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New Arizona gold mine set for production in late November


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New Arizona gold mine set for production in late November


The first major gold mine in recent years in Arizona, traditionally a copper-mining state, is on track to start production this fall, a spokesman for Vancouver, Canada-based Northern Vertex said Monday.

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"We're scheduled to pour gold by the end of November," Christopher Curran said in an interview about the Moss gold/silver mine. "We're on time and on budget" for the $36 million project near Bullhead City in Mohave County in northwestern Arizona.

The project is awash in firsts: It is not only the company's first mine, it is the first gold mine in recent memory in Arizona, according to Suzanne Kinney, interim manager for the Arizona Mining Association.

Kinney noted in an email that "people have been prospecting for gold in Arizona since our territorial days over a century ago. However, the Moss gold-silver project will be the first major gold mine of its type in Arizona."

Initial production is estimated at 42,000 oz/year of gold and silver, with gold accounting for about 85% of that amount, Curran said.

"We're looking to possibly ramp it up" even higher in the coming years, he added. "The crushers we bought are going to operate at 60% capacity, so there's a chance there could be a little more" output. He said the gold grade averages about 97 grams/st.

Northern Vertex is preparing an updated report that will analyze the technical and economic viability of extending the mine's life, currently projected to be about 10 years. The report is scheduled to be released later this year.

Initially, the mine will have about 100 employees, aiding the local economy. "We are excited about the opportunities this mine will bring to residents of northwest Arizona," Kinney said.

Northern Vertex is an exploration and mining company whose management has many years of experience in the mining business. Kenneth Berry is its president and CEO.

Hard rock mining generates about $4.29 billion/year in economic impact for Arizona, the mining association says. The state has about 12,000 direct mining industry jobs and another 31,800 indirect mining positions. The average full-time miner earns about $102,800/year, more than double the average for all other Arizona workers.

--Bob Matyi,

--Edited by Valarie Jackson,