Over 200,000 Guyanese benefitting from mining sector

-2020 budget measures boosted gold production
– Minister Bharrat

Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Vickram Bharrat has said over 200,000 Guyanese are benefitting either directly or indirectly from Guyana’s mining sector.

These persons are employed in the gold, diamond and bauxite industries, and include miners, their families and several small businesses.

Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Vickram Bharrat.

What we have now is hundreds, maybe thousands of people rushing back into the mining sector. Our production and end of year figures will show a tremendous increase in production,” the Minister said.

Gold has been the principal source of revenue in the sector because of its favourable price. Gold price currently stands at $383,000 (US$1,842) per ounce. This, coupled with the 2020 Emergency Budget provisions, has been a boon to the sector.

“The incentives given to the small, medium-scale miners, which added to the gold price, encouraged them to go back to mining. Mining is actually driving our economy. Gold mining is actually one of the largest new earners right now since we have not been using the money from the oil sector as yet.”

The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association announced Thursday that Guyana raked in some US$808,587,118 from export earnings from gold for 2020.

The sector produced 485,552 ounces of gold during the year, which the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) attributed to small and medium-scale miners.

“The production figure, while slightly below 2019, is especially significant and noteworthy given that the mining industry, in 2020, faced severe challenges caused by the global pandemic, financial and infrastructural constraints and a difficult tax regime,” the GGMC said in a press release.

The Commission noted that while the 2021 target for gold production has not yet been announced, it remains confident that given the additional relief and tax support, local miners would not only rise to the challenge but exceed it.

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