Canadian company Aurora Gold Mine (AGM), has been given clearance by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin underground mining in Guyana.
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, during a tour of AGM’s Mazaruni operations yesterday, said that the company was given the all-clear a week ago, according to the Department of Public Information (DPI).
He said the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) had cleared the mine plant before. “So, we were awaiting EPA’s approval for the environmental part… the two regulatory agencies are separate and should be kept separate, and so I’m happy that on their own the EPA was able to come around and see that this is a good and viable project,” the minister noted.
Minister Trotman toured AGM’s Mazaruni operations with the South African delegation headed by Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Godfrey Oliphant.
South Africa has shown interest in mining operations in Guyana. Both states are to sign a simple Declaration of Intent to enter into a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for; training and capacity building, strengthening of both countries’ regulatory frameworks, enhancing value-added capabilities, geological surveying and mapping of Guyana’s resources and environmental preservation and modernisation of mining techniques and practices.”
In the meantime, the South African Deputy Minister said he was very impressed with the mining operations at Aurora.
“Mining at Aurora is the way of the future… this is what South Africa wants… mines in South Africa represents the past, but we are more interested in the future,” the South African Minister noted.
Both ministers lauded the company’s health and safety efforts and records, as well as the emphasis it has placed on “female inclusion” in the workplace, DPI said.
Aurora Gold Mine now has a 16 per cent female workforce. Through a project called the “women learning to operate heavy-duty machinery” womenfolk are being encouraged to take up more jobs traditionally held by their male counterparts.