…2019 projections dropped to 651,000 ounces
Total god declarations as of December 31, 2018 amounted to 613,073 ounces which was 6.22 per cent lower than 2017.
653,754 ounces were declared in 2017.
Government had initially set a target of 720,000 ounces for 2017 but at the end of 2017 was only able declare 653,674 ounces, prompting Finance Minister Winston Jordan to dub the performance disappointing.
An ambitious 800,000 ounces target was set for 2018.
The foreign exchange value of exports processed on behalf of dealers and itself at the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) came to US$443,961,666.
According to the Natural Resources Ministry, “among the factors responsible for the marginal differences between the 2017 and 2018 figures, as advanced by mining bodies and dealers are: inclement weather, unnavigable roads, and depressed metal prices in the first three quarters of 2018.”
Moreover, it was outlined that declarations from dealers did indicate some strength in the latter part of the year.
“In spite of several major challenges, 2018 turned out to be an encouraging year for the Guyana Gold Board. It was not as solid as hoped for; but it ended up being better than was thought likely, in view of prevailing conditions” a statement from the Ministry of Natural Resources said.
Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman and the board and management of the GGB expressed appreciation to licensed dealers Mohamed’s Enterprise, and El Dorado Trading, which finished first and second respectively in total declarations and exports of gold.
Other dealers that contributed are: Pure Diamond, Dinar, Excel, Adamantium Metals, GBTI Property Holdings Inc., and Gold Bar Development.
“All circumstances considered, it was a trying year for the Guyana Gold Board. It stayed faithful to its legal mandate to buy gold, to process exports, and to implement and enforce tougher regulatory standards and requirements” Trotman in the release said.
With regards to 2019, it was outlined that declarations and exportation projections are expected to be 651,000 ounces.
“It is believed that these numbers are feasible and achievable, once there is a confluence of positive contributory components. The GGB looks forward with much anticipation to what 2019 brings” said the Ministry.
Meanwhile, in 2019 the Ministry said that is expects to continue work on managing and enhancing existing emissions control mechanisms; searching for and obtaining a new and permanent home; prioritizing and fulfilling CFATF and NRA AML/CFT standards; embarking on pending capital projects; reducing legacy deficits at the Bank of Guyana and the Ministry of Finance; and continuing training of staff on professional standards, values and ethics.
Most, if not all, of these undertakings revolve around the presence of a new, fixed home for the GGB, at the earliest opportunity.