Lost in all this hysteria is the fact that Guyana Goldfields invested $30 billion over 10 years before finding any gold

Dear Editor,

I have watched with great interest, the many attack articles on Guyana Goldfields. Anyone with common sense would recognise that Guyana Goldfields paid billions in taxes and for services and definitely far more than any other company in Guyana. This includes over $1 billion to the complaining aircraft owners who seem to be unable to adjust their business model to a competitive environment that is rapidly becoming the status quo with oil arriving soon.

I fully agree with the quote from Guyana Goldfields’ press release in which it stated that a particular newspaper was in a “vicious and seemingly politically-motivated campaign to discredit the company and mislead the public.”

The extreme lack of business sophistication of the Guyanese media and private sector has been very evident over the last few weeks. Globally competitive companies adhere to four strategic principles: namely (1) be profitable, (2) obey the law, (3) be ethical and (4) be a good corporate citizen (be philanthropic). 

 The articles in the Kaieteur News, have exposed this lack of sophistication and perhaps business malice towards a company that is the largest single contributor to Guyana’s treasury on an annual basis. Whether it is the owners of local aircraft companies or their media surrogates, the attacks which can be construed as malice seems to be a concerted effort to hold Guyana Goldfields hostage to business extortion to use their aircraft, even when these businessmen and women themselves know they would do exactly what Guyana Goldfields has done, were they faced with incredible transportation costs that impact their profitability, safety and flexibility.

 To be sure, any well-managed company, anywhere in the world, which is leasing aircraft for sometimes up to 30 flights per week, as Guyana Goldfields did for over two years, would make the appropriate business decision to buy their own plane. This decision not only helps to control expenses but also provides more flexibility in their operations. Furthermore, given the many aircraft problems in Guyana over the last several years, any company with expats, would be forced by their insurance companies to manage that significant risk.

 Truth be said, Guyana Goldfields spent over a billion dollars with local aircraft carriers prior to making a decision to buy, yes buy, their own aircraft.

The most recent May 23, 2018 Kaieteur News headline: `Aurora Gold Mine aborts locals; hires Canadian airline to fly domestic trips’ is both a purposeful lie and malicious in its intent. The company bought their own plane, as any smart company would. The crew is made up of both Guyanese and Canadian pilots thus creating more Guyanese jobs and the company has added a different set of skills, given the twin otter is not used by other companies in Guyana. Perhaps Guyana Goldfields should sue both the newspaper and the author of the article for billions given that this negative and malicious information can affect the stock price of this Toronto Stock Exchange listed company.

 Lost in all this hysteria and malice is the fact that for over 10 years Guyana Goldfields invested over $30 billion without finding any gold. During that period, Guyana Goldfields hired thousands of Guyanese and benefitted from few concessions from the Government.  Guyana Goldfields has taken all the risk with money raised on the stock exchange. Within this time frame, over 30 exploration companies have been registered in Guyana, expended millions of US dollars seeking commercial deposits of resources, found nothing and left the country.  That is the risk a company assumes in the search for natural resources.

 It is time this economic and political malice ends. It is disgraceful. It can damage the company’s stock and foreign courts can be harsh on malice of this nature.

Is this economic extortion of a company which has hundreds of local vendors and the best Corporate Social Responsibility practices in Guyana?

I hope the owner of the Kaieteur News accepts responsibility for this gross distortion and hope none of the foreign shareholders sue him.

Yours faithfully,

Eric Phillips

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