Cortez Mine Cortez Mine

Location: 75 miles SW of Elko, Nevada
Kennecott Employees: 0
(40% owned; Partner and Operator:
Placer Dome U.S. 60%)


The Cortez Gold Mines, which began operation in 1968, is a joint venture of Kennecott Minerals Company (40 percent), and Placer Dome U.S. (60 percent).  The operation is located in Crescent Valley, 75 miles southwest of Elko, Nevada.  Operated by Placer Dome, Cortez is a complex of several open pit mines.

Cortez utilizes carbon-in-leach and oxide heap leach technology for gold recovery.  Kennecott's share of 2003 Cortez gold production was 434,000 ounces of doré gold.  A new mill was constructed to process the Pipeline/South Pipeline ore at a permitted average daily rate of 13,500 tons per day.  The new mill facility includes crushing, grinding, carbon-in-leach and carbon-in-column circuits and gold doré casting.

The Cortez Joint Venture reserves, including the Pipeline and South Pipeline gold deposits, are estimated at 3.04 million ounces (Kennecott's 40 percent share) of recoverable gold, to be produced over a projected 15-year mine life.

The Cortez Joint Venture employs more than 450 skilled mining and production personnel.  Surrounding the Cortez and Pipeline orebodies are other potential gold deposits that will be explored along the Cortez trend.

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