Guyana Goldfields' Aurora Gold project to cost US$205 million to build

TORONTO - Guyana Goldfields Inc. (TSX:GUY) said Friday that its Aurora Gold project will cost US$205 million to build, less than half an earlier estimate as the company scaled back its plans.

Trading in Guyana Goldfields shares had been halted pending the announcement.

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An earlier estimate for the project in northern Guyana had proposed a $525-million cost for a mine with a life of 22 years and total production of nearly 4.4 million ounces of gold.

The company said the new estimated cost in its latest feasibility study includes several changes, including a phased mining and milling approach, a reduced footprint for the mine site and facilities and an optimized mobile equipment fleet.

The new mine plan calls for production of 3.29 million ounces of gold over an initial 17-year mine life at an operating cash cost of US$527 an ounce.

Average annual gold production over the life of mine is expected to 194,000 ounces, and 231,000 ounces a year over the first 10 years.

"The updated feasibility study provides very attractive returns based on a sound execution plan," Guyana Goldfields chief executive Patrick Sheridan said in a statement.

"The project is fully permitted and has the support of the Guyanese government. Our recent senior management hires on the operations side give us the foundation to expand our team as we continue with development and mine construction."

Guyana Goldfields shares closed down a nickel at $3.76 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday.

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