The Guyana Gold board will soon undertake a public awareness campaign to improve gold declarations after 653,754 ounces were declared in 2017.
Gold declarations for 2017 fell short of the 700,000 ounces projected in last year’s national budget.
General Manager of the Gold Board, Eondrene Thompson, told the Department of Public Information that the shortfall was as a result of setbacks in the industry.
Poor roads and inclement weather were singled out by Thompson for the decline in declarations. “The roadways into the interior…were bad and as such persons were unable to buy their supplies to take into the interior. A lot of operators said they parked their dredges and were waiting on the roads to be done,” she said.
This year, the government has budgeted some $1.5B for hinterland roads which include roads used by miners. The Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, previously stated that his Ministry hopes to involve the miners and communities as it works with the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to improve the road networks in the six mining districts.
Meanwhile, the Gold Board will also be engaging the mining community with the aim of improving declarations in 2018. “We will embark on PR work, let the miners know the importance of selling their gold to the Guyana Gold Board,” Thompson said.
Thompson said the awareness campaign is to encourage persons to sell their gold to licenced agents or the Gold Board itself. “We have persons around who they sell to or who they are working for and still not declaring to the Guyana Gold Board so we intend to educate the miners and let them know it is good, it is right to sell to the Guyana Gold Board.”
The Gold Board is examining providing incentives to miners who sell to the Guyana Gold Board. Additionally, the Board will also be educating miners on the importance of having the necessary documentation when selling their gold.
Thompson explained, “Our regulatory overseas body would like to know that. They would want to monitor the gold from the mine to the market so we will have persons educating the miners and showing them the advantages of producing documentation where they mine”.
Starting next week, the Gold Board will be sending out text blasts as part of its public relations strategy to educate miners on these issues. Staff stationed in the interior will also facilitate awareness outreaches. (DPI)