Jul 21, 2016 News
After a visit into the Aurora gold mine operations, facilitated by Guyana Gold fields, the Prime Minister and several of his colleagues were in praise of the standards employed by the company and its production figures.
The high level team consisted of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan, Natural Resources’ Raphael Trotman, Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge, Social Protection’s Volda Lawrence and Agriculture’s Noel Holder.
According to Finance Minister Jordan in the course of the visit, Guyana Goldfield’s production figures are indicative of an enhanced, investor friendly climate. Asked about the returns to Guyana, he described them as “absolutely fantastic”.
He said that Guyana’s sugar has not been doing well on the world market. He stated that it was unlikely to be doing well in the near future, and that major transformation would be needed to bring it back to profitability. He also pointed out the returns from rice.
“Rice has had some slippages, bauxite is holding its own. So to get gold to step up in the way it has stepped up has allowed the economy to continue to grow rather than regress. As you know Guyana is one of the few countries within this part (of the world) that continue to grow through the challenges of commodity prices and uncertainties in the world.”
“Guyana is on the cusp of major transformation and now is the time to get in,” he said, offering some encouragement to investors. “Particularly in the case of gold prices, which are at a level where one can get a decent return. And given Brexit, gold prices for the immediate short term should be trekking upwards.”
Last year Exxon Mobil made a deepwater discovery of oil in the Stabroek Block, located about 120 miles offshore Guyana. A second well drilled this year confirmed massive oil reserves. According to Jordan “with the added incentive of oil a couple years down the road, now is the time to (establish) a foothold.”
“What I am seeing here, together with their plans and the other gold mining initiatives that are on stream, I think the future is gold.”
Nagamootoo stated that the sheer production figures from the outfit and the amount of people it has employed meant that Guyana Goldfields was an important cog in the workings of the economy.
He expressed his satisfaction with what was related to him with regards to health and safety precautions and the processes used to extract the ore.
“This is good news for Guyana,” Nagamootoo stated. “I believe that anywhere you go and you receive a report of production of 75,000 ounces of gold for a half year, I think that is excellent for Guyana. So I’m very impressed.”
“The explanations given have convinced me that this is not only a safe operation, but this is also a worthwhile venture. And anywhere you go and you have over 500 persons (working) on site, you have a company working along with Guyanese to bring a product that the economy depends on.”
The Finance Minister recently revealed that gold production for April amounted to 60,558 ounces, conjectured with 36,629 ounces achieved in April of last year. According to Jordan, gold production thus amounted to 222,500 ounces from January to April 2016, representing an increase of 104.8 percent for the corresponding period in 2015.
Meanwhile sugar production for January to April 2016 totaled 55,687 tonnes, compared to 67,555 tonnes achieved for the corresponding period in 2016, a 17.6 percent. In the case of rice production from January to April, 2016, this was registered at 205,208 tonnes, compared to 303,314 tonnes produced during the same period last year.
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