Hike in gold board processing fee on hold

The planned hike by the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) in its processing fee per ounce of gold has been put on hold, pending a meeting between the board, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources.

GGDMA Administra-tive Manager Avalon Jagnandan told Stabroek News yesterday that after a preliminary meeting with the GGB, a decision was made to put the hike on hold until a meeting between the two entities and the ministry. The meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday.

“We are not in agreement for an increase because it would be burdensome on the miners so we are not in. We believe that if the Gold Board has increased their operations, then they should seek subventions rather than further burdening the miners,” Jagnandan said, while pointing out that even though the industry is “doing well,” there are still miners who struggle.

“Most of our miners are small- and medium-scale miners, so to increase the processing fee from $1,000 to $4,000 is a big increase. We are against any such increase,” he added.

On Monday, GGB Finance Manager Eondrene Thompson had told Stabroek News that although a notice of the increase was advertised, implementation was still to be decided by the board.

However, she had stated that while the board had not reached a decision as yet, the hike was necessary to keep the entity afloat, since it is not a profit making organisation.

Stabroek News had also contacted several miners and gold dealers who said they were all against the proposed move as it would have a negative impact on the industry.

“Any increase, whether it is small or large will always have an impact on your business. This one isn’t small so it definitely will have a negative impact. That’s a whole $4,000 on an ounce. When you think about the amount of ounces people trade there (Gold Board) then you’ll realise how much more money they will be making from this. It doesn’t make any sense,” the man, who did not want to be named, had said.

“Now that you have to pay more it means that you’re making 300% less with every ounce you take to them, so it doesn’t make sense. Why such a high figure? Why do they need an increase now of all time? So many questions have to be answered,” he added.

He also explained that no consultation was done with all the stakeholders and he said the move should not be confirmed unless sufficient discussions are held with stakeholders.

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