The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) will hold an action on Wednesday for medium scale mining properties as the sector looks to increase production following a slump in gold declarations.
The 20% decline in gold declarations for the first five months of this year drop caused alarm both in the sector and at the level of government and the authorities moved to open areas across the country for mining with auctions and lotteries for lands scheduled to take place in the mining districts. Gold exports amounted to US$648.5 million last year and Chairman of the Guyana Gold Board, Gobind Ganga has said that the drop has seen Guyana losing about US$100 million in foreign exchange and approximately $1.5 billion in royalty and taxes.
In an ad in the Stabroek News yesterday, the GGMC said that the auction of the medium-scale parcels of land will be held on July 30 at 10am at the Guyana Girl Guides Association building on Brickdam. The ad said that interested persons must consult the relevant maps which are on display at the GGMC head office, mining stations and at the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association office, to ascertain their area of interest. Persons can also acquire copies of the auction maps at the cost of $3000 per sheet.
The ad said that successful bidders will be required to pay the bid price plus 3% auction dues immediately at the end of the auction.
No late payments will be accepted. Allottees are required to file an application for the block awarded by September 10, 2014 or the award will be considered to have lapsed, the GGMC said.
There has been concern that the move to open new lands for mining is likely to increase deforestation and this could impact the deal under which Norway is paying Guyana to protect its forest. Head of Conservation International-Guyana Dr David Singh had told Stabroek News that opening up new lands should be based on a determination that these areas are productive.
Noting that there would be a trade-off of forest conservation benefits for revenues that Guyana can get from mining, he had said that there really ought to be a mechanism to ensure that the trade-off would be positive in the long run.