ELY — Midway Gold Corp. broke ground this week for its new mine, and the company is hoping to have a gold pour by the end of the year.
“Today we are celebrating a team effort,” said Midway Gold President and CEO Ken Brunk.
Pan is Midway’s first Nevada mine.
“Midway did not make these permits happen — you did,” Brunk told the crowd of company employees, community leaders, and state and federal agencies’ staff who gathered Tuesday for the ceremony.
Midway Gold is based in Denver, and the Pan Mine is in White Pine County, about 50 miles west of Ely and 22 miles southeast of Eureka. The mine received its record of decision from the Bureau of Land Management Dec. 20.
The mine will consist of two primary open pits, three satellite pits, one heap leach pad, three rock disposal areas and a transmission line. The total surface disturbance will be about 3,301 acres, according to the BLM.
Brunk said the Pan Mine is a low-cost, oxidized, Carlin-style gold deposit.
“Our next goal is a gold pour sometime later this year,” Brunk said.
The project is about 1.9 million ounces in size and mine life is nine years.
Brunk said the team that worked on the permits set “a new benchmark.” The permitting process for Pan took less than two years, said Jill Moore, EGAN field manager for BLM.
“That is very significant,” she said. “That particular accomplishment speaks to open communication. I am proud to have been working with this team. I wanted to take the time to say well done.”
Brunk acknowledged his predecessor at Midway. The Pan deposit was discovered in 1978, and in 2007, Alan Branham, Midway’s former CEO, recognized its potential, Brunk said.
In appreciation of Branham’s involvement in the project, Midway decided to name a fault at the site after the former CEO, Brunk said.
“We named the fault running through the heart of Pan after Alan, because he gave the company its heart,” Brunk said.
Midway will begin construction on the facility’s buildings during the winter months, said Mike Protani, vice president and general manager of Nevada operations. The company hopes to start the leach pad by late spring or early summer. It will begin hiring employees for the project this week.
More details on the project and the ground breaking will be in the spring edition of the Mining Quarterly.