Guyana Goldfields starts underground development at Aurora
Guyana Goldfields (TSX:GUY) announced today that is has started underground development at its 100%-owned Aurora Mine, which is located in northwestern Guyana, in a territory in dispute with Venezuela.
In a media statement, Guyana Goldfields said is has completed the first blast on the Mad Kiss portal and that now the contractor is working on completing and reinforcing the collar and extending the decline 200 metres to fulfill the scope of the early works phase. These works are expected to be done in the first quarter of 2019.
The Toronto-based miner said that the plan is to advance the exploration decline approximately 2,500 metres and to provide a platform for further underground exploration and definition drilling. The decline is intended to provide access to all principal underground mining areas, including some higher-grade zones in Mad Kiss and East Walcott that could potentially provide supplemental mill feed during the development period.
“The blast is a key milestone marking the commencement of underground construction. The decline provides an ideal platform to potentially upgrade and expand the current underground resource and unlock the full potential of the Aurora deposit,” said Scott A. Caldwell, the firm’s President & CEO, in the press release.
The underground operations are aimed at extracting more than 2 million ounces of gold. Aurora has a total gold resource of 6.25 million ounces in the measured and indicated categories, as well as an additional 1.79 million ounces in the inferred category.
The mine achieved commercial production in January 2016 and produced 160,000 ounces of gold in 2017. To be able to move underground, Guyana Goldfields is investing more than $120 million, which is a first in the history of the South American country.