Gold declarations to increase again as small miners using lands formerly held by Troy Resources
The sudden departure of Troy Resources, the Australian-headquartered mining company that was operating in Guyana, has contributed to a dip in local gold declarations but the government has decided to allow small miners to use the lands previously mined by the company.
This was highlighted by Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat during a press conference this week.
“What we are doing as government, we have identified an area within Karouni, formerly Troy Resources property, and we are allocating claims to small miners, Guyanese small miners,” he said.
Already, claims were awarded to about 50 local miners. Bharrat said these miners got those claims through a fair, lottery process.
And now that these miners have access to the land, it is expected that gold declarations can rise again to offset lower-than-expected declarations following the exit of Troy Resources.
Importantly, Minister Bharrat noted that the Guyana Gold Board will establish an office of some kind in the area so the small miners would sell their gold easily. Payments would be picked up in Georgetown.
It was revealed back in August that Troy Resources would be closing its operations in Guyana but management did not provide any exit plans to the State although it had announced the sale (liquidation) of its assets in the media. The company has outstanding royalty payments and rental fees, and did not comply with its work programme.
The government has since secured the Karouni Mining Site where Troy Resources operated and terminated the company’s license to mine in Guyana.
In September, President Dr. Irfaan Ali noted that Guyana’s gold mining sector, a major income earner, suffered a decline in the first half of the year. He added that even though the sector is showing signs of improving performance, the government will engage miners and probe any issues raised.
Bharrat said the government is looking into concerns of smuggling but those investigations are ongoing.
He emphasised that the government is serious about supporting the mining sector since it contributes significantly to the local economy and employs about 30,000 people directly and indirectly.