As the price of gold continues its slow climb in the New Year, Government is ambitiously looking to break a number of records this year when it comes to declarations.
According to early estimates provided, the country may be looking at 600,000 ounces – by far the highest. The big numbers will, of course, be boosted by the declarations of the big players like Guyana Goldfields Inc. and Troy Resources, two large-scale operations which expected to push production up by up to 200,000 ounces.
The figures would spell more earnings from the seven percent in royalties and taxes that the country receives from each ounce declared.
In 2013, as gold prices peaked at almost US$1,900, gold exports raked in US$737M from the 481,000 ounces declared.
As prices fell in 2014, declarations slumped to 387,000 ounces, with exports valued that year at US$469M.
Last year was a remarkable one, by any counts. Gold declaration in the first half of the year fell almost 20 percent, before small miners rallied and the Guyana Goldfields Inc. chipped in with 35,000 ounces.
It was remarkable from the standpoint that gold prices on the world market continued its slide, closing off the year at a low of US$1,060.
Prices have recovered somewhat, rising more than US$30 to finish yesterday at US$1,094 per ounce.
Small miners contributed over 400,000 ounces, and this year it is projected that they will reach as much as 430,000 ounces.
Last week, Canadian-owned Guyana Goldfields Inc. said that its flagship Aurora mines in Region Seven, is targeting between 130,000 and 150,000 ounces this year.
Troy Resources, an Australian company, may bring in at least 50,000 ounces, although no official announcement has been made.
Yesterday, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, confirmed that the seemingly 600,000 ounces declaration appears to be on the horizon with both of the two big companies likely to contribute about 200,000 ounces alone.
Last year, from royalties and taxes on gold declarations, the country earned an estimated US$35M ($7B).
It would have been much more had it not been for a smuggling problem which has seen the cooperation of the US Government. Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security are assisting.
An investigation has been launched by Government with losses from smuggled gold estimated at least US$40M last year.
For the fifth consecutive year, Mohamed Enterprise, on Lombard Street, remained the biggest seller/producer for the Guyana Gold Board. At the end of last year, it had declared 151,974 ounces. It was followed by El Dorado Trading at 104,736 ounces.
“This year, we want to encourage more declarations and legitimate trade; we want to encourage gold dealers and exporters to work closer with the Gold Board and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).
“We congratulate those who have declared and exported,” Trotman said. He urged miners and others to declare their gold.
The metal had an excellent seven-year run until 2014 when it fell behind rice as the biggest foreign currency earner for the country. It recovered footing, rising to the top of the list again last year. (Leonard Gildarie)
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