ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — One of Yukon-Nevada Gold Corp.’s primary goals is to keep the mill busy at the Jerritt Canyon Mine north of Elko, and the company believes there is demand for the mill’s roasters. “We’re very comfortable treating ore with a low fuel content, low-sulfide ore,” Chief Operating Officer Graham Dickson said. Newmont Mining Corp. has been sending about 50 trucks a day to Jerritt Canyon this winter, and Yukon-Nevada was negotiating in mid-February to continue the arrangement. The trucks carry roughly 2,000 tons a day to Jerritt Canyon from Newmont’s Nevada operations, and Yukon-Nevada purchases the ore to process in its mill. Ore for the mill also comes from stockpiles and from the Smith underground mine at Jerritt Canyon, which Small Mine Development mines for YukonNevada. “We’re happy with them. They mine

about 1,000 tons a day from Smith,” said Yukon-Nevada President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Baldock. Yukon-Nevada plans to do its own mining of the SSX-Steer underground mining complex, however. The Vancouver-based company’s plan to raise money by offering incentives for holders of share warrants to exercise the warrants early would pay for new mining equipment for SSX, according to Baldock. “We’re alerting people we are gearing up, and we’re staffing up for July,” he said. The company also would use money from the early exercise of warrants to winterize the Jerritt Canyon mill. Dickson said the plan is to keep ore from getting wet in the winter months to boost mill efficiency. “We’re also spending money on a new tailings facility that will last 20 years,” Baldock said. In addition, he said the company has budgeted $18 million for exploration this year. Shareholders were slated to vote

March 8 on whether to offer the incentive to raise roughly $59 million. Plans at Jerritt Canyon also could include a return to open pit mining. “We’re re-evaluating everything out there, including the pits that were closed at lower gold prices,” Dickson said. “We’re evaluating historical data and putting in holes.” He also said he feels good about 2011, after a year that had “been an adventure.” One of the problems that caught the attention of shareholders is the company’s report that there are 2,700 ounces of gold unaccounted for in the milling process. The company discovered the trouble in the third quarter of last year. “We expect it to show up in the next accounting,” Dickson said. Yukon-Nevada also worked in 2010 to clear up lawsuits against the company filed when Yukon-Nevada shut down Jerritt Canyon in August 2008 becomes of financial difficulties. The one lawsuit still pending in midFebruary was filed by former employees seeking the second half of their severance

pay and payment on medical bills pending when the mine shut down. Baldock was optimistic the lawsuit would be settled by the end of March. Yukon-Nevada also has been dealing with citations from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, which has stepped up mine inspections and begun announcing monthly results of inspections. MSHA reported that beginning on Jan. 19, agency inspectors conducted an impact inspection at the Jerritt Canyon mill, and they issued 24 citations and seven orders. MSHA stated two of the orders were issued in conjunction with an imminent danger order. One was issued over the operator’s failure to examine each working place at least once per shift for conditions that may adversely affect safety or health. A second order was issued for operating equipment that posed hazards to miners. Yukon-Nevada’s investment relations manager, Nicole Sanches, said on Feb. 17 the company didn’t have any comment on the MSHA citations.


Adam’s Story Mine manager writes children’s books ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — Adam Knight of Elko plans to write his second children’s book when he has time off from his duties as mine manager at a gold operation in Senegal in West Africa. “There is not going to be a lot of distractions there so it should be really easy to set aside an hour a day to work on it,” he said a few days before heading to West Africa for his first days on the new job site. He is staying in a camp at Teranga Gold’s Sabodala Mine while on the job. Knight expects to be back in Elko in April for his five weeks off before returning for another seven-week stint at the gold mine, See ADAM’S STORY, 49


Clementine Knight looks up to her father Adam Knight a few days before he left for West Africa as she holds the book “Clementine Monkey Princess” that he wrote based on her nickname. Adella Harding Mining Quarterly

Adam’s Story ... Continued from page 48 and he might have time to write then, too. Between his time at the camp and time off in Elko, he hopes to finish “Leonard’s Talking Thumb.” “That should be in print this time next year, and probably six months after that we hope to bring out ‘Mike, the Angry Elf.’ That’s a Christmas story,” Knight said. The first book, “Clementine Monkey Princess,” is already published and for sale on and at monkey Knight’s wife Jackie started a publishing company called Monkey Monkey Media to sell her husband’s books. “There have been several hundred sold. She’s actually ordered a second printing of the book,” Knight said. Daughter Clementine The book features his daughter Clementine, nicknamed Monkey Princess when she was younger and climbed a lot. The tale is about the Monkey Princess,

who is kidnapped by monkey commandos, and about her rescue from the Jungle of Flim. Knight said Clementine’s climbing and her nickname inspired him to write the story, but he has always told stories to his children, and there are five of them — Clementine, 9, Sam, 13, Leonard, 11, Mike, 7, and Jack, 5. Knight said he started the first book in 2005 and then didn’t get back to it for a couple of years before publishing it in 2010. His sister, Nora Kay Golay, illustrated the book, and Knight said she will be illustrating the next books, too. “We work really well together, aside from the fact that she’s a good artist,” said Knight. He said it is hard to gauge the reaction of readers, but he asked a book editor he knows to read “Clementine,” and the editor said he got carried away with the story and had to remember to edit. “He did ask me to change a few things,” Knight said. He also said he attended a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

conference in Virginia City, where he learned a lot about writing and publishing. Knight said one thing he learned is that most writers don’t have as much say about the illustrations of the book as he does working with his sister, and he prefers his arrangement. He said his work in mining makes it possible for him to write children’s books and for other miners to pursue their hobbies or music or artwork. “The mining industry allows people to do that, to have those creative outlets. Because of the regular pay, they don’t have to take another job to make ends meet. The side effect of a strong mining industry is it allows regular people to live comfortably,” he said. Mining experience Knight recently resigned as mine manager at Yukon-Nevada Gold Corp.’s Jerritt Canyon Mine north of Elko to take the position in West Africa. He had worked at Jerritt Canyon in the past, and had been working for Premier Chemicals in central Nevada before

returning to Jerritt Canyon. Knight said he started in mining in 1994, and his degree is in mine engineering. He said the job offer for the position in Senegal was good timing, pays well and “will be a good adventure.” Knight said he visited Senegal in November, and he said the former French colony is well-developed and “real nice.” The mine is in a remote location, however, and all the workers stay at the camp when they are on their shifts, he said. The open-pit mine employs 500 workers, and roughly 300 of them are local people who have been trained to “a high level of skill and dependability,” Knight said as he prepared for his first job out of the United States. Many of the mine employees who aren’t local come from Australia. Teranga Gold Corp. is a Torontobased gold company created to acquire the Sabodala gold mine and a large regional exploration land package in Senegal from Mineral Deposits Ltd., which is an Australian company.


TS Power Plant high on clean list ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor DUNPHY — Newmont Mining Corp.’s TS Power Plant strives to operate as cleanly as possible, and figures cited in the Electric Lights & Power magazine show the plant is doing so. The magazine used U.S. Environmental Protection Agency figures from 2009 to rank power plants throughout the country, and the TS plant ranked fourth in the country for the lowest emissions of nitrous oxide and eighth for sulfur dioxide emissions out of 14,000 coal-fired units in the country. The TS plant on Newmont’s TS Ranch is a oneunit plant, but the larger plants were ranked according to each unit even if they are a three-unit plant for equal rankings. “What’s interesting in our case is we are within the top 20 in both categories,” said Dennis Laybourn, the environmental manager for the plant that started producing electricity in June 2008. “We always want to be the best,” said John Seeliger, the regional energy manager for Newmont. He said the fewer unexpected plant shutdowns for repairs, the better the quality of emissions, since starting back up raises emissions. The white plume motorists on Interstate 80 see coming out of the power plant stack is water vapor, not smoke. Seeliger said the TS Power Plant should be cleaner than older coal-fired plants because it was built using the latest technology. Laybourn said during a late January tour that half of the plant is devoted to emission controls. “It’s a constant improvement process,” said Matt Murray, an external relations representative for Newmont. Laybourn said there are continuous adjustments to reduce emissions. Seeliger said as the operators continue to learn more about the plant, they are fine tuning their work and using less lime and ammonia, which improves the plant’s efficiency. The TS Power Plant also is the only power plant with mercury air emission controls. At this point, there aren’t any EPA regulations governing mercury emissions from power plants, but Laybourn predicted “there will probably be mercury regulations for power plants in the next two years.” He said the plant continuously monitors mercury emissions, as well, pointing out that the Wyoming coal the plant burns is low in mercury and low in sulfur. Newmont operator Newmont has been operating the plant since July 1, 2010, after ending its contract with DTE Energy See POWER PLANT, 51


ABOVE: Dennis Laybourn, environmental manager at Newmont Mining Corp.’s TS Power Plant at Dunphy, views the fire in the boiler through a welding shield. The fire gets up to 2,400 degrees to burn coal to produce electricity. LEFT: Coal is sliding onto a stockpile at the TS Power Plant near Dunphy during a trainunloading sequence in late January. The plume at right is water vapor from power production. Adella Harding Mining Quarterly

Adella Harding/Mining Quarterly

Power plant ...

A 130-car coal train moves slowly through the unloading process in late January at Newmont’s TS Power Plant at Dunphy. A power plant crew picks up the train from Union Pacific to unload the coal. Newmont Mining Corp. produces 218 megawatts of electricity per hour at its TS Power Plant, below, on the company’s TS Ranch at Dunphy to save money on power for the company’s gold mines in northeastern Nevada.

Continued from page 50 Services, and Seeliger said the plant ran well before Newmont took over, and the plant is doing well as a Newmont operation. Newmont hired most of the DTE employees and currently has 64 full-time employees to operate the power plant the company built to save money on the electricity its northern Nevada mines use to produce gold. Seeliger said the figures were yet available for how much the plant saved the company in 2010, but the $640 million plant saved Newmont roughly $60 million in 2009. The power plant burns coal from Arch Coal’s Black Thunder Mine, and Newmont just signed another three-year contract with Arch, Seeliger said. Union Pacific Railroad brings 130 cars of coal to the power plant property about every six days. Those rail cars are dropped off for TS Power Plant operators to move through the unloading process. As the cars are pulled through the terminal, a hot shoe signals the car to open up and drop See POWER PLANT, 53



Adella Harding/Mining Quarterly

Adella Harding/Mining Quarterly

Herb Sollinger of Spring Creek is closely watching in late January as a train car moves into place to hit a hot rail that will trigger release of the load of coal at Newmont Mining Corp.’s TS Power Plant.

Dennis Laybourn, environmental manager at Newmont Mining Corp.’s TS Power Plant, adjusts one of the emission controls in the small building at the plant site near Dunphy. With him is Kuda Mutama, the plant’s engineering manager.


Power plant ... Continued from page 51 its load of coal. Each train carries 15,000 tons of coal, and the power plant keeps roughly a month’s supply in a stockpile at the site, wet down and covered with a sealer so it won’t blow in the wind. “We burn about a car an hour,” Laybourn said. “Each car carries about 118 tons of coal,” Seeliger said. Power production The power plant produces 218 megawatts of electricity every hour, and the plant sells 203 of the 218 megawatts to NV Energy. The power goes into the grid at the Falcon substation about two miles from the power plant. The Nevada mines then use 136 of the 203 megawatts, and NV Energy buys the rest of the power, Seeliger said. The coal is fed into the plant on conveyor belts to fill the silos. The coal arrives at three-quarters of an inch chunks, and “we crush it to powder with our pulverizers,” said Seeliger. Air blows the coal dust into the boiler,

Adella Harding/Mining Quarterly

Adella Harding/Mining Quarterly

Brian Raff of Elko operates the control room at Newmont Mining Corp.’s TS Power Plant at Dunphy. The top center screen shows a chart of all emissions data, and a warning sounds if emissions are near the limit.

Jaime Rivera, an electrical instrument technician at Newmont Mining Corp.’s TS Power Plant, in late January checks connections in the watertesting laboratory.

which reaches up to 2,400 degrees. “It burns instantly, like a torch,” said Laybourn. Seeliger said the plant runs water through the boiler tubes to make steam of up to 1,000 degrees to go through the turbine to turn the generator to

produce power. “Once the energy is out of the steam, we cool it back to water,” he said. The water is recycled, and the plant is a zero-discharge facility. Evaporation ponds on site are for any plant drainage. The plant sends a portion of the fly ash

that remains after the production of electricity to the Leeville underground mine for backfill production, and the rest goes to an ash landfill, Seeliger said, although the plant will sell the fly ash to others. Laybourn said there are 5,000 bags to filter out the fly ash.



This chart shows the gold price for the first part of this year.


Looking back at golden follies JOHN DOBRA RENO — The fate of Nevada’s mining industry hangs on gold prices, and 2011 is making a lot of people nervous. The drop in prices in January was the main concern, but the recovery in February has brought some relief. Nonetheless, a little historical perspective is in order. An obvious question is what’s happening? One simple answer is that we saw January profit taking in a new tax year. However, that is probably little more than a technical glitch. World gold investors are not generally concerned with U.S. capital gains taxes. With the usual disclaimer that if I really knew what’s happening, I wouldn’t be writing this, let me offer some observations. First, the gold markets have changed remarkably over the past decade. In the 1990s and before, the major gold buyers and sellers were European central banks, which used gold markets to balance their foreign exchange accounts. With the run up to the introduction of the Euro in 2000, European central banks

started unloading their gold holdings, which were substantial. They managed to push the price down from the $370s to the $270s per ounce. There were press reports that central bankers regarded gold holdings like used office furniture, something to be discarded. Then came the realization that if the European central banks divested their gold, there would be no reason to have a Bundesbank, Bank of France, Luxembourg, etc., and a lot of European central bankers would lose their jobs. They don’t, after all, manage a currency anymore. But, before that realization sunk in, in the mid 1990s the Euro bankers were lining up to sell and the follies began. First in line was British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. He engineered the sale of 400 plus metric tons (about 13 million ounces) at less than $300 per ounce. The notional loss on the sale (sales price versus the current price) is around $14 billion. Oops. The British press is finally, more than a decade later, investigating Mr. Brown’s follies, but that’s like investigating who See DOBRA, 57



Goldcorp boosts reserves

Dobra ... Continued from page 55 forgot to close the barn door when you already know the answer. Between his feats of financial wizardry and the investigation, Mr. Brown was elected British prime minister. Oops, again. But Mr. Brown was not the only gold bear. The European bankers, who traditionally had used their holdings and market operations to stabilize the price, all sold (except, for the most part, the Swiss, Germans and French), and they got burned. And so did Nevada’s mining industry. The moral to that part of the story should probably be to keep the bankers away from the gold, but around 2002 the world of gold turned. Once the stampede to sell started to ease, a new dynamic took over the market. Miners who had sold forward in the declining market of the nineties to protect themselves from the bankers, started to unwind their hedgebooks. This required them to buy gold, boosting demand, to deliver against their futures contracts instead of using their future production. The most significant changes in gold

markets, however, come from factors not relevant a decade ago. One significant issue is the growth of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), which make gold investment much more accessible to the public. Another is the interest in holding physical gold in the form of coins and bullion as evidenced by the numerous advertisements seen in the media. Both ETF and bullion demand represent a move to mass marketing not present a decade ago. The Indians have traditionally been the largest importers of gold and that is a mass market in and of itself. And, rising affluence in India is definitely bullish for gold. Also, in the past few years China has legalized gold sales and that’s another billion potential buyers. When you add in western buyers of both physical gold and ETFs, we are talking about billions of gold investors and, my opinion is that I trust them more than a few dozen European central bankers. ——————— John Dobra is director of the Natural Resource Industry Institute and associate professor of economics at the University of Nevada, Reno.

ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — Goldcorp Inc. announced proven and probable gold reserves rose 23 percent in 2010 to 60.1 million ounces. The Vancouver-based company also reported proven and probable silver reserves were at 1.3 billion ounces. “Strong growth in reserves and resources in 2010 underscores the continued success of Goldcorp’s strategy to complement organic growth in our existing districts with disciplined acquisitions,” said Chuck Jeannes, president and chief executive officer. “Goldcorp’s gold reserves have now increased in each of the last seven years,” he said. In Nevada, the gold reserves for the Marigold Mine at Valmy were at 1.55 million ounces for Goldcorp’s two-thirds share of the mine. Barrick Gold Corp. owns the other one third. Also in Nevada, Goldcorp’s reserves at its 40 percent-owned Dee property northwest of Carlin were recorded at 930,000 ounces. Barrick owns the other

60 percent of the Dee property where the partners are planning the Arturo gold mine. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Elko District is preparing an environmental impact statement on Arturo. The Dee property also has 4.39 million ounces of silver for Goldcorp’s 40 percent ownership, according to the report. Goldcorp’s largest gold reserves are at Penasquito in Mexico, 18.17 million ounces, followed by 9.46 million ounces of gold reserves for its 40 percent share of Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic. Barrick is the 60 percent partner in Pueblo Viejo. The company stated recent vein discoveries at Cerro Negro in Argentina nearly doubled gold reserves and resources there. The gold reserves total 2.07 million ounces, and the silver reserves total 20.5 million ounces. Goldcorp reported the company sold its 10.1 percent equity interest in Osisko Mining Corp. for nearly $532.6 million. Jeannes said the proceeds will be used to fund the development of Goldcorp’s existing project pipeline.


From seed to oil

Newmont ranch’s crop being converted to fuel

ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor LOVELOCK — Camelina seeds are so tiny it’s hard to believe they can produce oil, but they do. Newmont Mining Corp.’s pilot project that got off the ground when the company’s TS Ranch planted camelina and canola crops last spring in irrigated fields near Dunphy was in the seed-crushing, oil-producing stage in February at Nevada Soy Products in Lovelock. The next step will be to send the oil to Minden, where Bently Biofuels Co. will produce a biodiesel fuel that Newmont will then have blended with diesel fuel at Carlin for a 50-50 mix to use in the company’s underground mining equipment. “If we have over 5,000 gallons of camelina oil, we’ll be happy,” said Steve Spitze, manager of climate change programs for Newmont. “What we ultimately would like is 5,000 gallons of camelina biodiesel and 5,000 gallons of canola, or 10,000 gallons total.” While the oil process will continue for a couple of more steps before the product is ready for mining equipment, the mash produced when the oil is crushed out of the seeds was being bagged at Nevada Soy for immediate return to the TS Ranch to be blended with other feed for cattle. The camelina feed is rich in omega 3 and was expected to be 10 percent of blended feed. The camelina seeds trucked from the ranch silos to Nevada Soy are processed in a new wing the company added for processing camelina and canola seeds, and the plant manager, Philip Rewinke, stressed during a tour that this wing is completely separate from the organic soy processing facilities on site. The TS Ranch used fertilizer on its first crops, while the soy beans processed on the other side were grown without fertilizer. “Everything is separate for organic,” he said. The first run of camelina processed 33,320 pounds of seed, producing 6,767 net pounds of oil, or 20.31 percent, and 22,768 pounds of meal, which was 68.33 percent of the truckload. The sludge

Nevada Soy Products Operations Manager Darin Bloyed holds a handful of camelina seed before it goes into the huge “screw” that crushes and heats the seeds. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly

Steve Spitze, left, manager of climate change programs for Newmont Mining Corp., and Matt Murray, an external relations representative for Newmont, talk about the process to crush camelina seed into oil that Newmont will use for biodiesel fuel. The byproduct is the meal at bottom left.

See OIL SEED, 60


Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly


Oil seed ...

Steve Spitze, manager of climate change programs for Newmont Mining Corp., watches meal come out of a drying drum at Nevada Soy Products in Lovelock. The meal is what is left after camelina seed grown on Newmont’s TS Ranch is crushed for the oil that in turn will be used for biodiesel fuel for underground mining equipment.

Continued from page 58 totaled 1,374 pounds, or 4.12 percent. “The first run, the oil was less than expected. We were kind of expecting a larger oil yield, and it improved in the second run,” Rewinkle said. The second run processed 47,660 pounds, yielding 10,898 pounds of oil, or 22.86 percent, 35,412 pounds of meal, or 72.33 percent, and 1,533 pounds of sludge, or 3.21 percent. Rewinkle said Nevada Soy is still refining the process and completing the expansion. The company added 4,000 square feet and was still awaiting new electricity capacity from NV Energy, using a generator in the meantime. He said “camelina is breaking through in the market,” and the challenge is figuring out the pricing. To turn the tiny seeds into oil and meal, Nevada Soy feeds the seed from a hopper into a huge “screw” that crushes and heats up the seed. “This is just breaking the seed,” Rewinkle said. “It cooks at between 265 degrees and

Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly

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Oil seed ... Continued from page 60 285 degrees,” and then the crushed seeds go through a cooling auger while making their way to the press, he said. Then the seed is dumped into the press, and the oil goes into a pan below while the meal comes out and goes to a cooling drum. “We let the environment cool it down, and now it is ready to bag,” Rewinkle said. The meal goes into a tote bag that holds 1 ton, after a final step through a mixer-grinder operated in the back lot. The oil, meanwhile, goes to a centrifuge that separates the sludge out, and the oil goes into drums and later to tanks ranging in size from 900 gallons to 2,200 gallons. “We’re running a little over 1,000 pounds per hour through one machine,” said Darin Bloyed, the operations manager for Nevada Soy and a Pershing County commissioner. He said it takes about one hour and 20 minutes to fill one bag of the meal.

These 275-gallon containers hold oil from camelina seed grown on Newmont Mining Corp.’s TS Ranch near Dunphy and were processed at Nevada Soy Products in Lovelock. The oil is for biodiesel fuel. From left are: Steve Spitze, manager of climate change programs for Newmont; Matt Murray, an external relations representative for Newmont; and Philip Rewinkle, manager of Nevada Soy. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly

See OIL SEED, 62


Oil seed ... Continued from page 61 The plant is processing the camelina seeds first, and the canola seeds will follow. Rewinkle said he is enthused about the possibilities of processing oil out of camelina seed grown in Nevada and then the oil going to Minden to be turned into biodiesel because the project is good for northern Nevada. Newmont and the TS Ranch started the pilot project to look at the potential for growing oil seeds on the ranch as an alternative to alfalfa and to produce a biodiesel that is cleaner for miners. The company at that time also wanted to be prepared if Congress approved the cap and trade bill. In that case, Newmont could help offset the CO2 emissions from the company’s TS Power Plant with the biofuels project, according to Spitze. Once the pilot project goes through all the steps, Newmont will be taking a hard look at the costs and the options. Spitze said there will be three key See OIL SEED, 63


Otillo Contreras hangs a bag to be filled after meal from oil seeds is run through the mixer-grinder at Nevada Soy Products in Lovelock. The mixer-grinder is attached to the tractor in the rear. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly

Oil seed ... Continued from page 62 things to study, including a cost benefit analysis of the crop itself and whether it pays to grow the oil seeds. Another step will be to analyze the quality of the fuel, and how miners benefit and how it does in the mining vehicles, and the third step will be an overall business case analysis. “Pilot programs are always expensive. What we will look at is what the price would be in the future and estimate full costs in the future,” Spitze said. Dan Gralian, manager of Elko Land and Livestock that includes the TS Ranch, also will look at whether he is “pleased with the bottom line” with the oil seed crop, Spitze said. The ranch has sold alfalfa for years, but the demand is down. “The crop did pretty well, but we will do some things differently to assure a higher yield,” Spitze said of the oil seed crop. For the pilot project, the TS Ranch planted 250 acres of camelina and 125 acres of canola, using three irrigation pivots total for the test crop. Earlier stories in Mining Quarterly editions incorrectly stated that there were 250 acres of each seed type. The cost analysis also will look at the cost of transportation for a truck to take loads of seed to Nevada Soy. Spitze said the cost was $700 for a 25-ton load. The seed also has to be transported to Bently. Newmont and Gralian may also look at whether it might be more costeffective for Newmont to buy biodiesel fuels from the market, and the TS Ranch to sell oil seeds on the market, separately. Nevada Soy Products has been in business 12 years. Rewinkle said his parents, Bob Rewinkle and Mary Jo Rablin, stated out as hay brokers, but farmers urged them to get into the seed business and from there they went to producing organic soy meal.

Nevada Soy Products Manager Philip Rewinkle holds a handful of meal that was bagged to go to Newmont Mining Corp.’s TS Ranch. The meal was what was left after camelina seed grown on the ranch was processed into oil at the plant in Lovelock. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly


Mines big customers of Steam Store RISHI DAULAT Mining Quarterly ELKO — Out on dusty West Commercial Street is one of the cleanest stores in town — the Steam Store of Elko. The well-established Elko business sells Hotsy pressure washers, Val6 radiant heaters and waste oil heaters of all sizes, among other items. The Steam Store was opened in 1989 and is mostly owned by Troy Backherms and Scott Reutner. The pair bought the store four years ago and currently head a team of five employees who work out of the shop. The pressure washers are the highest-selling products and the Hotsy distribution company is the Steam Store’s main line. The Steam Store even offers to show their Hotsy pressure washers and how they work to potential clients before the customers buys one. “We don’t mind coming by various mine sites and small businesses and showing them the power and efficiency of the washers,” said “Big” Steve Backherms, Troy’s father and head of the Steam Store sales department. “If they’re interSee STEAM STORE, 65


Steve Backherms, left, a salesman for the Steam Store in Elko, and store owner Troy Backherms demonstrate one of the Hotsy units pressure washers they sell. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly

Steam Store ... Continued from page 64 ested, we’ll fire one up and show them how they work. We’ve taken our big trailer units to the mines and cleaned up a hall pack or grater for them to show how its done.” According to Backherms, the pressure washers range from $7,000 to $20,000. The Steam Store also repairs any of the pressure washers that have been damaged, which Backherms says happen quite a bit. “The warranties all depend on the unit, some pumps are good for five years, and everything else is good for a year depending on the abuse cycle,” Backherms said. “We’ve seen some really beat up washers. “Business runs in cycles. We can work on three, four, five a day, it just depends. We always have something to work on. Some of the guys who use the washers at the sites don’t own it so they don’t treat it very well, but hey that’s what keeps us going,” he said. Tom McGinnis was the first owner of the Steam Store of Elko and opened it in the late 1980s. He has been keeping tabs of his former shop and is thoroughly impressed with how the store has steadily progressed under Backherms and Reutner. “They both have done a great job with the store,” McGinnis said. “I built the store orig-

BLM to do Adelaide study inally from scratch. The Elko Steam Store opened as a division of the Steam Store up here in Twin Falls. We decided to open it in Elko because we thought our equipment would sell well there. The mining industry was very prevalent in the Elko area. We figured the type of equipment we used and sold would sell well in the Elko area. We evolved with the mining industry.” Thinking he was ready for retirement, McGinnis first tried to sell the Elko store 11 years ago. “I was looking for a change and sold the Elko Steam Store to a guy in 2000,” McGinnis said. “Unfortunately gold prices started dipping then and the guy I sold it to couldn’t run it. I ended up having to buy it back from him.” In 2005, McGinnis sold the Twin Falls store after owning it for 35 years, and then commuted back and forth from Elko to run the store. “I was happy to sell the store to Troy and Scott Reutner in 2007,” McGinnis said. “And I’m pretty sure they were happy to buy it from me. These new guys have done really well in Elko.” The Steam Store at 147 Commercial St. is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 738-9700.

ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — Golden Predator Mines U.S. Inc.’s proposed expansion of its Adelaide exploration project is in the initial stages, according to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. “The company proposes underground exploration and to do drilling at the bottom of the drift,” said Ken Loda of the Winnemucca BLM office. He said in February the BLM expects the environmental assessment to be finalized in September on the project roughly 10 miles south of Golconda in Humboldt County. The BLM reported Golden Predator’s plans include excavation of an underground exploration tunnel and ventilation shaft for underground exploration drilling and ore sampling. The company also plans to construct support facilities, an ore stockpile pad and a waste rock dump, as well as an evaporation cell for storm water and improvements to existing haul roads.

“Most of the proposed surface disturbance associated with this project would be within the existing footprint of lands disturbed during previous mining activity, which consists of multiple, small open pits and related access and haul roads, along with exploration roads drill sites and trenches,” Humboldt River Field Office Manager Michael Truden said earlier. The proposed project area covers approximately 641 acres, and plans call for four years of exploration, depending upon results, according to the BLM. According to Golden Predator’s website, the Adelaide property is part of the Gold Run Mining District, which has been active since the 1870s. The largest past producer within the property, the Crown Mine, operated intermittently from the early part of the century into the early 1940s. It has produced approximately 19,000 ounces of gold and 345,000 ounces of silver from a combination of open pit and underground workings.


Royal Gold’s net income up 90% ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor

at Barrick Gold Corp.’s Cortez Mine in Nevada and from Newmont Mining Corp.’s Leeville underground mine, also ELKO — Royal Gold Inc. achieved in Nevada, for areas of Leeville where record revenue in the quarter ending Royal Gold holds royalties. Royal Gold’s revenue also was Dec. 31, 2010, as the company continues its pursuit of high quality royalties, impacted by a reduced royalty rate at according to Tony Jensen, the compa- Taparko in West Africa. The royalty ny’s president and chief executive offi- dropped from 25 percent to 2 percent as caps took effect, Jensen said. cer. According to the earnings report, The Denver-based royalty company reported net income of $18.3 million, or royalty revenue from Cortez totaled 33 cents per share, for the quarter end- $7.6 million on 89,445 ounces of gold in the 2010 quarter, coming Dec. 31, based on roypared with $8.9 million in alty revenue of $56.3 milrevenue and 124,973 lion. ounces of gold in the The net income for the quarter ending Dec. 31, second quarter of its fiscal 2009. year was up 90 percent Barrick is focusing on over net income of $9.6 Net income: the Cortez Hills operamillion, or 24 cents per tions at the Cortez Mine, share, on royalty revenue $18.3 million, while Royal Gold’s royalof $34.7 million in the 33 cents per share ties are on the Pipeline second quarter of the portion of the operations prior fiscal year. Revenue: in Lander County. “Our record second$56.3 million Leeville provided $2.6 quarter results reflect the million in revenue on resiliency of our diversifrom 33 mines 105,998 ounces of gold in fied portfolio in helping the most recent quarter, us achieve another strong quarter of cumulative production compared with $3 million on 150,328 gains,” Jensen said in the earnings ounces of gold in the prior year. Another Nevada royalty, from announcement. The company reported the 62 per- Quadra FNX Mining Ltd.’s Robinson cent increase in quarterly revenue was Mine near Ely, provided $3.5 million in largely driven by new production from royalty revenue on 12,655 ounces of Tech Resources Ltd.’s Andacollo Mine gold and 24.7 million pounds of copper, in Chile, Vale’s Voisey’s Bay in Canada down slightly from $3.6 million in revand production increases at Peñasquito enue in the 2009 quarter on 24,057 ounces of gold and 31.7 million pounds in Mexico. Higher average gold prices also of copper. William Zisch, vice president of attributed to the higher revenue. The average price of gold for the sec- operations for Royal Gold, said in the ond fiscal quarter was $1,367 per ounce, company’s earnings teleconference in compared with $1,100 per ounce for the early February that Robinson ended comparable period the prior year, rep- mining at the Veteran Pit in the fourth resenting a 24 percent increase, ac- quarter and shifted all mining to the Ruth Pit. cording to Royal Gold. He also said copper production was 6 percent below guidance at Robinson Impact to revenue The company reported the increase in revenue was partially offset by lower See ROYAL GOLD, 67 production at the Pipeline operations

Royal Gold earnings


Royal Gold ... Continued from page 66 because of bad weather and lower grades, but gold production was above guidance. Top revenue maker According to the earnings report, the top revenue maker in the quarter was Andacollo, with $11.3 million on 11,087 ounces of gold. There was no production the prior year for comparison. The second-highest revenue source was Voisey’s Bay, which provided $8.1 million in royalty money on 22.5 million pounds of nickel and 39.6 million pounds of copper. There were no comparison figures for last year. Cortez was in third place, followed by the Peñasquito Mine, where Royal Gold earned $5.8 million in royalties on 54,775 ounces of gold, 5.1 million ounces of silver, 38.3 million pounds of lead and 58.1 million pounds of zinc. Goldcorp Inc. operates Peñasquito, which provided $1.1 million in revenue in the prior year, when the mine wasn’t in full production. Goldcorp predicts $350,000 ounces of gold production this year, however. Robinson was the fifth highest royalty provider, followed by the Mulatos Mine operated by Alamos in Mexico, which provided $3 million in revenue on 47,834 ounces of gold, compared with $2.4 million on 43,928 ounces of gold the prior year.

Leeville was in the sixth spot, followed by High River’s Taparko, which provided $2.6 million in royalty revenue on 105,998 ounces of gold, down from $3 million on 150,328 ounces of gold in the 2009 quarter. Royal Gold currently has revenue coming from 33 mines worldwide that are part of its portfolio of 187 properties, including 24 development-stage projects. The portfolio grew last year with acquisition of International Royalty Co. “We more than made up for the reduced royalty rate at Taparko with new year-over-year revenue additions from Andacollo and the IRC portfolio and increased production at Peñasquito,” Jensen said in the earnings report. Looking to future Royal Gold also invested during the quarter in two projects the company sees as future revenue-generators. The Mt. Milligan transaction closed in the quarter, with Royal Gold paying $226.5 million at closing and agreeing to pay $85 million during construction for a 25 percent revenue stream on 6 million ounces of gold on the project in British Columbia. Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. owns Mt. Milligan. “We’re very pleased with this transaction, and we look forward to similar opportunities where we can add

value in the future,” Jensen said in the earnings teleconference. Royal Gold also closed deals for additional gold royalty interests on Barrick Gold Corp.’s PascuaLama Project on the border of Chile and Argentina, giving Royal Gold a 5.23 percent net smelter return sliding scale royalty at gold prices of $800 an ounce or more. “At present we envision the Mt. Milligan and Pascua Lama projects will become our largest revenue sources once they reach full production,” Jensen said. Mines expected to increase production as they ramp up or begin production this year include the Dolores Mine in Mexico; Las Cruces in Spain; and the Wolverine, Holt and Canadian Malartic mines in Canada. Royal Gold has royalties on these mines, as well. Royal Gold also announced it has amended and restated its term loan and revolving credit facility provided by HSBC Bank USA, National Association and The Bank of Nova Scotia. The action increases available funds from $125 million to $225 million. “The increased size and improved terms of this new financing structure reflects the growth we are experiencing in Royal Gold and provides the company with greater liquidity and financial flexibility, and positions us well for new opportunities,” Jensen said.


New model may help geologists find gold ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — A new conceptual model for how Nevada’s gold deposits form can “help exploration geologists to look for more Carlin-type deposits,” according to State Geologist Jonathan Price, who is director of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology. A research team from the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas devised the model, and Price said the team’s ideas are in a scientific paper that is readily accessible and free. “It’s the evolution of years of investigation,” he said. “To me, the most interesting aspects are looking deeper in the Carlin system, or the Battle Mountain or Getchell deposits.” Price also said a current case in point is that the new model has implications for looking for more gold deposits at Long Canyon in the Pequop Mountains of Elko County, an area that hasn’t been mined yet but Newmont Mining

Corp. hopes to acquire from Fronteer Gold. “So that’s exciting,” he said. The Carlin-type gold deposits for the model are characterized by extremely fine-grained nanometer-sized particles of gold adhered to pyrite over large areas that can extend to great depths, according to UNR. More gold has been mined from Carlin-type deposits in Nevada in the last 50 years — more than $200 billion worth at today’s gold prices — than was ever mined from during the California gold rush of the 1800s, the university stated in an announcement on the new model. The current Nevada gold boom started in 1961 with the discovery of the Carlin gold mine north of Carlin, and since the 1960s, geologists have found clusters of these “Carlin-type” deposits throughout northern Nevada. They constitute, after South Africa, the second largest concentration of gold on Earth. Despite their importance, geologists

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have argued for decades about how they formed. “Carlin-type deposits are unique to Nevada in that they represent a perfect storm of Nevada’s ideal geology — a tectonic trigger and magmatic processes, resulting in extremely efficient transport and deposition of gold,” said John Muntean, a research economic geologist with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology at UNR and a former industry geologist who explored for gold in Nevada for many years. “Understanding how these deposits formed is important because most of the deposits that cropped out at the surface have likely been found. Exploration is increasingly targeting deeper deposits. Such risky deep exploration requires expensive drilling,” he said. “Our model for the formation of Carlin-type deposits may not directly result in new discoveries, but models for gold deposit formation play an important role in how companies explore by mitigating risk,” he said in the an-

nouncement. “Knowing how certain types of gold deposits form allows one to be more predictive by evaluating whether oreforming processes operated in the right geologic settings. This could lead to identification of potential new areas of discovery,” Muntean said. He collaborated with researchers from UNLV: Jean Cline, a faculty professor of geology at UNLV and a leading authority on Carlin-type gold deposits; Adam Simon, an assistant professor of geoscience who provided new experimental data and his expertise on the interplay between magmas and ore deposits; and Tony Longo, a post-doctoral fellow who carried out detailed microanalyses of the ore minerals. The team relates formation of the gold deposits to a change in plate tectonics and a major magma event about 40 million years ago. It is the most complete explanation for Carlin-type See GOLD MODEL, 69

ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — Jipangu International is mining again at the Standard Mine five miles south of its Florida Canyon Mine while development work continues at the site. “We’re getting the infrastructure and roads ready for Standard, and we’ve got the trucks and equipment there,” said Florida Canyon and Standard General Manager Joel Murphy. All the mining will be at Standard for the next few years, and he said in midFebruary crews were wrapping up the work at Florida Canyon. “We expect all mining to be at Standard by mid-April,” Murphy said. Plans continue, however, to return to Florida Canyon once Jipangu has received U.S. Bureau of Land Management approval to expand operations there. “We’re working on starting a plan of operations to come back to Florida Canyon,” Murphy said. “We have 1.1 million ounces of reserves,” he said, adding that Florida Canyon picked up 100,000 ounces to the 1 million ounces it had at the end of 2009, even after mining all of 2010. Brent Ford, engineering manager for Florida Canyon and Standard, said Florida Canyon mined 17.1 million tons of ore and waste rock in 2010 and the mine recovered 55,500 ounces of gold and 40,000 ounces of silver during the year. The forecast for this year is to mine 18.2 million tons of ore and waste because of the extra stripping at

Standard, and Ford said production could be a little lower “because the new leach paid is firing up” at Standard. Murphy said two exploration drills are working at Florida Canyon after finishing at Standard. Ford said the combination of Standard and a return to Florida Canyon will provide more than 10 years of mine life. “This is very large, very low-grade material, and if the gold price stays up, we’re in high cotton,” he said. Murphy said there are 150 people working at the two sites combined. At Standard, Florida Canyon crews are finishing the roadwork, but Murphy said N.A. Degerstrom Inc. helped with the initial road work. The crews also are stripping the overburden and getting ready to stockpile ore at Standard, he said. Ford said ore at Standard probably will be crushed, but it could go run-ofmine to the leach pad. The decision is pending. Ore will be placed on an expanded leach pad at Standard, but the truck shop, laboratory and administration offices will be used at Florida Canyon. Although all the mining will be at Standard, there will be residual leaching at Florida Canyon and reclamation work will continue. Ken Loda of the Battle Mountain BLM District said in February Florida Canyon was just completing revision of a longterm trust agreement for future environmental cleanup beyond closure of the property, such as drain down from the leach pads.







Jipangu mining again at Standard

To discover the improved productivity, safety advantages and superior value our award winning underground diamond rig can deliver to your mine site, benefits that are now enjoyed by the world’s leading mining houses, please contact our North American General Manger, Will Gove, on 690 1800 1012 or at (1) (705) 522

Continued from page 68 gold deposits to date, according to UNR. “Our model won’t be the final word on Carlin-type deposits,” Muntean said. “We hope it spurs new research in Nevada, especially by people who may not necessarily be ore deposit geologists.” The work was funded by grants from

the National Science Foundation, the United States Geological Survey, Placer Dome Exploration and Barrick Gold Corp. The team’s article appears in the online edition of the journal Nature Geosciences,available at ngeounder “advanced online publication.”


Gold model ...



Allied Nevada plans to keep growing ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — In just a few years, Allied Nevada Corp.’s Hycroft Mine continues to boost gold production and has an eye toward developing the mine into a major operation. The Reno-based company expects to complete an initial feasibility study in the third quarter to look at the economics of mining and milling sulfide ore, according to Tracey Thom, vice president of investor relations. “If we choose to build a mill, we will see the heap leach profile drop significantly. Otherwise, we will run the heap leach at the level proposed,” she said. If Allied Nevada decides to build a mill and go for the sulfide ore at the mine in Humboldt County, gold production could reach more than 600,000 ounces a year, and silver production could be 27 million ounces a year, Thom said. The open-pit mining now that puts all the ore on a heap leach pad will be increasing with the current expansion to between 250,000 and 260,000 ounces without a mill, she said. Hycroft produced 102,000 ounces of gold in 2010 and forecasts gold production of between 125,000 and 135,000 ounces this year as the expansion continues. “We will be mining upwards of 80 million tons of waste and ore by 2012,” Thom said on Feb. 18. Allied Nevada revived the closed Hycroft Mine in 2008 and has been expanding the operation since that time, with 140 employees now and plans to reach 200 workers by the end of this year, she said. Thom said the mine put three new 320-ton Komatsu haul trucks in operation before the end of 2010 to help with the stepped-up mining, and the mine will add four more trucks this year. “Ultimately, there will be 16 trucks by 2012,” she said. The mining is in the Brimstone Pit, and miners opened the new Cut 5 in late January, she said. Exploration drilling also continues at a steady pace at Hycroft, which is west of

Winnemucca. “We’re still doing infill drilling, and we will start step-out drilling in the second quarter,” Thom said. The drilling will focus on the open south end of the Vortex deposit, she said. “We did almost 396 holes in 2010,” Thom said, reporting there was more than 333,000 feet of infill drilling to provide data for the initial feasibility study and for metallurgical studies. The company also plans to spend $18 million on companywide exploration, with an additional $4.5 million being capitalized. Thom said exploration will continue at Hasbrouck Mountain five miles south of Tonopah. “It is a “pretty exciting project for us. It represents a second mine for us. It could look like a little Hycroft, a nice, clean, simple operation,” Thom said. The company also announced in February it hired Michael Moran to a new position as vice president of project development with a primary focus on Hycroft, including leading engineering design, feasibility studies and mine construction. “We are extremely pleased that Mike has agreed to join Allied Nevada in this key role as we advance the Hycroft expansion projects,” President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Caldwell said in the announcement. Moran has more than 25 years of experience in the management, development, construction and operation of largescale projects, according to Allied Nevada. Allied Nevada stated the outlook for this year calls for gold sales at a cash cost of $460 to $490 per ounce with silver as a byproduct. Allied Nevada stated the expected cost of sales this year will be higher because of the lower grades, an increased mining rate as Hycroft ramps up its oxide expansion and because of higher expected commodity prices. The company also reported in late January the average grades are expected to be lower this year as mining goes through a lower-grade phase in the Brimstone Pit.


Salt Lake City, Utah Office (801) 446-2400 • Fax (801) 446-3940 For info:


Safety training at Newmont Refresher class keeps participants engaged ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor CARLIN — Winning teams play “hillbilly golf” in one segment, and in another, a ball pops out when team members successfully help a pretend choking victim. Those were just a couple of the highlights of Newmont Mining Corp.’s annual refresher training in January and February at the University of Nevada, Reno, Fire Science Academy to meet U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration requirements, as the company’s safety professionals work to make the training more interesting. Newmont held similar training sessions in Battle Mountain and Winnemucca, as well, for employees who work nearer those communities, but the training at the fire academy was for employees at Carlin operations and the Elko office, whether they are a manager, a geologist, a miner or a truck driver. “In the old days, we plugged in a VCR tape,” said Don Neff, safety manager for Carlin operations. “The key is having everyone engaged in safety programs.” He said Newmont puts on 10 classes a year for those in the Carlin area to be sure all 1,800 employees go through their all-day training, and the company has used the fire academy the past four or five years. “We’ve actually gotten a lot of feedback. People like the small groups and hands-on,” Neff said at an early February session. “Every year we get more creative and better responses. See SAFETY, 73


ABOVE: Newmont Mining Corp.’s regional senior vice president of North American operations, Tom Kerr, acts as a choking victim as Newmont employee Jeff Coats performs an abdominal thrust on Kerr and instructor Lorenzo Ramirez watches during refresher safety training at the University of Nevada, Reno Fire Science Academy. LEFT: Don Neff, safety manager for Newmont Mining Corp.’s Carlin operations, demonstrates the prop used for a safety instruction module on recognizing hazards. Newmont held safety training sessions in January and February. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly

Safety ... Continued from page 72 This year has been really wellreceived.” At the training in Carlin, the attendees were put into teams to go through eight modules, and these modules met MSHA requirements while also offering hands-on instruction and $50 prizes at the end of the day. “When they break into teams, they have a better opportunity to ask questions and for hands-on,” Neff said. One module is for field-level risk assessment, including recognition of hazards and accident prevention, and the employees had to identify “a whole bunch of hazards” in a prop, as well as identifying housekeeping tasks, Neff said. At another module, a team learned about inspections. For example, instructor Temby Lawrence showed a first aid kit that

Instructor Chatz Rath, left, works with Newmont Mining Corp. employees Jay Runyon, center, and Robert Broderson in an emergency response module during Newmont’s annual safety refresher training in February at the University of Nevada, Reno Fire Science Academy. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly

See SAFETY, 74


Safety ...

Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly

Newmont Mining Corp. equipment operator Lore Del Sarto listens during a Newmont annual refresher training session at the University of Nevada, Reno Fire Science Academy.


Continued from page 73 expired three years ago but was found on a mine site. Another module covered electrical safety and included a prop. Another segment addressed miners’ rights, explaining that miners have the right to bring safety concerns to their supervisors, and they have the right to call MSHA. Yet another module was on ground control, and a sixth was on transportation and communication, explaining how important it is to speak clearly on the radio. The teams with the most points played hillbilly golf. A seventh segment was on emergency response and preparedness, including teaching about abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich maneuver), defibrillators, making a sling for a broken arm and more. The eighth segment was on industrial hygiene, including on hearing protection and respiratory protection. The instructors include emergency responders, people from the health and safety department, and Neff said they start planning well ahead of the classes, and they “instruct each other” before instructing the classes. “It takes five months to put together, what

with us doing our everyday jobs, too,” he said. There were 175 Newmont employees going through the refresher training on Feb. 10. Their day lasted nine and a half hours, but included lunch and breaks. “We try to keep them under 200 for class size and 16 instructors,” Neff said. He said the instructors look at the refresher as a chance to give people the skills they need to do their job and also skills they can use at home. Neff also said mining companies share safety ideas, because “there is nothing proprietary about safety. We don’t keep secrets when it comes to safety.” Newmont has been stressing a safety culture at the mine level and the corporate level. The International Council on Mining and Metals, which put together a safety video, quotes Newmont President and Chief Executive Officer Richard O’Brien as saying safety in mining is not only critical — it’s personal. “If leadership at the top doesn’t say it’s important — it’s not going to happen. But it’s not enough to provide them with rules and technologies. It’s really hearts and mind commitment,” the CEO said.


GE Water Water and Technology presents an award to Barrick Gold Corp.’s Ruby Hill Mine representatives in the town of Eureka in recognition of the mine’s work with GE on dust suppression. From left are: Dwayne Knudson, Ruby Hill supervisor; Brian Mason, Ruby Hill environmental superintendent; and Ray Nivens, GE Water and Technology.

GE Water suppresses dust at Ruby Hill EUREKA — This year’s approach to minimizing fugitive emissions from Barrick Gold Corp.’s Ruby Hill Mine five miles west of Eureka included the use of DusTreat, a lignin-based dust palliative from GE Water. This product is an environmentally friendly option to magnesium chloride use on roads and other non-paved areas, according to GE Water, which presented an award to Ruby Hill for its efforts to control dust at the gold mine. GE Water representative Ray Nivens said this award came from the corporate level, which chose Ruby Hill from submissions throughout the country. GE Water’s application of this organic binder included prepping the surface to loosen the top layer and allow the DusTreat to adhere to substrate material, according to the company. The company reported a specific targeted dose was achieved by spraying the product from a water truck in several passes. Once the product began to harden cure, the road was compacted using a smooth drummed roller. The dust control work at Ruby Hill

included the access road from U.S. Highway 50 up to the mine site. Both parking lots were treated, as well as the roads around the warehouse and truck shop. Product also was applied to the administration and laboratory areas and on all light vehicles roads around the process building, crusher and ore stockpile, as well as on the road along the conveyor and up to the stacker, according to GE Water. Another objective was to address airborne particulate leaving the pit as a result of prevailing easterly winds, the company reported. “This was the first time lignum has been used on the pit high wall for dust suppression,” said Melanie Lawson, community relations specialist for Barrick Gold of North America. A more dilute DusTreat solution was applied using a cannon sprayer mounted on the water truck. A section was treated on the east high wall, resulting in a dramatic reduction in dust, and the company stated several spray patterns were evaluated.


Elko Mining Expo adds booth space ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — Shining gold prices and a vibrant mining industry are likely to attract even more vendors to the 2011 Elko Mining Expo to be held June 9-10 at the Elko Convention Center. “We’re excited. We’re in the planning process for the 26th annual event, and we’ve made a few changes,” said Elko Convention and Visitors Authority Executive Director Don Newman. The Expo is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 9 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 10. “We’ve added additional booths in the city park near the tennis courts, based on demand,” Newman said. The June Expo will have 469 booths, including 48 10-foot by 10-foot booths in the park across from the convention center, according to Jennifer Stotts, the ECVA’s events coordinator. That compares with 421 booths at the 2010 event. “We’ve got a pretty extensive waiting list,” she said, estimating more than 70 on the list for the mining mall tents and 70 for space outdoors. The indoor exhibit space is sold out. “I think gold prices has a lot to do with it. When gold does well, the show does well. The last three years have been high, and we’ve sold out and gotten bigger the last three years,” Stotts said. The gold price has been in the range of $1,300 an ounce to more than $1,400 an ounce since last September. Stotts said returning exhibitors have the first right of refusal for booths for this year’s Expo until March 14, after which Expo spaces are open to all and she will be moving through the waiting list. The Expo is making another change this year, too. Stotts said a product showcase is planned instead of technical sessions, allowing vendors from 20 to 50 minutes to demonstrate their products in the convention center theater. “This will give all the exhibitors a chance to showcase new products or their products,” Stotts said. The showcase is free to exhibitors and attendees. Although the Expo is June 9-10, the opening banquet is at 6 p.m. June 8 at Stockmen’s Hotel & Casino, and that event always sells out, Stotts said. Tickets are on sale now.

Visitors stop in at the Steam Store booth at the 2010 Elko Mining Expo. The Elko Convention and Visitors Authority honored the Steam Store as a Silver Exhibitor for 25 years of participation in the Expo. Adella Harding Mining Quarterly file photos

Lynne Volpi, left, owner of Kestrel Mine Services and the Women’s Mining Coalition coordinator, and Pamela Smith, community relations coordinator for Fronteer Gold, are in the WMC booth at the 2010 Elko Mining Expo. Another event already is sold out — the June 6-7 golf tournament at Ruby View Golf Course, according to the Lou Schack, director of communications and community affairs for Barrick Gold of North America and the tournament chairman. “This is probably the earliest it has sold out,” he said in mid-February.


Schack said 520 rounds of gold have been sold. Stotts said tickets are on sale for the golf tournament banquet that will begin at 5:30 p.m. on June 7 at Ruby View. “I think it will be a great Expo,” Stotts said. The Expo also will have activities for young people again this year. The Minor

Miners activity will be from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. June 9 and 10, and there will be a play land at Elko Main City Park each day. Details on booths, event tickets and sponsorships are available on the Internet at or by calling the ECVA at 775-738-4091 or toll free at 1-800-248-3556.

Hollister trial mining, producing gold ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — Great Basin Gold Ltd. continues test mining at the Hollister Project in Elko County and fine tuning the Esmeralda Mill near Hawthorne, according to Lee Morrison, human resources manager for the company’s Nevada operations. “We’re still in the trial mining stage and still trying to figure out what is the best mill process,” he said. Hollister will remain a trial-mining, underground operation until the U.S. Bureau of Land Management completes an environmental impact statement on the project and issues a record of decision. “The EIS is moving along. We’re looking to get a draft out in a few months,” Dave Overcast, the Tuscarora field manager for the Elko BLM District, said in mid-February. Great Basin Gold reported in late January that production at Hollister totaled roughly 31,000 equivalent ounces

in the fourth quarter of 2010, and the company expects Hollister to produce roughly 110,000 gold equivalent ounces in 2011. Costs for the quarter were $680 per ounce. Great Basin Gold also reported Hollister had 907,000 proven and probable gold equivalent ounces as of January 2011, including 832,100 ounces of gold and nearly 5 million ounces of silver. The latest reserves for Hollister are up 13 percent from the last figures in January 2009, and the increase is despite 176,387 gold equivalent ounces mined since that time, according to the company’s report in early February. The grade of the latest reserves averages 0.79 ounces per ton of gold and 4.75 ounces per ton of silver. Once Hollister becomes a full-production mine, Great Basin Gold forecasts annual production of 110,000 ounces of gold equivalent over eight years at Hollister with a cash cost of roughly $527 an ounce. All of the ore mined at Hollister is

processed at Esmeralda roughly 300 miles from Hollister, and Morrison said the mill is fully commissioned, but the fine tuning is to reach maximum recovery. John Davis Trucking hauls the ore to Esmeralda. Hollister is a high-grade operation, but the extremely high grades in a pocket in the Blanket Zone have been mined through. The company stated initial trial mining in the Blanket Zone yielded 500 tons at a grade of 15 gold equivalent ounces per ton containing roughly 7,500 gold equivalent ounces, and Morrison said Hollister is still defining the Blanket Zone. He said the ore pockets are intermittent at this point. “We just don’t know what we’ve got,” Morrison said. Fred Dippenaar, president and chief executive officer of Great Basin Gold, reported in late January that the average mining rate at Hollister is 325 tons per day. “At Hollister, exploration drilling from

underground is successfully tracking the lateral extensions of the Hollister veins northwestward to the Gloria vein system and the Butte bounding structure and southeastward from the Gwenivere vein system to the Hatter Graben,” he said. Great Basin Gold currently has 200 employees in Nevada, including 35 at Esmeralda and 25 at the Winnemucca office, Morrison said. The remainder are at Hollister, which is in a remote location in northwestern Elko County. The company also continues to work with the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration in light of MSHA’s action late last year that put Hollister on notice for a potential pattern of violations. “It’s a big issue with us, and we’re trying to work through it,” Morrison said, noting that Hollister hasn’t had any fatalities or lost-time accidents, although there have been near-misses. “We’re convincing MSHA we’re not as bad as we’re portrayed to be,” he said. Great Basin Gold also plans to challenge some of MSHA’s findings, Morrison said.


Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly

John Wolfe, left, Atlas Copco geotechnical drilling and exploration regional sales manager, and Matt Willeford, manager of the Elko Atlas Copco store, hold the company’s latest diamond drilling bit, the Excore.

Drilling innovation By JARED DuBACH Mining Quarterly ELKO — Cost effectiveness is important in the mining industry, and Atlas Copco reported it has been taking major steps to increasing that factor for the company’s clients. While the Elko store has expanded services to include a customer equipment exchange program and a welding and line bore shop, probably the most crucial advancement for the company is through development of the Excore diamond tool core drilling system. According to John Wolfe, geotechnical drilling and exploration regional sales manager, Atlas Copco has been developing and testing the Excore system for about two years worldwide, including in Nevada, Idaho, Montana and California. “Exploration is key,” he said. “It’s all about how much core you put in the box.”

While the Excore exploration bits are diamond embedded as are some others, Wolfe said the innovation lies in the classifications the company has established for different types of rock. Whereas some drilling companies deal with thousands of different bits to try and figure out what works best for a certain situation, Wolfe said Atlas Copco’s system relies on a system of just 21 bits. The bits are classified by application and rock group. Then, crown design can be factored. Wolfe said a company using the Excore system recently broke a record by drilling 390 feet in just one shift. According to Wolfe, Excore produced about an 80 percent higher rate of penetration than other bits with a four times longer life. Figures generated from a drilling project in



New system adds efficiency Atlas Copco service technicians Jerry Shaff, left, and Aaron Holt rebuild an exploration head in the Elko shop as part of Atlas Copco’s exchange program. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly

Atlas Copco ... Continued from page 78 Africa indicate a 40 percent savings on time needed to drill a 1,640.42-foot hole with only two rod pulls versus a different bit style’s 14 and only one bit replacement versus the other bit’s seven. Also, only two Excore bits were needed versus the other bit’s eight. In the Africa application, an Excore bit lasted for 951.44 feet. Atlas Copco’s literature on Excore also states the rock was so hard in the African drilling that the other bit was actually becoming polished, rather than cutting rock, and applying more force only raised the drilling platform. It was then with the contracted drilling time running out that the company, Drillcorp, switched to Atlas Copco’s Excore bits. In the local testing, Wolfe said Atlas Copco has been getting good results with Excore. According to Wolfe, Excore was officially launched March 1, and stock is already on-hand in the Elko store. A promotional campaign will follow. Store Manager Matt Willeford said clients who invest in the Excore system will be trained on its application to ensure they get optimum results from that investment. But, according to Wolfe, 90 percent of the time there’s a problem it’s because the driller is using the wrong bit for the wrong location. Atlas Copco also continues to provide under-

ground and surface drilling machines in its geotechnical drilling and exploration division, as well as its ground support innovation, the Swellex rock bolt system. The local store’s recent expansions include a dedicated exchange and rebuild facility, as well as a welding and line bore shop. The store also has a mobile unit for bringing those services to the project site. Willeford said the exchange program is an alternative to a mining company having to buy a new piece of equipment, be it a loader, truck or drill rig. Technicians examine the worn or broken equipment, and report on what it will take to restore the item, thus helping to gauge cost effectiveness for the customer. “Service exchange reduces down time for an operation,” Willeford said. “And down time is key.” Willeford said the local store has 33 employees, and has 24-hour service available for clients. “The mines run 24 hours, so we have to run 24 hours,” he said. The local facility also carries a substantial inventory of the rock drilling tool supplies, such as bits and pipe for the surface and underground applications. For information on Atlas Copco, go online to

Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly

Brent Lange, a product support sales representative, examines a bundle of copper wiring out of one of Atlas Copco's newest features, a mobile welding and line bore shop.


Rochester development under way ADELLA HARDING Mining Quarterly Editor ELKO — Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp.’s Rochester Mine in Pershing County is gearing up for new production later this year as new equipment continues to arrive. “We have some ore available, but the crusher and leach pad are not ready so we are backfilling in the pit for a buttress and laying out the drill pattern for ore,” Rochester General Manager Cindy Jones said. Any ore mined now is stockpiled, she said, estimating that the crusher that had been sitting idle since August 2007 and a new leach pad will be ready in June. “Then, we will be going like crazy,” Jones said. Rochester has eight new 100-ton Caterpillar haul trucks coming by early March and is using the two haul trucks still on site and four contracted trucks for the current work, Jones said. Two new blast-hole drill rigs also are on order, but Rochester already has two new loaders, two new bulldozers and a grader on site. “We’re stripping in the Rochester Pit,” Jones said. Work also is under way for a new section of the conveyor system to move ore to the crusher at the silver mine. “We will be in full operation and producing silver ounces off the new leach pad this fourth quarter,” Jones said. Rochester also is hiring more people as the expansion project continues. Jones said in mid-February there were 92 people employed and 29 contractors on site. “We’re interviewing another bunch. When we get more people, we will go 24-7,” she said. The mine is running a day shift only at this point. Jones said Rochester has received more than 1,000 job applications or resumes and plans to be fully staffed to 200-225 people by early summer. There also will be 60 to 100 contractors on site during peak construction. The project’s job creation is the key reason Nevada lawmakers, former Gov. Jim Gibbons and Pershing County officials urged the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to allow the Rochester expansion to be done under an environmental assessment that took less time than an environmental impact statement. Rochester agreed, however, to do an EIS to cover closure of existing leach pads, and Jones said Rochester will have a plan to the BLM by Dec. 31, including plans for additional mining. “Engineers are on site for the baseline work, and we will submit an expansion plan with it. This will be for the future and out of the scope of what’s been done before. We will roll into the next leach pad,” Jones said. She estimated approval for the new work would take three to four years through the EIS process. Ken Loda of the BLM’s Winnemucca District said approval of the current expansion also was contingent on a long-term trust and new estimates for reclamation costs. Rochester stopped mining in 2007 but has continued


ABOVE: A new Caterpillar loader fills a haul truck at Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp.’s Rochester silver mine near Lovelock in February as part of the company’s expansion project. LEFT: Personnel at Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp.’s Rochester Mine near Lovelock took time away from development work on Feb. 9 to show the Reno Hug High School’s environmental class an operating mine and environmental monitoring requirements. The students pose in the bucket of a new Caterpillar loader. Rochester Mine photos

residual leaching on the pads since then, as well as continuing reclamation work on site. The expansion comes as the production from residual leaching is decreasing, although production in 2010 exceeded the budget for silver ounces, according to Jones. Figures weren’t released by press time. Rochester also will be doing exploration drilling starting this spring in hopes of increasing the mine life. The new leach pad under construction has a mine life of

six to seven years, “but we hope to go for another 10 years or more,” she said. Coeur stated last fall that the capital costs for the current expansion would be $29 million this year and $38 million over the life of the project. The Idaho-based company said then that Rochester’s annual production was expected to be 2.4 million ounces of silver and 35,000 ounces of gold with the expansion.



Ruth Carraher, vice president of Crown Gold Corp., talks about the Reno-based company’s Monte Crisco exploration property in Nevada with Neil Eurick, president and chief executive officer of Behre Dolbear Environmental Services out of Denver, at the Northwest Mining Association convention in Spokane, Wash., in December. The 2011 convention is Nov. 28-Dec. 2 in Sparks.

Paul Connors, left, of Spring Creek, a mining specialist with Victaulic, and Vince DeLaura, a western mining specialist for Victaulic out of Aurora, Colo., talk in their booth at the Northwest Mining Association convention in Spokane, Wash., in December. There were 288 booths and 18 core shack displays at the event.

Photos by Mining Quarterly Editor Adella Harding

Alan Young of Intermountain Electronics out of Price, Utah, talks with Karen Tate, national marketing director for Tunnel Radio of America Inc., at the Northwest Mining Association convention in Spokane, Wash., in December. Tunnel Radio provides underground communications for mining operations.


Judy LeClair, left, of Fruita, Colo., a recruiter with Schmueser & Associations Inc., and Sonny LeClair, also of Fruita, talk with Vince DeLaura, western mining specialist with Victaulic out of Aurora, Colo., at the Northwest Mining Association convention in Spokane, Wash., in December. Schmueser is an industrial contractor that often handles projects at mines, including in Nevada.

Barrick presents North American awards ELKO — Barrick Gold Corp. executives presented 2010 achievement awards to North American employees during site visits in early 2011. “These awards recognize excellence in several key areas of our business. These employees were nominated by their peers for outstanding performance and providing a positive example for all of us at Barrick,” said Lou Schack, director of communications and community affairs for Barrick Gold of North America. Award recipients at Barrick’s Goldstrike Mine north of Carlin included: John Worthen, senior operations manager, safety champion; the team handling sulfur fuels for the roasters, continuous improvement; Steve Yopps, process manager, security champion; and John Rodriguez, roaster operations general supervisor, environment individual award. The sulfur team included Bart Beatty, Steve Gretch, Sam Hatch, John Hebert, Roger Huisentruit, Katie Laird, John Pekrul, Pete Peterson, Rodriguez, Mark Salisbury, Lucas Still, Jennifer Tobin and

Two Barrick Gold of North America employees, George Fennemore and Tisha Wooley, received corporate social responsibility awards from the corporation. From left are: Caroline Rossignol, manager of corporate social responsibility for Barrick; Fennemore, permitting specialist; Wooley, environmental geologist at Donlin Creek in Alaska; and Greg Lang, president of Barrick Gold of North America. Submitted

Worthen. A team from Goldstrike also received the regional continuous improvement award for magnetic separation of roaster tailings. The team included Wayne

Douglas, Todd Esplin, Kip Slaybaugh, Walter Guifarro, Aaron Knight and Yopps. Award recipients at the Cortez Mine in Lander County included: Bill Reed, haul

truck mechanic, safety champion; Dave Mason, security manager, security officer award; and the Cortez cyanide See BARRICK, 84


Barrick ... Continued from page 83 recertification team, environment. The team included: Kevin Andersen, operations; Brian Barker, safety; Nate Conk, operations; Jon Davidson, maintenance; Carol Doerr, planning; Cinda Humphreys, operations; Jon Kamensky, metallurgy; Aaron Lund, environment; Dave Nash, maintenance; and Darin Powers, training. The regional continuous improvement award went to Cortez process employees. Barrick presented the safety-site award for most improved small mine to Turquoise Ridge in Humboldt County, and the safety champion honors went to Ernie Fortmann, mobile maintenance trainer. At the Bald Mountain Mine in White Pine County, Lonnie Armknecht received the environment individual award, according to Barrick. The company also presented a safety champion award to Doug Johnson, mine operator, at the Ruby Hill Mine in Eureka County and the environment individual award to Dwayne Knudsen, mine operations general foreman at Ruby Hill. A corporate social responsibility champion award went to George Fennemore, permitting specialist at the Elko regional office. Safety champion honors for those in exploration went to Roger Dickson, exploration foreman for Connors Drilling, a contractor working at Cortez, and Karl Marlowe, exploration geologist, North America. Barrick presented a safety-site award for best performance of a small mine to the Golden Sunlight Mine in Montana, and a safety champion award to Mark Briggs, training foreman. A regional continuous improvement award for idea generation and innovation went to Rick Jordan at Golden Sunlight for gravity spirals. The Barrick awards at the Hemlo Mine in Canada went to: Al Kennedy, millwright, safety champion; Actiflo Team, environment team award, Jeremy Dart, Kennedy, Glenn Norris and Dave Schmidt; and the corporate social responsibility champion award went to Roger Souckey, human resources superintendent. In another presentation, Gary Sundseth, ranch manager for North America, received a safety champion award for See BARRICK, 85

Submitted Submitted

Don Ritz, left, senior vice president for safety and leadership for Barrick Gold Corp., presents an environmental excellence award to Dwayne Knudson, a supervisor at Barrick’s Ruby Hill Mine near the town of Eureka. Knudson took steps to mitigate dust problems.

Barrick Gold Corp. presented Gary Sundseth, surface resource manager for Barrick Gold of North America, with a safety champion trophy for the safety and health program he implemented for Barrick’s agricultural properties. Craig Ross, left, vice president for safety, health and risk for Barrick, stands with Sundseth. Joe Dick, left, general manager of Barrick Gold Corp.’s Cortez Mine in Lander County, talks about Dave Mason’s accomplishments before presenting him with the company’s security officer of the year award. Mason is the security manager at Cortez.

Bill Reed, a haul truck mechanic at Barrick Gold Corp.’s Cortez Mine, holds his safety champion award from Barrick for his work on a platform that allows haul truck mechanics to safely access the engine ladder. Submitted

Adella Harding Mining Quarterly

Submitted Submitted

David Elliott, left, senior director of business strategy for Barrick Gold Corp., presents a safety champion award to Karl Marlowe, exploration geologist for Barrick Gold of North America.


Amy Schwalm, senior director of investor relations for Barrick Gold Corp., presents Doug Johnson with his safety champion award. He is an operator at Barrick’s Ruby Hill Mine on B Crew.


Lonnie Armknecht, left, leadman and operator with the mine operations division at Barrick Gold Corp.’s Bald Mountain Mine, accepts his environmental individual award from Peter Kinver, Barrick’s chief operating officer.


Barrick Gold Corp.’s recognition awards at Turquoise Ridge Mine in Humboldt County included ones to Ernie Fortmann, mobile maintenance trainer, safety champion award, and Karl Marlowe, exploration geologist, safety champion award. From left are: Peter Kinver, Barrick’s chief operating officer; Fortmann; Brent Kristof, general manager; Marlowe; and Craig Ross, vice president of safety, health and risk. Roger Dickson, exploration foreman for Connors Drilling, a contractor working at Barrick Gold Corp.’s Cortez Mine, receives a safety champion award. From left are: John Cavaness, safety and health manager, Barrick Exploration at Cortez; and Grover Wallace, Rusty Church, Dickson, Brian Philipanics and Kyle Rhoderick, all of Connors.


Don Ritz, left, senior vice president of safety and leadership for Barrick Gold Corp., stands with John Worthen, senior process operations supervisor at Goldstrike Mine, safety champion award; Steve Yopps, Goldstrike process manager, security champion award; John Rodriguez, general operations supervisor at the Goldstrike’s roaster, environmental excellence award.

Barrick ... Submitted

Continued from page 84 implementing a safety and health program for Barrick’s agricultural properties. Barrick also presented an award of merit for safety to the Donlin Creek

exploration project in Alaska, and the corporate social responsibility champion award went to Tisha Wooley, environmental geologist at Donlin Creek, who organized winter clothes drives for schoolchildren. Barrick’s Western 102 power plant 10 miles east of Sparks received an award of merit for zero lost-time injuries.

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Inside cover March 2011 Mining Quarterly



Cover March 2011 Mining Quarterly





Sp rin g 2 011

A crew from Arnold Machinery out of Elko assembles a new 36-yard Hitachi hydraulic shovel at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Twin Creeks Mine in Humboldt County.


Twin Creeks digs in for long haul

Adella Harding/photo


Mining Quarterly published by The Elko Daily Free Press

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