May 23, 2022 Editorial
Kaieteur News – It is stunning, this development involving a foreign company called Gold Shield. Here it is that Gold Shield is boasting openly about its shining mineral future in Guyana on a foreign media outlet, and Guyanese are in the dark. Guyanese are clueless about the existence of this company here, about how that came about, and about the extent of its relationship with Guyana and its government.
We at this publication ask four questions: how can this be so? What is going on here? Why this need for secrecy with something as big as this, and with so much meaning for citizens of this country? And last, who in this PPP/C Government’s leadership ranks is responsible for this development, this lately dawning revelation, now that a Gold Shield chief decided to boast to his investors and boost their confidence?
Before proceeding, we place two scenarios in front of readers. This is not a local company with local explorers, or a small pork-knocker. This is a huge matter involving gold exploration in three massive areas in Guyana’s rich goldfields.
Yet we have not heard a single utterance from any PPP/C Government leader who are usually proud to boast about the attractive investment climate of Guyana, and all who are coming here to setup shop, so that we can get jobs and infrastructure and taxes and royalties.
The truth is that Guyanese don’t know anything of this enormous gold company’s presence, one that is proudly boasting of the millions in store here. From all indications, this is not a fly by night outfit, but one with substance, strength, and reach. Look at how far it got with the people who run this country, who had to be involved in this decision to let them come here, but which they hide from us.
The second scenario is one with which many Guyanese are familiar. Developments involving land and property, awards, sales, concessions, and so forth, usually are publicised in the Official Gazette; or some kind of notice or announcement is placed in national print media channels.
On this occasion involving Gold Shield, however, there has not been a whiff of information, not a speck of detail. That is, until the company chief couldn’t help himself, given his overflowing joy, on his Guyanese gold prize. His delight, and that of his people (the executives and shareholders of Gold Shield) over their glittering Guyanese gold bonanza is the tragedy of what pretends to be governance and leadership at the highest levels in this country.
Where are the people who are the stewards of this rich and sensitive gold sector? We point first to the Minister of Natural Resources, even though we recognise that he is not calling any shots on big matters in his portfolio, and ask how come he did not make any disclosure?
As carried by this publication last week, the Minister spoke of three mega firms coming here to exploit our gold riches, but there was no identification of any of them, including this strange, new corporate creature called Gold Shield rushing into the news. What about the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), which has oversight of the sector, how come there was not a peep from that corner?
We did note, however, two familiar names that are on the board of Gold Shield. The first is Mr. Hilbert Shields, a Guyanese, who has been around mining for decades, and has accumulated much knowledge and many relationships over the years. Clearly, his association with Gold Shield is no random event, but yet the citizens of this country are unaware whatever went on here.
The second name is that of Canadian Alison Redford, a former Premier of Alberta Province, and one with a spotted political record. Whenever she is around, there is much wheeling and dealing that is usually part and parcel of the mix.
Whatever is happening, and whoever else is involved, the reality is that millions of ounces of gold, likely countless tons, are set to be shipped out of Guyana, and Guyanese learn about it, because a man from Gold Shield couldn’t keep his joy to himself. Fellow Guyanese, what is the meaning of all this?
Where are we heading?
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