Kettle River – Buckhorn began producing gold for Kinross back in 2008, and six years later, on December 15th, the mine produced its one millionth (1,000,000th) ounce. This milestone pour was captured in a 30-second iPhone video. Click here to watch Dan Graham and Howard (Butch) Schmitt, two veteran KRB Refiners, complete the live pour.
“One million ounces of safe production is a great milestone by a fantastic team of miners,” said Mark Ioli (Vice-President & General Manager, Kettle River – Buckhorn). “I am very proud and honored to be a part of this KRB family, this community, and this Company.”
This achievement is all the more meaningful given the mine’s challenging start, and plans for its closure in 2015. Kettle River – Buckhorn overcame many obstacles, including strong opposition from local NGOs; it was radically redesigned from an open pit to an underground mine with a much smaller footprint, including a reduction in surface land use from 787 acres to 117 acres (today the current land use is under 60 acres), and a significant reduction in overall water consumption. The operation was awarded the Northwest Mining Association’s Platinum Award for Corporate Excellence for its efforts.
Now, as KRB achieves its one millionth pour – nearly two years ahead of the original mine plan – the operation is getting ready for closure. Based on the existing mineral reserves at Buckhorn, the mine is scheduled to continue production through 2015.
The site is leading an extensive transition program in partnership with the local community, and sponsoring a number of skill-building and training programs to support our people. Part of their efforts have included ramping up their social media presence: you can follow their efforts on the Kinross Kettle River – Buckhorn Facebook page, available here: https://www.facebook.com/KinrossKRB
“Dan and I poured the first ounce at Buckhorn, and we’ll be here to pour the last ounce at Buckhorn.”
– Dan Graham, a Refiner with KRB for 20 years, and Howard (Butch) Schmitt, a Refiner with KRB for the last 8 years