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REGIONAL NEWS - LATIN AMERICA 14 E&MJ • MARCH 2017 www.e-mj.com Guyana Goldfields Expanding its Aurora Gold Mine in Guyana Guyana Gold is initiating work to increase plant processing capacity at its Aurora gold mine in northern Guyana from 5,600 metric tons per day (mt/d) to 8,000 mt/d. Annual life-of-mine gold production will increase to more than 200,000 ounces per year (oz/y) beginning in 2018, with annual gold production expected to peak at 303,000 oz in 2021. Head grade to the mill will average 3.02 grams/mt gold over the life of the mine. Cash costs are forecast to aver- age $612/oz, including royalties. All-in sustaining costs are forecast to average $747/oz. The Aurora project poured its first gold in early August 2015 during the course of plant commissioning and reached com- mercial production on January 1, 2016. Production during 2017 is forecast at 171,000 oz. The proposed plant expansion will be completed in two phases. Phase I will in- crease throughput of a blend of saprolite and hard-rock ore to 8,000 mt/d and is forecast to cost $21 million. Phase 2 will add a ball mill to the circuit to allow pro- cessing of 8,000 mt/d of hard-rock ore as softer saprolite ore is depleted. Cap- ital cost for Phase 2 is forecast at $27 million. An expansion to the mine fleet in 2018 is expected to cost $24 million. Mining at Aurora is currently from open pits, which have a current project- ed mine life of eight years. Underground mining will begin in 2024, following a two-year preproduction period. The underground mining rate will av- erage 5,500 mt/d at an average grade of 3.02 g/mt gold over an eight-year mine life. Vertical development will be com- pleted by an underground contractor, and lateral development will be completed by the company. The underground develop- ment program's budget is $129 million. Of the total of 3.3 million oz of gold to be recovered over the life of the Auro- ra mine, 1.7 million oz will sourced from open-pit operations and 1.6 million oz will be sourced from underground. "The company is moving forward on the expansion plan and has commenced engineering and long-lead-time purchases to secure prices and deliveries," said Guy- ana Goldfields President and CEO Scott A. Caldwell. "Having demonstrated a suc- cessful ramp up and with operations now reaching steady-state levels, the company is in an excellent position both operation- ally and financially to push forward with this mill expansion to grow its annual pro- duction profile to above 200,000 oz." Guyana Goldfields has an ongoing ex- ploration program that has both near-mine and more distant regional targets. Explo- ration success in finding saprolite ore on the near-mine targets has the potential to extend open-pit production and defer the second phase of the mill expansion. Guyana Goldfields is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, and is focused on mine development and operation in Guy- ana. The Aurora mine is currently its only producing asset. The Sulphur Rose deposit, located about 23 km from the Aurora mine, has current resources to- taling 566,000 oz, and the company is conducting assessment work for develop- ment as a stand-alone mine. Teck, Goldcorp Reactivate Major Project in Chile A deep restructuring process led Goldcorp and Teck to carry out its most ambitious project in the Atacama region (northern Chile) through New Union SpA. This is a new company formed by Relincho Bermu - da Ltd., AUR QB Ltd., Minera Goldcorp Chile SpA and Datawave Sciences Inc., which will seek synergies between the El Morro and Relincho projects. Within this context, New Union SpA submitted an income membership inqui- ry to the SEA for the modification of its Prospección Minera Relincho (Relincho Mining Exploration) project, which fore- sees an investment of around US$3.9 billion. This was approved by Exempt Resolution N ° 188/2011 of the Atacama Regional Environmental Commission. Prospección Minera Relincho tempo- rarily stopped its drilling and exploration activities in 2013 due to the reformula- tion of the overall mining project. The Chilean National Geology and Mining Service, SERNAGEOMIN, were informed of the stoppage in due course. Guyana will increase processing capacity to 8,000 mt/d in two phases.