The Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Co. has celebrated completion of a $168 million expansion of the Cresson mine, which included a new, 1,200-foot bridge to relocate eight miles of Colorado 67 for mine traffic.
Since 1994, the CC&V's Cresson mine has produced more than 1 million ounces of gold.
Johannesburg-based AngloGold operates the CC&V mine in a joint venture with Golden Cycle Gold Corp. of Colorado Springs.
The Summitville mine, operated by Galactic Resources Ltd. of Canada from 1984-1993, dumped cyanide and sulfuric acid into the Alamosa River in southwest Colorado, killing fish and other aquatic life. After the gold mine disaster at Summitville, expanding mining operations in Colorado is not easy.
The Environmental Protection Agency is restoring the area around Summitville. The dumping is considered one of Colorado's worst environmental disasters.
So far, CC&V has invested more than $400 million to develop an environmentally sound and efficient mining operation.
Some industry analysts worry that the altitude and the company's 320-ton trucks carrying thousands of pounds of ore up and down steep slopes could cause erosion, landslides and other problems at the mine.
Gold fever put Cripple Creek on the map in 1891. Since then, the area has produced about 22 million ounces of gold, making it the third-largest gold-producing district in the United States behind Homestake in South Dakota and the Carlin Trend in Nevada.