By Beth Dodd:
In early October the CC&V Gold Mine welcomed Lowe Billingsley as their new General Manager.
Billingsley, a Colorado Springs native, has worked for the mine for 20 years. His past experience with them includes mine geology, mine engineering, and operations supervision. He has held the positions of Technical Services Manager, Projects Manager, and Process Manager. Billingsley has spent the last five years working for the mine’s parent company, AngloGold Ashanti, as their Vice President of Technical Services & Strategy with the Americas’ Regional Team based in Denver. In this role, he supported the company’s operations in Cripple Creek, Brazil, and Argentina. “This is an exciting time to be at CC&V,” said Billingsley. “The CC&V team continues do what they do best, working safely and responsibly every day. The long process of implementing our Mine Life Extension 2 is coming together, with the planned startup of the mill by the end of the year.”
In a recent report to the Cripple Creek City Council, the CC&V’s Community Affairs Manager, Jane Mannon, discussed the mine’s current expansion. She said that commissioning of the new ore processing mill in Squaw Gulch started in September and mechanical completion is expected in November. The first phase of the new Valley Leach Field, where the gold is chemically separated from the rock using sodium cyanide, should be done by November 2015 with the first gold production starting a year later. The second phase of the leach field construction will be finished around December 2016. The ADR plant (adsorption, desorption, and recovery), where the gold is removed from the sodium cyanide solution, is due to begin construction in March 2015 and start operating in the second quarter of 2016.
For the driving public, the realignment of CO 67 between Cripple Creek and Victor around the mine expansion projects in Squaw Gulch is done and the new overlook is open. The finished road is now being turned over CDOT.
The expansion of the mine is continuing as planned in spite of falling gold prices. “The drop in gold prices has caused us to tighten our belts and be ever more cost conscious,” said Billingsley. “Again it is a testament to our team, including our contractors, to work safely through the disruption of our day-to-day operations caused by the construction, while remaining focused on our goal of conscientiously mining gold in the historic mining district.”