Guyana’s mineral exports are up after a rollercoaster year, with 500,000 ounces of gold estimated to have been exported so far for this year and over 27,000 metric carats of diamonds expected to be exported by year end.
These figures were revealed by President Dr Irfaan Ali, during his keynote address to a Harvard Business School virtual workshop on Monday where he addressed representatives from hundreds of faculties all around the world.
“Our country is blessed with tremendous deposits of gold. Our volume of exports for 2021 is estimated at 500,000 ounces. So, I’m presenting to you the diversified economic portfolio of our country, the revenue generation opportunities,” the President informed the gathering.
“In diamond, for the period of January to September 2021, we exported approximately 20,000 metric carats. And the estimate for October to December of this year is a further 7,500 metric karats,” President Ali said.
According to the Finance Ministry’s Mid-Year report for 2021, diamond declarations had improved in the first half of 2021. It grew by 166.3 per cent, to an impressive 18,432 metric carats.
Gold has also been on the increase over the past couple years. Last year, small- and medium-scale miners were able to up their production to 485,552 ounces of gold– representing 75 per cent of the country’s total production. 584,291 ounces of gold were declared to the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) in 2020.
The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association (GGDMA) had highlighted the contributions made by these stakeholders, 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 organization 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.”
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.