Advancing Toroparu to Production

Why Guyana?

Guyana at a Glance
  • Originally colonized by the Netherlands, it became British Guiana-in the nineteenth century, and Guyana after achieving independence in 1966
  • Guyana is the only English-speaking nation in South America
  • Guyana's labor force is well educated and has a literacy rate close to 99%
  • The mining sector is a vital sector of the Guyanese economy, representing more than 50% of export revenues and is a major source of direct foreign investment
  • The recent discovery of world class offshore oil reserves is expected to increase GDP exponentially and increase development of the country benefiting the mining sector
  • Guyana also has rich mineral deposits of bauxite, manganese and alluvial diamonds

Formally known as the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, the country is located on the northeast shoulder of South America, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Suriname, Brazil, and Venezuela. It is governed by a stable parliamentary democracy and has a population of approximately 770,000 people. Its currency is the Guyanese dollar, and Georgetown is its capital city which is home to approximately 250,000 people. Guyana's other major cities include Linden, New Amsterdam, Rose Hall, Anna Regina, and Bartica.

One of the most highly prospective, yet under-explored, gold regions in the world, Guyana is on track to joining the ranks of the major oil exporting countries in the world with expected production by ExxonMobil starting in 2020.

The Land Tenure Act of 2004 allowed foreign direct investment in Guyana, resulting in large-scale mining in a country that had a long history of alluvial gold production. The self-financing Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) is the government entity responsible for overseeing the country's mining and quarrying sector, that has been a critical component of the Guyanese economy up to the present day.

On November 9, 2011, Sandspring signed a mineral agreement with the Government of Guyana that details all fiscal, property, import-export procedures, taxation provisions, and other related conditions for the continued exploration, mine development, and operation of the open pit mine at the Toroparu Project. Sandspring's agreement was the first comprehensive mineral agreement for the Guyanese gold sector since 1991, includes the following terms:

  • A two-tiered gold royalty structure of 5% of gold sales at gold prices up to US$1,000 per ounce, and 8% of gold sales at gold prices above US$1,000 per ounce;
  • A royalty of 1.5% on sales of copper and other valuable minerals;
  • A corporate income tax rate of 30% and no withholding tax on interest payments to lenders; and,
  • Duty and value added tax exemptions on all imports of equipment and materials for all continuing operations at Toroparu, including the construction and operation of a planned port facility, road and power improvements, and the construction and operations of the mine at Toroparu.