September 15, 2011 / 10:49 PM / in 6 years

UPDATE 1-Coeur's Kensington mine production at normal levels

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Coeur d‘Alene Mines CDE.N said on Thursday its Kensington gold mine in Alaska is operating at full capacity, despite a fatal accident at the underground mining operation last week. [ID:nS1E78D2DQ]

Operations are underway in all areas of the mine, said Tony Ebersole, spokesman for the Idaho-based company. The company is cooperating with the Mine Safety and Health Administration as the federal agency conducts an investigation into the blasting accident that killed one worker.

The company is also working with the MSHA “in finalizing blasting protocols for production stopes,” Ebersole said.

While there is currently no blasting work being conducted in production areas, the mine does continue to do blasting related to development work, he said.

Coeur does not anticipate the accident and its aftermath to significantly affect gold production, estimated at about 120,000 ounces a year, Ebersole said.

“We currently do not expect any material impact on our production,” he said. However, the company “will continue to evaluate any potential impact to projected gold production,” or to costs, he said

The mine’s mill has been running at capacity all week, following a four-day shutdown that coincided with planned maintenance there, he said. The mill is currently processing previously blasted and stockpiled material, he added. (Reporting by Yereth Rosen; editing by Andre Grenon)

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