Jun 28, 2016 –
As of June 22, last, around 315,000 ounces have been declared for the year so far, with Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, stressing yesterday that contributions from the small and medium scale miners have been significant.
Of course, the two large players have been strong with Canadian-owned Guyana Goldfields Inc. targeting 75,000 ounces for the first half.
“Things are looking very positive. As you know, oil prices are going up. Gold has gone up significantly and we are looking to crest that 600,000 annual mark.”
That revised target will be significant, by any means. Last year, Guyana surged to 451,000 ounces despite a four-year low in gold prices.
An ambitious 550,000 ounces was set for this year but it looks this will be easily surpassed.
Already, Guyana Goldfields is projecting its Aurora mine, in Region Seven, to reach between 140,000 and 160,000 ounces this week.
“It is clear that gold remains a very good investment with better returns. We have been able to improve on our efficiency and it is evident that our small and medium scale miners are showing confidence,” Trotman disclosed yesterday.
“The industry is also being better regulated it has impacted on smuggling and non-declarations. We expect that the levels you see will continue the rest of the year.”
Gold fell from a high of US$1,900 per ounce in the last four to five years to below US$1,200. It has been inching up steadily over the past two years.
With thousands of workers involved in the mining sector, Government and operators alike have been nervous about falling prices.
There is good news now for Guyana as the stock markets are banking on gold after Britain’s shock decision to leave the European Union last week.
Gold has been the biggest foreign currency earner for the country in that last seven years before falling behind rice and sugar in 2014 but regaining its place last year.
The entrance of the Guyana Goldfields and Troy Resources, an Aussie-owned outfit, into the local market has been seen as a major plus to the sector.
In his budget earlier this year, Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, disclosed that in spite of the downturn in bauxite (13.4 percent) and quarrying (0.3 percent), the mining and quarrying sector grew by a strong nine percent, thanks to a very dominant performance by gold, which grew by 16.4 percent last year.
“Though the increase in gold production was attributed to the new entrants – Guyana Goldfields and Troy Inc. – it was the local miners who accounted for over 90 percent of the 451,490 ounces that were declared.”