FRENCH GUIANA PROJECTS
French Guiana Background
French Guiana is a territorial unit of the French Republic, governed by article 73 of the French Constitution and is headed by the Territorial Community of Guiana (Collectivité Territoriale de Guyane – CTG). French Guiana, as a region of the European Union, enjoys the same legal status as those in mainland France, but benefits from a favorable status on taxation and business support. The Direction de l’Environnement, de l’Aménagement et du Logement (DEAL) represents the French administration in charge of the mining activity at the local level.
French Guiana Geology
The Reunion Gold projects are situated in the Guiana Shield, the northern segment of the Amazonian Craton of South America. The majority of the Guiana Shield formed during Paleoproterozoic periods of intense magmatism, metamorphism and deformation. Greenstone belt development occurred around 2.18-2.13 Ga and is attributed to the formation of an island arc, during the convergence of the African and Amazonian lithospheric blocks of Archaen age. The volcano-sedimentary stratigraphy of Guiana Shield are possible equivalents of the Birimian stratigraphic sequences of the West African shield with which they were co-extensive prior to the separation of Gondwanaland in the Mesozoic.
The greenstone belts of French Guiana are referred to as the Paramaca Greenstone Belts (PGB), and form two major branches to the north and south of a predominantly intrusive core. The greenstone belts trend E-W and extend westward into Suriname and eastwards into Brazil.
The northern PGB hosts the Montagne D’Or, Camp Caiman, Esperance, St-Pierre and St-Elie gold deposits in French Guiana and the Merian and Rosebel deposits in Suriname. The Southern PGB hosts gold mineralization at Yaou, Dorlin and Haute Mana in French Guiana and Benzdorp and Lely in Suriname.
Mining title under French regulations:
Mining title falls under three categories,
The concession (Concession): Allows exploration and exploitation. The first validity term (50 years), may be renewed each time for a maximum period of 25 years.
The exploration permit (Permis Exclusif de Recherche – PER): Gives its holder an exclusive right to explore. The first validity term (five years) may be renewed twice, for a maximum period of five years each.
The exploitation permit (Permis d’exploitation - PEX): Gives its holder an exclusive right to mine. The first validity term (five years) may be renewed twice, for a maximum period of five years each.
Schéma départemental d’orientation minière de la Guyane – SDOM :
In cooperation with the local administration, the French government has adopted a framework governing all mining activities in French Guiana and which identifies areas where mining is prohibited.
PART OF BARRICK STRATEGIC ALLIANCE
A mining friendly jurisdiction, Guyana is the only English speaking country in South America. A brief summary of mining legislation and title regime is outlined below:
Mining rules and title regimes are well defined.
Guyana operates four mining title regimes;
1. Small scale claims - land parcels of dimensions 1500 ft x 800 ft or one mile of navigable river for river claims.
2. Medium scale prospecting and mining permits (PPMS & MPMS): these cover an area between 500 and 1200 acres.
3. Prospecting licenses (PL) – these cover areas between 500 and 12,800 acres
4. Permission for geological and geophysical surveys (PGGS) for reconnaissance over large acreages with the objective of applying for PLs over favourable ground selected on the basis of results obtained from the reconnaissance aerial and field surveys.
Small and medium scale property titles (items 1 and 2 above) are restricted to Guyanese nationals; however, foreigners have been entering into JV arrangements whereby the two parties jointly develop the property - strictly by private contract.