GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Dec 30, CMC – Guyana has produced a record 690,000 ounces of gold this year and is looking to surpass that figure next year, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman has said.
“As announced in the National Assembly recently, we surpassed that target. Today, I am ecstatic to announce that declarations stand at an unprecedented and whopping 690,000; the highest gold declaration figure in any calendar year in the history of gold mining in Guyana,” Trotman told reporters at the year-end news conference. He did not disclose the dollar value of the commodity.
He said that authorities will be aiming for 700, 000 ounces in gold declaration in 2017 and that this year’s success was as a result of the hard work of small and medium- scale miners who delivered the majority of this gold, along with Guyana Goldfields and Troy Resources, which contributed 70 per cent of the gold declared.
Trotman said that when the David Granger government came into office in 2015, it recognised that some changes were needed in the regulation and management of the industry, especially since for years, the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) had a deficit of more than nine billion dollars (One Guyana dollar =US$0.004 cents).
“This demanded a comprehensive review of the 35-year old organisation, which upon completion, informed us that the Board has to transition into the role of regulator and diminish its role as a purchaser of gold,” Trotman said, adding that a meeting with the various stakeholders will be held soon to define the way forward.
Trotman said the Ministry of Natural Resources has maintained that there is need for the GGB since since it functions as a regulator to monitor gold dealers.
Meanwhile, Trotman said an estimated 1.6 million hectares from the forest concession recently held by the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) will now be divided into four smaller portions.
“One of these portions will be used for conservation; a second will be made available to small loggers who are interested in pursuing sustainable logging activities, while the last two will be open to multinational companies interested in operating larger concessions in an environmentally sustainable way.”