Small, medium miners contributed to over 75% of 2020 gold production
– GGDMA calls for tax relief for local industry
– El Dorado Trading top gold dealer for 2020
Small- and medium-scale miners were able to up their production to 485,552 ounces of gold for the year 2020 – representing 75 per cent of the country’s total production. 584,291 ounces of gold were declared to the Guyana Gold Board in 2020.
The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association (GGDMA) highlighted the contributions made by these stakeholders on Thursday, noting that it amounts to US$808,587,118 in export earnings, compared to US$619 million earned in 2019. The achievement was especially laudable, the organisation said, given the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This production accounts for more than 75 of the country’s total gold production. The production figure, while slightly below 2019, is especially significant and noteworthy, given that the mining industry, in 2020, faced severe challenges caused by the global pandemic, financial and infrastructural constraints, and a difficult tax regime,” the Association shared.
The GGDMA insists that small and medium-scale miners have maintained their commitment to the production target, and continue to perform. The Association continues to lobby the Government for additional reliefs and tax support for the local industry, to increase productivity and mobilise additional investment.
“The 2021 target for gold production has not yet been announced, but the GGDMA remains confident that given the additional reliefs and tax support, our local miners will not only rise to the challenge, but exceed them.”
The Guyana Gold Board (GGB) had seen reduced gold declarations for last year, compared to 2019, with preliminary figures showing a 7.97 per cent reduction in declarations. General Manager Eondrene Thompson told Guyana Times preliminary figures show that, for 2020, 584,291 ounces of gold were declared. However, she stressed that these figures are not final.
It was subsequently revealed that El Dorado Trading was the top gold dealer for 2020.
In spite of all the challenges brought about by COVID-19, the company remains the country’s top gold dealer, thus contributing millions in taxes and royalties to the Consolidated Fund.
In 2019, gold declarations were 634,905 ounces. Thompson attributed this drop to the period of inactivity from the two largest gold producers. She noted that one of them, Troy Resources, had at one point suspended its operations following an accident.
However, Thompson told this publication there is a positive outlook for 2021. According to her, more gold companies are in the process of entering the market, and this, coupled with the historic performance of the sector, augurs well for an improved year.
“Yes, 2021 seems to be a brighter year than 2020, because of the very fact that we have more dealers, prospective dealers, coming in. We’ve not finalised that as yet. And we have shown an upward trend towards the end of the year. And I trust that this trajectory continues,” she said.
While 2020 saw reduced gold declarations compared to the previous year, it did see a number of gold finds. For instance, Australia-based mining company Alicanto Minerals made its first-ever gold find in Guyana in November, only days after another mining company, Troy Resources, had announced that it had found gold deposits underground.