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Venezuela’s letter on Aurora Gold Mine “unfounded” – Guyana Goldfields

FLASH BACK: President David Granger addressing the formal commissioning of the Aurora Gold Mine in mid-September 2015.

Guyana Goldfields has dismissed Venezuela’s claim of illegal operations at the Aurora gold mine as “unfounded” in a move aimed at quelling possible fears by investors.

The Toronto, Canada-headquartered company said “it recently received an unfounded notification of a possible legal claim from Venezuela.”

Word of the October 13, 2015 letter by Venezuela’s Ambassador to Canada surfaced Thursday in President David Granger’s address to Parliament on territorial claims by Venezuela and Suriname.

In an apparent effort to quell concerns by investors, Guyana Goldfields said the  internationally-recognised border between Guyana-Venezuela border was settled more than 100 years ago.

“The Venezuela-Guyana border dispute was resolved and agreed upon by all parties under the 1899 Arbitration Agreement and any claims made outside of such agreement violate international law.

The matter is currently before the United Nations, however Venezuela’s border claim is widely viewed by the international community to be without merit,” the company said in a statement.

President Granger used the missive by Venezuela’s Ambassador to Ottawa as the latest example by that western neighbour to frustrate and discourage investments onshore and offshore Essequibo.

Guyana Goldfields said it has been exploring and developing in Guyana since 1996.

The Guyanese leader said the letter warned to the Chief Executive Officer of Guyana Goldfields states, inter alia, that the opening of the gold mine would be  “infringing on the territorial sovereignty of Venezuela and committing unlawful actions which could incur legal consequences. As such, you are hereby fully given notice of the respective legal actions that could herein occur.”

Venezuela had written a similar letter to the local subsidiary of American oil giant, Exxon-Mobil, prior to the discovery of a significant oil deposit offshore Essequibo in late May, 2015.