Miners Association welcomes Matthews Ridge manganese discovery

The recent announcement by Reunion Manganese Inc that its pre-feasibility study has indicated proven and probable mineral reserves of 26.3 million tonnes with an average grade of 14.2% manganese has been welcomed by the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA).

Earlier this month, the manganese exploration company announced positive pre-feasibility and mineral reserves on its Matthews Ridge, Region One project. The company had said that production is scheduled over a period of 10 years with an open pit mine and conventional washing and gravity plant processing 2.8 million tonnes of ore per year.

Its study envisioned production of 750,000 tonnes of manganese concentrate per year over a 10-year mine life at an initial capital cost of US$233 million. It forecast an internal rate of return of 15.7% based on consensus manganese price forecasts. Further, the study said that there was potential for expansion as satellite manganese deposits offer significant potential to extend mine life or lead to expansion.

“The completion of the Matthews Ridge Project pre-feasibility study is an important milestone for the Company. The study indicates the viability of the Project. Matthews Ridge could become a significant manganese producer at a site close to the North American and European markets. Reunion intends, subject to available financing, to carry out the work for the completion of a full feasibility study, which will include defining manganese resources from satellite deposits, targeting a production decision in the second half of 2014,” David Fennell, Executive Chairman of Reunion, had said at the time.

Recently, the GGDMA said that Reunion’s announcement comes at a time when local miners are being encouraged to seek and explore the potential of other mineral resources, other than gold and diamonds, such as rare earths, industrial minerals and semi-precious stones.

The GGDMA welcomed the news saying that it bolsters the local mining industry at a time of falling gold prices on the international market. “This project will add to the local employment market and contribute to the local economy in the near future,” the company had further said.

The Matthews Ridge area had been mined for manganese decades ago and some of the old installations are still present.

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