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Dragon Mining first blast at Svartliden signifies start to underground mining

Gold producing Dragon Mining (ASX: DRA) has conducted the first blast to commence the decline for underground mining at the Svartliden gold mine in Sweden

Dragon has outlined the development will consist of 3,500 metres of decline and lateral development from the base of the open pit, which is around 50 metres from surface, at a total production cost of US$6.5 million.

The decline is expected to be completed within a year - with the first ore in early 2012.

Dragon owns three gold mines in the region, which produced 71,598 ounces of gold at an average cash cost of US$678 per ounce in 2010.