Another gold mine is set to open soon and the Australian company behind it is seeking workers for the medium-scale operation which will be located at Kaburi, Region Seven.
The company, Troy Resources Guyana Inc, is a subsidiary of Troy Resources Limited, an Australian mining and exploration company with operations in Brazil and Argentina. Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh had told the National Assembly during his 2014 budget presentation last month that Troy Resources is on stream for late 2014 start up if not earlier.
The company had taken over Pharsalus Gold Inc. last year. Pharsalus last September had applied to the Environmental Protec-tion Agency (EPA) for authorisation to carry out large scale gold mining at Black Water Creek, Kaburi Area, in Region Seven. The EPA had released a notice indicating that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was required for the project since the planned use of cyanide raised environmental concerns.
No announcement has been made of whether environmental authorization was granted and the EPA has not published the EIA as is normally done.
The EPA had said that an EIA is required for this project since it may have significant impacts on the environment. 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.
The EPA notice had said that the project would entail an open pit mine which would see the clearing of vegetation, stripping of topsoil and blasting of hard rock.
The project also encompasses construction of a processing facility, laboratory, cyanidation facility, power generating facilities and ground water wells. It would also require the upgrading of an existing access road.
According to the project summary, the mine will be focused on the recovery of ore for processing from the Smarts and Hicks gold deposits, which is part of a 1,100 km2 area the company acquired by vendor agreements and direct grants.
The development and operation of the mine site, it added, will involve several distinct phases, including the construction of the mine site infrastructure and upgrade of the mine site access road, construction of a process plant, staged construction of tailings pond, and construction of a raw water dam.
It said exploration work at the mine site has established the presence of viable grades of ore in the area identified for the open pit mine, with maximum dimensions of 1,500m in length by 350m in width and approximately 180-240m deep.
It noted that saprolite ore—a chemically weathered rock—represents less than 10% of the total ore and is positioned in approximately the upper 70 metres of the pit. The remaining fresh ore, it added, is primarily massive intermediate volcanics with chalcopyrite and gold mineralisation. “The saprolite ore, low in sulphides, may be amenable to gravity concentration and may not need to be treated with a cyanide leaching process for gold recovery. This aspect is currently being investigated in metallurgical testing,” it said.
The company had said that the project will be designed and operated in accordance with environmental protection requirements and guidelines.
As an example, it said the project footprint and land clearing limits will be monitored and controlled over the life of the project. The footprint design will aim to reduce disturbance to forested areas.
The project summary had said that the processing plant is to have a nominal capacity of an estimated 600,000 to 750,000 tonnes of ore per annum, designed to produce up to 110,000 ounces of gold per annum based on an average overall recovery of 92%.