Guyana contains one of the most highly prospective, yet under-explored, gold regions in the world. It has a long history of alluvial gold production, but only recently declared itself open to foreign investment and mineral exploration after enacting the Land Tenure Act in 2004. The self-financing Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) is the government entity responsible for overseeing the country's mining and quarrying sector, a critical component of the Guyanese economy.
On November 9, 2011, Sandspring signed a mineral agreement with the Government of Guyana that detailed 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. The first comprehensive mineral agreement for the Guyanese gold sector since 1991, it includes the following terms:
The country is located on the northeast shoulder of South America, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Suriname, Brazil, and Venezuela. Formally known as the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, it is a stable parliamentary democracy with a population of approximately 770,000 people. Its currency is the Guyanese dollar, and its capital city is Georgetown, which is home to approximately 250,000 people. Guyana's other major cities include Linden, New Amsterdam, Rose Hall, Anna Regina, and Bartica.
The Toroparu Gold Deposit is located in the Upper Puruni River region of northwestern Guyana. There are no formal or established communities in the immediate vicinity of the proposed mine site, which sits at a safe elevation above the 100-year storm event boundary limit. Toroparu's on-site infrastructure includes: