Apr 19, 2023 News
By Shervin Belgrave
Kaieteur News – Almost ten months after the Extractive Industries Transparency (EITI) flagged Guyana a third time for not releasing large-scale mining contracts in the country, Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday committed again to making the contracts public.
Jagdeo’s commitment was made at a press conference held at the Arthur Chung Conference Center (ACC). This was the second time the Vice President promised to “personally intervene” for the release of the fiscal terms of all large-scale mining contracts.
“So I am going to personally [intervene]… because I have never personally track this down to find out why the fiscal part-Leave out the other parts of the contract but the part where they get concessions- why that part can’t be release”, said Jagdeo.
The Vice President made a similar commitment in August 2022 during an appearance on The Glenn Lall Show aired on Kaieteur Radio. While appearing on that radio programme, he told the Kaieteur News’ publisher, Glenn Lall, “I don’t see the reason why many of these are not in the public domain already. I’ll find out about it.”
When pressed further Jagdeo said, “I can undertake to find out with you there, what provision the GRA [Guyana Revenue Authority] is so cagey about that it doesn’t want to release… I will undertake anything that is non-propriety that you get it released. I will personally now see that this happen.”
On Thursday, Jagdeo maintained that he has no problem releasing the mining contracts. “My point is that on these arrangements, I don’t see releasing the fiscal concessions that we give to investors a problem,” Jagdeo said before adding “But I am only asking that you have a nuanced view (balanced/fair) when you report, look at the world market and the challenges”.
Asked by a Kaieteur News reporter why the government in the past has not been too keen on releasing the contracts, Jagdeo responded, “Because of the propriety… that has always been the issue… the proprietary issue…”
However, the Vice President explained that government can release only the fiscal terms (concessions granted and how much the country stands to gain from the deal) and not the propriety information.
“The fiscal part is where the concessions are. The sector can argue against propriety information but they can’t argue against the concessions that they get. They can’t say to me, that we can’t let the country know, because the fiscal terms should be known to everybody, who is getting concessions and who is not getting concessions, that should be known to everybody,” Jagdeo told reporters.
There are currently 10 companies holding large-scale licences in Guyana. The Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc. holds three large scale licences for the extraction of bauxite in Kurubuka (Block 22), North East (Block 5 in Kwakwani), Berbice (Block 38) for a total area of 16,691 acres, in which the Guyana Government has a state participation of 10% as confirmed by the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).
Bosai Minerals Group Guyana Inc. holds three (3) large-scale licences for the extraction of bauxite in East Montgomery, Tailing area and Dacouria for a total area of 3,063 acres, in which the Guyana Government also has state participation of 30 percent as confirmed by NICIL.
Correia Mining Co. holds a large-scale licence for the extraction of gold and diamonds for a total area of 3,681 acres.
Guyana Goldfield Inc. holds a large-scale licence for the extraction of gold in Cuyuni (Aurora) for a total area of 14,339 acres while Guyana Industrial Minerals Inc. holds a large-scale licence for the extraction of bauxite in the Bonasika Mining project for a total area of 18,940 acres.
Additionally, North American Resources Incorporated Ltd. holds a large-scale licence for the extraction of gold for a total 5,950 acres. Pereira Mining Company holds a large-scale licence for the extraction of gold, silver, and valuable minerals for a total area of 5,105 acres.
Meanwhile, Romanex Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds a large-scale licence for the extraction of gold and valuable minerals for a total area of 11,110 acres; while Ontario Incorporated holds a large-scale licence for the extraction of gold and copper for a total area of 8,346 acres.
Troy Resources Guyana also holds a large-scale licence for the extraction of gold for a total area of 15,160 acres.
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