Feds OK True North permits

PHOTO/Rob Stapleton/AJOC
mining.jpg FAIRBANKS -- Permits have been issued for the True North gold mine project, clearing the way to start construction of the project 30 miles north of Fairbanks.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits issued Jan.24 go into effect immediately.

The permits were the last government approval that Fairbanks Gold Mining Inc. needed.

"We’re very pleased for the company and for the community," Tom Irwin, general manager of Fairbanks Gold Mining, told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The first True North ore should be available to process by the end of March, according to a statement from the Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corp., parent company of Fairbanks Gold. True North will be in full production by the end of June, the statement said.

Fairbanks Gold wants to mine 180,000 ounces of gold a year over three years at True North. The mine will cost $25 million to construct and will employ 110 people. Fairbanks Gold plans to build a $1 million underpass on the Steese Highway to be used by ore trucks and mine employees.

Opponents of the mining project have met to discuss options that may include appealing to Superior Court. Under state law they have until Feb. 19 to appeal.

02/03/2001 - 8:00pm