11/19/2011 12:48 EST | Updated 01/19/2012 05:12 EST

Canadian miner Guyana Goldfields signs $1-billion deal with Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana - 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. (TSX:GUY) says Friday's deal is the first large-scale gold mining licence that Guyana has issued since 1991.

The government says the Aurora project is expected to create more than 1,900 temporary and permanent jobs. It is located some 170 kilometres west of Georgetown.

Guyana Goldfields is based in Toronto.

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

_ With files from The Canadian Press.