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Miners disinterested in other metals, precious stones- GGMC official

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014, 3:30 by GxMedia

A number of the awardees at the opening of Mining Week pose with President Donald Ramotar and Minister of Natural Resources, Robert Persaud

Guyanese gold and diamond miners are resisting getting into the mining of other precious metals and stones, according to Chairman of the Board of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Clinton Williams.

He made the remarks Monday night at the opening and award ceremony of Mining Week whose theme is “Improved Recovery, Reducing Impact: Securing the Future of Mining.”

Williams noted that gold is a non-renewable resource, causing authorities to turn their attention to the prospects of other metals like platinum. He said that miners were, however, showing marked disinterest in that aspect of mining to make the industry sustainable. “We have challenges from those claim owners who are insisting that we cannot mine for platinum, for example, or silicon (but) we must continue to only operate these PLs (Prospecting Licenses) in favour of gold and diamonds,” he said.

Williams hinted that the GGMC would take steps to ensure that miners comply with the intention of authorities to diversify away from gold and diamonds. “The challenges will have to be taken care of as we proceed to ensure that the sector can survive,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Donald Ramotar, in brief remarks, announced that government would be granting tax concessions on certain types of vehicles but they must be linked to production and the payment of taxes. “We are working that out. That should be announced soon that we will grant these. Off course, we would want to tie these to gold declaration and we want to tie it to payment of taxes in our society,” he said.

The Guyanese leader also reiterated the need for miners to be more creative in reducing their operational costs as they seek to surpass last year’s gold declaration of 481,000 ounces.

Ramotar stressed the importance of gold and diamond revenue being filtered into the economy to improve the social and economic well-being of Guyanese.