News Releases

Sierra Pacific Signs Long-term Contract with Cortez Mine Project

Mar 9, 1997

Sierra Pacific Resources
Contact: Rich Atkinson
Phone: (775)834-4358

For Immediate Release

Sierra Pacific Power Co. announced today the signing of an exclusive five-year contract with the Cortez Joint Venture to provide electricity and energy services to the Cortez Gold, Cortez Pipeline, and future South Pipeline gold mining operations located in Crescent Valley, approximately 35 miles southeast of Battle Mountain, Nev., in Lander County The agreement calls for the utility to supply up to 31 megawatts of electricity to the existing and future Cortez operations. Cortez uses electricity in its mining, milling and heap leach operations. The Cortez Pipeline project is expected to produce an estimated 400,000 ounces of gold annually.

When the Cortez mines reach full capacity, energy usage is expected to represent more than 7 percent of Sierra Pacific's industrial load. The utility estimates annual electric revenues from the operation at $12.8 million.

"We're very pleased to continue our partnership with the mining industry, which is a major economic force in northern Nevada," said Randy Harris, vice president of Sierra Pacific's Energy Marketing Business Group. This is the sixth major mining company to sign a long-term energy contract with the utility, he said. The contract is subject to approval by the Nevada Public Service Commission.

The Cortez projects are a joint venture between Placer Dome U.S., and Kennecott Explorations.