SUTTER CREEK, Calif. (AP) - The last of California's great gold mines closed a generation ago.
But with the price of the metal near historic highs, hovering around $1,700 an ounce, the first large-scale hard rock gold mining operation in a half-century is coming back to life.
Miners are digging again where their forebears once unearthed riches from eight historic mines that honeycomb Sutter Gold Mining Co.'s holdings about 50 miles southeast of Sacramento.
The company announced the ceremonial first pour of gold before financial markets opened Monday, marking the mine's official reincarnation.
By spring, the company's 110 employees expect to be removing 150 tons of ore a day from a site immediately north of the old Lincoln Mine, enough to produce nearly 2,000 ounces of gold each month.
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