GUYANA: Gold Mining: Omai boasts of US$3B gold find

   … as contract remains a secret

OMAI Mines. Guyana

Jan 06, 2022- Kaieteur News – Recent appraisal results by Omai Gold Mines suggest that together with Fennell’s historical mineral resource and other known deposits in the locale, there is great potential to re-build Omai into a multi-million ounce project.

This, according to President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Omai Gold Mines Guyana Limited, Elaine Ellingham, who on Tuesday last, announced “a very significant milestone for Omai Gold—a Mineral Resource of over 1.6 million ounces of gold.”

The deposit, she said, was found at its Wenot Deposit and, “gives us a very solid base from which to expand the property’s total potential gold resources.” According to Ellingham, not only is the Wenot Deposit open, along strike and at depth, it is also located approximately 400 metres south of the past producing Fennell open pit that hosts a significant historical gold mineral resource that also remains open at depth.”

The Omai Gold Mines technical team held an exploration meeting at the site in Guyana where Geologists reviewed the results and worked with CEO Elaine Ellingham (at centre) and others to prioritize targets and develop plans for the 2022 exploration program (Photo: OGMI)

To this end, she reminded that Omai Gold Mine produced over 3.7 million ounces of gold between 1993 and 2005. Since it operated and was shut-down during a sub-US$400/oz gold price environment, known extensions to the Wenot and Fennell open pits were not pursued, nor were the many near-mine exploration targets, Ellingham reminded.
As such, “This initial Wenot Mineral Resource attests to the potential to expand the known deposits and together with Fennell’s historical mineral resource, demonstrates the potential to re-build Omai into a multi-million ounce project.”

She said too, “we also see potential elsewhere on the property for additional Wenot-type and Fennell-type deposits.” According to the Omai President and CEO, starting in late November, with the Wenot Mineral Resource drilling completed, “we shifted our focus to commence exploration for near-surface mineralization that has the potential for additional ounces amenable to open pit mining.”
To this end, she said, “our exploration team is to be especially congratulated for delivering results while safely facing the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their experience and dedication allowed us to complete the Company’s first NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate on the timeline set out at the end of 2020.”

Additionally, “I have great confidence that this team will drive further exploration successes in 2022.”
Omai Gold Mines Guyana Limited had in October 2020 announced the discovery of high-grade gold in its abandoned Wenot pit at Cuyuni, Region Seven, with the promised findings originating from unassayed core from a 2012 drilling programme that had been preserved by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).

Omai said in a release at the time that the assayed results from the first two of these holes drilled, 12WED11 and 12WED13 which were never logged or sampled, indicate that high-grade mineralization extends below the Wenot Pit and there is expansion potential of gold mineralization to new sedimentary targets.

“Visible gold was encountered in hole 12WED11. Highest assay values include 29.19 g/t Au over 1 meter from 460 to 461 meters. Hole 12WED13 intersected 4.5 meters of 2.93 g/t Au from 54 to 58.5 meters to the south of the Wenot Pit in sedimentary rocks, where there has been no previous exploration,” Omai stated.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Omai Gold Mines at the time, Mario Stifano, was quoted as saying, “we are very pleased that the results from these two holes confirm that high-grade gold continues beyond the limits of the Wenot shear and the Wenot Pit to the south within the sedimentary package, and that mineralization from the Wenot Pit continues at least 150 meters below the depth of the historical pit that was mined.”

These results, Stifano added, supports Omai’s planned initial 5,000-meter drill programme expected to commence at the beginning of 2020. The company had abandoned operations here but announced its return back in October.

Omai Gold Mines Corp., through its wholly owned subsidiary Avalon Gold Exploration Inc., holds a 100% interest in the Omai Prospecting License, covering some 4,590 acres or 18.575 square kilometres including the past producing Omai gold mine, and a 100 percent interest in the adjoining Eastern Flats Mining Permits covering 1,519 acres.

“Once South America’s largest producing gold mine, Omai produced over 3.7 million ounces of gold between 1993 and 2005; Mining ceased at a time when the average price for gold was less than US$400 per ounce, leaving significant drilled mineral resources untapped and prime exploration targets untested.”

According to Omai, the Company’s short-term priorities are to verify and expand the known mineral resources, “while advancing exploration on key targets, providing a solid opportunity to create significant value for all stakeholders.”

Though its return to Guyana was met with high praise by some with the prospect of huge investments and job creation for Guyanese, Omai over two decades had exploited Guyana and its resources and caused considerable damage to the environment.

On August 19, 1995 a man-made environmental disaster occurred in the Omai Mines; the wall of an earthen tailings pond which was constructed to contain cyanide utilized in the gold-mining industry was breached.

More than 400 million gallons of cyanide-laced material spilled into the Omai River and subsequently into the Essequibo, the country’s largest river.
The spill resulted in severe environmental, ecological, social, economic and political consequences.

Added to that, from 1993, the company commenced actual extraction of gold, and during its 24-year run, the company extracted some 3.7 million ounces of gold but only paid five percent of that in royalties to Guyana.

Had the terms of its contract for the lucrative gold mine entailed more benefits for Guyana, the country would have reaped billions of US dollars. To make matters worse, the company also benefitted from a slew of tax, fuel and vehicular concessions—totaling millions of Guyanese dollars.

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Comments

  • brandli62  On 01/07/2022 at 4:20 am

    Nice, but we have seen lots of promises and projections made the gold mining companies made over the years… Seeing is believing! And I hope that their gold mining activities are performed at the highest safety and environmental standards possible. Being a Canadian owned company gives me some hope however for the future.

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