TORONTO, Jan. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Guyana Goldfields Inc. (TSX: GUY) (the "Company") is pleased to report the key findings from its NI 43-101 Technical Report, Updated Feasibility Study ("FS") for the 100% owned and fully permitted Aurora Gold Property (the "Project"). The FS was authored by Tetra Tech Inc. with contributions from SRK Consulting Inc., Bluhm Burton Engineering, Itasca International Inc., Environ International Corporation, and others. The FS will be available on SEDAR and the Company website within 45 days.
The estimated initial capital required to achieve commercial production is US$205 million and reflects numerous positive changes, in particular, the phased mining and milling approach, reduced footprint of the mine site and facilities, and utilization of an optimized mobile equipment fleet.
Based on the key findings of the FS, the Company will continue to move forward with mine construction and development of the Project.
The improved mine plan produces 3.29 million ounces of gold over an initial 17 year mine life at an operating cash cost of US$527 per ounce (including royalty). Average annual gold production over the life of mine is 194,000 ounces, and averages 231,000 ounces per year over the first ten years. Gold production peaks in 2020 at 349,000 ounces. Commercial production is expected to commence in Q1 2015. Gold production will be staged, with initial open pit production of 5,000 tonnes per day from the Rory's Knoll deposit and expanding to 10,000 tonnes per day in early 2018 when underground mining commences.
"The updated feasibility study provides very attractive returns based on a sound execution plan. The Project is fully permitted and has the support of the Guyanese government. Our recent senior management hires on the operations side give us the foundation to expand our team as we continue with development and mine construction," said Patrick Sheridan, CEO of Guyana Goldfields.
Mining and Production
The improved mine plan contains 39.5 million tonnes of ore containing 3.48 million ounces of gold at an average grade of 2.74 g/t over an initial 17 year mine life. Total gold recovered is expected to be 3.29 million ounces. Average annual gold production over the life of mine is 194,000 ounces, averaging 231,000 ounces over the first ten years, with production peaking at 349,000 ounces in 2020.
Commercial production is scheduled to start in Q1 2015. Mining operations will commence with open pit production supplying ore to the mill at a rate of 1.75 million tonnes per year or 5,000 tonnes per day, starting with Rory's Knoll in the first three years where the strip ratio is low. After nine years of operation, open pit mining will be completed at the Rory's Knoll, Aleck Hill, Walcott Hill and Mad Kiss zones.
Underground mining commences in early 2018 at the Rory's Knoll zone as open pit mining operations in this zone are complete. Rory's Knoll underground will be mined utilizing the open benching and sublevel retreat mining methods via a decline access with truck haulage from a depth of -137 metres (70mbsl) down to -1,037 metres (970mbsl). The results from a detailed coupled hydrogeological and geotechnical model support the open benching and sublevel retreat mining method approach. The study results show underground mining creates minimal surface subsidence and indicate water inflows are manageable.
Concurrent with the commencement of underground mining, the mill capacity will increase to 10,000 tonnes per day with an average rate of 3.5 million tonnes per year over five years. Thereafter, the underground mine will operate at 5,300 tonnes per day for the next nine years.
About Guyana Goldfields Inc.:
Guyana Goldfields Inc. is a Canadian-based company, primarily focused on the exploration and development of gold deposits in Guyana, South America where the Company has operated since 1996. The Company is focused on bringing the Aurora Project into production and infrastructure development currently underway. Active exploration continues at Aurora and in the area of Company's other deposit Sulphur Rose with the intention of further expanding these resources. Greenfields exploration by our experienced team of geologists is also ongoing in the broader Aranka group of properties.
SOURCE Guyana Goldfields Inc.