Coeur d’Alene Mines has found a new gold bearing vein at its Alaska-based Kensington mine which is expected to produce first gold at the rate of 120,000oz per annum in the third quarter this year.

The Kimberly gold bearing vein was discovered in the decline from the mill to the mine in a huge exploration district near Juneau, Alaska.

Last year a drilling programme started in which eight phase-one core holes intersected substantial gold mineralisation.

The range of assays was 0.144oz per tonne to more than 1.29oz per tonne.

In the fourth quarter 14 core holes, totalling more than 4,080ft, were complete.

Coeur senior vice-president Exploration Donald Birak said this first phase of drilling at Kimberly intersected mineralisation typical of other major gold systems at Kensington.

“We are encouraged with the style and strength of mineralisation in this first phase of drilling and that Kimberly consists of at least two structures that are open at depth and on strike,” Birak said.

“Phase-one drilling has defined gold mineralisation over a north-south strike length of 600ft and nearly 600ft down dip to the south-west.

“These characteristics suggest that Kimberly may develop into a major, new gold system at Kensington and bodes well for other future discoveries in this gold district.

“Our future exploration will focus on expanding and defining Kimberly, testing other targets, and exploring for other similar blind veins nearby.”