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Cash-strapped Troy Resources gold mining company fires hundreds of workers in Guyana

Financially-crippled by six weeks of closure that government had ordered following the death of a geologist in a mining pit, the Australian gold mining company, Troy Resources Limited, on Monday said it would send home almost 400 workers in Guyana.

In an internal one-page memorandum seen by News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM/Demerara Waves Online News, the company told employees that those sent off the job would now be sacked and paid off.

The company said workers would be paid some severance by Friday, November 22, and re-hired as the company scales up operations at Karouni in Region 7, about 180 kilometres south-south-west of Georgetown.

“The Board has thus decided that all personnel currently stood down will be terminated as from this week. This decision was made with reluctance and will nevertheless assist employees by providing a termination pay out. It is expected that Troy will go back to re hiring employees as needed for a start up in the near future and Troy hopes most current employees will be available and willing to return to work,” said Managing Director and Chief Executive Offcer, Ken Nilsson, in the memorandum to all workers.

During a media tour and news briefing at the Karouni mines site last week, officials said 136 workers were on active duty conducting exploration and maintenance of equipment while 386 were off the job.

The CEO said the workers currently on duty would not be sent home and would not be paid severance.

Nilsson said to date, Troy Resources has not been able to garner all the money, reserves and other resources that are needed to restart operations. He said profitability was key and Troy Resources wanted to ensure that it could be economically viable.

“The lack of income over the last six weeks has clearly damaged the company,” he said.

Junior Labour Minister Keith Scott had ordered the entire mining operation closed following a technical report. However, following the closure and protest by the company, Senior Minister of Labour, Amna Ally, rescinded Scott’s cease order letter to the company.