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Aurora Gold Mines to compensate Guyana for environmental impact

Government is negotiating a package with Guyana Goldfields to compensate for environmental degradation caused by the mining of gold at Aurora Gold Mines, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman announced Tuesday.

Questioned by People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) parliamentarians during consideration of the estimates for the 2016 National Budget, Trotman declined to say how much money is being proposed.

He said the Guyana Government and the Canadian-owned Guyana Goldfields have proposed amounts for the compensation but it would not be appropriate to disclose those amounts. The would be “ paying to Government of Guyana a figure that we believe that sufficient for the degradation caused by the mine,” he said.

The Natural Resources Minister said the offset payment would be made against the Kaieteur National Park would be finalized before mid-2016.

Located about 200 kilometers from the coast, the AGM cost about US$250 million and is expected to produce about 10,000 to 15,000 ounces of gold per month during the 35-year life of the mine.  Overall, about US$411 million in investment capital was spent from exploration 19 years ago to the construction of the mine plant and other equipment.

The Aurora Gold Mine was commissioned last September.