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A 1412.jpg Aerial view of Fort Knox Gold Mine largest Gold Mine in Alaska a rights managed stock photo
An aerial view of the large Fort Knox Gold Mine, just north of Fairbanks, Alaska. This open-pit gold mining operation is the largest of its kind in Alaska today. .Kinross Gold Corporation acquired a 100% interest in the Fort Knox open pit mine in Alaska in 1998. The mine is located within the Fairbanks mining district, a northeast trending belt of lode and placer gold deposits that comprise one of the largest gold producing areas in the state of Alaska. Access to the Fort Knox mine from the nearby city of Fairbanks is by 22 miles. The area has a sub-Arctic climate with long cold winters and short summers.The gold deposit at Fort Knox is mined by conventional open pit methods. Mining is carried out on a year-round basis, seven days a week and high-grade ore is processed at the carbon-in-pulp mill, which has a daily capacity of between 33,000 and 45,000 tones per day.In February 2008, Kinross' Board of Directors approved the construction of a heap leach facility and expansion of the open pit mine, known as the Phase 7 Expansion. Fort Knox mines and stockpiles large volumes of low grade ore and mineralized waste material that cannot be economically processed at the existing mill. The heap leach facility will allow the mine to process some of these low-grade materials, as well as zones of lower-grade ore that have not yet been mined.The Fort Knox Expansion Project is expected to extend the life of the mine from 2012 until 2018. As well, the project will double the life-of-mine production to 2.9 million gold ounces, and will increase Fort Knox production to an average 370,000 gold ounces per year during the five years starting in 2010. Production from the Phase 7 Expansion project is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2009.