China National Gold Group Corporation has signed a contract with US miner Coeur d’Alene Mines through its subsidiary Coeur Alaska for the purchase and processing of gold concentrates produced at Coeur’s Kensington gold mine.

The agreement is the first of its kind between a state-owned corporation of China and a US precious metals mine.

Coeur said the Kensington mine, scheduled to begin production shortly, is expected to produce 50,000oz of gold in 2010.

The contract with China National Gold relates to approximately half of the concentrates to be produced at Kensington.

The mine is estimated to have approximately 125,000oz of annual gold production over an initial 12.5-year life based on current reserves of 1.5 million ounces.

China National Gold operates around 60 gold mines in China, representing more than 20% of the country’s total gold production.