Archive | July, 2015

Claiming Warnings Ignored Family of Police Detective Want Answers In Suicide

Posted on 30 July 2015 by Howard Copelan

Burnum family

Burnum family

The family of deceased Police Detective Donald Burnum is considering suing the City of West Wendover for the wrongful death of the veteran cop of 23 years.

“Our family is aware that calls were made within days before Donald’s death to WWPD. The chief as well as the city manager have been contacted about the situation and asked what steps were taken after the calls were made. The city has refused to speak with us any further on the matter,” wrote Burnum’s sister Lyssa Thompson in a prepared statement to the Advocate. “As a member of the community i feel that after such notification there is a duty to protect the officer involved, the police department and the community seeing as a officer carries a firearm and has been reported unstable. We would like to see a protocol put in place so that if faced with the situation, action would be taken to get the officer help, to take steps to assure safety and to possibly save a life.


WWPD Detective Donald Burnham

WWPD Detective Donald Burnham

Officers, detective, firefighter, ambulance medic etc. respond to and experience things that others cant even imagine. As we go about living our lives they are experiencing things that most can not imagine. Murder, rape, molestation, suicide, illness and so much more. The effects this can have on that person can be life altering to say the least.

Donald loved serving his community, helping people, protecting people and seeking out justice for people. Serving for over 20 years on West Wendover police department i think he deserved the same.

Donald was a loving, caring, hard working, compassionate man who served our community with pride and he will deeply be missed by so many.”

Both the family and law enforcement agree that Burnum’s body was discovered outside the city limits south of Wendover near US 93, dead from a self inflicted gun shot wound on July 3rd of this year.

centraThe major point of contention is whether or not the troubled detective told his superiors in either the Police Department or the city that he was feeling suicidal.

According to investigators Burnum displayed no obvious signs of depression or emotional distress in the days leading up to his death. He left no note and no easy to find text message or e-mail to explain his actions.

According to both Thompson and to brother Kurt Burnum, Donald not only told fellow police officers that he was despondent but may have related that he was feeling suicidal.

“He told me he was feeling suicidal,” Kurt Burnum said in a telephone interview with the High Desert Advocate. “But when I called the police department all I could speak to was a secretary and no one called me back. When I called back the chief wouldn’t take my call.”

During the interview Kurt Burnum admitted that he was on mental illness medication and had been diagnosed as a schizophrenic.

Kurt Burnum also said that his brother was diagnosed with clinical depression and that his medication had been recently changed by his mental health care giver. Lyssa Thompson also confirmed that Donald Burnum was on medication for depression.

Both siblings agree that their brother’s medication had been recently changed within in a month of his suicide and both insist they have been stonewalled by the city administration.

“Other than being notified of his death nobody from the pd has contacted the family unless returning the calls about this situation,” Lyssa Thompson added in another email.

wrightad2According to mental health experts contacted by the High Desert Advocate it is not all that rare that police, military or others in high stressed jobs to complain to their cohorts but not to their superiors. 

“We do have a duty to detain someone whether a police officer or not if we believe that he or she poses a threat to himself or to others,” said West Wendover Police Lt. Donald Lininger. “But that bar is very high. This was a tragic situation I don’t know what could have been done to prevent it.”

According to the mental health professionals contacted by the Advocate, suicide is incredibly hard to prevent for a person determined to take his or her own life even if successful in the short term there is no guarantee that the attempts will not stop.

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Ely Wife Beater Delgrande Gets Lawyer & Court Date

Posted on 30 July 2015 by Howard Copelan

Benji Delgrande Booking Photo

Benji Delgrande Booking Photo

Accused wife beater Benji Delgrande will spend more than a month in jail before he goes to court according to the White Pine County Justice Court .

Delgrande first date with justice will be September 17 according to justice court files.

Charged with the brutal beating and attempted murder of his wife Shannan Breitrick  a month ago in Ely. He evaded arrest for about a month before being captured in Ephraim, Utah.

Ephraim is less than 200 miles east of Ely in rural Utah.

Because of its proximity and isolation detectives speculate that Delgrande had help either getting to and/or staying in Ephraim while he was evading capture.

fandango1Located on US 89 there are no hotels, motels or any other lodgings available in Ephraim or any nearby towns.

The closest hotels are in Nephi, Utah about 45 minutes away by car. According to White Pine under-sheriff Scott Henroid, Delgrande surrendered or left Ely without any form of legal identification which would make checking into any hotel or motel problematic. He also may have left without any credit or debit cards which could mean he was either relying on petty theft, the kindness of strangers or more likely friends or relatives to escape the almost month long manhunt.

Alex Ghibaudo

Alex Ghibaudo

Delgrande has however retained a lawyer, Alex Ghibaudo of Las Vegas. According to a feature story in the Las Vegas Review Journals Ghibaudo is coming off a five year suspension from the Nevada Supreme Court. The Nevada Supreme Court reinstated Ghibaudo to the practice of law, with conditions, in May 2014.

On Aug. 7, 2009, the Supreme Court issued an order of temporary suspension that accused Ghibaudo of:

■ Repeatedly abandoning clients.

■ Failing to provide an accounting of client funds.

■ Failing to respond to the office of bar counsel after repeated requests regarding multiple grievance files.

Making several “unprofessional and demeaning telephone calls” to other attorneys.

In addition to his professional problems Ghibaudo was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder and acknowledges that he is an alcoholic and attempted to commit suicide on more than one occasion.

helpIn spite of his professional and personal problems Ghibaudo is considered a talented trial lawyer and a successful defense of Delgrande would certainly go a long way to repair Ghibaudo reputation.

It will not however win Ghibaudo many fans in Ely where Shannan Breitrick is almost universally held in affection while Delgrande is held in contempt.


“They need to prosecute this sorry excuse for a human to the fullest extent of the law,” wrote blogger Michele Michelle Bodenheimer on the Advocate’s website. “He has already murdered one other person and not charged.. He thinks he is above the law.”

Bodenheimer was referring to the death of Jimmy  Assuras in 2003 in Elko. Delgrande was considered a person of interest in the death but was never charged.

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West Wendover Couple Nabbed Elko Car Theft

Posted on 30 July 2015 by Howard Copelan


A court date in Elko turned into a nightmare for a Wendover couple with enough legal troubles already.

Ivan Arbaca and Andrea Peebles both of Wendpverwere in Elko Sunday for a Monday morning court date and were staying at their mother-in-law’s apartment. According to police reports the couple decided to go for a ride taking the older woman’s 1999


Chevy Blazer. She reported it stolen and shortly before midnight the Wendover couple was spotted driving by the Red Lion Casino.

The were charged with vehicle theft as well as minor drug counts their total bail was just under $50,000.


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Seth Glenn 1993-2015

Posted on 30 July 2015 by Howard Copelan

obit1Seth Bryant Glenn, age 22, 

was taken from us on July 25, 2015 in a work related accident.

Seth was born on June 24, 1993 in Murray, Utah to Robert Glenn and Kelly Kelsey.

Seth Graduated from West Wendover High School in 2012.  In school, Seth played football, wrestled and met the love of his life, Courtney Garrison.  

After graduation Seth went to work with his dad and brother of exploration drill rigs.  He had a job he truly loved and was proud to be a part of the drilling industry.  During his time on the rigs Seth grew as an individual and learned to overcome fears and challenges.  Seth never said no or backed down from 

anything, he took everything head on.

On march 18, 2013 Seth and Courtney welcomed into this world their sonRobert Maximilian Glenn.  With that Seth’s world was complete.  Seth’s world now revolved around Courtney and Little Bobby.

Seth with brother Cash

Seth with brother Cash

Seth is survived by his father Robert Glenn, his mother Kelly Kelsey, Fiancé Courtney Garrison and son Robert (Bobby) M. Glenn, Brothers Cash Robert Glenn and Andrew Raymond Simpson, Sister Tiana Joan Kelsey, Daughter Abigail Soto, Grandmothers Sandra Kelsey and Maria Borders, and many Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.

Seth was preceded in death by his Grandfathers Robert Kelsey and James Borders.

Services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Elko, Nevada on Friday, July 31, 2015 at 11:00 am.

Following the service there will be a celebration of his life at the Powerhouse Campground in Lamoille Canyon.

I love you son and I am so proud of you.

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Death Close To Home & Far Away

Posted on 30 July 2015 by Howard Copelan

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Howard Copelan, Publisher

This was a bad week for us.

It is always sad to write of the death of a young man or woman.

But this was harder because we knew this boy.

Seth was a friend of our son Arieh. They were sometimes on the same teams and his mother and grandmother were friends of ours.

We exchanged greeting at football games saw them in the halls of school.

We featured them in stories when they took on the School District and cheered when they won.

And no the boy we watched grow up to be a fine man is dead.

There should be another word for accident.

Somehow it simply doesn’t convey the sadness we feel at the loss of this young man.

Today we heard the news that child killer and child rapist Samir Kutnar was killed.

He crushed a four year old Israeli girl’s head in 1979. Freed in a prisoner swap he was supplied with young Arab boys to molest by Hezbollah as he planned terror attacks mostly on Syrians for the past three years.

Now he is dead, justice is served.

Of course the beast Kutnar’s death has been over shadowed by the killing of Cecil the Lion.

In fact just about everything has been over shadowed by the killing of Cecil the Lion.

Never mind the police killing of unarmed citizens, or the debate on the Iran nuke deal or the Greek bail out or the fact that Pluto has some new photos.

Everyone wants a piece of that idiot dentist who shot Cecil with a bow.

We agree it was not cool but he paid over 50 grand for the hunt. That dough got spread around quite a bit in Zimbabwe and there were some full human bellies in southern Africa because of the dental moron.

Is it wrong to kill wild animals?

Not really as long as it isn’t to extinction.

Yeah it probably makes a lot of useful idiots feel good about themselves calling for the head of another doofus but that is about it.

And while the world is getting the vapors over poor Cecil and the poorer dentist who killed him, the happiest people must be the folks of Planned Parenthood who don’t have to talk about selling baby human parts.

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After Strong Mid Year Wendover Clubs Finish Fiscal Year Slightly Up

Posted on 30 July 2015 by Howard Copelan



Wendover casinos showed a modest 1.88  percent gain gaming win this June to $13 million reported the Nevada Gaming commission Wednesday.

While the entire state was off over $75 million this June Wendover casinos saw the slight increase primarily due to good weather and a strong showing on the tables and in the sports books.

click link for report:mrrJune15

wrightad2“Win” is a gross figure, with no operating costs or other expenses deducted. And it’s casino revenue only _ separate from hotel, restaurant or bar revenues generated by the resorts.

While win indicates a casino market’s profitability another statistic “play” is an indicator of how casino workers are fairing. With some casino workers dependent on tips for up to half of their total income, play, the amount of money wagered by gamblers is a good indicator of how much casino workers received in tips and how many gamblers are actually in the casino.

Slot win was down 1.2 percent to $10.4 million. Slot play was down 1.9  percent to $185.9 million. Slot hold increased from 5.56 percent in June 2014 to 5.6 percent this June.

centraOn the tables win was up 16.3 percent to $2.6 million. Play was down 0.6 percent to $12.4 million while hold grew from 18.19 percent to 21.28 percent.

Total gaming win for the balance of the county dropped by 6.1 percent to $7.2 million.

Slot win was down 7.1 percent to $6.5 million. Slot play was down 5.7 percent to $94.3 million. Slot hold increased from 7.04 percent to 7.21 percent

wrecnewThanks to terrible losses on t Baccarat a win was down 8.3 percent state wide to $830

Million. June’s statewide gaming “win” fell 8.37  percent, the report showed, pulled down by a -16.31  percent drop on the Las Vegas Strip. By itself Baccarat was off 56 percent from June 2014.

For the fiscal year, the state is down 1.58  percent from a year earlier.


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Wendover Man Killed in Tragic Mine Accident

Posted on 27 July 2015 by Howard Copelan

Seth Glenn and family, facebook photo

Seth Glenn and family, facebook photo

Seth Glenn a 2012 graduate of West Wendover High School was killed Saturday in an Idaho mining accident.

According to police reports , Seth Bryant Glenn, died at the scene of injuries he received when he was crushed between a parked pickup truck and a large tracked vehicle transporting a drill. Glenn was employed by National EWP, and had worked for the company for several years, according to the sheriff.

helpGlenn 23 was a 2012 graduate of West Wendover High School and was a new father and recently engaged to be married.

“My heart is broken. Seth was my student and always had a big bear hug for me and a warming smile. It just doesn’t seem right that his life was taken so young,” wrote his teacher Betty Gigia in a Facebook post. “My students are like my own kids and it hurts so much to say good bye to one. RIP, Seth. You will be missed.”


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Who Helped Benji Evade Man Hunt?

Posted on 23 July 2015 by Howard Copelan

Benji Delgrande Booking Photo

Benji Delgrande Booking Photo

Benjamin Delgrande was booked into the White Pine County Jail late last week, not fighting extradition from Utah.

Delgrande of Ely was cap- tured last Sunday in a small Utah town after a month long manhunt for the brutal beat- ing of his ex-wife.

Charged with attempted murder among other crim- inal counts Delgrande was stopped for a minor traffic violation in Ephraim, Utah. Fandango 7 Gold corrected – 2015.

According to police reports deputies were called by Del- grande’s ex-wife, Shannan Breitrick also of Ely. Dep- uties reported that Breitrick had sustained multiple head injuries and requested an ambulance respond for medical treatment. Breitrick was taken to E.R. By ambulance and due to the extensiveness of her injuries was life flighted to another hospital facility.

marykShe identified Delgrande, who had fled the area. An arrest warrant was obtained from Ely Justice Court.

The incident occurred on June 14th.

“We thought we had pretty good leads on Delgrande’s location but they fizzled out,” said White Pine underSheriff Scott Henroid explaining the two week delay between the beating and the press release calling for the public’s help.

The press release not only asked for help but also warned “anyone who is harboring Delgrande or assist- ing him in evading law enforcement will be prosecuted according to the laws of the State of Nevada.”

Ephraim is less than 200 miles east of Ely in rural Utah.
Because of its proximity and isolation detectives speculate that Delgrande had help either getting to and/or staying in Ephraim while he was evading capture.

Located on US 89 there are no hotels, motels or any other lodgings available in Ephraim or any nearby towns.

helpThe closest hotels are in Nephi, Utah about 45 min- utes away by car. According to White Pine underSheriff Scott Henroid, Delgrande surrendered or left Ely with- out any form of legal identification which would make checking into any hotel or motel problematic. He also may have left without any

credit or debit cards which could mean he was either relying on petty theft, the kindness of strangers or more likely friends or rela- tives to escape the almost month long manhunt.

In a related development Delgrande victim Shannan Breitrick was released and then re- turned to a Reno hospital for additional surgeries this week.

Fandango 9 Gold corrected - 2015

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Posted on 23 July 2015 by Howard Copelan

speedSunday’s torrential rains on the Bonneville Salt Flats were the nail in the coffin for this year’s speed week announced the event’s sponsor the Southern California Timing Association Tuesday morning.

“SPEED WEEK 2015 HAS BEEN CANCELED​,” wrote the SCTA in a terse press release Tuesday.​  “The SCTA President/Race Director Bill Lattin & the BNI Chairman Roy Creel spent this morning (July 20th) on the salt. The most they could find was 2 1/4 miles of salt suitable for a safe race course. The rest of the salt flats are either wet or wet and muddy. If the wet salt gets dry, future events could be possible. The Nugget will be refunding for reservations for one week.”

golfEven before Sunday’s thunderstorms the odds against  Wendover’s premier racing event were high.

Already last week the Southern California Timing Association warned that Speed Week could very well be canceled for the second year in a row this week in a missive to racers and fans.

“Not canceled yet, but? Seems like Mother Nature is still not cooperating with us,” the SCTA warned on their website. “The SCTA/BNI met yesterday, July 12, to discuss contingency plans. We will make a final decision on Speed Week no later than July 22nd. We can tell you how it is now, but not how it will be in 10 days.

Heavy rains this year and last forced a layer of mud over the Bonneville Salt Flats rendering the race track too dangerous to race on this year

Heavy rains this year and last forced a layer of mud over the Bonneville Salt Flats rendering the race track too dangerous to race on this year

Our advance team spent the July 4th weekend on the Bonneville Salt Flats trying to find adequate salt to conduct the 2015 Speed Week event; unfortunately without much success. A portion of the courses were still underwater and other areas were suffering from rough and /or muddy salt. A pretty good analysis appeared recently in the Salt Lake City Newspaper. You can see the “Mud flow” on Google Satellite Maps.

In 2014 Speed Week was canceled for the first time in 20 years by the Southern California Timing Association due to rain.

According to the SCTA web page the amount of water dumped on the famous race was simply was too much to drain or evaporate before the start of the event.

The last time rain caused the cancellation of Speed Week was in 1994 but according to what few records were kept and the memory of old time Nevadans this year’s cancellation could be  harbinger of several more in the coming decade.

marykAlready unusually late spring storms drenched northern Nevada for almost two weeks this May supporting ranchers claims that rural Nevada is headed toward a wet cycle.

Those heavy rains both last year and this past spring caused a layer of mud to flow down from the surrounding mountains onto the salt flats, covering roughly 6 miles of the area usually converted into a race course.

“It’s disappointing but it is not the end of the world,” said Wendover Mayor Mike Crawford. “Some local businesses will take a hit but I would not say any will shut down because of the cancellation. Anyone who has lived here more than 25 years knows that there are good years and bad ones for Speed Week of any other events on the Salt Flats. Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s they were talking about canceling Speed Week forever because we had several wet years in a row. Then we had 25 dry years. I guess people got spoiled but there is no reason to panic.”

The cancellation could however derail plans for Wendover’s newest development The Bonneville Club.

wrightad2 (1)Approved late last year the Club would be a unique development for extremely high end car enthusiasts who want to see just how fast their car (s) will go on the world famous Bonneville Salt Flats.

“We are probably the only community that not only has salt flats but also an airport,” said Crawford at the time. “It is a perfect match.”

The multi million project consists of 34 duplex units with state of the art storage garages to protect automobiles that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The preliminary grading will be done by local contractor Brett Shelton.

“We want to contract with as many local businesses as possible,” Taylor said. “It will be a win-win relationship for us and for Wendover.”

However the back to back cancellations and the gloomy chatter about the future of the Salt Flats could give potential investors pause.

The Salt Flats are public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and is known for land speed records at the “Bonneville Speedway” that has been used to test speed almost since the invention of the automobile.

There are five major land speed events that take place at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Bonneville “Speed Week” takes place mid-August followed by “World of Speed” in September and the “World Finals” take place early October.

Fandango 9 Gold corrected - 2015These three events welcome cars, trucks, and motorcycles. The “Bub Motorcycle Speed Trials” are for motorcycles only. World records are contested at the Mike Cook ShootOut in September. The Southern California Timing Association and the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association organizes and plans the multi-vehicle events, but all event promoters contribute to prepping and maintaining the salt.

Salt flats or pans are some of the most geologically unstable features on the planet. A salt pan is formed where water pools evaporate. An example of a salt pan would be a lake or a pond that is located in a climate where the rate of water evaporation exceeds the rate of water precipitation. If the water is unable to drain into the ground, it remains on the surface until it evaporates, leaving behind minerals precipitated from the salt ions dissolved in the water. Over thousands of years, the minerals (usually salts) accumulate on the surface. Once created salt pans are very short lived in geological time as changing rain fall, natural erosion and earth movements such as earthquakes seem to conspire to consume the salt pan.



Despite Price Slump Newmont Keeps On Long Canyon Work

Posted on 23 July 2015 by Howard Copelan

newmont1Despite a sudden drop in the price of gold last week and the bankruptcy of smaller mines, Newmont Mining remains bullish on its North American operations in general and the Long Canyon Mine in particular.

Friday the price of the precious metal fell to a five year low to just over $1000 an once causing medium sized panic in the commodities market. In addition to the price plunge  the bankruptcy of Midway Gold and the perhaps temporary closure of the Pan Mine in White Pine County illustrates that the business of mining gold is not a sure thing.

Midway Gold declared bankruptcy late last month  the company announced that mining activity at it Pan site 50 miles south of Ely would be suspended and up to half of its work force would be laid off. It was less than two years ago that the Pan project broke ground and just this year when the mine celebrated its first pour of gold. But even as the celebration was going on rumors began circulating that despite the initial science Pan was not producing as much gold as was expected.

But while knees are shaking in the commodities markets Newmont is going full steam ahead in the construction of the Long Canyon Mine. Perhaps buoyed by a federal judge’s rejection to halt work on the mine from the Goshute tribe last week Newmont is doubling down.

Just this week the company issued a new call for workers, truckers, at Long Canyon and the company also announced a quarterly dividend of $0.025 per share of common stock, payable on Sept. 24 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Sept. 10. The company says the average London Bullion Market Association p.m. gold price during the second quarter fell below the company’s gold-price-linked dividend policy threshold of $1,200 per ounce. Still, the board authorized the company to maintain the dividend for the third quarter based on “strong year-to-date operating and financial performance,” Newmont says in its announcement. The company is the first major North American gold producer scheduled to report second-quarter earnings, with the report due out sometime after the market closes this week.

The Greenwood Village, CO-based company is expected to report earnings of 26 cents per share on revenue of $1.97 billion for the second quarter. Last year, Newmont Mining reported earnings of 20 cents per share on revenue of $1.76 billion for the 2014 second quarter. Newmont shares were up 2.86% to $18.68 in afternoon trading Wednesday. Newmont’s bullish activity both for its shareholders and its workers at a time when the rest of the gold mining industry is behaving at best skittishly could be explained by the richness of Long Canyon.

wrightad2 (1)Literally a mountain of gold ore lies in the once long over looked Pequop Range now in advanced exploration.

Estimated to need 500 workers during construction and 250 miners once operations are ready, the Long Canyon mine could add at least 1,000 people to the area and that may be just the tip of a gold boom in eastern Elko County.

“We think this could have as much potential as the Carlin Trend,” Geologist Moira Smith said four years previous. “It is truly remarkable.”

In addition to having ‘smoking hot’ ore, the area is a stones throw from Interstate 80, has no endangered species living anywhere near it and does not have any significant archaeological sites located on it. Despite the contention of the Goshutes, ancient Native Americans also apparently ignored Long Canyon.

“The Wells Band of the Western Shoshone believes we can have preservation and economic development at the same time,” said Gracie Begay tribal chairwoman. “We have been meeting with the BLM, Newmont and the Ibapah Goshutes for months now. We had no idea that they would do this now.”

side in the coming fight is disputing whether there have been artifacts discovered in the construction process.

The disagreement is whether those finds have been ‘significant’.

Even according to Johnny while there have been finds of ancient hearths, tools and poetry shards there have been no discoveries of petroglyphs, permanent or even semi-permanent hunting or agricultural sites in the area.

helpThe death of those finds could be devastating to the Goshutes case both in and out of the court room. While an ancient hearth can have archaeological significance especially if it is so old that it could add to understanding the peopling of the Americas it is still just a charred hole in the ground.

The mine has the potential to radically alter the economy and the lives of eastern Nevada, residents of Wendover and Wells. The two cities who once looked with jealously at the boom in Elko and Carlin could soon have a mine to call their own.

Long Canyon Mine project cleared its final hurdle to begin construction with Bureau of Land Management issuing its Record of Decision this April. The decision allows the mining operator to construct and operate a new heap leach gold mine that would consist of one open pit, one heap leach pad, a waste rock storage facility, a tailings storage facility, a natural gas pipeline from the existing Ruby Pipeline, on-site power generation plant and other ancillary facilities.  The associated disturbance would be approximately 1, 707 acres of public land, including 480 acres of split estate lands of federal surface and private subsurface.

According to a Newmont press release the first phase of development consists of an open pit mine and heap leach operation with expected gold production of between 100,000 and 150,000 ounces per year over an eight year mine life at an estimated all-in sustaining cost of between $500 and $600 per ounce. At current gold prices, the project is expected to generate around $100 million  annually, beginning in 2017.


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