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Gold declaration row brews

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 6.17.09 PMThe Guyana Gold Board in a statement said that its outreach activities is aimed at ensuring that legal provisions are complied with by those involved in the gold trading and the wider mining sectors.

Gold miners have accused the Gold Board and other authorities of going around threatening miners using an old piece of legislation.

The issue surrounds lower than expected declarations of gold production; the authorities are accusing the miners of stashing away gold as they wait for a better price; the miners insist what they have declared is the actual production figures and that they can only declare what has been produced.

The Gold Board said its outreach activities flows from the suggestions of the miners themselves that there be more monitoring and enforcement of the mining regulations by both the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and Guyana Gold Board.

The activities being carried out by the GGB includes the verification of all licenced gold dealers for 2014 and the details of the records by dealers corresponding to the Gold Board’s records.

The Gold Board said all licenced dealers are subject to conditions which states that (a) for each dealer, the Board shall undertake periodic reconciliation between purchases made, holdings, and sales to the Board and (b) every dealer shall permit a duly authorized officer to enter the premises of the authorized dealer at reasonable times to inspect records.

The Gold Board said it has been mandated by the Board of Directors and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment to ensure full stakeholder collaboration in fulfilling its obligations for the betterment of the gold trading sector and the wider mining community.

The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association, GGDMA, has accused the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of resuscitating an archaic piece of legislation and is using it to threaten legitimate miners and other stakeholders with jail time of up to 5 years for failing to sell gold within a specified period of time.

In light of this controversy the Association is convening a special emergency meeting for all miners next Thursday to discuss the implications of the resuscitated measures and to determine a position on how the industry will move forward in what they see as a climate of criminalization.

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