The gold industry has recorded another good year.
During the recent Budget 2018 Debates, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said that gold continues to shine in Guyana and is contributing heavily to the economy.
Addressing the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland, Trotman noted that for 2017, the Ministry of Natural Resources projected a gold declaration target of 700,000 ounces which when calculated, is on par with the previous year’s declaration.
“Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that to date, gold declaration has passed the 600,000 ounces mark and is well on its way to the 700,000 milestone, and I remain confident that both our gold miners and dealers will ensure we meet our target in December,” said Trotman.
He acknowledged the various stakeholders, inclusive of the small, medium and large-scale miners, for their contributions.
Trotman also used the opportunity to announce that the gold projection target for year is within sight. The target is 800,000 ounces. The Minister said, “I am confident that we can achieve this target, as we expect that all categories of gold declarants will continue to grow.”
Also, Trotman said that the projected revenue from the sale of gold is G$71.1B while the net profit for the Guyana Gold Board is G$819,255,051.
He told the House that as of the first week of December, the Board has earned US$744,057,799 as against US$730,915,230 in the corresponding period last year
Further, Trotman indicated that the Guyana Gold Board had over a number of years amassed a deficit and “I am pleased to report that the agency has reduced its deficit at the Bank of Guyana from G$14.4B in November 2016 to G$6.7B in November 2017, as a result of the agency’s capitalising on the spike in gold prices and through tighter spending-control measures.”
The deficit was racked up between 2012 and 2013. By November last year, the deficit had risen to G$14.469B.
Under a new board, led by Gabriel ‘GHK’ Lall; the entity, which manages gold buying and trading for the state, said that the deficit which included losses from monies borrowed from the Central Bank has now been reduced to $6.764B or 65 percent less.
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, the improvements to GGB’s finances would be as a result of the agency’s capitalisation on the spike in gold prices and through tighter spending control measures.
“The deficit was incurred in 2012 and 2013 when the Gold Board borrowed large sums from the national treasury to trade in gold, which resulted in massive losses.”
According to the ministry, since coming into office in May 2015, the A Partnership For National Unity + Alliance For Change Coalition Administration has been working assiduously to bring the debt down and to better regulate the sector.
These efforts have shown success, the ministry stressed.
It was explained that a ‘buffer stock’ of gold was maintained and kept readily available whenever there were spikes in gold prices.
“This proved to be a redeeming feature which yielded much revenue over the period. Another method utilised was not to wait for huge profits, but to access profitability of at least US$5 per ounce.”
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