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Guyana Goldfields workers call off strike

Guyana Goldfields Inc. announced Friday that the work stoppage at its Aurora mine that began on July 2 has ended, paving the way for union and the Ministry of Labour representatives to meet with aggrieved workers.

“Employees are starting to return to work in a phased approach to ensure orderliness and full production is anticipated to resume shortly,” the company said in a brief statement.

Guyana Goldfields said as a result of the three operational days lost, the company estimates that approximately 22,500 tonnes were not processed. However, full year production guidance remains unaffected at 145,000 to 160,000 ounces of gold.

Suresh Kalathil, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer states, “Personnel are being re-mobilized and the site is ramping back up to normal operations in a phased and safe manner. The Company has agreed to a dialogue with employee representatives and Government authorities to resolve any outstanding issues in full compliance with Guyanese labour law.”

More than 100 workers at the Cuyuni-based mines site had downed tools, fearing that they would not have been paid severance if the company made them redundant.

The company has made it clear that no one has lost his or her job.

The decision to resume operations came two days after the company had hired planes to remove workers from the mines site after operations had been scaled down to non-essential status.

However, sources said many of the workers had refused to board the planes. Guyana Goldfields had said that only those eligible to return to the mines site would have been told of their return dates.