Dec 04, 2016 News
This year has been a record-breaking one for the Gold Mining Sector which saw gold production
soaring to new heights. This, coupled with the opportunities available in the sector, has caused the government to be hopeful that gold production will edge closer to the 700,000-ounce margin in 2017.
This was according to the Minster of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman – the Feature Speaker at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI)’s 127th Annual Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony that was held at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston Georgetown, on Thursday last.
The Minister lauded the ‘brave’ men and women who have entered into the ‘uncertain’ world of commerce and trade during a time when doing business is ‘tough’. These undertakings, he said, deserve special commendation.
The Minister also spoke about the challenges and the opportunities that exist in the extractive sector.
He said that Guyana’s extractive industry over its 50 years of self-governance, has given Guyanese additional reasons to be inspired and hopeful. This, he said, is notwithstanding the feelings of despair and doom that “some amongst us are stoking”.
He added that the Extractive Sector represents a significant component of Guyana’s economy. This year, 2016, saw collaborations between the Ministry of Natural Resources and its partner Ministries including the Ministry of Business and other government departments; Private Sector agencies; Civil Society and the citizenry.
These entities have all collaborated to ensure the extractive industry buttresses its sister industries including rice, sugar and manufacturing.
Trotman said that it was in the not too distant past that these industries would have taken this stance to make significant contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in years when gold struggled at US$300 and US$400 an ounce.
The Minister said that whilst some may find reason to decry the performance of the economy, this story is not new to Guyana. In fact, “it is the same play, same actors all arrayed in different scenes”.
Trotman said that such are the vagaries of managing an economy in difficult global circumstances which have a domino effect on Guyana resulting in shocks and tremors.
The Minister implored the attendees to “look beyond the horizon” while adding that there are many opportunities in the extractive industry sector that should not go a begging.
“Guyana’s extractive sector has been a boon to its economic development and though its vast potential is far from being realised already it contributes to the total wealth of the country as it meets the requirements of National Low Carbon Green Development”
“We have seen gold production figures continually rising in 2016 and contrary to a misguided belief that it is only the two large companies Troy Resources and the Guyana Goldfields that are solely responsible for this record, small and medium scale miners make up almost two-thirds of the production,” Trotman said.
According to previous reports, a total of 550,000 ounces was projected for this year and Guyana has already surpassed this target.
The Minister said that he is pleased to announce that Guyana has broken its records for annual production by a significant margin. As of November 30, gold production and declarations reached 600,000 ounces.
“In putting this into context, it means that even in the days of higher prices and the presence of Omai Goldmines, gold never reached 500,000 ounces which was the highest ever recorded production in 2013.”
These figures, he said, also attest to the fact that gold is an important earner in the Guyanese economy and as such, the Government will continue to support the sector by providing operational concessions to miners and supporting infrastructural works whilst streamlining operations and systems to ensure higher declaration.
“The challenges, however, remain: be it the loss of life; the loss of limb. Illegal mining and issues of great disrepute which continue to plague the industry and dim the light of its tremendous success,”
Trotman said that in the coming year, and years ahead, the Ministry plans to do much more to ensure compliance and enhance practices to contribute to the well-being of the thousands of men and women who depend on the mining industry as a means of a livelihood.
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