Guyana earns US$65M more than previous year
Despite missing 2010 gold target…
Despite falling short of a targeted amount last year, gold declaration, buoyed by high world prices, earned the country US$65M more in 2010 than the previous year. It was also the second year in a row that Guyana topped the 300,000 ounces mark.
According to the Guyana Gold Board, declaration was 308,438 ounces, an increase of 3,260 ounces over 305,178 ounces in 2009.
The surge in declarations in the last few days of December was not unexpected, with several miners and traders paying a keen eye on the world prices which went past the US$1,400 mark.
It would have meant that almost 16,000 ounces were declared in the last four or five days in 2010.
“While declarations did not reach the 311,816 ounces as projected in the National Budget 2010, this marks the second year in succession that declarations have topped the 300,000 ounces mark.”
The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association, obviously heartened by the 2009 performance of the industry, had set an ambitious 500,000 for last year.
The Gold Board, in its explanation of the shortfall in declaration, explained that there are varying views, with the main reason being the weather – the early dry spell in the year and the heavy rainfall around July/August period.
“Despite the small decline in declarations, export earnings were US$346.4 million compared with US$281.7 million in 2009, an increase of 22.98 percent. These amounts include exports by dealers licensed by the Guyana Gold Board.”
According to the Gold Board, the increased earnings are attributed to the higher prices that prevailed in 2010, the average being US$1,235 per ounce compared to the 2009 average of US$972 per ounce. In 2010, the price of gold reached a high of $1,426 and a low of $1,052 per ounce.
The Guyana Gold Board also disclosed that it recorded its highest turnover ever, in 2010, reaching US$291.7 million compared with US$243.8 in 2009, with profitability also expected to be at the highest in 2010.
During last year, the entity disclosed it managed to invest in two new mercury abatement systems to be installed at its offices in Georgetown and Bartica, which will enhance the processing of gold sold by miners to the Board.
In 2010, the Board made contributions to the Guyana Relief Council to help the residents of Mahdia who were affected by fire. Contributions were also made to activities in the Bartica area where the Board has a branch.
A severe dry spell early last year saw many miners forced to cease operations. However, in July, the rains came and many roads were impassable and waters swamped a number of mining areas.
Gold prices have been rising in the last year over fears of a sluggish US economy and the financial situation in Europe. Traders have been hedging their bets on gold, with analysts saying that prices may even reach the US$1,500 mark in months.