Guyana’s illegal gold miners and traders have been put on notice by the government following a call for stringent action against them. Any individual who is found selling or purchasing gold without the necessary licensing will be arrested and prosecuted for the same according to the authorities.
This step has been taken after a massive difference was noted in the production of gold and the amounts being sold to licensed dealers, traders or the Guyana Gold Board.
The Ministry of Natural Resources has issued a strong warning to dealers and miners who engage in illegal activities, adding that they will face “the full force of the law.”
According to the prevailing law, miners have to sell their gold to licensed traders, dealer or the Guyana Gold Board, a practice that is being ignored in favour of illegal options.
Miners have also been warned that going against the gold trading regulations would result in the termination of their property tenure by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC). Jail time will also be mandatory as the issue is seen as a serious offense against the state.
Depending on the severity of the charges brought against the accused, if proven guilty, there is a possibility that they will be banned from working in Guyana’s mining sector as well.
With such severe punishments in place and a renewed approach by the authorities, it is unlikely that the illegal gold trade will be able to flourish for much longer. In the initial stages, a few high-profile cases and some teething problems with the new system are expected.
Having said that, this new approach is appreciated by most who see the mining sector as one which needs a systemic overhaul, especially with regard to the sales and purchase of gold. In this sense, the government and associated bodies have taken an important step in bringing Guyana’s gold trade into a new era.