Gold has been mined in Suriname since 1850s in the South and East, the gold industry currently employs over 15,000 people.
Fiscal revenue from Rosebel increased from US$5 million in 2005 to around US$150 million in 2012. A new large-scale mine such as Merian is expected to come online in the next 3-5 years.
Small-scale informal gold operations contribute about 60% of gold exports or around US$1 billion in 2012. The production of gold in Suriname on an industrial level has started.
Suriname’s gold deposits are part of the Guiana Shield, a geological formation Greenstone extending over 415,000 km2 of Venezuela, the Guyana’s, and Brazil. In Suriname, the Greenstone belt covers 24,000 km2 in the east of the country.
The Guiana Shield is a cratonic block that was originally joined to the West African craton and shares the same Proterozoic greenstone belt geology and discovery potential.
Both are heavily gold endowed and host numerous multi-million ounce deposits and mines including world class deposits such as Obuasi (30.2 Moz Au), Las Cristinas (27 Moz Au) and Rosebel (14 Moz Au); Greenstone belts of NE South America and West Africa were joined prior to break-up of Pangea and share identical geology. Over 200 Moz Au discovered in West Africa and over 75 Moz Au discovered to date in greenstone belts of Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Suriname especially is under-explored.
Alluvial production by artisanal miners in Guyana and Suriname is estimated to exceed 2 Moz per annum despite simple technology and poor recovery. The hard rock sources of many alluvial fields remain unknown
Recent very interesting gold discoveries though indicate that this greenstone belt extends much further to the West than previously expected.
Suriname gold production 40 tons per year, and a gold refinery is slated to be built to service both the country and the region
Suriname possesses abundant new bauxite resources to be valorised when global prices rebound
The slump in international aluminium prices has created issues for Suriname’s bauxite industry. It is currently maintaining low production levels using bauxite from old mines, while a new mine is being developed
Potential exists for extensive bauxite mining, a new alumina refinery, and possibly an aluminium smelter.
At present the bauxite in the country is processed into alumina. The final high value stage of the manufacturing process into aluminium still occurs outside of the country.
Suriname at the fulcrum of the one of the world’s largest undiscovered hydrocarbon plays
15 billion barrels of potential hydrocarbon resources in the Guyana’s basin, according to estimates, Exploration and production agreements continue with several internationally renowned oil and gas companies.
Offshore Suriname is virtually un-explored, with only 25 exploration wells drilled in an area of approximately 150,000 square km.
Staatsolie performed a regional 2D seismic survey in December 2011. 5,000 km of 2D seismic provided by 32 seismic lines. Some companies have now completed 3D seismic surveys and are waiting for the results
Staatsolie, was founded in 1980, it is 100 per cent owned by the Government of Surinameand is an Independent, vertically integrated Oil Company, looking after policy, promotion, contracting and supervision of petroleum activities. It has also recently entered the petroleum downstream marketing sector. It has core activities of Exploration (180,000 km), Crude production ( 16,000 bopd onshore), refining (7,200 bpsd), Marketing – Bunkering (720,000 bbls per year) and Thermal Power generation: 28 MW. Fiscal revenue increased from US$70 million in 2005 to around US$250 million in 2012.
Investment program includes expansion of the refinery and exploration of recoverable reserves.
Suriname’s will develop its power generating capacity to satisfy industrial and domestic demand
Suriname generates a large amount of its power requirements from the hydro dam at Afobaka (Brokopondo) built in the 1960’s. The dam has about 189MW of installed capacity. The Hydro power is complemented by thermoelectric generators which run on bunker fuel (heavy fuel) which is produced onshore by Staatsolie. The existing plant however is very old and starting to fail.
National electricity company EBS is installing additional capacity this year in Paramaribo. A contract has been awarded to a company to install 62MW generating capacity.
EBS is reportedly looking to install additional capacity in Coronie and Saramacca, Commewijne Nickerie and Marowijne over the next few years.
Staatsolie are installing an additional 34 MW in conventional energy generating capacity to the refinery at Tout Lui Faut bringing capacity up to 62MW
Staatsolie additionally has a project for ethanol production from sugarcane at Wageningen. Construction of a new ethanol plant is due to commence with production of fuel beginning in 2015. The project reportedly has US$300 million investment in place.
Ston Dansi hydro project in the Nickerie River is reportedly being studied at the moment providing 20MW of power and support drainage and irrigation for rice production