Every month, Kettle River-Buckhorn takes out some space in the local newspapers, Ferry County View and Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune, to update the community about the latest news at the mine, including safety initiatives, milestones and the mine process.
With the final ton of ore hauled from the Buckhorn mine in July comes the final message to Ferry County, thankful for the commitment of the community over the years, and proud of our employees and accomplishments:
“Over 1.3 million gold ounces produced. Twenty-nine miles of underground mine drifting. Four hundred fifty-six men and women working a total of 3.27 million combined manhours. At least 2,000 years of combined experience working for Kinross or its predecessors. Over $160 million paid in local wages/benefits, and $1.6 million dollars donated to local organizations. More than $11 million tax dollars supporting local services and infrastructure. A legacy of responsible mining.
1 millionth ounce poured at Kettle – December 15th, 2014
On Thursday, September 28, 2006, local leaders and mine officials drove up a narrow, one-lane dirt track in rural Okanogan County for a ceremonial ground-breaking event for what would become the Buckhorn Mine site. This long-anticipated event had taken over 20 years to come to fruition. At the time, the Buckhorn Mine was expected to have a life of just seven years, providing jobs and economic prosperity to the region. Construction commenced quickly, and in late 2008, the first ounce of gold was produced.
In July 2017, two years longer and 200,000 ounces more than was originally expected, the last ton of gold-bearing ore was hauled out from underground. Bulkheads are currently being placed and reclamation will soon commence, beginning the next phase of the lifecycle of the Buckhorn Mine.
We would like to take a moment to express our most sincere appreciation to the community – our friends and neighbors over the past several years – for all of the support you have provided to the operation, our employees, our families and to each other. We’ve made countless friendships and memories that have touched every one of us.
Nor could we be more proud of our employees. They have conducted themselves with honor and integrity, caring for each other and the community, truly demonstrating what it means to be world-class miners.
Buckhorn – the little mine that could… and did. Thank you all from the bottoms of our hearts.”
Miners at Kettle River