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No special treatment of gold dealer licence applicants – independent review

Chairman of the Guyana Gold Board, Gabriel Lall making a point to miners at the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association. (file photo)

In the wake of concerns about how a gold miner, who had been held with 30 pounds of raw gold, eventually got a dealer’s licence, an independent review of the nine licencees shows that none of them benefited from favouritism by the Guyana Gold Board (GGB).

“We are satisfied that none of the applicants appear to have been given special or relaxed consideration as all applicants appear to have followed the same procedures,” the prominent law firm of Cameron and Shepherd told GGB Chairman, Gabriel Lall in a letter dated May 30, 2019.

The Gold Board said the review and evaluation of its licencing process was aimed at determining whether that commercial and regulatory agency stick to all components of its process and determine whether any exceptions or special considerations were granted to any approved dealer in general, and Adolphus Mining, Inc. in particular.

The firm noted that the GGB has a “standard procedure”, though “not fully documented” for evaluating applications for gold dealer licences. The process includes collating submitted documents, assessing the documents for authenticity, interviews with the applicant or applicants, consideration by the board of directors and recommendation to the Minister.

Cameron and Shepherd says based on its review of the process and the records it is satisfied that the applicants “were fully aware of the requirements of their applications and followed the requisite procedure in their submissions” and they submitted all the required documents.

The licensed entities that were reviewed by the law firm were Adamantium Metals Inc; GBTI Property Holding Inc; Pure Diamond Inc; El Dorado Trading; Adolphus Mining Inc; Dinar Trading; Gold Bar Development & Consulting Inc. Excel Minerals Inc and Mohamed’s Enterprise.

Last week, the GGB defended its decision to grant a dealer’s licence to Adolphus Mining Inc. in March, 2019 because one of its principals had been held with 30 pounds of gold in buckets at a house in 2011.

The GGB did not name Rylon Adolphus at whose home GYD$2.4 million and 30 pounds of gold were allegedly found hidden in soap powder buckets in April, 2011, but opted to state that “the management and board were aware of the circumstances surrounding a quantity of gold that was brought before the then GGB management in 2011.”

Reflecting on that find, the GGB said “additional due diligence revealed” that the “the holder of that gold was the producer, now licensed as a dealer”

The Gold Board said it found that official enquiries at that time and by the current board had revealed that that the discovery of the gold had been as a result of a “private conflict”.

According to the GGB, the gold was weighed at the Board and full payment was made at market rates prevailing in 2011. Further, the Board said there were no charges, court matters, convictions, fines or anything prejudicial levied in relation to that gold.

“All of the aforementioned were part of the review and approval process by management and the directorate of the GGB in 2018/19. There was nothing that militated materially against, or that did serve as an effective bar to the issuance of a gold dealer’s license to Adolphus Mining, Inc,” the board said.