There are more details emerging regarding the operations of BaiShanLin, a Chinese logging company
that is now involved in large scale gold mining.
From one area alone, in Ekereku, Mazaruni, Region Seven, BaiShanLin has been extracting over 500 ounces of gold, weekly, according to miners.
There is no evidence that BaiShanLin or any one of the many companies it has registered, declared anything to local gold dealers or to the Guyana Gold Board.
The Chinese company shifted its operations from timber after public scrutiny within recent times saw the David Granger administration last year halting log exports. The company had failed to build a wood processing plant, in compliance with its business plans and contractual arrangements.
BaiShanLin’s local principal, Chu Hongbo, who was granted citizenship in 2014, managed to buy up, via auctions and other means, several mining properties. He had shifted part of his logging operations to the gold fields.
For example, the company and Chu Hongbo have managed to build an impressive mining operation at Ekereku which according to GGMC records, is listed as ‘Sheet 15 SE’.
In that area alone, the company has at least 26,400 acres of mining lands.
All were acquired between the 2014 and 2015, when GGMC’s allocation of mining lands and financial activities raised alarm.
Ekereku is rich in gold deposits. For decades it has attracted miners.
According to GGMC officials yesterday, there is little indication from records that any visits were made to the BaiShanLin mining camps by Mines Officers to ensure operations are in keeping with regulations.
The issue is also about a disconnect of information sharing between GGMC and the Guyana Gold Board, the government agency that buys gold.
How BaiShanLin and other operators are allowed to conduct mining activities without attention from GGMC would also raise alarms about the monitoring and capacity of GGMC and how much revenue is being lost to the country.
For BaiShanLin alone, the 500 ounces of gold would represent over $100M weekly in revenues. This translates to $7 million in royalties for Guyana.
This particular company has been sparking anger because of the seeming reluctance by consecutive Governments to act.
It owes Government for properties it bought; it is facing delays in its housing project and trade mall on the East Bank of Demerara. It controls a large swath of prime lands at Providence.
BaiShanLin was also allowed to snap up hundreds of thousands of forest lands, making it the second biggest property owner, on paper, behind Barama Company Limited.
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