AGC Guyana Roadmap to Responsible Gold Project 

Project Brief:

The AGC USDOS-funded Roadmap to Responsible Gold project aims to bolster existing national strategies for cultivating a legal, professional, and mercury-free Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector in Guyana. The project's core objective is to identify suitable technologies and business models for mercury-free gold production within the ASGM sector.

Key Achievements to Date:

Since its launch in March 2023, the 36-month project has achieved significant milestones:

1. Establishment of Three Key Partnerships:

  • Partnerships formed with the Government of Guyana (GoG) through the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), an NGO Mining Organization, and a Local Miner.

2. Signing of MoUs/Agreements:

  • An agreement with the Guyana Women Miners Organization (GWMO) to involve women in mining and enhance their capacity in business planning and mercury-free processing.
  • An upcoming MoU for the installation and demonstration of mercury-free mineral processing technology with a local miner during the AGC Directors' visit in March 2024.

3. Site Selection and Assessment:

  • Visits to seven different mining operations across various districts, leading to the selection of a pilot site for the installation of mercury-free mineral processing technology and the development of a social enterprise.

4. Strengthening of the Local Team:

  • Expansion of the team through the hiring of a field technologist, engineers, and an information and reporting coordinator.

5. Completion of Various Reports:

  • Stakeholder Mapping
  • Contextual study of Guyana ASGM
  • Site screening and selection tools
  • Site resource and gold estimation tools
  • Site visit reports
  • Site screening and selection report

Current Activities for the First Half of 2024:

1. Geo-Technical Report for the Site:

  • Initiation and development of a geological technical report for the pilot site, with the first draft expected by mid-February and the final version by the end of March 2024. This report is modeled on the NI 43-101 reports that are used in the large-scale mining industry world-wide to create investor confidence in the geological potential of mining projects. The aim is to produce an ASGM specific template that is in the form of a 'NI 43-10.

2. Handbook on Mercury-Free Technologies:

  • Development of a handbook on mercury-free processing technology and its potential application in the Guyana environment. The handbook is being developed in partnership with Conservation International (CI-Guyana) and other key stakeholders in the sector.

3. Business Planning for the Social Enterprise:

  • Formulation of a business plan for the selected site to facilitate the development of the social enterprise.

4. Installation of Mercury-Free Mineral Processing Technology:

  • Procurement and installation of mercury-free mineral processing technology at the selected site.

5. Optimization of Miner Operations:

  • Design and development of mercury free mineral processing flowsheet and an improved sluice box to optimize miner operations, increasing profitability and productivity.

6. Development of Communication and Public Awareness Materials:

  • Creation of communication materials and a Facebook platform to enhance project communication and public awareness.

7. Hosting of Workshops and Capacity Building Programs:

  • Execution of ASGM workshops and capacity-building programs, inviting experts to deliver presentations. The capacity building and training workshop will focus on the following areas:
  • Low Impact Exploration methods and techniques
  • Mercury Free Mineral processing and recovery technologies and methods
  • Mine safety and OSH in ASGM 
  • Mine Closure and Reclamation
  • Emergency Response and Confined Spaces
  • First Aid 

Upcoming Activity

1. Preparation for Directors' Visit to Guyana March 12-16 2024:

  • Coordination of meetings with stakeholders in preparation for the Directors' visit.

Projected Activities for Later 2024:

1. Development of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework:

  • Formulation of an M&E framework for the pilot installation and operation.

2. Execution of Study on Gold Price Discovery Mechanism:

  • Conducting a study on the gold price discovery mechanism along critical points of the supply chain.

Forum on the Project with Key Stakeholders

  • Hosting of a forum in Georgetown with varying stakeholders within the sector to present on the project and progress made to date.

This summary provides an overview of the AGC Roadmap to Responsible Gold project, highlighting achievements, current activities, and projections for the future. Pictures and videos from field visits done to the varying mine operation during the site visit assessment will be uploaded to google drive and shared  on completion. The AGC Guyana project has made several achievements since its launch. Most of the work done was to create in-country partnership and scope and select a pilot site for project development. The project is within its next phase moving towards mercury free technology installment, training and demonstration.