The Story Within The Story…Fuel tax reduction

The Story Within The Story…Fuel tax reduction, underground mining and financing for small miners

January 18, 2015 | By KNews | Filed Under News

 
By Leonard Gildarie

This past week has seen some developments in the mining sector. Government has agreed to slash 10 percent off the tax for fuel, as part of a raft of measures to inject some life into the gold sector. These would follow tax incentives on spare parts and equipment and 4 x 4 pickups.

Dr. Andrew Ramcharan: Thinking outside the box

This year, too, in terms of production, is expected to be a much better year as far as declaration is concerned. While the small- and medium-scale miners managed to scrape in 387,000 ounces, two large gold mining companies are expected to be up and running this year. It would not be hard to envisage declaration surpassing 500,000 ounces. Yes, there you have it. I will be the first to say it.
But miners will have to continue seeking ways to reduce costs. The traditional ways and low recovery rates can no longer cut it.
This week, as we close the chapter on this remarkable sector, I want to touch on the scenario of Guyana moving to underground mining.
It is a totally different ballgame. At the risk of sounding unpatriotic, from several incidents of wall collapses and other incidents in the goldfields, I am tempted to say that we, as a people, like to throw caution to the wind. I believe that per capita, the number of deaths in the ‘gold bush’, is among the highest in the world. The figures, of course, would include murders and accidents. Every week, there is something or other happening. Our population can ill-afford it. We are losing too many, too fast.
Miners will have to find ways also to seek joint ventures or other forms of financing away from the traditional commercial banks.
Do we dare hope that some of our home-grown companies can move into the international stock markets?
Well, according to one company, with the right advice, miners and regulators alike can maximize on the many opportunities that exist.
Guyanese-Canadian, Dr. Andrew Ramcharan, has returned to Guyana and with his company, AAR Mining Consultancy Firm, intends to move Guyana to the next level. Not only does he have the background, but connections as well.
AAR promises to offer a wide range of services to both open pit and underground mining projects.
Ramcharan is targeting banks, Government, major mining companies, exploration and development firms, law firms, individual investors, international organizations and private equity ventures.

A truck with fuel drums at Rubis Gas Station, Providence.

He has worked as far as Alaska, Middle East, Chile, South Africa, Russia, Portugal, and in the underground mines of Canada. He has now partnered with local environmental consultants. The company has expertise, with over 100 mining projects worldwide.
According to Ramcharan, a former employee of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, he has international experience in project evaluation, due diligence, mergers and acquisitions, cost estimates, 3D modeling, and financial analysis. He has worked in project start-ups to production, investment banking, consultancy and corporate development.
He has been involved in gold, quarries, coal, industrial minerals, base metals and precious metal mining projects around the world and has assisted in formulation of regulatory documents and mining acts.
As part of his duties, Ramcharan, while working overseas, was involved in major takeovers valued at over US$800m, private placements $20m, raising finance $1B, and fending hostile takeovers.
With his training at the Colorado School of Mines, the University of Leoben and Harvard University’s Continuing Education program, the consultant believes that the time is right for Guyana to move to the next phase.
The current Mining Act, he says, does not cater for underground mining, or copper mining.
He pointed out that in the case of larger companies, like Guyana Goldfields and Troy Resources, they have to go overseas to hire accredited experts to prepare key reports, including of targets and progress that have to be published in keeping with regulatory requirements.  AAR has that expertise, the consultant explained.
AAR also has the capacity to conduct due diligence on investors, Ramcharran said.
He has worked also in IAMGOLD, a company that has operations in Suriname and Trinidad.
So with gold prices on the low side, why has AAR decided to come?
The consultant made it clear that the current gold price situation is an artificial one that cannot last.
“Gold works in cycles. It will go up. So it is an opportune time to come in.”
Ramcharan intends to go after small miners who have some money and want to expand.
“There is a lot of money out there. We can either set up the operations for a takeout or make it attractive enough that an investor can come on board with the small miner. We have this expertise. You need to do the paperwork, and that is what we do.”
Is Guyana ready for a new way of doing business? Only time will tell.
We have delved, in the past weeks into this sector which for many, remained a mystery.
I have asked our friends down at the New Guyana Marketing Corporation to provide us with details of the coconut industry. That industry has been experiencing phenomenal growth in recent years, after an age-old myth that coconut was bad for the health, was duly proven otherwise.
Quite a number of farmers are cashing in. I am hoping we can have those figures.
Have a pleasant week and please do continue to send those comments to gildarie@yahoo.com or call weekdays on 225-8491.

GOLD TOO BIG TO FAIL

The Story within the Story… Measures to steady the gold industry

Guyana Goldfields Inc., a Canadian company, is set to start large-scale mining operations this year at Aurora, Region Seven.

In the past weeks we examined various aspects of the gold sector. From the rise when prices climbed to US$1900 per ounce, and the worrying drop, we have attempted from a layman’s perspective to bring the spotlight on an industry that has made many rich and, more than a few, heartbroken.

The vagaries of the market would make the sector a classic study case for a student.

The ‘gold bush’ is terribly beautiful and dangerous place that continues to draw fortune seekers by the hundreds.

This week we will focus on what Government has been saying with regards to the measures it has taken to help steady the sector.

As we speak, the issue has also started to attract the attention of the Opposition, with APNU stating that it lends support for miners.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Guyana’s gold mining sector has a sound footing and continues to grow. However, it is vulnerable to international market conditions, like prices.

The ministry acknowledged that the sector has been a major catalyst for economic growth in recent years. The rise in price on the world market has consistently helped in increasing declaration over the last decade.

“The importance of the gold mining sector to our economy cannot be over-emphasized since gold has been the largest earner of foreign revenue for the last seven years,” the Ministry said.
The Ministry made it clear that it has not stood idly by. Rather, through the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) with collaboration with the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA), several areas have been identified aimed at ensuring that the sector remains viable.

TAX WAIVERS

An Inter-Ministerial Task Force was created to undertake specific interventions aimed at supporting and streamlining the sector.

The interventions include duty free waivers on spares and equipment. According to the Ministry, a list of 19 suppliers of mining equipment and spares were approved for tax waivers. This is aimed to reduce the cost of spares and critical supplies for miners and is an addition to other items like pumps, flexes, and mattings.

Based on requests, Government has also granted a fuel licence to GGDMA. The association is reportedly still to start importing, although it was granted the licence last year.

It is unclear what happens now that the oil price has dropped significantly on the world market but is not fully filtering down in Guyana because of the current fuel tax in place.

Also in place is what is called a Mercury Free Mining Development Fund. According to the ministry, stakeholders of the sector are fully aware of the need to increase gold recoveries and eliminate the use of mercury in the gold extraction process. The ministry argued that the adoption and use of mercury-free and improved recovery technologies is even more critical now given the low gold prices experienced by the sector.

The Mercury Free Mining Development Fund with a $1B startup is aimed at promoting such technologies, the Ministry said. Already work has started between the miners association and GGMC to test mercury-free technologies. Any new technology will have to ensure greater recoveries, reduced costs, increased revenues and ultimately a sustainable gold mining sector.

According to the Ministry, it is also continuing to examine different ways to maintain the many miles of hinterland roads. This is against the background that monies and other resources are limited.

ROAD MAINTENANCE

“In pursuit of this, a combination of approaches was undertaken. GGMC is currently reviewing feasible road designs and construction methods that can be adopted bearing the constraint of financial resources in mind. Simultaneously, efforts are being made to implement Road Users’ Agreement for specific heavily traversed roads that are prone to destruction, since it is recognized that heavy usage of the road in wet conditions lead to damage and require continuous rehabilitation at significant cost.”

The Ministry insisted that the expenditure of funds on hinterland infrastructure is as a result of a collaborative effort with the key stakeholder, GGDMA. As a matter of fact, last year, the miners association provided a list of hinterland infrastructure for rehabilitation that it deemed critical. “These roads/bridges were rehabilitated and the same approach will be undertaken in 2015 whereby GGDMA will provide its considerable insight on areas for special focus.”

Also duty free concessions were granted on all terrain vehicles (ATVs), excavators, bulldozers and other machinery. “These waivers on duty are available to new entrants to the sector and for current miners based on production levels.”

Last year, according to the Ministry, it also approved the granting of waivers for double-cab pickups to miners based on their production levels which was used to determine the various categories and associated waivers that would apply. Three categories were established – Category A (Declarants with 5,000 ounces and above annually), Category B (Declarants between 2,000 – 4,999 ounces annually) and Category C (Declarants between 500 – 1,999 ounces annually).

Miners also have a concession on fuel where it only attracts 10% CIF Excise Tax.

According to the Ministry, through the interventions of the Inter-Ministerial Task Force, miners can now have access to 10% of their gold sales available in US Dollars to assist in retooling, capital acquisition and diversification of investments.

Last year also, GGMC held an auction where a total of 939 properties were placed for location. In addition, a lottery was held in Georgetown and at three interior locations won during the exercise.

WORK PERMITS

With regards to the contentious delays in work permits, the Ministry said that GGMC has worked in tandem with the Ministry of Home Affairs and GGDMA to streamline the process for applications.

“Measures were instituted to ensure that the process is expeditious and as transparent as possible so as to ensure that mining operations are not constrained by workers not having the requisite documentation. Given the interventions of the Ministry, the application and granting process for work permits was reviewed and the duration for completion was reduced. In addition, as was recommended by the GGDMA, the effective dates of the work permits were revised to be the date when it was granted and not the date of application.”

Also put in place was increased security using police with collaboration from the miners association.

“The Ministry facilitated meetings between the Minister of Home Affairs, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and GGDMA. This has led to the understanding of the security concerns and constraints facing the sector and established a working relationship between GGDMA and the Guyana Police Force. In addition, a comprehensive security plan was developed and presented to the GGDMA outlining the measures that would be undertaken to provide adequate security for the sector.”

The Ministry has also been working with police to expedite firearm applications for bona fide miners. In terms of training, the Ministry said that the Mining School is working to prepare persons in the entry level skills for the mining sector.

In addition to the fuel importation licence that was granted to allow for the cheaper importation of fuel, the Ministry said that Government is currently reviewing the possibility of providing tariff waivers on imported fuel.

As mentioned before, these are the measures that Government has said are in place to help cushion the impact of the gold price fallout.

Next week we will be examining the situation of what happens as Guyana moves to underground mining.

2014 Guyana Gold Declaration

Declarations short by 97,000 ounces… Gold miners demand same incentives as big operators to stay alive

January 3, 2015 | By chris | Filed Under News

As gold closed out a dismal 97,000 ounces short of its original 2014 target, local miners have stepped up calls for radical changes that will see real incentives to keep the industry alive for small and medium scale players.
Gold declarations ended the year at just over 387,000 ounces.
According to Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA), it now wants almost the same benefits as the big operators with the time now for key mining policy changes. This is to allocate more of the fiscal “benefits currently enjoyed by large scale licensees to small and medium scale producers as well.”
The association, in a strongly-worded statement, urged that these strategic changes be made immediately to “close the gap between the generous fiscal incentives awarded to large scale licensees”.
Without those benefits local gold production would continue to decrease and the large scale licensees would be unable to make up the slack, the body said.
“GGDMA is aware that short term strategic change to the fiscal regime for mining is not new to Guyana since the large scale bauxite operations currently benefit from substantially reduced or no royalty on the production of bauxite.”
It said that the strong, local capital investment in the gold mining sector must not be disrespected any longer. “The powerful multiplier effect of the local gold mining industry must not be hidden any longer. The right of the small miners to work in their chosen profession must be safeguarded. The opportunity for poverty alleviation through work in the local mining sector must be defended.” The situation is such that this year, Government must recognize that the aggregate contribution of Guyana’s local gold sector is by far greater than the projected contribution of large scale operations and their foreign direct investments.
“We call on the Government to improve the fiscal incentives for small and medium scale producers so that their contribution would not be strangled. Once again special congratulations to our local miners and best wishes and encouragement to the large scale licensees as they head to commencement of commercial production in the near future.” Government had budgeted 484,562 ounces last year but after a contraction on the world prices, revised the target downwards to 450,000 ounces or a 6.5 percent decline. The first half of 2014 witnessed a 24.6 percent contraction in gold exports earnings to US$226.7M.
Gold exports for the first half of 2014 declined 10 percent to 182,411 ounces. As a result, overall receipts from exports fell by 10.3 percent to US$534.2 million in the first half of 2014 compared to the corresponding period in 2013.
The gold industry achieved total declarations of 481,087 ounces in 2012, a record for the country, despite the falling prices then.
Congratulating the miners, GGDMA noted that this came despite extreme pressure caused by the low price of gold and with only limited support from the government once again.
“The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miner’s Association (GGDMA) congratulates local miners for their combined efforts to produce close to 390,000 ounces of gold for the year 2014. Although this is a shortfall on the 2013 record of 481,000 ounces our small and medium scale (SMS) gold miners delivered a heroic performance in 2014.”
GGDMA said it was confident that the operations of large scale operators –Canadian-owned Guyana Goldfields Inc. and Aussie-owned, Troy Resources Guyana Inc, expected to start this year, will help to boost the production figures.
The gold production shortfall would have severely affected revenue projections by Government with overall growth affected.
Gold has been a mainstay for the economy in recent years until prices fell out in 2012, forcing several operators to curtail operations. Before that, it had been one of the fastest growing employers, with workers attracted by the high pay despite the grueling hours and dangerous working conditions.
The spinoffs have seen the creation of numerous heavy machinery suppliers and other service providers. However, the price fall within the last two years, which has stabilized and hovering around US$1,200 per ounce, has become a major worry for miners, many of whom are heavily indebted to banks and suppliers.

 

Local partner takes Sun and Sand to court for US$38M

November 30, 2014 | By KNews | Filed Under News

By Kiana Wilburg
The private investor who brought the India based firm Sun and Sand Inc. to Guyana’s

 

The Manager for the Sun and Sand Hotel, Bhushan Chandna (left) presenting the plan for the hotel to President Donald Ramotar and Minister of Tourism, Irfaan Ali.

shores, with hopes of successfully having their joint venture into the mining sector realized, is now suing the company for US$38M (equivalent to $7.7B,) for not honouring its end of the bargain.
Sun and Sand Inc., owned by Rajesh Satija and managed by Company Secretary Bhushan Kumar, was brought to Guyana in 2012 by Garfield Harte, a local investor who travels often. His Power of Attorney is Beverley Barker of Lot 8 Middle Walk, Victoria, East Coast Demerara.
Harte owns three mining blocks in Cuyuni Mining District each valuing in excess of $168M. Based on a survey conducted, the mineral concentration of the blocks is expected to be over and above 26.6 tons of placer gold and 265,423 tons of quarts gold. The total income was estimated at US$17, 811, 279M.
With this in mind, Harte and the members of the India-based company, had several discussions, and decided that if they pooled their resources, a joint project in Guyana’s mineral sector would prove to be lucrative.
When they arrived in Guyana, the joint venture company, Sun and Sand Mining Resources Inc was incorporated by Harte’s lawyer, Joseph Harmon. The company has an office at Lot 288 Atlantic Gardens, East Coast Demerara.
The Agreement which they entered into in August 2012 said that Harte’s interior properties would be explored, minerals extracted and sold, and 18 percent of the profits would be given to him.
According to Clause Four of the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) signed by the two partners, under the caption Commencement, a number of things were to be executed and completed by Sun and Sand Mining Inc. It was required to get a Purchase Contract for processing plants for all three blocks, in Bangkok by the end of August 2012, build camps and commence exploration in the first block of land by September –November 2012, complete exploration in all the three blocks by April, 2013 and commence production by April 2013.
Harte fulfilled all his obligations under the said agreement. He was required to get all equipment for the commencement of operation and did so. In fact, all the equipment has been in Guyana for in excess of one year. There has been no exploration or production by the Sun and Sand Mining Company in this venture.
Clause Seven of the JVA stipulated the percentage of the profits which should be had by Harte.
In breach of Clause Four and Seven of the JVA, Harte claims that the defendant, has failed, refused and or neglected to make payments in the sum of 18 percent which is equivalent to $7.7B had the JVA been carried through.
The investor said he attempted in several instances to make contact with the Company but was unable to reach them.
He was later surprised to learn that the Company teamed up with the government and local construction giant, BK International, to construct a US$54M five star hotel and casino on July 9. The hotel is still to be constructed even after the stakeholders involved announced that construction would begin within a week’s time after a grand launch in July.
Harte was also baffled when he discovered that his JVA partner obtained two prospecting licences from Manager of BK International, Brian Tiwarie.
With strong suspicion that the JVA may be doomed for failure before it even gets started, Harte decided to take legal recourse to recoup the billions in losses incurred.
Court documents revealed that Harte’s Power of Attorney brought the legal action against the Sun and San Company Secretary. The matter is expected to be heard before Commercial Court Judge, Rishi Persaud.
The Power of Attorney, Barker, also filed for an interim injunction against the company stakeholders and owners.
After noting the newspaper articles which showed that the Sun and Sand Company developed other “business interests,” she believes that they are likely to sell, mortgage or otherwise part with three super miners with CD with hydrocuclone, one bulldozer, one excavator, and one bush truck all acquired by Harte to satisfy other obligations connected with their new business venture.
She fears that they may flee the country with Harte’s assets and not pay a cent.
Barker is hoping that the court grants the injunction to block Kumar and Satija from leaving until “they pay up in court.”
Kaieteur News has tried to contact Sun and Sand owners to respond to allegations being made by Harte and Barker but efforts proved futile.
Sources at the Lands and Survey Department revealed that the company is still to complete payments for the Liliendaal land where the Sun and Sand hotel is expected to be constructed.
The Company’s assistant had told this newspaper that while Bhushan Chandna, the official in charge of the Hotel operations, was overseas; the company is pretty much interested in “other things” being mining. He had said that he would not be able to give comments on the hotel industry as the persons currently here are responsible for the mining arrangements and not the hotel.
The assistant had said that Chandna would be in Guyana until December 1.
On Friday evening, Chandna, his assistant, and Tiwarie were at Oasis Café engrossed in discussions.

views expressed.

December 14, 2014 | By KNews | Filed Under News

– Assures of safety measures for cyanide control

Canada-owned, Guyana Goldfields Inc., which is being described as the biggest investment in the local gold mining industry, projects 3.97 million oz. of gold production with the Aurora goldmines project over a 17-year period.

SAG mill making its way to Aurora, Region Seven

The statement was made at the company’s Annual General Meeting, early last week, where stakeholders were updated on operations. Currently, the Aurora site, Region Seven, is under massive construction for gold operations to begin mid-next year.
In addition to future projections, the company revealed that the US$6 million SAG mill has arrived and is currently being installed.
The purchase of the 7.9 x 6.0 metres (5.5 MW) SAG mill for the company represents its primary grinding solution for the initial milling facility is a significant milestone in the development of the project, Guyana Goldfields said.
According to President and Chief Executive Officer, Scott Caldwell, as the Aurora project comes closer to starting gold production, Guyana Goldfields has been given clearance by the Government of Guyana to employ up to 900 persons, as construction continues.
Stakeholders were also assured that the company has adopted safety systems in case of a dangerous cyanide spill.
“All of the facilities where the cyanide is handled are designed with protective measures,” said Caldwell. He went on to explain that if cyanide units were to burst then the plant would shut down in order to address the spill. Further measures would include neutralising the poisonous substance to that it can be effectively treated.
The assurance would be relevant as the last large scale miner, Omai Gold, came under scrutiny after a reported 3.4 million cubic meters, or 900 million gallons, of cyanide-laced water was released into the Essequibo waterways after a dam failure.
The company also highlighted that it is taking measures in adhering to environmental regulations. In fact, according to Chief Operations Officer (COO) Lello Gallass, it was estimated that the original plan would affect 3900 hectares of land, 2010. However, over eight years of research has resulted in a reduced plan of 800 hectares.
This along with environmentally conscious training programmes with employees, the COO said, is in keeping with the company’s commitment to environmental policy.
The company was hailed by stakeholders for their transparency in how operations are proceeding.

Australian mining company to import all supplies duty free

October 23, 2014 | By KNews | Filed Under News

…also enjoys right to remit all earnings, to pay no fees locally

Australian Gold producer Troy Resources Limited, recently inked an historic mineral agreement with the Guyana Government to set up a large scale mining operation in Guyana, but some are now questioning the conditions attached to the deal.
Under the agreement inked, Troy Resources will be able to remit all payments, including capital, any interest due or accrued and profits earned, without obligation to pay any fees, duties, taxes, administrative and other charges.
The company will also be exempted from capital gains tax on any transfers of controlling interests in mineral tenements between existing registered holders and the Company.
Furthermore, the company under the agreement will also enjoy a partial excise tax of 10 per cent on fuel, subject to a maximum cap of US$10 per litre.
The Minerals Agreement details all fiscal, property, import-export procedures, taxation and other related conditions for the development and operation of the Karouni project.
Under the agreement, royalty will be paid to Guyana at five per cent for gold when the world market price is less than US$1,000/oz.
If the world market price surpasses the US$1,000 mark, the royalty will be paid at a rate of eight per cent.
The corporate tax rate will be the lesser of the prevailing tax rate or 30 per cent.
Furthermore, Troy Resources will also enjoy the ability to import goods and supplies free of applicable duties and taxes.
The company is targeting more than 90,000 ounces of gold annually, estimating that the medium-scale mine life will be at least for seven years.
Following the signing of the agreement at Office of the President, Troy Resources said that the agreement reduces uncertainty for all parties, bringing transparency, confirming commitments and acknowledging the desire to work together with the Government, in the task of providing for a better investment climate and to move the country forward.
The Karouni Project, located west of the Omai area, in Region Seven, currently employs approximately 200 people. With construction to kick in shortly, it is projected that as many as 500 persons will be employed, including contractors and service personnel.
“The Karouni Project marks the first entry into Guyana by Troy Resources Limited through its wholly owned subsidiary Troy Guyana Inc. Troy’s other projects are located in Para State in Brazil and San Juan State in Argentina. All are focused on gold with the addition of silver in Argentina.”
President Donald Ramotar, who was present at the signing which included Natural Resources Minister, Robert Persaud, and Troy’s Executive Director Project Development, Ken Nilsson, noted that the signing was significant since it demonstrates growing investors’ confidence.
He, too, noted the spin-off effect from the investments by Troy, which included wages and supplies

Permission granted to local firm for medium-scale mining at Eagle Mountain

August 27, 2014 | By KNews | Filed Under News

The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) has granted a local company, Kilroy Mining Inc., a Medium Scale Mining Permit for a 250-hectare concession at Eagle Mountain, Potaro Mining District, in Region Seven.
According to an announcement by Goldsource Mines Inc., the 250-hectare portion is part of the Canadian company’s Eagle Mountain gold deposit located within its approximately 5,050 hectares prospecting licence (PL). The permit will allow for the mining of gold, diamonds, precious metals and precious minerals within the area.
Goldsource said that the Eagle Mountain PL is held by its 100%-owned subsidiary in Guyana, Stronghold Guyana Inc.
The Canadian firm said that a medium-scale mining permit is required under Guyana’s law to be held by a Guyanese national. Stronghold entered into agreements with Kilroy, a private “arm’s length” Guyanese company.
Stronghold and Kilroy will jointly operate the property and the latter has granted Stronghold the exclusive right to conduct mining operations on the property and other additional areas it has acquired.
“Stronghold will fund all expenditures on the property and receive 100% of all revenues, subject to applicable government royalties and a 2% net smelter return royalty to Kilroy as compensation for its participation.”
Ioannis Tsitos, Goldsource’s President said that “Following the recent announcement of the positive results of our Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Eagle Mountain gold deposit, we are extremely pleased with the grant of the permit. The project is now fully permitted for mining activities and ready for construction financing and subsequent Phase One development, as described in our News Release of July 31, 2014. The Company and its management are working aggressively with a staged production growth strategy to deliver real value to shareholders and to all other project stakeholders.”
As part of the agreement, Goldsource agreed to issue to Kilroy 250,000 common shares of the Company, subject to a 12-month hold period and approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.
Goldsource said yesterday that it is working aggressively to develop its advanced-stage, 100%-owned Eagle Mountain gold project in Guyana towards initial staged production in 2015.
The company said that it has an existing resource of 188,000 ounces and potentially up to “792,000 Inferred gold ounces, with strong potential to expand its resources.”
Since the closure of Omai Gold Mines a few years ago, Guyana has been without a large-scale gold mining company, but a rise in prices on the world market saw a rush by small miners which saw production reaching the Omai levels within the last two years.
Several foreign companies, including from Canada and Australia, have shown intense interest with the biggest being Guyana Goldfields and Troy Resources.

Unpaid Guyanese worried after Mining Company hit with top ranking resignations

By Kurt Campbell

Gregory Bobb says he hasn’t been paid his full salary since August 2013. [iNews’ Photo]

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Sacre Coeur Minerals Ltd, a Canadian Mining Company which holds 100% interest in approximately 978 square kilometers of mineral concessions in Guyana, has reportedly been hit with several international and local resignations.

This has caused more worry to erupt between a group of over 100 unpaid Guyanese who were employed by the company.

Last week iNews had reported that the company has fallen short on payment to its Guyanese workforce of approximately 150 persons. Reports are that employees were paid little or in some instances no money over the last year (August 2013 – August 2014) amid much promises, all of which the Company has failed to honour.

The Company in a press release on Wednesday, September 03, said it received resignations from its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chairman, Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Secretary and several Directors.

The release also stated that “furthermore, Gregory B. Sparks and Jennifer Todhunter have resigned as Directors of the Company’s Guyanese subsidiary, Sacre-Coeur Guyana Inc.”

The unpaid Guyanese are now left to wonder how they will be paid the accumulated sum of several million dollars.

Speaking to iNews last week, 33 – year – old Gregory Bobb, a former Drill Helper and Mines Foreman, claimed he is owed in excess of $2 million by the company.

The man, who has already solicited legal presentation and is still awaiting a response from the Company, recalled and presented his contract and pay slips to show that since June 2013, the Company began dropping back in payments.

Bobb, through his Attorney, asked the company to make full payments to him within two week, if not he warned that prompt and drastic legal action will be taken against them.

The distressed Bobb recalled too what he said were empty promises by the General Manager, Bjorn Jeune. He claimed that the company was indebted to hundreds more Guyanese employees and service providers which amounts to millions; adding that his $2 million plus was the highest they owed any single person.

He claimed he has been ignored in recent weeks when he tried to make arrangements to be paid after his service was terminated on August 14, 2014.