VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Guyana Goldstrike has recorded maiden sales of 910 oz of gold, which were mined and recovered by local small-scale alluvial, or artisanal, miners on the company’s Marudi gold project, as part of a corporate social responsibility drive.
Through a cooperative agreement, artisanal miners have been given company-controlled access, with Guyana Goldstrike oversight, to work the alluvial areas (creeks, edges and new channels) of the property and also the alluvial tailings that had been previously mined by artisanal miners.
A stipulation of the agreement is the requirement that the artisanal miners incorporate only those mining practices acceptable to the Environmental Protection Act of Guyana. Owing to their efforts, the company has successfully poured its first dore bars and sold those bars to the Guyana Gold Board.
Under the terms of the agreement, the artisanal miners pay the company a 10% royalty on all gold mined from the property. In the five months ending March 31, the artisanal miners recovered about 910 oz of gold from mineralised material mined from the property’s alluvial areas and artisanal alluvial tailings. This resulted in 90.9 oz of gold paid to Guyana Goldstrike in royalties.
The company sold gold for $1 266.45/oz for a net sale of $106 490, after smelting costs and a 5% royalty paid to the Guyana government. The gold was assayed at 97% purity.
This alluvial mining activity is expected to continue following the end of the rainy season in June.
The Marudi gold project, a permitted mining licence comprising about 13 500 ha, is located 230 km from the town of Lethem in southern Guyana. The property has good infrastructure with all-season road access mainly through open savannah.
Vanessa Ventures acquired the property in 1998 from Sutton Resources/Barrick, and it was then further acquired by Guyana Frontier Mining, where the project was partially funded by Teck Resources.
The Marudi property contains a historic noncompliant mineral resource estimate of 880 000 oz of gold in the hard rock (metachert) category. The estimate is derived from two main development sites at Mazoa Hill and Marudi North. There exists strong potential to increase the hard rock ounces through further exploration in the open areas of the development sites.
The agreement with alluvial miners allows the company to generate sales from areas that generally fall outside the company’s potential mining model or area of interest.