Mid-year production figures for the extractive sector indicate it is on track to meet year- end targets.
Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman revealed that the overall mining sector in particular “is in a relatively healthy position”. Gold declaration is now 327,000 ounces which sets the sector on track to exceed its 600,000 ounces year -end projection.
For diamond, declaration stands at 61,552 carats which exceeds budget expectations by 28.2 percent. However, in bauxite mining uncertainty remains as to whether production targets will be met.
The Ministry, through the regulatory agency, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) has been making significant strides to reduce smuggling in the sector and improve safety in mining. “There is confidence in the system,” said Trotman.
Recorded mid-year figure for bauxite is 762,00o tons. Trotman said Rusal produced 73 percent (%) of that, and the remaining 26% has come from Bosai. The Chinese market for the product is at present “soft”, Bosai’s General Manager Robert Shang had recently shared with the Government Information Agency (GINA).
Guyana will be observing 100 years of production in bauxite. Trotman said, “We will be putting together a team to review the industry in total and report to government, not an investigation, but just a review.”
Meanwhile, quarry stone production is 3.5 percent higher than it was mid-last year with 226,000 metric tons produced as of June 2016. Sand has also shown a 15.8 percent improvement from the corresponding period last year.
However, Trotman said that not enough monitoring of sand and loam extraction is being done. Trotman pointed out that the illegal extraction of these is undermining the Linden -Soesdyke Highway.
GGMC’s Commissioner (acting), Newell Dennison indicated that monitoring of the extraction of these minerals is challenging for the regulatory body.
“In many of the complaints that we’re getting is the movement of materials during the night…so the issue is that we have to devise a monitoring mechanism that includes the night, as well as the day,” Dennison said.
The GGMC, which is the regulatory body for mining, is also challenged by availability of equipment, Dennison indicated.
Meanwhile, the forestry sector has seen a 15 percent reduction in production. The sector to date has produced 166,000 cubic meters of lumber. Exports in the sector exceed US$20M. The sector’s revenue earned thus far for 2016 is $587M.
The Government, through the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) is hoping to conclude the negotiation with the European Union so that Guyana’s forestry governance laws will be completed.