In response to public scrutiny and pressure, the governing coalition of A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) continues to release contracts signed between Guyana and several petroleum companies.
On Friday, the petroleum agreement between Guyana and United States (US) owned Anadarko Petroleum Corp. was released by the Government.
The agreement is similar to those secured by other oil companies, including US oil giant, ExxonMobil.
In 2012, Anadarko was granted an exploration licence for the Roraima block offshore Guyana.
In October 2013, while conducting geophysical survey on behalf of Anadarko, the research vessel MV Teknik Perdana was ordered out of Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone by the Venezuelan Navy and escorted to the island of Margarita.
The Research vessel had at least five US citizens onboard.
Following the incident, Anadarko halted operations in Guyana until July 2015 when company officials met with the Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman and restated the company’s interest in drilling for oil in the licensed area.
Friday’s release of the Anadarko contract marks the last of the major oil contracts released by the Government.
However, there continues to be heavy focus on companies operating in the extractive sector, particularly, as it relates to the benefits Guyana is getting in return for millions of dollars in concessions granted.
With the oil contracts now released, the Government has shifted attention to the release of contracts in the mining and forestry sectors.
Trotman told Kaieteur News that he will release the contracts from both sectors.
“I plan on releasing contracts for the mining and forestry sectors and I have sent for them,” Trotman said.
He did not provide a timeline when the contracts will be released.
The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) oversees the mining sector while the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) oversees forestry.
Over the past two weeks, Kaieteur News has been examining the foreign gold mining companies and the concessions Guyana grants. Canadian miner, Guyana Goldfields Inc. is one of the large entities which received concessions galore.
Since the first gold bar in 2014, Guyana Goldfields Inc. (GGI) has benefitted from $42.2B in concessions. The company received $17.8B in concessions on fuel, lube oil and other lubricants and chemicals.
The company was granted $14B in tax breaks on machinery and equipment. These include excavators, bulldozers, motor graders, caterpillar trucks, generators, front-end loaders, etc. It also received a whopping $10.6B in tax concessions on spare parts.
These figures were provided to Kaieteur News by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Up to November 2017, the State only received $5.4B in royalties from this foreign mining company.
Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Godfrey Statia; Chartered Accountant Christopher Ram and Executive Member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr. David Hinds recently agreed that Guyana is not getting value for its concessions.
Guyana Goldfields Inc. is not the only foreign company within these shores, benefitting from tax concessions fit for a king. Australian conglomerate, Troy Resources, also enjoys tax concessions galore.
Figures seen by Kaieteur News indicate that the company received generous concessions from 2016 to now. For that period, it received $2.5B in tax breaks. Based on the company’s financial statements, the royalties received by the State thus far is $17M.
The $2.5B in taxes given up by the State to the Australian entity does not take into account the billions of dollars in concessions it received on fuel, lube oil and other chemicals and spare parts.
There are also major foreign-owned bauxite companies operating here including the Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc./RUSAL and Bosai Minerals Group (Guyana) Inc.
There has also been a major public outcry about the contract with Bai Shan Lin Forest Development Inc., and Vaitarna Holdings Private Inc.
Bai Shan Lin grew in prominence after 2010, with its forestry company said to be co-owned by the Government of China.
Shortly after taking office, the Coalition Government appointed a new Board at GFC, chaired by Jocelyn Dow. The Board seized the forest concessions of Bai Shan Lin, including some it had acquired under questionable joint venture means.
In all, Bai Shan Lin had grown to be one of the biggest holders of State forests in Guyana.
There was evidence that little was done to curtail its activities here, many of them illegal.
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