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Lands and Surveys, GGMC to hike payments

The Guyana government is about to increase the measly environmental bond for gold miners and the processing fee for land being charged by the Lands and Surveys Commission, according to Governance Minister Raphael Trotman.

He made the announcements during his contribution to the 2015 National Budget Debate.

While the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) would be releasing new lands for small miners, Trotman said miners would soon have to pay an environmental bond of more than GUY$100,000. He said that amount could restore lands that have been degraded as a result of mining. “We will adjust that and have an aggressive reclamation programme,” he told the House.

The Minister of Governance, who is responsible for natural resources and the environment,  said the Lands and Surveys Commission has been asked to present a proposal to raise the rate of GUY$100 per acre.

Trotman also announced that the Guyana Gold Board would be strengthened and there would be heightened local and international cooperation to stamp out gold smuggling. “Smuggling of gold is rampant,” he said. About three years ago, a large quantity of gold was snatched from a Guyana-registered boat in Curacao.

While government expects that the world price of gold would rebound in another six months, he did not say whether he forecasts recovery of bauxite prices, currently depressed as a result of a slump in China’s growth.

Trotman, however, said the price of oil and natural gas is expected to remain depressed into the next year due to an over-supply.