…rehiring to be based only on transferable skillsCanadian mining company Guyana Goldfields has taken a decision to lay off approximately 80 local workers in a bid to consolidate its operations. Any rehiring would be contingent on their skills sets.Guyana Goldfield’s operationsThis position was explained to this publication by Aurora Gold Mines’ Public Relations Officer Leon Roberts. According to Roberts, the company will be focusing its operations at Aurora, located in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni). This means that the company will be cutting back operations from its Greenfield prospect, also located in Region Seven.“Yes, Guyana Goldfields Inc will let go of approximately 80 of our Greenfield exploration employees,” Roberts explained to this publication. “This is because the company has taken a decision to focus on our operations at Aurora, and consolidate on same while we pull back on exploration activities away from our main site,” Roberts confirmed.The layoffs, meanwhile, are expected to take effect from next month. It is understood that the mining company would make an effort to rehire the redundant workers, but according to Roberts, this will be done on a case by case basis.“With respect to re-absorbing some of the employees who will be laid off, this will be on a case by case basis, as an evaluation is made of whether they possess transferable skills that could lend to them being engaged in our operations at Aurora,” Roberts explained.The Aurora mines achieved commercial production in January 1, 2016 with output of 151,600 ounces of gold, in line with the company’s upwardly revised guidance of 140,000 to 160,000 ounces.Guyana Goldfields has long had a major role to play in the local mining sector. Government had announced shortfalls in gold production for last year. Budgeting for 694,000 ounces, what was actually recorded was 653,674 ounces. But according to data from the Bureau of Statistics, only Guyana Goldfields remained on production target.Catering for 160,637 ounces, the company actually produced 168,112 ounces. The other major gold producer, Troy Resources Limited, produced 66,024 ounces, falling short of its target by over 3,000 ounces. In comparison, small and medium scale miners were expected to deliver 482,613 ounces of gold. For 2017, they delivered only 419,538 ounces.Last year, the Finance Ministry’s half-year report had showed contractions in certain sectors when compared to the corresponding period in 2016. The declining sectors had included sugar, livestock, forestry, mining and quarrying and even the bauxite industry.In particular, the mining and quarrying sector had contracted by 4.0 per cent during the first half of 2017. Gold production fell by 1.7 per cent to 317,096 ounces in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.Gold prices are currently $1,206 per ounce. A recent spat between US President Donald Trump and Iran saw prices jump to $1,234 as demand for the metal increased on the international market last month.