Kinross Gold

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Kinross Gold Corporation
Public
Traded as TSXK NYSEKGC
Industry Metals and Mining
Founded 1993
Founder Robert Buchan
Headquarters Toronto, Canada
Key people
J. Paul Rollinson, President and CEO[1]
Products Gold, Silver
Revenue $3.5 billion (2015)[2]
Website www.kinross.com

Kinross Gold Corporation is a Canadian-based gold and silver mining company founded in 1993 and headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Kinross, through a series of transactions now operates nine active gold mines, being 2015's fifth largest gold producer in the world. That year, Kinross produced 2.59 million ounces of gold. The company's activities are mainly carried out in Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Mauritania, Russia and the United States, formerly owning operations in Canada. It trades under the KGC ticker in the New York Stock Exchange and under K in the Toronto Stock Exchange.

History[edit]

Founding and early years[edit]

Kinross' merger with Echo Bay Mines resulted in ownership of Lupin Mine, which was sold in 2006.

Kinross Gold Corporation was founded in 1993 following the amalgamation of three companies: Plexus Resources Corporation, CMP Resources and the numbered company 1021105 Ontario Corp. This resulted in the new company owning a stake and royalties on a mining property in Fallon, Nevada and the QR Mine in British Columbia.[3] Kinross was listed on June 1, 1993 on the Toronto Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, and on the New York Stock Exchange the following year.[2]

Kinross' first project, now operated by its subsidiary Fairbanks Gold Mining, was the Fort Knox Gold Mine operating as an open pit in Alaska. The area, including its surroundings deposits, was prospected as early as 1913, but no mining took place until 1996. In 1998 the owner of Fort Knox (Amax Gold) merged with Kinross.[4][5]

In 1998, Kinross merged with Amax Gold (formerly known as Kinam Gold),[6] which gave Kinross the Fort Knox Gold Mine.[4] In 2000, Kinross amalgamated with LT Acquisition Inc.[7]

1999 – 2006[edit]

In 2002, Kinross and Placer Dome combined their assets in Timmins, Ontario and formed the Porcupine Joint Venture (51% Placer Dome, 49% Kinross).[8] Also in 2002, Kinross TVX Gold, and Echo Bay Mines proposed a $3-billion merger, which would combine the three companies, while retaining the name Kinross Gold. The merger was delayed from its original closing due to Kinross' inability to raise the necessary funds,[9] but was approved by shareholders in January 2003.[10] The TVX merger resulted in Kinross' stake in the La Coipa open pit mine, the remainder being purchased from Goldcorp in 2007.

Kinross took control of the Lupin mine in Nunavut Territory, Canada, in 2003. In 2006, Kinross sold the Lupin Mine and the Blanket Mine located in Zimbabwe, completing the sale in 2007. By 2013, the Lupin mine was inactive.[11][12]

Leach dumps at the Round Mountain Mine

The acquisition of Rio Paracatu Mineração followed in 2004. In 2005, Kinross sold the Aquarius Project (acquired as part of the Echo Bay merger[13]) to St. Andrews Goldfields (who operated the nearby Stock Gold Mine).[14][15][16]

In 2006, Kinross bought Crown Resources Corporation, which gave them ownership of the mineral resource Buckhorn Mountain (later Buckhorn Gold Mine) and the associated mineral processing facilities.[17][18][19] That year saw the sale of Kinross' Blanket mine in Zimbabwe to Caledonia Mining Corporation. Kinross had never operated the mine given it was written down in 2002.[20][21]

Kinross first acquired 50% ownership in the Maricunga Gold Mine property with the merger with Amax Gold (which changed its name to Kinam).[22] The 2007 purchase of Bema Gold brought the other 50%, being now owned by Compañía Minera Maricunga (CMM).[23] Production re-started in October 2005.[24]

2007 – present[edit]

In 2007, Kinross traded assets with Goldcorp; Kinross received $200-million and the remaining portion of the La Coipa Gold Mine it had acquired with the TVX merger, in exchange for giving up its 49% of the Porcupine Joint Venture and 31.9% of the Musselwhite mine.[25] In September 2008, Kinross acquired 100% of the outstanding shares of Aurelian Resources Inc. for a total of $809 million,[26][27] effectively acquiring 100% of the Fruta del Norte and Condor Ecuadorian deposits.[27][28] Kinross described Fruta del Norte as one of the most "significant gold discoveries in the last 15 years".[29] On June 20, 2013, Kinross announced it would not proceed with further development of the Fruta del Norte project,[30] and in October 2014 sold its interest for $233 million.[31][32]

Another of Kinross' Chilean properties is the Cerro Casale mine.[27] Kinross acquired Cerro Casale in 2007 as part of the acquisition of Bema Gold Corporation.[33] In 2010, Kinross sold a 25% interest in Cerro Casale's copper deposit to Barrick Gold for $474 million.[34] Kinross currently owns a 25% interest and Barrick owns the remaining 75%, the project itself being owned by Compañía Minera Casale.[35] The project is inactive as of 2015.[36]

Round Mountain pit in Nevada, 2013.

In 2008, Kinross acquired a 40% interest in Lobo-Marte, located in Chile, from Anglo American plc for $141 million.[37] In early 2009, Kinross acquired the remaining interest for $41 million, via its daughter company CMM.[38] As at December 31, 2013, Kinross reported the property contained 6.0 million ounces of probable gold reserves. In 2014, the reserves were reclassified from "probable" to "measure & indicated".[31] As of December 31, 2015, Kinross reported that Lobo-Marte was a "significant" development property, although only prefeasibility studies have been performed on the site.[39]

In 2010, Kinross purchased 91% of Red Back Mining for $7.1-billion.[40] The purchase brought with it the two gold mines in Africa (Chirano and Tasiast).[41] Also this year, Kinross acquired the Dvoinoye deposit and the property in Vodorazdelnaya, about 90 kilometres (56 mi) north of Kinross’ Kupol operation; and sold 25% of its interest in the Cerro Casale project in Chile to Barrick. The following year, Kinross entered into a share purchase agreement with the State Unitary Enterprise of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, whereby it therefore held 100% of the Kupol mine and exploration licenses. Kinross sold its interest in the Crixás mine to AngloGold Ashanti in 2012.[42][43]

Gold from the Round Mountain Mine

A putative securities class action complaint was filed against the company in 2012 by Bo Young Cha in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging Kinross inflated its own share price by making misrepresentations concerning its acquisition of Red Back and its development of the Tasiast mine. The claims were settled in court, without acknowledgement of guilt. A similar claim was made in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice that same year, and was settled in 2015.[44][45][46]

The Crixás mine is located in Brazil. In 2012, Kinross sold its 50% interest in Crixás to AngloGold Ashanti for $220 million.[47] The Corporation announced its halting of development at Fruta del Norte and La Coipa in 2013, as well as the sale of its interest in Aurelian Resources Inc. the following year. It also withdrew its permit application for the Lobo-Marte mine.[48]

On November 2015, Kinross announced it would finalize its purchase of the Bald Mountain mine, its associated land, as well as the remaining 50% of the Round Mountain mine from Barrick.[49] As of December 31, 2015, Kinross reported its White Gold project was a pre-development property.[50][51]

In 2013 the company's silver production was 9 million ounces, making the company the 18th largest silver producer in the world at the time.[52] Kinross' proven and probable gold reserves were 33.2 million ounces as at December 31, 2015. This total includes reserves from inactive mines, Cerro Casale (5.8 million ounces) and Maricunga (1.0 million ounces).[53] In 2015, Kinross produced 2.59 million ounces of gold.[54] Kinross was listed as fifth largest gold producer worldwide in 2015.[55][56]

Operations[edit]

Americas[edit]

Kinross Gold operates mining projects in North and South America, Russia, and Africa. Its Fort Knox gold mine property counts with a mill, tailings storage, heap leach facility, the Gil project, and the True North open pit mine, which is closed and under monitoring.[57][4] In 2015 the mine produced about 401,500 gold equivalent ounces of gold.[5][2]

Round Mountain Gold Mine

Kinross operates the Buckhorn mine and Kettle River mill in the US State of Washington, following its acquisition of Crown Resources Corporation in 2006. This subsidiary operates the Buckhorn mine, while Echo Bay Minerals operates the Kettle River mill. The mine produces about 97,000 gold equivalent ounces.[58]

Kinross also operates the Round Mountain Gold Mine in Nye County, Nevada since 2003. Round Mountain was a joint venture between Round Mountain Gold Corporation (a Kinross subsidiary) and Barrick Gold. Kinross' merger with Echo Bay Mines gave them a 50% share of Round Mountain, with Barrick retaining the remainder.[59] In 2016 Kinross purchased Barrick's 50% interest. Round Mountain is located in an area where mining has taken place since 1906, having produced 350,000 ounces of gold over a sixty-year period. Its production volume was approximately 197,000 gold equivalent ounces for 2015.[60] As of 2011 the mine was undergoing expansion to increase the size of the pit and related infrastructure.[61][62] Near the Round Mountain mine, Kinross operates a smaller open-pit mine, the Gold Hill mine.[63]

Mills at Paracatu mine in Brazil, 2014.

Another Kinross investment, La Coipa gold mine is located in Chile. In October 2013, however, the mine and plant were suspended and the mine is undergoing further exploration.[64][65] In August 2016, Kinross suspended operations at other Chilean mine, the Maricunga gold mine, resulting in a layoff of 300 employees.[66] The decision to close the mine was the result of the Chilean government "shut[ing] down the water system linked to the operation over environmental concerns."[67] The company has pending appeals with Chile's Environmental Tribunal.[68][69] The book value of Maricunga was $373 million as at December 31, 2015, producing approximately 212,000 gold equivalent ounces for the same year.[70][71]

In Brazil, Kinross owns the open-pit Paracatu gold mine, located in northwest Minas Gerais. It includes two process plants, two tailings facilities, as well as accompanying infrastructure. On January 31, 2003, Kinross acquired a 49% ownership interest as part of the acquisition of TVX Gold. On December 31, 2004, Kinross acquired the remaining 51% from Rio Tinto for $255 million,[72] and operated the mine as Kinross Brasil Mineração S.A. This mine is the region's largest employer.[73] In 2015, Paracatu produced 477,662 gold equivalent ounces.[74]

In January 2016, Kinross acquired 100% of the Bald Mountain gold mine and the remaining 50% of the Round Mountain gold mine from an affiliate of Barrick Gold Corporation for $610 million in cash.[75] Bald Mountain is operated by subsidiary KG Mining (Bald Mountain) Inc.[76] Its 2015 production amounted to about 160,000 gold equivalent ounces.[77] The US Bureau of Land Management has authorized the Corporation to increase its exploration activities.[78]

West Africa[edit]

The Red Back Mining purchase gave Kinross a 90% stake in the Chirano Gold Mine, while the remainder is held by the Government of Ghana. The mine produced nearly a quarter million ounces of gold in 2011.[41] The mine is made up of three open pits and two underground operations.[79][23]

Tasiast pit in Mauritania, 2014.

Red Back Mining began production at Tasiast in 2008 in Mauritania. In September 2010, Kinross acquired Tasiast with its Red Back purchase.[80] The property includes an open-pit gold mine with a combined carbon-in-leach and dump leach operation, as well as an adsorption-desorption recovery plant that produces doré.[81] Kinross described a proposed expansion project to increase throughput from 8,000 tonnes per day to 60,000 tonnes per day, which was never put in place. In early 2014, a feasibility study for an expanded Tasiast operation with a 38,000 tonne per day (tpd) mill was completed.[82] On March 30, 2016, Kinross announced it was proceeding with the Tasiast expansion. The expansion is expected to increase processing from 8,000 tonnes per day to 12,000 tonnes per day,[83] and then 30,000 once a second phase is complete.[84] In June that year, due to "government allegations of invalid work permits" for expatriate employees, the mine suspended operations, resuming them in August that same year. As of 2015, its annual production amounted to about 212,000 gold equivalent ounces.[85][86][87]

Russia[edit]

In Russia, Kinross possesses the Kupol and Dvoinoye gold mines, located approximately 100 kilometres (60 mi) apart. Kupol/Dvoinoye is Kinross' most profitable operating segment. During the first six months of 2016, its operating earnings were $180 million.[88]

Trucks on ice road to Kupol mine in Russia, 2013.

The Kupol Gold Mine is a combination open-pit and underground gold mine in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, in an area originally mined in the 1930s by prisoners of the Gulag.[89] Bema Gold Corporation financed the $425-million project through various international banks, agencies, and equipment companies, plus the Chukotka government. Kinross acquired the property (at the time 75% of the mine) through the acquisition of Bema Gold, and a subsidiary (Chukotka Mining & Geological Company) purchased the remaining 25% from the government (via the State Unitary Enterprise of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug) in 2011.[90][91][92] Kinross expects to commence mining at Moroshka in 2018 and will have its ore processed in the Kupol mill.[93] Moroshka is located approximately four kilometers east of Kupol and within the Kupol license area.[94][95]

The Dvoinoye underground gold mine was acquired in 2010 through Northern Gold LLC and Ragionruda LLC, and opened in 2013. Ore from the mine is processed at Kupol. Gold production at both mined equated a total of approximately 758,000 gold equivalent ounces for 2015.[96] The grade of reserves at Dvoinoye, 11.2 g/tonne, is significantly higher than Kinross' other mines. In contrast, the grade at Paracatu is only 0.4 g/tonne and the grade at Tasiast is 1.9 g/tonne. The September Northeast project near Dvoinoye is expected to begin mining in early 2017.[2][97]

At Kupol, gold and silver occur as native gold, gold-silver alloy electrum, acanthite as well as silver-rich sulfosalts.[98] Dvoinoye, on the other hand is a low sulfidation epithermal gold-silver vein deposit, and notably counts with appreciable free gold in parts of the deposit. Ore minerals and sulfides in the vein include freibergite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, and sphalerite.[99]

Corporate responsibility[edit]

Kinross asserts a strong commitment to responsible mining, as outlined on its corporate website via their Ten Guiding Principles for Corporate Responsibility.[100] In 2015, Kinross achieved an A− ranking in Maclean's magazine's annual assessment of socially responsible companies, the highest ranking of any Canadian mining company.[101][102]

For Kinross' cooperation with an environmental group in Washington state, and for five out of eight mines being in compliance with the International Cyanide Management Code (as of May 2013, the Company had eight of its nine mines in compliance with the International Cyanide Management Code),[103] Kinross was recognized as one of Canada's Top 50 Most Responsible Corporations by Maclean's magazine and Jantzi Research in 2009.[104][105]

Through a $1 million donation by Kinross in 2010, the University of Guelph created a new chair as part of its BetterPlanet Project. Said Chair is named the Kinross Chair in Environmental Governance, and is held by a "succession of experts".[106] Also with the university, Kinross provided $100 thousand towards its Fight Against Hunger.[107][108]

In 2010, Kinross committed to contribute $10 million over a three-year period towards developing a mining school in Mauritania. The following year, it committed $2.5 million to build and equip a medical emergency centre in that country.[109][110]

In 2013, Kinross was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the third consecutive year, as well as the DJSI North American Index, the Ethibel Excellence Investment Register, and the Ethical Global Equity and ECPI Global Carbon Indices. For the fifth consecutive year, the Company was named to the Jantzi Social Index, and as one of Canada’s Best 50 Corporate Citizens by Corporate Knights magazine for the fourth year.[111]

See also[edit]

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