Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Georgia company leases valley mine

Minnie Moore site is still silver-rich, officials say

Express Staff Writer

The historic Minnie Moore Mine near Bellevue may soon produce more than gravel again, as it has been leased by an Atlanta-based mining company.

Dutch Gold Resources, a company that focuses on quick ore production, announced last month that it has leased part of the Minnie Moore Mine and expects to begin drilling this month.

The mine historically produced silver, lead, gold, copper and zinc, though Blaine County Land Use and Building Services Director Tom Bergin said the mine is currently producing gravel and sand.

Recent nearby drilling struck a large vein of silver-rich galena ore, and testing by landowner Carl Johnson indicated a strong presence of remaining copper and gold in the vicinity.

"The Minnie Moore Mine hasn't reached its full potential," Johnson said in a Dutch Gold press release. "There are a number of very interesting areas of high mineralization for development and exploration."

Dutch Gold CEO Daniel Hollis declined to comment when reached by phone and did not return an email meant to determine how profitable the company expects the mine to be and when the company would begin drilling.

Bergin said he has not seen an application for new permits on the land but depending on the extent of the drilling, the company may not need to apply for additional permits apart from those already issued for the property.

A news release issued by the company states that Dutch Gold has leased the property with an option to purchase in the future.

Rauno Perttu, chief operating officer of Dutch Gold, stated in the news release that the mine has untapped resources.

"The high silver values ... are similar to the historic high grade production from the historic Minnie Moore vein," Perttu said.

The sample tested by Dutch Gold was reported to be 75 percent lead, 74.4 ounces per ton of silver, 0.112 ounce per ton gold, 1.4 percent zinc and .129 percent copper.

The release stated that Dutch Gold focuses on acquiring properties expected to yield gold but have been overlooked and underdeveloped in the past. Perttu stated that the company also plans to sort through tailings and mineral dumps on the property for recoverable minerals.

The company's website states that it focuses on "sustainable" mining. The company already has projects in Nevada, Montana and Oregon. Basin Gulch, the company's Montana project, is predicted to yield 2.8 million ounces of gold.

Katherine Wutz:

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