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EPA Approves Permit for Pogo Gold Mine

Release Date: 3/16/2004
Contact Information: Bill Riley
(206) 553-1412

March 16, 2004

On March 15, 2004, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to Teck-Pogo, Inc. for the Pogo Gold Mine Project and Record of Decision (ROD) documenting its decision. The permit will become effective on May 1, 2004. The permit allows for discharge of domestic and operational waste waters from the Pogo mine to the Goodpaster River.

The mine, located 38 miles northeast of Delta Junction, Alaska, would process approximately 2,500 tons of ore per day (tpd), and would produce approximately 375,000 ounces (oz) of gold annually at start-up, with a possibility of increasing production and expanding the mill to approximately 3,500 tpd and 500,000 oz annually.

“We’re very pleased with the way the environmental review and permitting process worked together to highlight – and then resolve environmental concerns,” said EPA Regional Administrator John Iani. “It took a great deal of outside-the-box thinking by everyone concerned about the project to figure out a way to solve these initially thorny environmental issues. Ultimately, this is a great example of environmental protection and economic development going hand-in-hand.”

Issuance of the NPDES permit marks the final permit/decision for the Pogo project. Construction of the winter road has begun. The project would require 25 to 33 months to construct and would have an operating life of approximately 11 years. The capital cost of the project is estimated at $200 million to $250 million.