Our projects are located in highly prospective Guiana Shield of South America.



French Guiana 

Geological setting

French Guiana is part of the Guiana Shield, a geological entity that includes much of French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, northern Brazil and Venezuela. The Guiana Shield is known to host greenstone belts, pervasive across much of the region, which are geological assemblages composed of volcanic and sedimentary sequences that have undergone metamorphism and tectonic deformation, and are usually associated with intrusive granitic bodies. Most importantly, greenstone belts across the globe are often hosts of multi million-ounce gold deposits.


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 granitic 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, Changement 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.

Gold deposits in French Guiana

Despite the limited amount of exploration activity and commercial mining activity in French Guiana, several significant deposits have already been discovered on the two main greenstone belt trends that stretch across the country. These include:

  • Montagne d’Or (Columbus / Nordgold): 3.85M oz resource (M&I) plus 960k oz Inferred   

  • Camp Caiman (IAMGOLD): >1.5M oz resources (M&I)  

  • Dorlin (Reunion Gold / Auplata JV): 665k oz resource Indicated, plus 883K oz Inferred

  • Esperance (Newmont) – currently under exploration

  • Dieu Merci (Auplata). A small-scale tailing reprocessing operation using CIL cyanide leach, recently permitted.

Artisanal mining activity (legal and illegal) can be found across much of the country, with small scale surface pits visible across many of the mineralized trends hosted by the greenstone belts. This mining activity, some of which continues to be illegal, has focused on near surface free gold mineralization, which can be extracted with simple gravity circuits. This extensive near-surface mineralization of weathered rocks is thought to indicate the presence of significant primary sources of gold across much of the greenstone belt in French Guiana that have yet to be discovered.  

Figure FG 2: Location map of authorized (yellow) and prohibited (blue) areas in French Guiana

French Guiana – Jurisdictional considerations

  • Status: French Guiana is an overseas department of France. 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.  French Guiana operates under French and European Union law. The local currency is the Euro.


  • Mining Legislation: Mining in French Guiana is regulated under the 2012 legislation Schéma départemental d’orientation minière de la Guyane (SDOM), which was designed to promote development while protecting sensitive environmental areas. Reforms to the legislation are expected in 2020, which will attempt to reconcile the goals of promoting mining and infrastructure investment in the region with both responsible mining practices and the protection of the environment.


The territory is subdivided into two zones: designated mining areas (activité minière autorisée) and protected areas (activité minière interdite). The designated zones can be seen in Figure 2, protected areas in blue, authorized areas in yellow.


  • Permits and Mining title under French regulations: Mining titles in French Guiana fall under three categories, although these categories will be amended when the new mining code is adopted (expected in 2020)

  •  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 mining 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.

  • Taxation: Changes to the French mining taxation regime are currently underway; however, projects in French Guiana are currently subject to a 33.5% income tax rate plus a 3.3% surcharge. A fixed rate royalty of ~US$25 / ounce is payable to the government, which is the equivalent of only 1.7% at a gold price of $1,450. The tax burden is also lightened by a 35% tax credit (Loi Girardin) that can be applied to the capital cost of the project.


Aremu North Project

(Part of Barrick Strategic Alliance)





The geological setting; A wealth of opportunity for gold discoveries

Guyana, along with neighboring Suriname, Venezuela, French Guiana and northern Brazil, are home to the vast and little-known Guiana Shield, a geological entity that stretches over 400,000 square kilometres. The Guiana Shield contains typical greenstone belts, which usually consist of exposed packages of ancient volcanic and sedimentary rocks that have been metamorphosed and tectonically deformed over millions of years. We know from the exploration and production history of other greenstone belts around the globe that such rocks often host multiple million ounces of gold; the Canadian Abitibi greenstone belts and the Birimian greenstone belts of West Africa are two well-known examples. Further to this, geological evidence indicates that the Guiana Shield and the West African Shield were once connected, forming a contiguous craton prior to the Mesozoic. Given the relative paucity of gold discoveries in the Guiana Shield versus its West African cousin, significant gold mineralization remains to be found along the northeast regions of South America.


A brief history of gold mining in Guyana – An emerging gold district  

The greenstone belts of the Guiana Shield are relatively underexplored compared to the analogous regions of the West African Shield (Birimian), partially due to lack of accessibility, vegetation cover and low exploration intensity. However, despite the limited amount of capital and effort that has been invested into developing commercial gold operations in the country, Guyana has a long history of alluvial gold production. In addition, significant large-scale projects have emerged, including

  • Omai (Cambior/Golden Star) 3.7 M ounces produced;

  • Aurora (Guyana Goldfields) ~8 M ounce total resources, including underground; commenced production in January 2016.

  • Toroparu (Sandspring) over 10 M ounces in total resources.

Guyana - An established mining jurisdiction

Guyana has a population of approximately 770,000 people and is the only English-speaking nation in South America. The country is part of the British Commonwealth and is ruled by a democratically elected government.

Mining has long been a primary economic driver for Guyana, and a long history of bauxite, gold, and diamond production has helped to shape a well-defined mineral title and taxation system. The government remains committed to promoting mining investment and development in the country.

Guyana is projected to remain a favourable jurisdiction for gold mining as a result of:


  • A Westminster-style parliamentary democracy.

  • A government committed to a free-market model for economic development and the promotion of foreign direct investment.

  • English language and legislation based on British law.

  • A stable Mining Act and full government support of the mining sector. Mining in Guyana is managed by the Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) under the Mining Act of 1989. The GGMC has been established for over 40 years, providing support and research services to the mining industry, and administrating licenses, permits and concessions.

  • Extractive industries contribute a significant percentage of GDP (15.4% in 2016 according to the Guyana Office for Investment).

  • The discovery of large oil reserves offshore is expected to provide a significant boost to the Guyana economy



 Project Development in Guyana – A bright future.

Guyana’s commitment to the gold sector (and extractive industries in general) has resulted in several recent positive developments, along with a growing presence of gold exploration and development projects in the country:

  • 2019 is projected to be a record-breaking year for gold production (source: GGMC), averaging 55,000 ounces per month so far.

  • Guyana currently boasts three bauxite operations (First Bauxite, Bosai Minerals and Rusal)

  • Barrick Gold has identified Guyana as a location in which they are going to deploy greenfield exploration efforts in an attempt to locate Tier 1 gold deposits, and has formed a Strategic Alliance with Reunion Gold to do so.  

  • Notable mineral exploration and development companies currently operating in Guyana now include:


  • Reunion Gold / Barrick Gold

  • Sandspring Resources

  • Guyana Goldfields

  • Goldsource Mines

  • Guyana Gold strike

  • G2 Goldfields

  • Omai Gold Mines Corp.


  • Exxon Oil Discovery: In 2017, Exxon announced a series of offshore oil discoveries in the Stabroek Block. The gross recoverable resource for the block is now estimated to be more than six billion barrels of oil equivalent. The first phase of production is expected in early 2020, and Exxon are projecting more than 750,000 boe/d of production from offshore Guyana by 2025. Spending related to infrastructure development and services is likely to accelerate over the next 12 months.  

© 2019 by  Reunion Gold Corporation