Auction of mining properties deferred

The auction for mining properties set for yesterday was postponed and will now be held on August 11, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) said.

Lotteries for medium scale parcels of land will also be held in the six mining districts following the auction. In an ad in the Stabroek News yesterday, the GGMC said that the auction of the medium-scale parcels of land will be now be held on August 11 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 17, 2014 or the award will be considered to have lapsed.

Bidding for properties will commence at $60 000 per acre and increase by $10 000 increments. All applicants must be Guyanese citizens, 18 years or older at the time of application. Registered companies where all beneficial owners are Guyanese citizens can participate in the auction. The GGMC said that allocations are final and pointed out that blocks are auctioned as is and may have been mined or have claims located within them.

The auction and lotteries come 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 caused alarm both in the sector and at the level of government and the authorities moved to open areas across the country for mining. 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 relation to the lotteries of the medium-scale parcels of land, the GGMC in another ad said that these lotteries covering land in the six mining districts will be held on August 18 at 10am. For Mining Districts 1 and 6 which covers Berbice and Rupununi respectively, the lotteries will be held in Georgetown. The lottery for Mining District 2 which covers Potaro will be held in Mahdia while a lottery will be held in Bartica to cover Mining Districts 3 and 4 which are Mazaruni and Cuyuni respectively. For Mining District 5- the North West District – the lottery will be held in Port Kaituma.

Relevant maps can be obtained at the GGMC Head Office or at Mining Stations. The closing date for applications is August 14. The GGMC said that participants in the lottery are required to complete an application form and pay a non-refundable participation fee of $5000. Application forms can be obtained from the Land Management Section, GGMC, Brickdam or any mining station.

The ad said that participants shall select the zone within each mining district from which their allotment will derive. Only one application is permissible from an individual or group. Allottees are required to file an application for the parcel awarded by September 29, 2014 or the award will be considered to have lapsed, the GGMC said. All applicants must be Guyanese citizens and all allocations are final.

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.



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