Mining to restart at Omai mines

Mining is set to recommence at the Omai gold mines and machinery is currently being assembled and is scheduled to be operational this month.

The Canada-based Mahdia Gold Corp (MGC) on Wednesday said that its joint venture partner began moving mining equipment from Georgetown to Omai shortly after the beginning of 2014. “The equipment is currently being assembled and is scheduled to be operational this month. There is expected to be a short period wherein the machinery goes through its initial break-in period and operators familiarise themselves with the operating methods and new equipment,” a statement from the company said.

The company also announced the appointment of Ray Irwin as Vice President of Exploration and Development, and Fred Mason as Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer, for the Omai Project.

“Mahdia is finally beginning its journey to becoming a major mining operation and I couldn’t be more pleased than to have Ray and Fred on the team,” Andre Douchane, President and Chief Executive Officer, was quoted as saying.

“Given the recent market attitude toward small start-up resource companies, I am proud of the advancements we have made. Management and insiders have continued to believe in the merit of the Omai Project and have been the major source of the recent financings that have kept the company advancing operations in Guyana,” he said.

Last January, the company entered into an agreement with Roraima Investment & Consulting Services (Guyana) Inc. to facilitate the expeditious process of alluvial gold recovery.

In November, the company said that Roraima was scheduled to begin alluvial mining operations this January with an initial rate of production targeting 300 ounces for the first month. “January’s operation will be restricted to daylight hours as the miners familiarize themselves with the equipment and mining sequence. Once everyone is comfortable with all operations, Roraima is planning to operate 20 hours per day using portable light plants to enable safe operations a night,” the company had said.

In June, MGC said that Roraima had executed a term sheet with Republic Bank for the equivalent of US$3 million in gold-mining equipment to be used at its Omai site. The term sheet was expected to see the purchase, delivery and commissioning of equipment to be used in the mining of alluvial gold at Omai.

“Processing the alluvial gold is the first step toward the company’s longer term goal of placing a large gold recovery plant back on the existing foundations at the Omai mine site,” Douchane said at the time. The company said preliminary engineering work is underway on a 250 tonnes per hour alluvial gold recovery plant.

Mahdia is a Canadian-based gold exploration company with active gold prospects in Guyana. In 2011, the company acquired the Omai gold mine for US$11.5 million to be paid over two years to the government.

The Omai mine was most recently held by IAMGOLD who acquired it from Cambior Resources. At the time it was built, in the early 90s, Omai was the largest goldmine in South America. In a period spanning 13 years, Omai produced some 3.7 million ounces of gold.

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