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Industrial unrest at Aurora Gold Mines

FLASHBACK: Administration Manager at Aurora Gold Mines, Peter Benny speaking with workers on labour relations shortly after speaking with the media.

Gold mining operations at Aurora Gold Mines in the Cuyuni River have been affected as several Guyanese workers who are upset that they stand to lose their jobs to foreign contracting companies aimed at reducing the cost of operations staged a protest, sources said Tuesday night.

Early indications are that at least 70 workers initially downed tools in protest over the turn of events at that Western Guyana gold mining operation. It was not immediately clear whether the number of disaffected workers has since grown and plans were afoot to remove them by plane from the mines site.

A senior company official, who promised that Aurora Gold Mines would issue a statement on Wednesday, told Demerara Waves Online News that the company would pay severance. “Some workers are refusing to work but none have been released. We pay all severance required by law,” the official said.

The official said Aurora Gold Mines would not be hiring another company. “We are not bringing in any new company. We have a number of different contractors at site who we have worked closely with for quite some time,” the official said.

The workers were also reportedly demanding an increase in salary, having been paid in four years.

Aurora Gold Mines officially began commercial gold production in September, 2015.