The U.S. Bureau of Mines conducted a study of cyanide leach technology used in Alaska's mineral industry from 1987 through 1990. Literature and cost data were obtained for mines in the contiguous United States, Canada, and Alaska that use cyanide to recover gold and silver. The data were compiled in an effort to evaluate the economics and conditions associated with cyanide use in Alaska. This report discusses heap leaching methodology, evaluates a "typical" heap leach operation in Nevada, and compares the results of the Nevada operation to an analogous hypothetical mine in interior Alaska. Five daily tonnage rates were analyzed for both the Nevada and the Alaska operations to evaluate the spectrum of economic possibilities. The discounted cash flow rate of return (dcfror) for each production rate was then evaluated in terms of recoverable metal value (rmv). The Nevada rmv for each production rate was then compared with its Alaskan counterpart, and the results were averaged. At a 0-pct DCfror, Alaskan production costs average 1.71 Times greater than costs associated with mining in Nevada. At a 15-pct DCfror, costs in Alaska are 2.01 Times greater than those in Nevada. Costs are higher in Alaska because of the shorter leaching season, increased labor and transportation costs, and heavier precipitation and vegetation.