Georgetown – President of the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO), Urica Primus and President of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA), Terrence Adams, today signed a 2 year concession renewal agreement with the Government of Guyana. This agreement boasted many firsts for the relationship between the two private sector bodies:
- It was the first time that the GWMO signed the agreement as an individual entity;
- For the first time, the agreement has been renewed for a two year period rather than annually, and
- The concessions granted are tied to various levels of declarations.
Other signatories to the agreement were Hon. Winston Jordan, Minister of Finance; Godfrey Statia, Commissioner General, Revenue Authority (GRA); Newell Dennison, Commissioner General, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission; and Dr. Mahender Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, Guyana Energy Agency. Also present at the signing ceremony was Hon. Raphael Trotman, Minister of Natural Resources.
Minister Jordan in brief remarks pointed out that, “The agreement is the third that has been signed by Government but that it was more comprehensive and was accomplished through evidence-based negotiations.” He also said that it comes on the heels of other budgetary measures that were put in place as a mark of the Government’s unwavering support for the sector and appreciation for the invaluable contribution that miners make to the country’s economy. He appealed to the miners to always be cognisant of Government’s support and urged that they in turn ensure that declarations are made in the same spirit.
The Mining sector has benefited from significant interventions, since 2015, by way of tax concessions on machinery, equipment, fuel and vehicles for small and medium scale miners; a reduction in the Tributor’s Tax from 20% to 10% and a sliding scale percentage based on the price of gold, which replaced the 2% of gross proceeds. Additionally, more than $1 billion was allocated in the 2018 Budget for the upgrade of key roadways in the Hinterland, so as to provide easier travel and transportation access for miners and loggers, in particular, within hinterland communities.
The Ministry of Finance, in further efforts to provide support for the sector, has facilitated several consultations and collaborations between Government and stakeholders. These have resulted in a more timely resolution to challenges within the sector.