Gold miners worried over money laundering and U.S dollar exchange

Gold miners worried over money laundering and U.S dollar exchange

The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association has expressed concern about the rising rate of exchange between the Guyana dollar and the U.S dollar and the unavailability of a foreign currency payment facility for miners.

In a statement, the GGDMA expressed its concerns also about the non passage of amendments to the anti-money laundering bill. The Association appears worried about the consequences Guyana could suffer if it does not have comprehensive legislation in place to tackle money laundering.

According to the association it is concerned about “the rise of the cost of the US dollar to approximately G$212 for one United States dollar and wishes to re-emphasize its call for the Guyana Gold Board to make partial payments in foreign currency available to miners.”

President of the GGDMA, Patrick Harding said that several members have expressed concern over the consequences of Guyana defaulting on the anti-money laundering bill and the apparent sloth of the government to consider their request for foreign currency payments.

“Many miners depend heavily of foreign currency to import parts, machinery and raw materials used in the extraction of mineral resources and are worried that an apparent drought of currency will stall development of their mining operations”, the statement said.

According to the group, in a recent meeting with President Ramotar, it repeated calls for the availability of foreign currency among several other issues.

 The gold miners said while they are committed to reaching a national target of over 460,000 ounces, they cannot reach that target without the resources, and these include essential machinery and spares that are bought overseas with foreign currency.

The GGDMA also noted that despite the drop in the price of gold on the world market miners have remained steadfast in their production and their commitment to achieving the record declaration of gold for the year 2013.

Gold production has been on the steady increase over the past 4 years. It has emerged as one of the most steady sectors in Guyana with increased investment and production.

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