The Guyana Goldfields Company has announced that it has received environmental authorization from the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to resume construction and development work on an underground exploration decline at its Aurora Gold Mine.
According to the company, the mine, which has been in commercial operation as an open pit since 2016, is anticipated to transition into an eventual combined open pit and underground operation and would become the first modern underground mine developed in Guyana.
“We appreciate the thorough oversight that the EPA is providing,” said Perry Holloway, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Affairs. “The Company is committed to meeting the highest standards in its planning and execution of this important project and we look forward to continued co-operation with the EPA and the Government as we unlock the value of Aurora for Guyana and the Company’s shareholders.”
The underground decline is intended for exploration and definition drilling in support of planned underground production. The Company temporarily suspended work on the underground decline in November 2018 at the request of the EPA.
The authorization to resume operations follows the provision by the Company to the EPA of additional information concerning the application of internationally accepted codes concerning the environment, health and safety practices being proposed.
The EPA also conducted a routine compliance inspection of the Aurora mine and camp facilities in December 2018. The EPA requested the Company modify some aspects of its current waste management plan, camp waste water treatment circuit and upgrade the waste oil containment facility. The Company has addressed all the matters raised by the EPA during its inspection which will be further assessed during the next site inspection. At the time of the December inspection the Company was compliant on all other environmental conditions of the operating permit, the company said.