Gold Board slashes deficit to Central Bank by more than half

The Guyana Gold Board (GGB) has slashed its deficit at the Bank of Guyana from $14,469,024,924 in November 2016 to $6,764,937,380 in November 2017 as a result of the agency’s capitalising on the spike in gold prices and through tighter spending control measures.

A release from the Ministry of Natural Resources on Friday said that the deficit accrued in 2012 and 2013 when the Gold Board borrowed large sums from the country’s treasury to trade in gold, which resulted in massive losses. Since coming into office, the release said that the APNU+AFC administration has been working to bring the debt down and to better regulate the sector. These efforts have shown success, the release said.

It stated that a ‘buffer stock’ of gold was kept readily available whenever there were spikes in gold prices.

“This proved to be a redeeming feature which yielded much revenue over the period. Another method utilized was not to wait for huge profits but to access profitability of at least USD5.00 per ounce. The GGB also engaged in conservative derivative instruments as a means of generating additional revenue”, the release added.

The cost cutting measures included:

  1. a) Cutting the number of flights between George-town and Bartica; and streamlining international gold shipments
  2. b) Tight inventory controls
  3. c) Effective management of operating costs

The release said that next year the Gold Board plans to employ more of the same strategies among other things to end the existing deficit and move the agency towards greater profitability.

In the release the Minis-try of Natural Resources congratulated the Chair-man, members of the Board, management and staff of the Gold Board “on this stellar achievement and offers its support in the coming year for its efficient regulation of the trading of gold”.

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