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Production resumes for New Jersey Mining Company at the Golden Chest mine

New Jersey Mining Company announced today that gold production has resumed at its Golden Chest Mine and New Jersey Mill in north Idaho. Open pit operat...

Dale Benton
|Oct 28|magazine8 min read

New Jersey Mining Company announced today that gold production has resumed at its Golden Chest Mine and New Jersey Mill in north Idaho.

Open pit operations had commenced in August, with the mill restarting in late September, and the company has indicated that both mining and milling plans are proceeding ahead as expected.

New Jersey Mining Company anticipates underground mining to resume by December this year, forecasting operations of 8,000 to 10,000 ounces of gold in 2017.

What we know about the Golden Chest mine and New Jersey Mill

The Golden Chest Mine

NJMC has 100 percent ownership of the flagship Golden Chest Mine, located in North Idaho. During the late 1890s and 1900s, the Golden Chest was indeed the largest historic lode producer of gold in the Coeur d’Alene mining district (the largest city and county seat of Kootenai County, Idaho)

Exploration at Golden Chest, particularly in the modern era, began in the late 1970s with a number of companies targeting gold.

Companies such as Cominco-American and Newmont Exploration, for example.

NJMC first moved in on the scene and leased the property back in 2003 and have explored, drilled and conducted small-scale mining ever since.

In September 2013, the Skookum Shoot portion of the Golden Chest Mine was leased to Juniper Resources LLC which developed a state-of-the-art gold mine and began producing ore in late-2014.

Last year, Juniper ceased operations and terminated its lease, forfeiting the remaining mineralized material and mine infrastructure.

Not to leave the mine hanging, NJMC ensured that the mine was left in a position where all potential future production possibilities had been considered.  This saw the company, in early 2016,  pull together a mine plan to look at unmined ore from Juniper’s original mine plan – namely, through underground mining.

This new mine plan has a 3,000 tonne per month production target with all material to be processed at the New Jersey Mill. After an anticipated six-month rolling start, the company fully expects gold production of approximately 15,000 to 20,000 ounces over the next two years.

The New Jersey Mill

The New Jersey Mill is a 360 tonne per day flotation mill and concentrate leach plant, which is located in North Idaho’s Silver Valley.

Processed water is recycled at the mill as well as a patented disposal process, by none other than NJMC founder Fred Brackerbusch, to dispose of tailings with a minimal impact on the environment. Through this method, NMJC can guarantee that no process water is discharged whatsoever.

In actual fact, this process allows the company to save more than 50 milliong gallons of water per year. Bravo. This is such a significant achievement that the company was recognised as a Pollution Prevention Champion by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Double bravo.

NJMC processes ore from the nearby Golden Chest Mine, and through a joint venture with United Mine Services, the company has the right to process its own ore at the rate of 3,000 tonnes per month.

In actual fact, in 2015, the company processed a total of 40,840 dry metric tonnes of ore from the Golden Chest Mine with an average head grade of 6.70 grams per tonne (gpt) gold and with recovery averaging 92.3-percent. Concentrate grades averaged 435 gpt gold, although the last concentrates assayed in excess of 1,000 gpt gold.  In total, the mill produced approximately 8,000 ounces of gold.