– Chinese among big beneficiaries
There was a mad rush under last administration to give out mining lands.
According to records of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), over the last two years the GGMC processed more than 4,000 applications.
According to the GGMC figures, in 2014, almost 3,000 transactions were recorded. This fell to just over 1,100 last year.
The figures would be significant when one considers that in 2013, more than 1,300 applications were processed. In 2012 there were 2,500 applications processed.
That was the highest recorded figure since 2005 when there were 124 transactions for mining permits, mining licences and other prospecting applications.
The number of applications actually picked up in 2009 with 971 transactions that year. In 2011 there were 1,100. This was the signal year for the rush to grab mining lands.
Of course, as world prices for gold climbed, there was that rush by miners for more lands spiking in 2012.
A glance at the last two years also found that Chinese-owned acquisitions by the Clinton Williams-led Board grew significantly months before the May 11, 2015 General Elections which the David Granger administration won by a slim majority.
Especially benefitting were two companies–Rong An Inc. and logging company, BaiShanLin Forest Development Inc.
Buying up mining lands in his own name was BaiShanLin’s local principal, Chu Hongbo.
Chu Hongbo’s company is facing intense scrutiny for activities in Guyana where the company benefited from billions of dollars in tax waivers and other concessions, including logging and housing lands.
GGMC’s Board of Directors was chaired over the last two years by Clinton Williams.
However, the life of that controversial Board came to an end in December with Government naming city businessman, Stanley Ming as the new Chairman.
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