Guyana Goldfields Incorporated, owner of Aurora Gold Mine has commenced what is being described as successful underground exploration at its north-west Mazaruni location.     

According to a Department of Public Information (DPI) release, the company has secured clearance to do so from both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).

Senior Vice-President, Strategy and Corporate Affairs, Perry Holloway yesterday disclosed to  DPI that the EPA’s clearance gives the company up to 2,500 metres of underground exploration, plus test mining for 300,000 tons of ore. “We have started and have gone down a couple of hundred meters; maybe three or four hundred metres right now.
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman (second from left) with Senior Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Affairs of AGM, Perry Holloway (second from right), and Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Suresh Kalathil ( left) and a company engineer during a visit to the underground tunnel where exploration is currently taking place. (DPI photo)

Everything so far is going great, the rocks are cool, some people thought it would be hot, there is very little water, some people thought there would be a lot of water as we are very close to the Cuyuni River, none of that is true.” He added that side drilling would begin soon to determine where and how much gold was at the location.

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, who was also on the tour, expressed his satisfaction with the current progress reports from the company after having previously visited the camp back in March this year with a South African delegation before exploration began.

“This is historic for Guyana. We have had underground mining in Guyana before, I’m not saying this is the first, but certainly it is the only company doing it right now,”  Trotman said, adding that this was a great opportunity for Guyanese to see and understand the functions of an underground mine.

The Natural Resources Minister also stated that he was especially heartened to know that the company has received exploration clearance from both the GGMC and EPA.

“I’m happy to see that issues and some challenges with GGMC and EPA have been resolved and the company has been able to start the exploratory aspect of the digging and hopefully things progress and a full mining permit will be given by both the GGMC and EPA,” Trotman was quoted as saying.

The Aurora Gold Mine is one of the largest gold mines in Guyana and the world, with an estimated reserve of 6.54 million ounces of gold, the release added.