The comment period for the environmental impact statement for the proposed Crown Jewel gold mine in Chesaw, Wash., has ended and the companies involved said Wednesday that the mine could start production in fall 1997.
The final environmental impact statement will take between seven and nine months to complete. Crown Resources Corp. and Battle Mountain Gold Co. will pursue permits for the property.
Houston-based Battle Mountain Gold will provide $51 million for construction costs, but will get 54 percent of the gold mined from the Crown Jewel as a result. Construction should last about a year.
Local residents have been concerned about the use of cyanide in extracting the gold from the crushed rock. The companies say the rock will be treated in contained vessels and not stacked on large leaching pads like other mines.
The mine will process 3,000 tons of ore a day for a minimum of eight years, the companies said. It will produce about 185,000 ounces of gold annually.