Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud said on Tuesday that although the ministry he now heads is new and government is working on creating the ministry, things are settled and the necessary preparations for continued investments are in place.
Minister Persaud at the time was with Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana David Devine at the Canadian High Commission for a video conference with Canadian investors, the Government Informa-tion Agency (GINA) reported.
The conference was held in Fairmont Royal York, Toronto, Ontario, Canada and attracted the attendance of Azimuth Resources Limited, CGX Energy Inc., Colum-bus Gold Corporation, Guyana Goldfields Inc., Reunion Gold Cor-poration and Sandspring Resources Ltd.
“We are open and ready to continue the engagement we have as there are 28 Canadian investors in the mining sector and we certainly look forward to having this number increased,” Minister Persaud assured.
“Guyana’s natural resources sector is a very important sector for our economy, particularly in the areas of mining…all aspects of it such as gold, diamond and manganese, and the exploration activities of oil and gas,” Persaud said.
Towards this end, President Donald Ramotar decided that Guyana needs to have a much more coordinated, harmonized and integrated approach in the area of natural resources management, as this area is seen as a significant growth sector, which, going forward, will increasingly contribute to the country’s national economy, wealth and prosperity for all Guyanese, GINA stated.
Persaud also said that with the new ministry, it is hoped that all hitches to procure the type of environment and facilitation of all activities within the natural resources sector regarding pertinent issues can be responded to, thereby serving the needs of investors, operators and stakeholders within the natural resources sector, moreso within the mining sector.
“As a government we have been very pleased with the interest shown by Canadian investors in the mining sector, also the work done by the Canadian High Commissioner in his office… We are very appreciative of the contributions so far…Our government is open for business, moreso for increased activities within the mining sector, particularly looking at the areas of gold and bauxite, also other interests in different minerals. There is openness and we want to let every single investor feel comfortable,” Persaud said.
Therefore there will be a focus on the environment, and sustainability in development.
“So we have pushed ahead and emphasised the need for sustainable management and due respect given for the environment, we do not see that impeding investment activities in the mining sector, we expect everyone to be corporate players, respectful to our environment,” Persaud said.
In September this year, REPSOL, the internationally renowned oil exploration company was given approval by former President Bharrat Jagdeo for an extension to its deadline for drilling of the Jaguar Well in the Guyana offshore area.
Tullow Oil, a London-based company, YPF and CGX of Canada are the main partners in the Jaguar well joint venture drilling project, holding equity interests of 30 and 25 percent respectively.
The drilling process was halted by a rig that was used by another operator in Suriname at the time but is in Guyana now and ready to commence for a period of about six months (180 days), President Ramotar said recently.
In mining, Guyana Goldfields Inc., a Canada-based company signed an agreement in November to the tune of US$1B, for the development of the Aurora Mines located in the Cuyuni River, Region Seven.
The agreement is similar to the recent accord between the Guyana Government and Sandspring Resources Inc for construction of the Toroparu mines in the same district and will be followed by another agreement for mining at Bonasika.
Additionally, manganese mining in the North West District, Region One, has been reinvigorated after agreements were sealed in March with Reunion Manganese Inc., GINA added.