Digging Begins at Wash.’s Buckhorn Mountain Project

Tue June 10, 2008 - West Edition

CHESAW, Wash. (AP) If all goes as planned at the Buckhorn Mountain mine near Chesaw in north central Washington, in a few weeks miners will hit gold ore.

The Kinross Gold Corporation of Toronto said the site holds nearly $1 billion dollars of gold.

The company spent nearly two decades on planning and legal fights with environmentalists. It intends to spend the next eight years digging.

When production begins this fall, the Buckhorn Mountain Project will be Washington’s only operating gold mine.

The mine and gold processing mill will bring 160 jobs, and another 30 contract jobs during construction.

A Kinross manager, Lauren Roberts, said miners will make from $18 to $25 an hour, plus an $8 to $12 an hour production bonus. Mill workers earn from $16 to $26 an hour.