VANCOUVER (CP) -- Placer Dome Inc. has given the green light to the development of two international projects: the Cortez Hills gold site in Nevada and the Wallaby underground project at the Granny Smith mine in Australia.
''Cortez Hills is an exciting opportunity for the company,'' CEO Peter Tomsett said in a release. ''It is a high-value project that demonstrates our ability to create value from our exploration programs.''
The Cortez Hills project involves the development of two adjacent deposits - Cortez Hills and Pediment. Ore will be milled at the existing Pipeline mill or leached at a new site near the deposits.
Placer Dome said its share of production is expected to total 2.8 million ounces at average cash costs of about $170 per ounce over a seven-year mining schedule.
Underground exploration on the Cortez property is expected to being immediately at a cost of $30 million to Placer.
Separately, X-Cal Resources Ltd. [TSX:XCL] and Placer Dome announced they have agreed to jointly explore the Reese River Pediment properties in Lander County, Nevada. The project area is composed of three claim blocks totalling about 1,200 hectares west of X-Cal's Mill Creek Gold property.
Placer Dome also approved the development of the Wallaby underground project at the Granny Smith mine in Western Australia. The project will allow development of the gold resources that lie immediately beneath the Wallaby open pit, which is being mined.
Tomsett said the firm is also on track to make decisions by the end of the year on the Pueblo Viejo project in the Dominican Republic and Cerro Casale in Chile, while evaluations of Donlin Creek in Alaska and Mount Milligan in British Columbia are ongoing.
Vancouver-based Placer Dome employs 13,000 people at 16 mining operations in seven countries.
Its shares closed up C49 cents to C$19.24 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
X-Cal Resources Ltd. shares closed down half a cent to C25 cents a share.
(c) The Canadian Press 2005