Though improvements seen now, gov’t probing ‘slothful’ gold declaration

President Dr Irfaan Ali made the announcement during a press conference at State House (Photo: Office of the President/ September 9, 2023)

And overall, the report noted that the gold mining sector declined by 11.4 per cent in the first half of the year.

Cognisant of these figures, the President assured persons that the government will engage miners and other stakeholders and address any issues in the sector.

Already, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) in a release issued in August said the sector has been hit by several issues including the migration of gold miners into the booming construction and oil and gas sectors. The body also raised concerns about gold smuggling, an issue Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo previously said the government was probing.

Meanwhile, President Ali noted that there are some signs of better fortunes in the gold sector.

“We have seen a marked improvement in the last 30 days, but that is an ongoing conversation that will be supported by various consultations, and investigations that we are doing in the entire sector so that we can have a firm understanding and take the necessary policy, make the necessary policy intervention that would see the continued growth and expansion of this industry,” Dr. Ali said.

The Finance Ministry’s report noted that improvements were indeed observed in the third quarter of the year and it is believed that those improvements coupled with “strengthened efforts by the regulatory authorities” are expected to help the sector rebound.

And it is projected that the sector will expand by 5.3 per cent overall this year. The report acknowledges that gold prices are higher than usual currently.