-to hire 500 for construction phase
The Australian firm seeking to construct and operate a gold mine at the Kaburi area, in Region Seven says that 500 persons are likely to be employed during construction and over US$15 million has already been directly committed for building of the mine.
“The total construction budget is approximately US$87 million and the construction phase is likely to see about 500 people on site reducing to a permanent work force of 250 – 300,” Troy Resources Guyana Inc (TRGI) said in an ad in the Sunday Stabroek. The company had advertised for management and technical positions two weeks ago and reported that this has resulted in a very high response which is pleasing, since the company’s aim in the medium to longer term is to have a minimum of expatriates working in Guyana. Further employment advertisement for positions will appear in June, the ad said.
Troy Resources has proposed a medium-scale gold mine designed to produce up to 110,000 ounces of gold per annum based on an average overall recovery of 92% at the Black Water Creek, Kaburi Area, in Region Seven. The company last year took over Pharsalus Gold Inc (PGI) which holds gold mining rights to several contiguous properties, acquired by vendor agreements and direct grants, totalling approximately 1100 km2.
Pharsalus last Septem-ber had applied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for authorisation to carry out large-scale gold mining on the concession. The EPA had released a notice indicating that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was required for the project since it may have significant impacts on the environment and the planned use of cyanide raised environmental concerns. Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh subsequently told the National Assembly during his 2014 budget presentation last month that Troy Resources is on stream for a late 2014 start up if not earlier.
In yesterday’s ad, Troy Resources said that its project which it labelled the Karouni project has arrived and with the pre-feasibility study to be completed mid-way this year, the project moves even closer to full operation. The company said that since taking over, it has been drilling to update the resource which was used for the preliminary economic assessment.
The company revealed that it has recently raised more than US$30 million by way of share issues and is completing documentation for a loan facility ensuring that the project is fully funded.
“To demonstrate our commitment to doing business in Guyana, Troy purchased a number of pieces of equipment last year including a grinding mill which is now awaiting transport to Guyana and is expected to be delivered in May,” the company said while adding that direct commitments to date for the construction are in excess of US$15 million.
“The expected impact on the Guyana economy is large in terms of direct taxes, royalties and knock on effects from local purchases of goods and services both by the company and the employees,” it added.
The ad said that TRGI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Troy Resources Ltd, an Australian exploration and mining company since 1987 and operator of two mines in South America, one in Brazil and the other in Argentina. Troy has operated in Brazil since 2002 and to date constructed and operated two gold mines with several open pits and underground operations. The Argentinean operation is a gold/silver mine sited in San Juan and is now in its 4th year of operation. Troy is listed on the Australian and Toronto stock exchanges and the shareholder base is global, including some in Guyana, the ad said.
According to the company, it is well regarded in all communities and regions where it has operated and has provided significant assistance to local communities and interest groups including scholarships, teacher assistants, medical and educational facilities and will continue the path in Guyana which was started by Pharsalus Gold. “Troy is strongly focused on training its work force and assists local schools and higher education where possible,” the ad said.
It noted that Troy’s operation in Argentina is working under the ISO 1401E certification which is an international Environ-mental code and has for a long time been a voluntary subscriber to the Australian voluntary code of Envi-ronmental Performance.
Troy is also using the International code for Cyanide Users. “Troy uses a detoxification system on all their mine sites bringing the cyanide level in tailings down to very low levels,” the ad said.
Planned use of cyanide will raise environmental concerns as it recalls the biggest environmental disaster to hit the country—the 1995 collapse of a tailings pond at Omai Gold Mines Limited used to store cyanide-laced effluent. Troy’s operation is relatively close to Omai.
Meanwhile, the company added that it has also invested heavily in the reforestation of areas in Brazil, re- introducing native hardwoods, planting some 27,000 trees in one area alone which was destroyed by farming and illegal mining. “Troy is very focused on fast tracking its projects as much as possible which at the end will benefit all stakeholders including governments, business and individuals,” the company said.
Troy Resources requires a new mining licence for the operation and one of the mandatory requirements is the conduct and submission of a feasibility study which must include an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for approval by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).
The mine will be focused on the recovery of ore for processing from Smarts and Hicks gold deposits. The project components include an open cut mine, processing plant, tailings storage facility, mine site accommodation and additional infrastructure required to recover and to process ore for the recovery of gold.
Development and operation of the mine site will involve several distinct phases including the relocation and resettlement of the community at 14 Mile Issano, construction of mine site infrastructure and upgrade of mine site access road, construction of a process plant and the staged construction of tailings storage facility.
In relation to the resettlement of the 14 Mile Issano community, a mining settlement which according to one estimate comprises some 100 persons, this must be done to make the project a reality. “The 14 Mile Issano community is located within the footprint of the proposed open pit. This community would have to be relocated and resettled to make this project a reality,” the final Terms of Reference for the ESIA for the gold mine states. The ESIA is currently being done by Ground Structures Engineering Consultants Inc.