P.M. Briefing: Coeur connects with China
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. said today it has entered into a contract
with China National Gold Group Corp., China’s largest gold producer,
for the purchase and processing of gold concentrates produced at
Coeur’s new Kensington gold mine in Alaska. This agreement is the
first of its kind between a state-owned corporation of the Peoples
Republic of China and a U. S. precious metals mine.
Dennis Wheeler, chairman, president and chief executive officer of
Coeur, told The Press after the agreement was signed this
morning he believes the deal will be the opening chapter in what
promises to be a long-term business relationship with the Chinese.
Negotiations went on for several months and involved numerous trips by
Wheeler to China.
"What people will find is a relationship (with the Chinese) is
established on a deliberative, long-term basis," Wheeler said.
Coeur expects production at Kensington to begin soon, with 50,000
ounces of gold produced this year and 125,000 ounces per year for
another dozen years. China National Gold Group will take delivery of
about half of the mine's output, at "very competitive" prices, he said.
Gold hit a record $1,266.50 an ounce before settling at
$1,240.70 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange today.
Wheeler would not say what the net financial benefit will be to Coeur. - Rick Thomas