Field Trip:

Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Company Tour


Dave Vardiman or 719-689-4019

Fee: By March 1, 2006.  $120 Member, $195 Nonmember, $60 Student

The Cripple Creek Mining District is the largest single gold producer in the state of Colorado with an historic production of an estimated 731 metric tonnes of gold (23.5 million gold ounces), primarily from underground mining of high-grade veins conducted from discovery in 1890 to approximately 1961.  The gold-telluride mineralization within the district is hosted within a Tertiary-age alkaline volcanic complex, which lies on the southwestern flank of the Pikes Peak batholith.

Today the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company (CC&V) operates the Cresson Mine as a joint venture between AngloGold (Colorado) Corp. (67%) and Golden Cycle Gold Corporation (33%).  Through the implementation of shovel/loader/truck combination mining and valley leach processing, production occurs at the rate of 20 million ore tons, 59 million total tons per year from this ~1 gram per tonne deposit. In June 2004, this operation celebrated the pouring of its two millionth ounce of gold.

The completion of a major district-wide exploration program conducted from 1998 through 2004 identified an additional 4.2 million gold ounces contained within this mature mining district, which justified a $195 million expansion of the operation from a 230,000 gold ounces per year producer to a budgeted rate of 330,000 gold ounces to be produced in 2005.  Life-of-mine production is estimated to produce an additional 3.5 million gold ounces from 2005 through 2013.

This tour will focus upon the detailed district geology of a gold-telluride deposit within an alkaline volcanic complex as well as the exploration program methodologies applied to the district.  A tour of the operation and infrastructure is included, which will allow for the detailed discussion of rock exposures within the active mining areas.

The field trip will depart from Keystone early in the morning and return that evening.  A field trip guidebook and lunch will be provided.