Canadian miner, Guyana Goldfields Inc produced 151,600 Ozs of gold last year, just over 20% of the country’s total production of just over 700,000 Ozs.
A release today from Guyana Goldfields announced that gold sold for 2016 totalled 156,000 ounces at its Aurora Gold Mine in Cuyuni, Region Seven, achieving its upwardly revised production guidance of 140,000 ounces to 160,000 ounces in its first year of commercial production. The company began commercial operations in the middle of 2015.
The Company said it had a record fourth quarter in relation to both tonnes mined and tonnes milled resulting in 45,500 ounces sold in the period. December was particularly strong, the company said, with 22,800 ounces sold, a record for the year.
Scott A. Caldwell, President & CEO, said in the release “With commissioning, ramp-up and over a year of operations successfully behind us, Aurora has proven to be a strong, high grade asset with exceptional cash flow generation.”
The Company said it is well positioned financially to grow near-term production and boost exploration with an unaudited cash balance of approximately US$70m at the end of the year compared to a total debt balance of US$80m. The Company plans to issue an updated Technical Report Feasibility Study for the mine later this month reflecting an expansion of the mill from 5,000 tonnes per day (tpd) to 8,000 tpd throughput.
Exploration efforts are expected to heighten significantly this year with drilling activity to begin at both near-mine targets and at the Sulfur Rose deposit (~20km north east of the Aurora Mine) in the first quarter of this year.
Due to mine sequencing gold production is expected to be slightly higher in the second half of the year relative to the first half. Similarly, due to the timing of sustaining capital expenditures, all-in sustaining costs are expected to be higher in the first half of the year relative to the second. . The royalty cost is based on an assumed gold price of $1,200 per ounce.
Gold is being recovered via two methods once the rocks are pulverized: gravity separation and by the use of cyanide. A slurry is created with the cyanide in a process known as gold cyanidation. The gold dissolves in aqueous solutions of cyanide.
In October 2014, Guyana Goldfields Head Patrick Sheridan at a mining conference here assured that there is no risk from the use of cyanide.
“The cyanide is destroyed before we ever discharge into the dam so if there is no risk of a cyanide spill…,” Caldwell said. “I have promised that when we are up and running I will drink the tailings water,” he added.
In December of 2015, President of Guyana Goldfields Caldwell reiterated an earlier company promise that he would drink a glass of treated tailings water from its Cuyuni mine to show that there was no threat.
Stabroek News had been told that that the International Finance Corporation (IFC) made it a mandatory requirement that the cyanide destruction facility of GGI meets quality assurance and quality control standards before monies were loaned to company for the investment. The company’s tailings dam is also expected to meet rigorous safety standards. To protect from any flooding from the Cuyuni River which borders the mine site, the company has built a levy which caters for a 10,000-year flood event.
Guyana Goldfields has been operating in Guyana since 1996. On October 5, 2011 it had announced that it had clinched a Memorandum of Understanding with the government for the Aurora Gold Project which sets mining royalties and paved the way for a mining licence.
The MOU had set out the key terms of the Mineral Agreement, also known as a Fiscal or Stability Agreement.
It said that significant among the terms of the MOU are:
-Mining royalty of 5% on gold sales at a price of gold of US $1,000/oz or less
-Mining royalty of 8% on gold sales at a price of gold over US $1,000/oz
Guyana Goldfields data
|Average Realized |
|Gross Revenue||US$ mlns||194.2||54.8|
|Tonnes mined |
|Head grade||g/t Au||2.74||2.94|
|Gold production (000’s ounces)||160-180|
|Cost of sales (production costs, royalty and depreciation) ($ per ounce)||$800-$850|
|Cash cost1, excluding royalty |
($ per ounce)
|All-in sustaining1 (“AISC”) ($ per ounce)||$775-$825|