Kinross Gold will expand Fort Knox

Gold ore grinding mills in Fort Knox Mine, Alaska on July 5, 2007. Source: Nick Bonzey from Juneau, AK/Spinning Ore Crushers

Kinross Gold Corp., of Toronto, has announced plans for a $100 million investment of the Fort Knox gold mine, a deicison expected to expand mining through 2027.

Kinross said in an announcement from Toronto on June 12 that the effort was expected to increase life-of-mine production by some 1.5 million ounces of gold.

The project is expected to generate an internal rate of return of 17 percent and net present value of $130 million based on a $1,200 per ounce of gold price, Kinross said.

Gov. Bill Walker said state officials are excited to see the mine extension plan onto newly state-owned land.

This is a significant development for Alaska’s economy,” said Walker, who credited his administration, federal agencies and the state’s congressional delegation for cooperating to transfer these lands from federal to state ownership. Fort Knox employs some 630 people and is the largest single property tax contributor in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

Fort Knox as produced gold on land owned by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority for the past 20 years.  Royalties from the mine make it one of the top contributors to the trust, whose income is used to support Alaskans statewide living with disabilities and metal illness.