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Govt going after gold hoarders in wake of reduced declaration

Gold miners appear to be hoarding huge quantities of the precious metal in the hope of a spike in the world price, President Donald Ramotar said Saturday.

Well-placed sources said Saturday that there has been estimated 10 percent reduction in gold declaration as of May 31st 2014 compared to the corresponding period in 2013.

He told a news conference that there has been a “very worrying” and drastic reduction in gold declaration since slump in the price for the yellow metal.  “I still think that miners are making money. I don’t think they are losing but there has been a drastic reduction in declaration which means that there seems to be a lot of hoarding taking place,” he said.

The London Fix closed on Friday at US$1,247.50 per ounce, down from almost US$1,800 last year- a slump analysts say is due to China’s reduced demand for gold and a steadily recovering global economy.

The President hoped that miners would be persuaded to sell gold in their possession and stave off any adverse impact n the economy. He hinted that government could take steps to ensure that gold produced is declared but he did not elaborate. “I hope that we don’t have to use any coercion and by persuasion they will make their declaration,” he said.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, following a meeting with stakeholders, has announced that the Guyana Gold Board would proactively monitor and enforce the law on undeclared gold transactions.

Government also plans to strengthen inter-agency coordination including law enforcement agencies like the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), stringently enforce reporting obligations by miners to the Geology and Mines Commission and crackdown on illegal gold trading with the assistance of police.\

Those steps were agreed to during a recent meeting involving representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) and Licensed Gold Dealers, and the Guyana Gold Board.