Two new pieces out this week by Dermot Cole. The first discusses the results of a recent feasibility study done by Contango consultant John Sims. The second reviews the most recent assessment of the Manh Choh mine at Tetlin. Both are worth your time.
One conclusion that can be made is that the Tetlin mine stands a good chance of lasting more than the promised 4-5 years. The limiting factors are how many trucks and drivers Black Gold Transport can manage to get on the road to Ft. Knox.
Finally, while the manhchoh.com FAQ page still claims that this project will “create 400-600 high paying jobs” the Sims report buries the Manh Choh Labor Requirements on pages 235-236. The jobs numbers are considerably less now. In 2024, the new mine will require 201 jobs, peaking in 2025/2026 with 230 jobs, and ending in 2028 with 101 jobs. Truck driver jobs are estimated at between 114 and 200 jobs. So for the peak two years, the total number of jobs may reach 430. Since Manh Choh ore will be processed in batches four times a year, it does not seem that many new jobs (if any) will be created at Ft. Knox. The mill will not be processing Ft. Knox ore and Manh Choh ore simultaneously.
Many more jobs would be created if Kinross/Contango would build a small processing mill close to the Tetlin mine. This option was economically feasible in 2018 when gold was $1250/oz. Here is the report that shows that.