[www.inewsguyana.com] – President Donald Ramotar last evening [August 25] announced that duty- free concessions for a particular type of vehicle that miners have made representation to Government for are being worked on and should be announced soon.
“We will grant these of course. We will want to tie (it) to gold declaration, and we want to tie it to payment of taxes in our society so that those of you who will be qualified in that area can be assured that this will be looked into,” he told those gathered at the Opening and Award ceremony of Mining Week 2014, at the Gravity Lounge, Camp Street.
The President lauded the work of stakeholders in the mining sector, and expressed appreciation for their contributions to the national economy, even as he noted the spin-off benefits, such as job creation and giving people a better life.
“I know last year was a very good year for you and for the first time Guyanese miners without the major, big Omai-like investments made the highest production of gold in our country and that was a signal achievement of the work of our miners… therefore you will see how much we do appreciate mining and do understand the important role that it plays in Guyana’s development, and I see myself that there will be a growing role for mining as we diversify into other areas,” the President stated.
Guyana recorded the highest ever gold declaration of over 458,000 ounces in 2013, exceeding the previous highest level in 2001 of 455, 918 ounces. That total included the production of large investor Omai and small scale operators.
Reminding those in attendance that mineral is not a renewable resources, he urged that they use the proceeds acquired from mining sensibly, and invest it in such a way to ensure that future generations will also benefit.
He urged that miners not despair, and talk about crisis, but to see the situation as a challenge for them to do things in an even better way.
Mining Week 2014 is being celebrated under the theme, ‘Improved recovery, Reducing impact: Securing the future of mining’.
Meanwhile, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Robert Persaud said since Mining Week celebrations last year, there has been significant progress made, as the industry is more resilient and is able to cushion the effects of price movement.
He stated that there are more Guyanese and non-Guyanese who want to get involved and be a part of the development of the industry and is optimistic about people’s growing confidence and interest in the sector.
He cited the recent mining auction earlier this month, which occurred after more than four to five years, where 950 mining lots were auctioned. He said the Ministry planned the auction for one day, but because of the overwhelming response of the miners, the auction lasted for five days.
Minister Persaud opined that, “If people did not think there was money to be made in mining, and if they did not think it was good to be in mining, they would not have turned out in such large numbers to participate and to pay large sums through a public auction process.”
[Extracted and modified from GINA]