Northern Star Pogo Mine presented its annual report during a Zoom meeting today outlining its operation for the past year and where the company is heading with the mine. Northern Star, an Australian based company, took over operation of the mine in late 2018. The operation is one of six gold mines operated by Northern Star Resources Limited and is its only US based operation.
The mine produced over 174,000 ounces of gold during the last fiscal year that ended June 30. Jim Coxon, general manager, said the mine is looking to increase production during the new fiscal year and would like to see the total output for the year at 220,000 ounces.
Coxon recently took over as general manager of the mine.
Like many operations, Pogo has been challenged by the coronavirus pandemic with 38 positive cases reported at the site out of the 484 employees and 275 contractors working at the facility. Coxon said the overall dedication of the staff led to the facility being able to continue operation during the height of the positive cases at the mine and the other challenges presented by the pandemic. Production was down almost 25 percent during the second half of the fiscal year he said.
Over one-third of the mine’s employees live in the Interior.
Northern Star donated $1.5 million in personal protective equipment to hospitals, medical offices and responders in Alaska to support continuity of services in the state. Most of the supplies went to Interior based facilities. The company also donated $229,000 to nonprofits and another $1.4 million for coronavirus relief.
The mine contributed $78 million to the Alaska economy during 2019 through in-state purchases of goods and services and employee payroll.
Jillian Ladegard, environmental manager at Pogo said the site has remained within its prescribed environmental operating guidelines. She said the facility treated and released 160 million gallons of water from its mining operation with no observed impact to aquatic plants or animals in the Goodpasture river which runs adjacent to the site. The river is a Coho salmon spawning ground and according to Ladegard, the water released into the river is cleaner than the water in the river upstream of the mine.