By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – A US$5M Ball Mill has arrived in Guyana and was offloaded at the Omai wharf in Region 10 on Monday, May 19 for the US$87M Karouni Project in Region Seven.
Speaking at a simple ceremony, Project Development Director, Ken Nilsson said Guyana was chosen for the project because of the strong belief the company – Troy Resources Ltd – has in the opportunities here and the convenience, having taken over in 2013 from a cash strapped Australian company – Azimuth Resources.
Nilsson added that he was happy to have locals on board, including the government and the business community and posited that the chances of being successful were good.
“We hope to remain active for long and so far I’m not disappointed I’m also grateful for the groundwork set by our predecessors… I personally think Guyana is well poised with its mineral wealth,” he noted, while stating the benefits for local miners.
Meanwhile, Guyana’s Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Robert Persaud registered government’s appreciation for the investment which is said to be moving at a reasonable pace.
Persaud said while the multimillion dollar investment is welcomed by the administration, the job that small and medium scale local miners have done over the years, remains outstanding.
He said there is definitely the need for large scale mining of this magnitude, while pointing to the restrictions in relation to availability and accessibility of small and medium scale miners. The Minister said it’s important to encourage such investment because of its impact on local GDP, foreign exchange earnings and the beneficial linkages it creates for locals.
“Foreign companies investing here is not a disadvantage to Guyanese. We need to look at how small and medium scales miners can develop linkages to also benefit, we Should not feel threatened as a nation but look at the opportunities.”
He urged the company to ensure that its operations, which will take place in the west of the Gold Project is done to ensure sustainable management of the environment as he expressed the hope that the projected seven year mining life will be extended.
Nilsson has indicated that the total construction budget is approximately US$87 million and the construction phase is likely to see about 500 people on site reducing to a permanent work force of 250 – 300, when in operation.
The Karouni Project recently completed the construction of an airstrip at the project site and has started to mobilize equipment and personnel in order to initiate the larger construction phase.
Troy Resources Guyana Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Troy Resources Ltd, an Australian exploration and mining company since 1987 and operator of 2 mines in South America one in Brazil and the other in Argentina.
Big mining in Guyana means big deforestation. It would be of public interest to know what terms of reforestation are in the contract with these big mining companies