2 million ounces of gold projected from Aurora Gold Mine underground mining
By Devina Samaroo
Approximately two million ounces of gold are expected to be extracted when Aurora Gold Mine (AGM)/Guyana Goldfields commences underground mining for the first time in Guyana.
This quantity is projected to be produced over a period of 15 years during which AGM plans to invest an incredible US$599 million in its overall operations in the country.
The company had previously stated that an estimated US$120 million has been earmarked for the underground mining.
During a media tour of the Canadian-based company’s Aurora Gold Mine in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) today, the Rory’s Knoll pit – the largest on site – was being developed with the aim of starting the process of underground mining later this year.
The depth of the open pit is currently 80 metres below sea level and when the tunnels are drilled for underground mining, it will reach as deep as 1.2 kilometres below sea level.
The company is also hoping to prepare its Mad Kiss pit for underground mining.
Clyde Gillespie, Mine Manager at Guyana Goldfields Inc., said the aim is to start drilling and developing the tunnels later this year.
He noted that eventually, AGM will have Guyanese involved in the underground mining process.
“We envision that we’ll start with contractors and then those contractors will train our Guyanese workforce who have an interest in working underground,” he told reporters.
Company officials told News Room that underground mining will be done simultaneously with the traditional open pit mining with a projection of producing a total of 3.5 million ounces of gold over the next 15 years.
Last year, AGM/Guyana Goldfields Inc. produced 160,000 ounces of gold.
The firm’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Scott Caldwell had disclosed earlier this year that studies have been completed to guarantee that underground mining can be conducted at the Aurora Gold Mine.
Caldwell had explained that the company will be starting this type of mining sooner than it initially forecasted. But he said this would allow for longer time to train and get the workforce up to speed on underground mining.
“Underground mining is a lot different, obviously than open-pit mining, and there is not a lot of underground mining experience in Guyana as yet. So we need to do quite a bit of training to get the workforce up to snuffle on that,” he said.
The AGM/Guyana Goldfields Inc. President had declared that the intention is to make Guyana the premiere underground miner not only in Guyana but in all of South America.