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Coeur Won’t Move Mine Tailings Pond

Thu., July 17, 1997, midnight

Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. said it will not move the tailings pond at its Golden Cross mine in New Zealand.

The Coeur d’Alene silver and gold company completed a company study recommended by the New Zealand government to find a safer site for the tailings pond.

Coeur’s study found it would cost more to move the pond and moving it would not improve water quality safety. The company studied a 6-mile radius surrounding the mine.

“The safest thing to do is leave it there,” company spokesperson Mitchell Krebs said.

Earlier this year the company said it plans to close the mine this December because of structural problems with the tailings dam. The company shocked investors when it announced last July it would write off the entire $53 million investment.

New Zealand environmental group Coromandel Watchdog has grown suspicious of the company’s intent.

Group spokesperson Mark Tugendhaft said the company should have gone beyond 6 miles to find a safer area to move the tailings pond. Leaving it there would cause water pollution because of the continuing shifting ground, the group said in a statement.

After closing the mine the company plans to monitor the pond indefinitely, Krebs said.

, DataTimes

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