Gold processing fee to be reviewed

-miners told at meeting with Trotman

A gold processing fee on miners of $2,500 per ounce which came into effect from September 1st will be reviewed.

This was told to members of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association (GGDMA), the Guyana Women Miners’ Organisation (GMWO) and members of various mining syndicates under the National Mining Syndicate at a meeting with government officials on Thursday.

The $2,500 fee had been agreed on July 18th this year after two rounds of consultations with the GGDMA, which also involved representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and members of the Board of Directors of the Guyana Gold Board (GGB). It was agreed that a processing fee of $2,500 per ounce would be charged on all gold sold to the GGB, effective September 1, 2017.  Prior to the agreement on July 18th, a fee of $4,000 per ounce had been mooted by the GGB.

A release on Friday from the MNR said that a decision was also announced by Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman for the resuscitation of  a committee headed by MNR Permanent Secretary Joslyn McKenzie and with members that the miners will propose to review mining regulations.  Trotman also committed to

addressing some of the issues raised at the meeting with his colleague Cabinet Ministers to bring them to a resolution.

The meeting, which was held at Cara Lodge, also saw the participation of a number of Government agency representatives in an open and frank discussion of the issues, the release said. The issues included those pertaining to the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.    The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) addressed matters of taxation and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure spoke on matters related to road construction and rehabilitation in the mining districts.

Present also at the meeting was Chairman of the GGB GHK Lall, who addressed matters related to the functioning of the Gold Board and the necessity of the recently implemented processing fee of $2,500 per ounce.

At the end of the meeting, the release said that  Trotman lauded the various miners’ representative bodies for coming together to make representation on the issues affecting them. He said that while some of the criticism from the miners was harsh, they needed to be heard. Trotman committed to working closer with the miners’ bodies and to have greater collaboration.

In recent months, the government has come under withering attack from miners who are dissatisfied with how the sector is being handled.

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