French Government Appoints New Mining Delegate to French Guiana

World News: . []

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- is pleased announce that in September the French government appointed Didier Le Moine as the new mining delegate and coordinator of mining projects in French Guiana. 

Mr. Le Moine, a mining engineer, formally held the position of Director of Industry, Mines and Energy in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia, where a nickel mining industry was successfully established.  Mr. Le Moine’s new mandate is to define, coordinate and implement actions for the development of a responsible mining industry in French Guiana that is compatible with France's ecological ambitions, is respectful of the populations and generates wealth and jobs for the territory.

Rock Lefrançois, Columbus’ President and Chief Executive Officer, commented,

Mining is French Guiana’s second largest industry, mainly driven by artisanal miners and a few local small to medium size companies.  Declared annual production and the number of mining operators has declined in recent years and the territory is currently plagued by illegal activity under unacceptable environmental and human conditions, and without any benefit for the territory.  With the arrival of an increasing number of recognized international mining companies and the recent rise in gold price, the territory can envision a new dynamic to implement a mining industry that is environmentally responsible, technically sound, economically efficient, socially integrated, respectful of working conditions and will be able to contribute to the development of the Guyanese population.

Mr. Le Moine’s mandate will require optimising existing structures such as the responsible mine charter and branch agreements, and create new ones, such as a technical support hub for the industry in the form of a National Technological Research Centre for gold mines, similar to the one created in 2007 for the nickel industry in New Caledonia.  Also, he will need to facilitate the relations between project operators and all stakeholders (State and local governments, communes, populations, representatives of the first nations).

Columbus is French Guiana’s leading gold exploration and development company.  Columbus holds a major interest in the world-class Montagne d’Or gold deposit.  A feasibility study for Montagne d’Or was filed in May 2017, and the mine permitting process is currently underway.  In addition, Columbus has entered into an agreement to acquire a 100% interest in the Rhea gold exploration property and is also earning into the Maripa gold exploration project, where past drilling has returned excellent near surface results, including 36 metres of 4.3 g/t gold.  Columbus’ objective is to assemble a portfolio of high-quality gold exploration projects in the highly prospective and underexplored Guiana Shield.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD,

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Globe Newswire: 13:00 GMT Tuesday 8th October 2019

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