ELKO — Veris Gold Corp. announced Monday it will officially open Starvation Canyon, its third gold mine at its Jerritt Canyon Operations in Elko County.
The opening is set for July 29 and the ceremony will be attended by local dignitaries, suppliers and Veris Gold staff.
The new mine is in the southern part of the Jerritt Canyon property. It is the first gold mine to come into production at the site since 2004, according to Veris Gold. Initial underground development work, portal excavation and drift development, started in November 2012 and continued to early April 2013.
Starvation Canyon is operated by Small Mine Development. Similar underground mining methods that are being used at the other operating mines — Smith and SSX-Steer — are being utilized at Starvation Canyon.
“The SMD team, led by Joe Knaack, Starvation Canyon Mine superintendent, has been critical to our success at Starvation Canyon and we are proud of our overall partnership with them at Jerritt Canyon,” said Veris Gold President and CEO R. Llee Chapman. “Six months from blasting the portal to production on-time and on-budget is no small feat and this mine has performed better than expected right from the start. Most importantly, Starvation Canyon now plays a key role in our production pipeline ensuring that our feed is maintained at steady levels at our Jerritt Canyon mill operations. I would like to thank all of the teams that came together to successfully bring this new gold producing mine into production.”
Starvation Canyon had early production of 300 ore tons averaging 0.15 ounces per ton and has since June ramped up to 600 tons per day. Production at Starvation Canyon is an essential element to the 2013 production plan for the Jerritt Canyon Operations and, consistent with the company’s guidance; this mine is expected to contribute in excess of 25,000 ounces.
The Starvation Canyon deposit discovery was announced on Dec. 16, 2004. The discovery took place 18 months after a predecessor company acquired the Jerritt Canyon property from AngloGold and Meridian in 2003, and the completion of a subsequent drilling program. The discovery is attributed to the 2003-2004 company exploration group that targeted favorable host rocks along a mineralized structural trend that had been previously untested. It took 10 years to drill define, permit, engineer, and construct the Starvation Canyon underground mine which is about the average industry time it takes to advance a new gold mine into production in the United States.