Gold mining sector poised to continue playing a leading role

Gold mining sector poised to continue playing a leading role

Georgetown, GINA, April 2, 2012

The mining and quarrying sector grew by 19.2 percent in 2011, underlying a 17.7 percent increase in raw gold declarations to 363,083 ounces, the highest level since 2004 when Omai Gold mines was still in operation.

“The gold sector maintained its position as the largest contributor to total mineral output and returned a record year in 2011 with domestic mine production surpassing the Omai gold mine highest output by 2.5 percent and recording a third consecutive year above the 300,000 ounce mark… in relation to the small and medium scale gold mining sector, over US$100M has been invested last year mainly as a result of high gold prices and it is envisaged that for 2012 the figure is expected to increase,” stated Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh during his Budget presentation last Friday March 30, 2012.

He added that as favourable world market prices persisted in 2011 and induced significant continued investments in the sector, and diamond declarations grew by 4.7 percent to 52,273 carats despite the continued shift of productive capacity into the more lucrative gold industry.

“Total gold exports valued US$517.1M, a 49.3 percent increase over 2010 this outturn is attributed to an expansion in gold mining as both the small and medium scale miners expanded their operations, spurred by favourable world market prices, while volume increased by 14.9 percent to 347,850 ounces,” the Minister explained. 

Minister Singh emphasised that the gold sub-sector is poised to continue to play a leading role in its contribution to growth, exports and job creation. This is attributed to significant new investments in the sector which include two major gold exploration projects, Guyana Goldfields Inc. and ETK Inc/Sandspring Resources Ltd, both of which are at the resource assessment stage.

He noted that the former has announced positive feasibility study results for its Aurora Gold Project in Guyana with the total investment expected to amount to US$600M and is expected to create 250 jobs during development phase and 200 created during mine operations.
The Toroparu mine is being developed by ETK Inc/Sandspring Resources Ltd., and its  total investment is projected at US $400M, with 300 jobs to be created during the development phase while another 200  will open up during mining.

He acknowledged that the next five years presents Guyana with opportunities that will completely change the face of existing traditional industries with the gold industry witnessing the entry of a number of large scale producers bringing dramatic increases in production and the introduction of new technologies.

— Post # 1263

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