Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman says that a South African company will be visiting next week to conduct a feasibility study on a gold refinery and the Government of Guyana is “strongly” considering the possibility.
Speaking at a Guyana Gold Board (GGB) press conference yesterday afternoon, Trotman said that such a venture would modernise the industry.
“I should say as well that the GGB has received a number of proposals as it relates to a refinery in Guyana. We have been doing this method for decades but we believe the time has come. I said before that every situation gives rise to opportunities and so we are looking, strongly looking at the possibility of setting up a refinery either through a public-private partnership or do it through government,” Trotman said.
He explained that a company from South Africa has shown interest and through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be arriving in the country sometime next week to conduct a feasibility study. Trotman also noted that they have received proposals from companies in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, India, Canada and the United States of America along with Suriname and local companies that are interested in setting up a gold refinery.
“…So we are moving in the direction of modernizing the industry,” he said.
In recent years, two large scale gold operations, Guyana Goldfields Inc and Troy Resources, have started producing gold. Other such operations are also in the pipeline. The increased gold production would make a refinery more financially feasible.
Trotman also announced that the GGB will be moving to produce commemorative coins and ingots that will be available for sale.
“…So, people could come and buy gold as a Guyanese or if you are a citizen of Canada or the United States and it comes with a certificate and a number and I believe this is where we are headed and I am happy that the board has responded to this. We need to move from burning raw gold and the time has come for us to do our own refining. If not all, then certainly a substantial amount,” he added.