Guyana awards large mining, airport contracts

By the Associated Press | November 19, 2011 | 12:30 PM EST

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — Guyana has signed a $1 billion deal with a Canadian-based company in what the government says is the largest private investment for the South America country's mining sector.

Guyana Goldfields Inc. says Friday's deal is the first large-scale gold mining license that Guyana has issued since 1991. The government says it is expected to create more than 1,900 temporary and permanent jobs.

Guyana's government also has signed a $138 million contract with the China Harbor Engineering Co. to build a new airport terminal and lengthen the runway at the country's principal airport.