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Declare more gold or Guyanese will “suffer”- Miners Assoc urges members

Wary of a further slide in the Guyana dollar and a rise in inflation due to 20 percent drop in gold declaration, the Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) has called on its members to sell the precious metal in their possession.

“As a consequence the Association is calling on all miners to recognize that, despite the lowered gold price, declarations must continue to ensure that inflation and the rising foreign exchange rates are kept in check,” the association said in a statement.

The US dollar was up to last week being traded at US$1.00 = GUY$209.00.

At the same time, the miners’ organization urged the authorities to address a number of humbugs that are stagnating increased declaration by gold miners.

In a statement issued following a meeting with the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Guyana Gold Board, the GGDMA noted that the 20 percent decline in declaration compared to the same period last year was already “having a negative impact on the Guyanese economy at a macroeconomic level.” “The GGDMA reminds it members that gold is the stabilizing factor in Guyana’s economy and calls on miners, members and non-members, to embrace their national responsibility to ensure that devaluation and inflation do not become a reality that will cause all Guyanese to suffer,” added the association.

President Donald Ramotar has since accused miners of hoarding gold in the hope that they would benefit from an increase in the world price which has slipped from about US$1,800 last year to US$1,247.50 last Friday on the London Fix.

In an effort to increase gold declarations, the GGDMA wants the Guyana Gold Board to reduce the transaction time it takes to sell gold because it takes as much as hour at GGB and its outlets compared to 10 to 15 minutes at private licensed dealers.

The GGDMA expressed the hope that the GGB would “as early as possible” open its Bartica outlet which has been the subject of a probe into fraudulent activity.

Miners were also advised to collect receipts for all gold sales. The receipts, the GGDMA explained, could be used as proof of payment for taxation purpose,  access concessions being offered by the government to miner, and financing and other facilities to develop their mining operations.

The GGDMA called on the GGB and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to increase their monitoring of gold declarations not only from the miners but also from the buyers who also have a role to play in contributing to the national economy. 

Government plans to call in the police, GGB, GGMC and the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) to enforce the various laws and regulations and so ensure that all gold produced is declared and sold through the legal system.