Company hopes for gold in old Ore. mine tailings

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BAKER CITY, Ore. (AP) -- With gold prices high in recent years, a Nevada company thinks it can make money by working over the leavings of a Baker County mining operation from the first half of the 20th century.

Ironside Mining Inc. of Elko figures the giant Sumpter Dredge had captured only 40 percent of the gold when it was shut down in 1954.

The Baker City Herald (http://bit.ly/zRW79d ) reports the company wants a long-term lease to rework the tailings, which are piles of rock and gravel. The county owns most of the acreage, with smaller portions in private hands and federal holdings.

The 2.5-million-pound dredge has been partially restored and is the centerpiece of a state heritage area that attracts about 40,000 visitors a year.

The company envisions 15 to 20 years of work.

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Information from: Baker City Herald, http://www.bakercityherald.com/