Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman has announced that there are offers from companies in South Africa, India, Dubai and the United States for the establishment of a gold refinery here.
The announcement came at a press conference with the Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources of South Africa Godfrey Oliphant, who is visiting Guyana with a delegation.
Trotman said the offers for the refinery came following an extensive visit by a team from South Africa last year.
“We are…producers of gold and diamonds but we ship them out to be returned as jewellery to us.
“It is a step Guyana intends to take so we can do our own gold refining,” Trotman said at a press conference at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown Wednesday.
He said the establishment of a refinery is one of the ways Guyana can stamp out the smuggling of gold out of the country.
Further, Minister Trotman said South Africa is willing to assist Guyana in the mapping and surveying of the country’s mineral wealth.
“We must know exactly what we have, where and in what quantities and South Africa has shown a willingness to assist us there,” Trotman announced.
With Guyana’s move towards phasing out the use of mercury, Trotman said Guyana can also benefit from what was done in South Africa.
The South African delegation has also expressed a willingness to prove training for Guyanese students and officials on various aspects of mining.
While here, Oliphant and his team have visited Kaieteur and the Iwokrama rainforest.
“Mining and environmental protection can co-exist,” Oliphant stated.
Upon completion of the visit, Guyana and South Africa are expected to sign a declaration of intent, paving the way for a Memorandum of Understanding later.