The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA), has announced that effective November 1, permission has been granted for all miners who sell gold to the Guyana Gold Board to access a foreign currency account at a local commercial bank.
According to a statement from the association, “This account will give miners access to foreign currency to purchase required equipment and spares directly from overseas suppliers, resulting in a reduction in their operating expenses.”
It listed guidelines and conditions that apply for the miners to access the foreign currency facility at the Bank of Guyana (BOG).
The client must have an established profile with the Guyana Gold Board. The client can access 10% of the accumulated sales value in US dollars from the Bank of Guyana, for a maximum of three months. If the funds are not accessed within three months, then the accumulated amount is forfeited and the cycle restarts.
The frequency for transactions should also be within 28 days of declaration and sales as outlined by the Guyana Gold Board Act. The request for the funds must be made to the offices of the Guyana Gold Board which will be verifying the records for eligibility. Thereafter, the client will be informed by the GGB whether he/she can access the funds at the Bank of Guyana. The GBB will send the respective information to the Bank of Guyana on the client’s behalf.
The GGDMA said that if the client does not have an existing foreign currency account at any local commercial bank; the GGB will recommend to the BOG that an account be opened on behalf of the client where the approved funds will be transferred to their desired commercial bank.
According to the guidelines, all receipts of funds will be accessed through the client’s respective local commercial bank. The client will be informed by the GGB to check with their local commercial bank within 3 – 5 working days, upon approval.
It said that the foreign currency benefits are not transferrable to other clients; and the client must have a continuously active profile with the GGB after each receipt of the benefit.
The GGDMA noted that the foreign currency facilitation can be revised at the discretion of the Ministers of Finance and Natural Resources and the Environment.
The association said that it is continuously engaged in discussions with the relevant government agencies to facilitate the reduction of operating costs in the gold mining industry, and to introduce new technologies and recovery systems that will enhance production and productivity to enable survival against falling gold prices.