Authorities remain confident that there will be a late surge of gold declarations for yearend, despite a below par performance for the first eight months.
According to the latest figures of the Guyana Gold Board, the declaration as at August 31st, 2018, is 384,807.93 ounces.
This would be about 7.81 percent or 32,586 less than the same period for last year.
Earlier this year, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman announced an ambitious, unprecedented target of 800,000 ounces.
However, incessant rains earlier this year contributed to the horrendous conditions on the hinterland access roads leading to the mining fields.
For months, drivers struggled in what has become a muddy, all-too-familiar story year in and year out.
The conditions on the Linden/Lethem trail have been the biggest thorn in the side. That roadway/trail is the main link to the gold mining areas.
However, according to Chairman of the Gold Board, Gabriel ‘GHK’ Lall, based on consultations with licensed gold dealers and the two foreign gold investors, the Board remains optimistic that the target will be reached.
“The inclement weather pattern is somewhat changing and some of the roadways into the interior are being repaired,” he said.The two foreign gold investors referred to are Canadian-owned, Guyana Goldfields and Troy Resources, an Australian company.
Questioned as to whether smuggling may have had a role to play on the declarations, Lall had this to say: “While there may be a perception that gold is smuggled out of the country… GGB has no solid proof to substantiate same. GGB is not in a position to validate the quantity of gold (if any) is smuggled out of Guyana.”
Gold declarations would be watched carefully because of the large quantity of precious foreign currency it brings to the country.
With sugar dismally low, the bright light on the horizon had been rice with several new markets found, including Cuba, Mexico and Panama, in the last couple years.
However, the other sectors like forestry and bauxite are barely scraping along.
The gold industry, with high dividends for miners who stuck with it, has thousands of persons depending on it, from miners and workers, to suppliers, shops and even pontoon services.
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