At the start of Mining Week here, Natural Resources and the Environment Minister presented a report indicating that gold declared for the first half of this year increased by 23.2 per cent over the quantity declared for last year.
Gold maintained its reputation as the biggest producer in the mining sector for last year, with a production value in excess of GUY$137 billion (One Guyana dollar = US$0.01 cents) and accounting for 78.2 per cent of total value of mining output.
But in the wake of the recent fall in gold prices below the price of GUY$1300 an ounce, the GGDMA has appealed for local miners to take precautionary measures by paying attention to cost reduction and to improve efficiency. It is also urging the government to provide more support through concessions and other measures. “We have been asking for a few concessions down the line and only last week we met with our President Mr. (Donald) Ramotar, and we had a very healthy meeting and we hoping for good results. But this year we are hoping to top production of 500,000 ounces of gold which has never been achieved in Guyana in the history of gold,” said CGDMA Vice-President, Charles Da Silva.
[. . .]Mining Week 2013 is being held under the theme “Clean Green and Responsible; Securing the Future of Mining” and President Ramotar said he envisaged a high quality jewellery sector and for bauxite, a smelting plant for aluimina/aluminum but in the absence of cheap energy the possibility of these investments seems impractical. “That is one of the reasons this issue with the hydropower is such a painful issue… we cannot go to higher levels and achieve standards of living comparable to developed countries unless we have new infrastructure and cheap energy; hydropower is indeed one such area… it can give us the possibility of smelting bauxite and doing other things,” President Ramotar said.
Several of the major stakeholders in the mining sector like Reunion Manganese, Bosai Minerals Group and Sandsprings Resources have however, already been considering alternative renewable energy sources. “A few of the companies were anticipating the benefits from the early realisation of the Amaila Falls Hydro Project to bring down their cost of production so as to be competitive in a very changing and dynamic world market,” Persaud said.
Persaud said that approximately 17,000 people were employed in the mining sector last year and Persaud said the figure reached in excess of 20,000 when indirect employment was taken into consideration.
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