EITI calls out miners for non-disclosure of info

‒ GGDMA says info already available through regulatory agencies

The recent Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) report into Guyana’s extractive sector has called out certain business establishments for not disclosing their beneficial ownership linkages, but the initiative is now being called out buy the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA).
According to the GGDMA in a statement, EITI by requiring this information may put miners in a precarious position where criminal elements will have a target to fixate on. The Association claimed that much of this information is available anyway, through agencies such as the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Guyana Gold Board and the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
“The GGDMA recognises that the EITI report, by demanding disclosures of ownership, valuations and profits in a manner outside of the law, will expose local miners to additional criminal targeting and security risks while also creating an easy ledger for bandits to carve up local operators.”
“The GGDMA maintains that all the necessary local agencies, GGMC, Guyana Gold Board and the GRA, are already in possession of this information and cannot see why an additional disclosure should be made that only places miners in additional danger of being targeted by criminals.”
The Association noted that besides security concerns from local criminals, Guyana is located next to the destabilised Venezuela. According to GGDMA, criminal gangs from neighbouring Venezuela are a problem for Guyanese.
“Over the last few years there have been continuous incursions by these types of individuals over our porous borders, with reports of robberies taking place in the interior after which these criminals slip back over to Venezuela undeterred and no doubt emboldened.”
“We cannot idly stand by and have information publicised that will further whet the appetite of these criminals to target specific miners’ operations and put them and their staff in the way of serious harm and death.
All information is available via the Guyana Gold Board, the GRA or the GGMC and can be accessed by competent authorities if required.”
In EITI’s first report on Guyana, which was recently released, some of the companies who did not supply names of beneficial owners were Innovative Mining, R Mining Inc, Azeem Baksh, Gold Target Export, Milburn Mahadeo, Grey Wolf Resources and Tesouro Resources.
Also included on the list was Bauxite Company of Guyana (RUSAL), Bosai Minerals Group (Guyana) Inc, El Dorado Trading, J&D Mining, New East International, Higgins Winslow Theophilus, Wal Jays Mining, Harpy Investment, SSS Mineral Trading Ent, and Adamantium Holdings.

Among the companies who complied with EITI’s requirements for information sharing were Excel Minerals Inc, Dinar Trading, Pure Diamond Inc, and Mohamed’s Enterprise.
Beneficial ownership is a term used in law to indicate someone who, while not being registered as the owner or a beneficiary, benefits anyway.
The report also revealed that the extractive industry in Guyana, particularly gold mining, has contributed to 65.1 per cent of Guyana’s total exports for 2017.
According to the report, total revenues from the sector in the 2017 fiscal year amounted to $20.8 billion. The Guyana Gold Board, to which gold declarations are made, accounted for 33 per cent of this revenue. This is followed by the Guyana Revenue Authority, 32 per cent and the Finance Ministry, 18 per cent.
Gold and other minerals contributed $17.4 billion or 84 per cent of revenue from the extractive industries. On the other hand, oil and gas contributed $2.8 billion or 14 per cent. Bauxite, one of Guyana’s oldest industries, contributed $479 million or two per cent.
However, GGDMA criticised the report for the way in which it characterised the small and medium-scaled miners.