UNC Resources Inc. is hoping to strike it rich in its latest venture--a gold mine.
The Falls Church company, a major uranium miner during the 1970s, yesterday officially acquired Cornucopia Gold Mine when it issued 906,000 new shares of UNC to stockholders of the mine's former owner, Forest Industries Insurance Management. UNC obtained the mine, which is located in northeastern Oregon, under a reorganization agreement with FIIM.
UNC plans to begin operating the mine in 1985, estimating that production will build to 300 tons a day and produce 34,000 ounces of gold a year. A company spokesman said this operation would be ranked as small, but noted that North America does not possess any large gold mines.
The company spent $3 million and over a year examining the mine, whose tunnels had been blasted shut, before agreeing to the purchase.
"A lot of mines are being opened now," said Richard Ross, UNC spokesman. "The price of gold has gone up substantially" since the mine was first operated.
Spot gold prices for London delivery rose $6.50 yesterday, with quotes ranging from $419.50 to $420.50 an ounce.
Cornucopia, one of the largest gold mine producers in the 1930s, yielded more than 80,000 ounces of gold annually during the last five years of production. The mine shut down in 1941 due to wartime conditions, Ross said.
As one of two suppliers of nuclear fuel to the U.S. Navy, UNC was a chief producer of uranium until the last few years, when the company began to diversify and pull out of the uranium business. The company now manufactures machine tools, offshore oil boats and aerospace components.
In 1982, UNC posted a $14.1 million loss and reported a loss of $1.1 million for the first half of this year.