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Alexco preparing to resume silver mining in Yukon later this year

Although a final production decision has not been made, Canada's AlexcoResource Corp. is preparing to resume mining of silver and related mineralslate this year in the Yukon's Keno Hill Silver District, a company officialsaid Wednesday.

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The Vancouver-based company shut its Bellekeno silver mine in the Yukon in 2013 because of low commodity prices. Bellekeno was producing about 2million oz of silver and 20 million lb of lead and zinc concentrate annuallyat the time.

Alexco has fully permitted its Flame & Moth, Bellekeno and Lucky Queendeposits in the district, while permitting continues for the Berminghamdeposit.

The Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board is acceptingpublic comment on the Bermingham project until February 22.

Lisa May, the company's director of investor relations, said in an emailthat Alexco's planned mine "will produce very high quality lead and zincconcentrates."

According to the company, it has just over 1 million mt of ore in theKeno Hill district, grading 843 g/mt silver, 3.31% lead and 4.2% zinc.

While the company has not made a formal production decision, May said, itanticipates the start of production late in the fourth quarter of 2018,possibly slipping into the first quarter of 2019.

Alexco has a number of items it needs to complete before productioncommences, although May noted the company is "currently on track to completethe Bermingham decline on time."

--Bob Matyi, newsdesk@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jason Lindquist, jason.lindquist@spglobal.com