THE Guyana Goldfields Inc. has announced that the mill commissioning process has commenced and the Aurora Gold Project remains on track for projected initial gold production in mid-2015. According to the company’s Snr. Vice President Country Management, Violet Smith, the project’s construction is approximately 85% complete with focus being placed on operational readiness, training and commissioning. It was stated that GGI has commenced the commissioning of the following areas SAG Mill, Power Plant Generators and Water and Air Support Systems.
The company official, in a release issued last week, stated that the commissioning phase will continue during the second quarter of this year and the company is in the process of completing the remaining piping, electrical and surface conveyor construction,
“GGI is on track to start-up the gravity gold and saprolite production circuits for mid-2015 which would allow for earlier gold production (pre-commercial production) through the processing plant. The commissioning and startup of the hard rock crushing circuit is projected to be completed in the third calendar quarter of 2015.”
Smith added that the company’s mining fleet is fully operational and all materials required for construction are on site. “All surface and on-site construction and bulk earthworks are completed except for the river dike and runway expansion. The Company is currently operating at peak construction and manpower levels with over 1,000 personnel at site. The operational readiness team has been hired and undergoing initial training. Initial open pit mining at Rory’s Knoll has defined the pit outline with excavation below river level with no in-flow of water, as expected,” Smith said.
The company expects to produce between 30,000 ounces to 50,000 ounces of gold in 2015 and approximately 120,000 ounces to 140,000 ounces of gold in 2016. GGI has approximately US$44 million (as at March 31, 2015) of capital expenditures remaining to projected initial production. The total initial development costs for all facilities as well as mining equipment, owner’s costs, indirect costs, etc., remains forecasted to be US$249 million. The Project is tracking on budget with US$52 million available as an overrun facility, if needed.
“The commissioning of the mill circuit is a major milestone which we’ve been able to deliver on schedule and brings us one step closer to initial production”, according to President & CEO, Scott A. Caldwell.
He added that he is proud of what has been accomplished in just a little over a year. “The energy at site is vibrant and I would like to thank all our employees and contractors for their dedication and excellent work. At this stage in the game, we are so close to production that it has eliminated a large portion of capital over-spending risk. Our next focus is producing ounces at, or above our target for 2015 gold production and join the ranks of producers.”
In 2014, the country welcomed Guyana Goldfields Inc., the second largest investment in the history of the mining sector after that made by Omai Mining Company. The investment by the Canadian-based mineral exploration company is primarily focused on the exploration and development of gold deposits at the Aurora Mines, located in the Cuyuni River, Region Seven.