“Our operations meet the highest of verifiable standards” – El Dorado Trading
…company sets record straight over “illegal Venezuela gold” allegation
El Dorado Trading has sought to clear the air on allegations linking the company with illegal gold from Venezuela, insisting that its operations meet the highest of international standards.
A letter dated August 19, 2020 has surfaced in which a representative from the Royal Canadian Mint informed the Head of the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) that the Mint was suspending any material from El Dorado Trading going into its supply chain until further notice. This was after the London Bullion Mark Association (LBMA) informed the Mint that a grievance was filed connecting the mining company to “illegally-sourced Venezuelan gold”.
But in response, El Dorado Trading in a statement on Thursday called reports on the issue “deeply worrying”.
“We insist that our operations meet the highest of verifiable standards in what is one of the most regulated of sectors in Guyana,” the company said.
According to El Dorado Trading, it has established one of the most modern and robust compliance regimes under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT) regulations.
In fact, the mining company noted that even without being aware of correspondence between the Mint and the GGB, it had engaged a world-recognised auditor, Binder Dijker Otte (BDO) International – which is approved and accepted on LBMA lists of auditors – to audit its supply chain and compliance regime dating back to year 2018. It was noted too that authorisation was given to BDO to share all information necessary with international business associates in keeping with the Precious Metals Industry best practices supervised by the LBMA. These reports are also available to the competent authorities for perusal.
Moreover, El Dorado Trading pointed out that at all times it has accommodated the supervisory authority, that is, the GGB to conduct site visits to all of its locations, with the most recent visit being on August 28, 2020.
The mining company went on to say that it has built a loyal base over the years that has been increasing steadily.
“We have been able to build a solid, verifiable operation, that meets internationally-recognised standards. In the past, we have been declared as the dealer with the most annual declarations, a feat we are extremely proud of, thanks to our hardworking staffers and our biggest stakeholders – the mining community. In consideration of our compliance system, El Dorado Trading is hopeful that this matter will be resolved very quickly, as it involves the lives of thousands of our local Guyanese. We have confidence in the independence and competence of the Guyana Gold Board,” the company asserted.
El Dorado Trading said in Thursday’s statement that it has been among Guyana’s largest gold dealers for several years and has been in existence for over two decades as a result of strategic planning and capitalising on the opportunities.
The company said it contributed annually to the Consolidated Fund of Guyana through the payment of royalties and taxes in sums amounting to billions of Guyana dollars.
Over the past two years, gold prices have consistently increased, with an influx of entrepreneurs consequently entering the sector, spurring more declarations to the GGB. It is a fact that the regulated operations of El Dorado and the entire mining sector in Guyana predate Venezuela’s economic situation, the company contended.
Nevertheless, the mining company said that despite the pandemic, Guyana continues to rise and now, 2021 promises bigger things for Guyana. As such, El Dorado Trading pledges to continue to play its role in the country’s development.