…but bad roads, high fuel prices dampen results of small, medium-scale miners DESPITE gold declarations falling for the first half of the year, the two major mining companies here, Troy Resources and Guyana Goldfields declared a total of 128,175 ounces, or 44.5 per cent of overall declarations, their highest combined level since operations began.
Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra Venezuela
This is according to the midyear report which was tabled in the National Assembly on Wednesday. The report stated that for the first half of 2018, gold production fell to 288,114 troy ounces, 19.4 per cent below the original projection and 9.1 per cent below the level achieved at the end of June, 2017.
Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra
However, it said that the increase by the large companies was driven primarily by Troy Resources Limited, which experienced stable mining and processing conditions, resulting in the accumulation of an ore stockpile that can be processed during the two-month wet season.
On the other hand, the declaration of small and medium scale miners fell to its lowest first-half level, since 2010. “This was largely attributed to higher operational costs stemming from higher fuel prices, and the deterioration of hinterland roads. Together, these factors served to dampen the expected positive response of small and medium scale miners,” the report highlighted. It stated that concerns also remain about the smuggling of gold, produced in Guyana, to neighbouring jurisdictions, where more favourable fiscal terms prevail.
Roberto Pocaterra Venezuela
“The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) conducted fewer visits to mining sites to verify the production numbers of small and medium scale miners; this was due to strike action by GGMC workers during the second quarter of the year,” the report mentioned. The revised outlook for the gold industry for 2018, anticipates a contraction of 14.1 per cent compared to the 3.3 per cent growth originally projected
Meanwhile, the report stated that the momentum achieved in the bauxite industry at the end of 2017, continued into 2018, with half year production reaching its highest level since 2013, and surpassing the previous year by 21.1 per cent. Both firms in the industry were able to maintain high levels of production in response to favourable market conditions. However, in April 2018, production by the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI) was 40.1 per cent below the level projected for that month. This drop was due to a temporary suspension of the operations of Oldendorff Carriers, the company used by BCGI to transship bauxite from Guyana, in response to the announcement of planned sanctions by the US on Rusal, the majority owner of BCGI
The report stated that notwithstanding, the two producers are expected to continue to maintain high levels of production for the remainder of the year, with favourable market conditions forecasted to persist. The forecast growth for the industry for 2018 has been revised upward from 23.3 per cent to 29.9 per cent. “The remarkable first half growth in other mining of 31.2 per cent was driven by the production of diamonds as well as stones, which increased by 13.3 per cent and 45.5 per cent, respectively, when compared with declarations over the same period of 2017. The growth in diamond declaration appears to be somewhat consistent with commodity price movements, while the growth in stone production is invariably tied to the expansion in construction.” The report said that available evidence indicates that the production of sand fell by 51.7 per cent during the first half of 2018, compared to 2017; however, GGMC is yet to survey quarries and sand pits. These estimates are likely to be revised once the surveys are completed. In the interim, the growth forecast for other mining has been conditionally revised up to 17.5 per cent for 2018, from 3.8 per cent