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Gold Forecast Grows In Lancaster County, SC

A Canadian mining company says there's twice as much gold as it expected to discover at its property in Lancaster County, South Carolina. Romarco Minerals knew the site had at least 700,000 ounces of gold when it purchased the property nearly 3 years ago. The company expected to find reserves of about 2 million ounces. It did, and then some. CEO Diane Garrett says Romarco's exploratory drilling operations have identified more than 4 million ounces in gold. "Certainly its grown far beyond our expectations and we realize now this is continuing to grow into a much larger district than we originally contemplated when we first came down to this area," Garretts says. Romarco's Haile Gold Mine is near the town of Kershaw. That's about 60 miles south of Charlotte. Gold's been mined there off and on since the 1820s, but production had been dormant since the early 1990s. Garret says the company will start construction of the new mine operations next year. She expects gold production to begin by early 2013. "While that seems like a long ways off, that's actually a very aggressive schedule for getting into production," she says. Garrett says construction should employ about 500 workers. Once production begins, she says the mine will have about 300 full-time employees with salaries of $31,000 to nearly $42,000. The mine already has 72 full-time workers and another 50 contractors.