Guyana Goldfields has budgeted $20 million for exploration during 2011 at its Aurora project in northwest Guyana. Ten drill rigs are turning at the project, with the goal of drilling 70,000 m during the first half of the year to further convert inferred resources to measured and indicated resources. The company is targeting completion of a new resource estimate by August 2011 for inclusion in a feasibility study that is scheduled for completion before the end of the year.
Guyana Goldfields also released current resources for the Aurora project based on 209,000 m of drilling in 776 holes completed through November 21, 2010. Measured and indicated resources stand at 5.34 million oz, with 1.95 million oz in open-pit resources and 3.39 million oz in underground resources. Inferred resources total 1.33 million oz. Overall grade averages 4 g/mt gold.
Guyana Goldfields is also assessing the possibility of including its nearby Sulphur Rose project, with an initial estimated resource of 460,400 oz of gold, in the Aurora feasibility study due to its proximity to Aurora and its similar metallurgical character. Two drills were operating at Sulphur Rose as of late February to confirm additional resources.
The Aurora project is located 170 km west of Georgetown, Guyana’s capital, in an area of low relief and dense rainforest. A 2009 preliminary assessment of the project postulated production of 250,000 oz/y of gold over a 16-year mine life, first from open-pit and then from underground operations.