(INEWS)With the preparatory work currently ongoing on various underground mines in Guyana, Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat believes that over the next two to three years, gold production from these underground mines will surge.
In a recent interview with this publication, Minister Bharrat spoke about mining, specifically underground mining. He noted the various companies that have started underground gold exploration, such as Australian Troy Resources.
Additionally, Aurora Gold Mines, now owned by Chinese company Zijin Mining after it took over the formerly Canadian owned mine back in 2020, has also embarked on underground mining.
“The underground mining at AGM has already started, meaning the work has already started. There hasn’t been any production as yet from the underground operation, but the work has already started. I know that significant investment is being made by both companies, to ensure that they start the process,” Bharrat said.
“The foundation is being set for an increase in production. You know how the gold sector works. The investment is made now, but maybe next two, three years down the road you will see the returns from those investments and you will see a significant improvement or increase in production, especially from the underground production from those two large scale companies.”
Bharrat also noted that there are other large scale companies that have either expressed an interest in coming or have already started. The Minister also noted that notwithstanding a dip in gold production at the half year, Guyana can expect a resurgence in the coming future.
“We have other large-scale companies coming on board and showing interest. Barrick Gold is here doing exploration activities. Torparu mines is being converted into a mining company now. Omai, there are exploration once again at Omai.”
“There’s also a large deposit or discovery in the Cuyuni area. So, these are all large deposits that have the potential to be developed into large scale mining companies,” Minister Bharrat explained.
Barrick Gold Corporation is a Canadian company with operations around the world. It had been announced earlier this year that it would re-enter Guyana’s market and start exploration near the Karouni mining site in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).
Barrick Gold Corporation, in fact, partnered with Troy Resources last year. While Barrick’s partnership with Troy Resources is a new one, the company is actually no stranger to Guyana. Back in 2018, Barrick withdrew from Guyana after spending US$7.1 million on the Arakaka gold project, where it was in a joint venture with Alicanto Minerals.
And when Alicanto found gold in Arakaka in 2020, it had attributed previous exploration work done by Newmont and Barrick Gold Corp that provided them with the necessary data inclusive of geochemistry, geophysics, and camp infrastructure, for making the find.
According to Alicanto, this all provided them with an excellent platform for discovering the gold.
Canadian company Gran Colombia Gold Corp, which is operating in Guyana, is meanwhile partnering with another recent entry into Guyana’s market, ETK Incorporated, for work on the Toroparu mine. Already, Gran Columbia has found gold in its Toroparu project in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) that may even present opportunities for underground mining.
Last year, Gran Colombia had announced that it completed its two-phase diamond drill programme, with 114 drill holes. According to the company, the drilling programme confirmed the presence of deposits that could be mined through underground mining.