FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – Ownership of a large gold mine southeast of Fairbanks is being transferred to an Australia-based gold mining company.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Japan-based Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. and Sumitomo Corp. are transferring full ownership of the underground mine in Delta Junction to Northern Star Resources Ltd., receiving $260 million in compensation for the transfer.

Officials say the companies have agreed to the deal that’s expected to go through in October.

The mine, which produces about 300,000 ounces (8,500 kilograms) of gold each year, employs 320 direct workers and about 150 contractors.

According to Northern Star, it’s planning to invest in a “targeted intensive drilling program” to extend the mine’s life. The mine’s current life expectancy runs through 2020.

Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

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