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The World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Vancouver-based Greystar Resources (TSX, AIM: GSL) have launched a program to support Colombia's California municipality in establishing strategies for the management of royalty revenue expected to be generated from the miner's Angostura gold-silver project, the Canadian company reported in a release.
The program will also advise Vetas and Surata municipalities in an effort to attract government resources to improve local living conditions.
The goal of the US$330,000 initiative - of which Greystar will contribute US$224,000 - is an increase in community involvement and public management of Angostura royalties. The 2.5-year program will be measured by the adoption of "best practices" in municipal investment and the increase in the number of residents with access to better education, health and potable water supplies, the release said.
"This IFC/Greystar initiative is part of an ongoing social responsibility effort within the communities surrounding the Angostura gold-silver project. The goal is to achieve growth and sustainable development within the region by implementing programs that build community participation," Greystar executive VP Frederick Felder said.
"This program, combined with others which are currently being designed with both the IFC and the Canadian International Development Agency [CIDA], have as their objective to mitigate the social and environmental impacts of the Angostura project on the local communities," he said.
IFC manager for Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, Roberto Albisetti, added that "this project has the potential to determine new social and environmental standards for Colombia."
Greystar is currently completing a bankable feasibility study and EIS for Angostura. Subject to a positive feasibility study, permitting approval and successful project financing, Angostura is expected to begin production in 2012. Upon commercial production Angostura will generate some US$10mn-15mn/y in royalties for California, located in Santander department, the release said.
A prefeasibility study announced on March 25 this year puts average annual production at 511,000oz gold and 2.3Moz of silver over a 15-year mine life.