FAIRBANKS -- The company hoping to develop a major gold mine in Livengood said it is reducing its workforce in Fairbanks and Denver and announced the promotion of Vice President Tom Irwin to become president and chief executive officer of International Tower Hill Mines.
Irwin, who served as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources for six years, said in a press release that he is a strong believer in the "world class multi-million ounce gold project." Irwin has more than 40 years of experience in the natural resource industry.
The company reduction in force includes the loss of about three or four jobs in Fairbanks and two in Denver. The core planning staff in Fairbanks remains, with longtime Alaska miner Karl Hanneman as general manager.
Irwin replaces Don Ewigleben, who became CEO in September 2012 and was former chairman of the board. Ewigleben is to step down from the board Jan. 1, along with Dan Carriere, Tim Haddon and Roger Taplin.
The company said as it reorganizes its upper management, it will focus on "project optimization opportunities, maintenance of environmental baseline activities required for permitting, advancing discussions with companies holding confidentiality agreements and conserving cash."
In July, the company released a feasibility study saying that gold would have to be about $1,500 per ounce for the project to break even, about $300 per ounce above current prices. The economics would be positive at $1,700 per ounce and it pledged to look for ways to lower the construction and operating costs.