Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company (CC&V) has been mining gold in the Cripple Creek Mining District (District) since 1976. AngloGold Ashanti (Colorado) Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of AngloGold Ashanti North America Inc (AGANA), is majority owner and manager of CC&V. On June 30, 2008, AngloGold Ashanti consolidated 100% ownership in CC&V with the acquisition of Golden Cycle Gold Corporation. AGANA, based in Centennial, Colorado, is a gold mining company with exploration interests in Canada and United States, and mining interests in Colorado and Nevada. AGANA is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., one of the world’s largest gold producers, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Cripple Creek Mining District was mined historically in multiple underground operations until the 1960s. Mining activity then ceased for approximately a decade. Small-scale surface mining using the heap-leach gold recovery method began in 1971 followed by large-scale surface mining, which grew with the start of production at CC&V’s current mining operation, called the Cresson Project.
The Cresson is named for the historic underground mining operation of the same name. The Cresson is famous for the great gold find of the District, the “Cresson Vug.” A vug is a cavity in the rock, lined with crystals somewhat like a geode. The Cresson Vug produced 60,000 troy ounces of gold that was essentially picked from the walls of a room sized void encountered about 1,200 feet below the surface in 1914.
Engineering for the modern Cresson Mine began in 1993. Obtaining the various permits necessary to mine, ensuring compliance with applicable federal, State, and local requirements was completed in 1994.
CC&V is a low-grade, surface mining operation. The ore is treated using a valley-type, heap-leach process with activated carbon used to recover the gold. All solution is continually re-circulated. The resulting doré buttons are shipped to a third-party refinery for final processing. Under current permits, mining at current production rates will continue to approximately 2026, with gold recovery carrying on for at least another four years, followed by final reclamation and closure.