Guyana Goldfields Receives Mining License for Aurora

Guyana Goldfields reported in mid-November 2011 it signed a mineral agree-ment with and received a mining license from the government of Guyana for its 100%-owned Aurora gold project, located about 170 km west of Georgetown, the cap-ital of Guyana. The mining license is Guyana Goldfield's permit to build and operate the project and is the first such license for a large-scale gold project to be issued in Guyana since 1991. The license is valid an initial 20-year term with provisions for extension on application by the company.

Guyana Goldfields expects to deliver the feasibility study for the Aurora project in mid-January 2012. Construction of the mine-site facilities and mill will begin in the first quarter of 2012 and is scheduled to be completed over a period of 24 months. The mine and mill are planned to be fully oper-ational by the first quarter of 2014

. In a September 2011 project update, Guyana Goldfields reported its feasibility study team had locked-in some key param-eters for the Aurora project. Open-pit min-ing is expected to include six pits within a square mile, with bottom depths varying from 70 to 315 m. The average strip ratio is expected to be between 9 and 10 to 1, waste to ore.

Underground mining will focus on the Rory's Knoll deposit, with access via a 1,200-m-deep shaft and a main ramp from surface to allow production from several mining areas concurrently. Some under-ground mining will also be conducted via ramps below the Aleck Hill, Mad Kiss and East Walcott Hill pits.

Milling will be through a SAG mill and ball mill combination, with design through-put of 9,500 mt/d. Ongoing design work was focused on optimization of the grinding cir-cuit and the tailings disposal system and acquiring vendor quotations for the various plant components, including long-lead items.

Measured and indicated open-pit resources for the Aurora project at a $1,200 gold price currently total 2.18 mil-lion oz of gold in 20.22 million mt grading 3.34 g/mt. Measured and indicated under-ground resources at the same price total 3.52 million oz of gold in 26.82 million mt grading 4.09 g/mt.

As featured in Womp 2011 Vol 10 -