Gold Board in moves to assist small miners

DPI, GUYANA, Sunday, June 24, 2018 

The Guyana Gold Board (GGB) is consistently working to reduce challenges faced by small miners, as they contribute significantly to the economy.

This is according to GGB Manager, Eondrene Thompson, who last week, assured mining representatives that the entity remains committed to the interests of gold miners.

Guyana Gold Board Manager, Eondrene Thompson.

The GGB was part of a delegation that included several ministers of government that met with representatives of the mining sector at the Marriot Hotel last week. The objective was to listen to concerns raised by the stakeholders and provide assistance where necessary.

Among several matters raised, were duty-free concessions for small miners, monetary advances and limited equipment for mining. Thompson explained that the granting of duty-free concessions lies in the hands of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA). However, she said that should there be consistency in declarations by small miners; recommendations can be made to the GRA.

“As soon as we can get beyond that, where we can say to GRA these small miners are requesting duty free [allowances], the Guyana Gold Board will be able to say this is a consistent small miner and we’re hoping that as soon as he gets 50 ounces, you could grant them duty free [priviliges],” she said.

Regarding monetary advances to miners, Thompson said the GGB is not a financial institution. She said it has been a regular practice for private dealers to give advances and await payment after the miners sell their gold, however, this does not happen at the board.

“I cannot say right now, because we have spoken about this at the board level that the Gold Board can get into that. Of course, there are a lot of intricacies involved in advancing money,” she said. Thompson said dealers themselves have been complaining that they have been “losing out” in this regard.

The GGB General Manager also said that miners are still able to benefit from the 10 percent foreign currency service, even if they do not reach the required number of ounces.  However, if they do not sell to the gold board and continue selling to the dealers, then the board will have to make adjustments.

On the matter of equipment, Thomson said the board is aware of their “dire need” and the entity is taking the necessary steps to have that rectified.

By: Alexis Rodney.