By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] –Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud says gold declaration, though still poor, has improved from what it was earlier this year.
He told iNews that in recent weeks there was a slight improvement but declaration still remains at approximately 18% below where it was last year.
Persaud is optimistic that the both the production and ultimately the declaration of gold will see stark increases in the coming months.
He informed that the Guyana Gold Board continues to work with the mining sector to see how it can improve production but said low declaration remains an issue that his Ministry is looking at very closely.
Meanwhile, in response to an independent survey carried out by the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA), which blamed scaled down mining and the exit of Brazilians, among others factors for the low declaration, Persaud said those possibilities have not been ruled out.
“There are many contributing factors that will be taken on board, already we are making more mining lands available,” he said; adding that “Yes, there are cases where persons have returned to Brazil and other some factors but we have not ignored those.”
In his mid – year report, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh had explained that while a few sectors continue to perform exceptionally, the Gold Industry continues to struggle.
Despite many years of strong performance, gold declarations were lower by 17.2 percent compared to last year, Dr Singh told reporters two weeks ago.