Prospects for significantly enhanced cooperation between Guyana and Australia in the mining sector could be significantly enhanced in the wake of what Minister in the Ministry of Natural Resources Simona Broomes has told the Stabroek Business was Guyana’s “fruitful participation” in Latin America Down Under (LADU).
This is an annual forum that brings together government and private sector representatives of the mining sector from Australia and Latin America and the Caribbean.
High on the list of prospects, according to Broomes, is the likelihood that the Australian company Greenpower Energy, which is already involved in a lithium/tantalum project in Guyana, could deepen its interest in the initiative through enhanced investment. Broomes told Stabroek
Business that during the LADU forum which was held in the Western Australia capital, Perth, she met with Greenpower Director Gerard King and subsequently with a second larger Greenpower delegation. She said that King is now scheduled to visit Guyana between July and August this year and that further exchanges with mining sector officials here “could well see Greenpower involvement in our mining sector taken to another level.” Broomes said that the Greenpower officials appeared “eager and encouraged to come to Guyana this year.”
In February this year the Government of Guyana gave the green light for a prospecting permit for the continued pursuit of lithium deposits here following the discovery of significant amounts last year in areas of Region One and Seven.
Broomes, meanwhile, told Stabroek Business that Guyana’s presentation at the Perth LADU forum was well received by delegates.
Broomes, who led the two-member delegation to the LADU forum that included Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) Engineer Michael Howard told Stabroek Business that while in Perth she had met with Managing Director of the Australian mineral exploration company Latin Resources which is interested in creating shareholder wealth through the identification and definition of mineral resources in Latin America. Broomes said that the company which has already secured more than 100,000 hectares of lithium exploration concessions in Argentina appeared responsive to the idea of “working with Guyana to upgrade the capabilities of Guyana’s newly-formed gold-mining syndicates. According to Broomes, the company appeared particularly interested in supporting syndicates with safe and environmentally sound mining equipment and with the aggressive pursuit of mercury-free mining.” Broomes said that during her exchanges with mining officials in Perth she repeatedly stressed Guyana’s predisposition to investment in the country’s mining sector by expatriate companies prepared to live within the country’s laws and pay their taxes.
During the Perth forum, Broomes also met with Managing Director of the Australian mining company Alicanto Mining Exploration, Travis Schwertherger who is also expected to be in Guyana shortly.
Broomes told Stabroek Business that whilst in Australia “and among a number of international delegations she had developed a strong sense that the discovery of oil in Guyana had, in itself, served as a marketing tool for the country and that there appeared to be a heightened interest not only in the country’s oil and gas prospects but “in its natural resources and its economy as a whole.”