The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported that U.S. gold mining production declined 3 percent for the first half of 2012.
The USGS also reported a slight decline in June gold output from 20,800 kg (662,305 oz) in June 2011 to 20,200 kg (649,445 oz).
For the first half of 2012, the agency report a total of 113,000 kg (3,633,034 oz)of U.S. gold production, down 3 percent from the same period of last year. Of that January through June 2012 production, 85,900 kg (2,761,750 oz) were mined in Nevada, while 12,300 kg (395,454 oz) were mined in Alaska, according to the USGS.
Average daily gold production for U.S. mines was 674 kg (21,669 oz) in June, compared with 639 kg (20,544 oz) in May.
The average Engelhard gold price for June was $1,602.13/oz, a slight increase compared with the average gold price in May.
Among the noteworthy developments highlighted in the USGS report was Rio Tinto’s announcement that it planned to invest $660 million over the next seven years in its Bingham Canyon Mine near Salt Lake City, UT to extend the life of the mine by 11 years. Beginning in 2019, Bingham Canyon is expected to have an average annual output of 5,750 kg (184,867 oz) of gold, 180 kt (198,000 st) of copper, and 13.8 kt (15,200 st) of molybdenum.
The agency also observed that Yukon-Nevada has started construction of earthworks at Starvation Canyon at the Jerritt Canyon mine in Elko, NV. Starvation Canyon is planned to start production in 2013.