Dec 04, 2023 News
Kaieteur News – Reunion Gold, the Canadian-company holding an estimated 4.2 million ounces of gold in Guyana’s Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), outlined that crucial chemical reagents, including cyanide, essential for its mining processes, will be transported daily from Georgetown or a dock in the Itabali area in Region Seven.
The gold company recently submitted its project summary for the Oko West Gold Project Development Phase, to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The comprehensive document outlines that the company anticipates its pre-production phase to span from September 2025 to December 2026, with operational activities projected to extend from 2027 to 2039/41.
The project envisions two distinct fuel storage locations to support its operations.
Pine Tree Wharf will host one site dedicated to Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), featuring two, 2,000 m3 storage tanks. HFO, procured from Georgetown, Parika, or other suppliers, will be transported by barge. The power plant’s daily HFO consumption is estimated at approximately 120 m3. The loading/unloading station at the power plant will facilitate the delivery of HFO, fresh lube oil, waste lube oil, and sludge, with equipped pumps for efficient handling.
For diesel fuel needs in mining activities, a dedicated fuel storage facility will be established on the mine site. Daily replenishment from Pine Tree Wharf is planned, ensuring compliance with Reunion’s standards for hydrocarbon management. This includes above-ground storage tanks, leak detection systems, secondary containment for bulk storage, and protection against spills at fuel delivery and refueling points.
During the pre-production phase, smaller double-hulled tanks on paved areas with secondary containment will store fuel. Chemical reagents essential for mining processes will be sourced from Georgetown or the Itabali area and include: “Cyanide, Lime, Flocculent, Caustic, Nitric Acid,Carbon, Anti-scale agents,Sulfuric Acid, Peroxide, Silica, Borax, Sodium Nitrate, Soda Ash, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Sodium Hypochlorite and Iron.”
Moreover, the company said that explosives storage facilities will prioritize safety with fencing, electronic security, and controlled access. The facilities include skid-mounted emulsion tanks, an explosives magazine, and an accessory magazine, ensuring a design storage capacity sufficient for operational needs over 15 to 20 days.
Notably, the project emphasizes responsible waste management. Hazardous waste will not be disposed of in on-site landfills. Instead, it will be temporarily stored, awaiting off-site shipment for treatment and disposal at approved facilities. Designated hazardous waste storage facilities will feature fencing, signage, roofing, lighting, and secondary containment.
Water management controls are integral to the project, incorporating sediment ponds, engineering controls in the processing plant, drainage systems, and a seepage collection and recovery system. An effluent water treatment plant (WTP) will treat excess water from the tailings storage facility (TSF) before discharge into the environment, ensuring comprehensive environmental protection throughout the project’s lifecycle.
Kaieteur News had reported that Reunion plans for an alternative wharf in the Essequibo River and an airstrip to support its operations. Reunion Gold plans to import supplies to Georgetown or the proposed Essequibo River port, estimating 15 to 20 trucks daily for mine essentials.
The Oko West Gold Project, spanning the Cuyuni-Mazaruni Mining Districts, is currently accessible via Itabali jetty, and roads are under assessment. With a 100 percent interest in the Prospect License, covering 4,400 hectares, Reunion Gold received the Prospect License (PL) issued in September 2022 by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), following the relinquishment of eleven medium-scale mining permits held by two Guyanese entrepreneurs with whom Reunion had signed agreements.
Recently, the company shared promising drilling updates, revealing an initial mineral resource estimate of 2,475,000 ounces of gold in indicated resources and 1,762,000 ounces in inferred resources.
Several Canadian gold mining companies, including OMAI, have shown interest in Guyana’s mining industry. OMAI, which produced over millions of ounces of gold in the past, is making a comeback in Guyana with a prospecting licence. Guyana Goldfields Inc., led by a Chinese consortium, is another major player in the Guyanese mining sector.
However, the country has experienced declines in annual gold declarations since 2017, despite billions in incentives given to the industry.
Efforts have been made to request the release of mining contracts from the Government of Guyana, particularly large-scale contracts, as per Guyana’s commitment to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Despite these requirements, the administration has been slow to disclose these agreements.
Reunion previously engaged in manganese exploration in Matthews Ridge but has since shifted focus to gold.
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