Country Report Guyana
- ID: 2138721
- November 2015
- Region: Guyana
- 28 Pages
- The Economist Intelligence Unit
Guyana Goldfields (Canada), a gold producer operating the Aurora gold mine, has received formal notification of possible legal action by the Venezuelan government in relation to its operations in the country.
The company has said that Venezuela warned it against mining on land "belonging to them", even though the land is within Guyana's borders as agreed by both countries under the 1899 arbitration agreement. In a letter reportedly sent by Venezuela's ambassador to Canada, the company was warned that their mining operation was "infringing the territorial sovereignty of Venezuela". The president of Guyana, David Granger, subsequently accused Venezuela of trying to scare away foreign investors and called for the country to stop meddling. The mine is one of Guyana's largest investment projects, employing almost 500 workers. Guyana Goldfields has been developing the Aurora mine, located in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni region of north-west Guyana, for almost two decades. The mine announced its first gold production in August; it expects to produce between 30,000 oz and 50,000 oz of gold in 2015, which would make it one of Guyana's largest mining operations. The mine is expected to produce 3m oz of gold over the course of the next 17 years.
Venezuela has long made claim to around 40% of Guyana's territory, and extended its maritime claims in 2015 after oil was discovered in disputed waters. The dispute is currently being mediated by the UN. Venezuela's current border claim is widely regarded to be a violation of international law.