Gov’t acquiring unit to accelerate gold refining process

The Guyana Gold Mining Association (GGMC) is in the process of acquiring a small unit to enhance the gold refining process and ensure that there is an adequate supply of gold.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, made the disclosure during a stakeholder engagement with goldsmiths and jewellers at the Duke Lodge on Tuesday.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat

The Guyana Gold Board Act mandates that jewellers and goldsmiths obtain a GGMC license and source all their gold from it.

However, during the engagement, the stakeholders expressed reservations about buying from the Gold Board due to limitations in availability and quality.  

According to Minister Bharrat, the government is already addressing this concern, and the unit that will be procured will ease these woes, ensuring faster refining.

“We are working with GGMC. They are already in the process of ordering a small unit to refine gold,” the minister said.

He said that 95 per cent of the equipment for this unit has already been procured, and the GGMC is awaiting some additional components for startup.

“[We will be able to] refine the gold at a faster rate, and a larger amount. If we are telling you that the gold board is the sole supplier, then we would have to ensure that we have adequate supply for you,” he explained.

In the interim, he reminded those in attendance that there is currently a four-day turnaround time in place for the gold refining process. Simultaneously, the government is working to build capacity within GGMC to refine more metals so that they can be readily available at the Guyana Gold Board.

With a keen eye on bolstering the gold industry, the government is tackling issues of accessibility and maintaining high-quality standards.

Earlier this year, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali predicted that Guyana’s output of gold and precious minerals is expected to expand significantly as a result of effective management of the oil and gas sector.

He said that the government is already seeing tremendous interest in the building of a gold refinery here.

Additionally, the 2024 budget allocated some $400 million for the commencement of a mineral inventory programme in the country’s mining districts to facilitate strategic mining and added benefits for medium and small-scale miners.

Mineral mapping is a low-impact mining technique that refers to the process of identifying and mapping the distribution of minerals in a given area or region.

Through this process, the government aims to significantly increase the chances of gold exploration and production.