Minister of Natural Resources approves agreement between Bosai Minerals and Reunion Gold Corporation; Manganese project aiming for as many as 400 permanent workers
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Minister of Natural Resources Honourable Raphael G.C. Trotman, M.P., on January 25, 2017 gave his consent to an agreement reached between Bosai Minerals Group and Reunion Gold Corporation which paves the way for manganese mining to recommence in Matthews Ridge, Region One (Barima-Waini) after several decades.
While mining operations are slated to begin in about two years, preparatory works in Matthews Ridge will commence during the second half of 2017.
Minister Trotman signed documents approving the acquisition agreement between the two entities at the Ministry’s Secretariat, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission’s Compound, Brickdam. This approval comes two months after Bosai Minerals Group – the Chinese company involved in bauxite operations in Linden – penned an agreement with Reunion Gold Corporation to acquire the latter’s rights in the Matthews Ridge Manganese Project.
On November 4, 2016, Reunion Gold Corporation announced that it had entered a Definitive Agreement to sell its Matthews Ridge Manganese Project to Bosai Minerals Group. The agreement stipulates that Reunion will transfer to Bosai the four prospecting licences (which make up the Matthews Ridge project), the March 2011 Mineral Agreement between Reunion, the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and capital assets, pursuant to the agreement.
Reunion’s exploration programme on acquiring the licenses in 2010 was designed to identify and measure the manganese resources in the four Prospecting Licenses. The exploration programme confirmed the occurrence of manganese mineralization.
Since then, Reunion Manganese Inc., a subsidiary of Reunion Gold Corporation, has spent over US$50 million to define what it described as a world-class manganese deposit in Matthews Ridge. There is an initial 10 million tonnes of concentrate with the potential to double with the addition of the satellite site of Pipiani.
Further, Reunion has conducted environmental and social baseline studies in anticipation of a complete project Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in conformity with international and local standards. Significantly, no issues have been identified that would hinder project development.
Bosai will mine using conventional open pit methods with minimum blasting and the mine will have a life of 15 to 35 years; depending on the rate of extraction.
A construction period of approximately two years is envisaged, with work encompassing:
- Construction of Wharf facility at Port Kaituma to receive supplies for the mine and mill
- Construction and upgrading of roads from Port Kaituma wharf to Matthews Ridge and Pipiani
- Mine development work including stripping and pit work for ore extraction
- Construction of tailings management and water supply facilities and milling plant for treatment of manganese ores to concentrate
- Building of additional infrastructure at the mine to support the operation
Bosai expects that employment numbers can reach as high as 1,200 during the peak of construction and then stabilise at 300 to 400 during normal operations. Once in production, the company intends to ship 350,000 tonnes of manganese per year.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission commits to supporting the new Bosai-controlled manganese in the execution of its exploration and extraction activities and likewise expects it to conduct its operations in a manner that is respectful to the rights of workers, to the country’s laws and to the environment.
January 27, 2017