Frequent criticism of the former A Partnership for National Unity / Alliance for Change (APNU / AFC) Government has been the way Guyana’s gold reserves slipped down the hill from 2015 to the time they left office last year. However, recent data released by the Bank of Guyana showed that gold reserves are on the path to recovery.
According to a recently concluded Statement of Assets and Liabilities from the Bank of Guyana on March 24, 2021, the bank has $ 5.1 billion in its gold reserves. This, along with capital market money and securities and balances with banks, amounts to $ 134.3 billion in foreign assets.
When the former David Granger Administration came to power in May 2015, gold held at the Guyana reserve was worth $ 15 billion, according to figures released by the Guyana Bank in its Statement of Assets and Liabilities published in the Official Gazette, at May 30, 2015.
But in an Official Gazette published on February 29, 2020, three days before the March 2 General and Regional Elections, the gold fund had less than $ 1 billion remaining.
According to Guyana Bank figures, when Guyanese went to polls, the gold fund was worth $ 635 million. The Bank of Guyana had previously defended a decision to sell portions of Guyana’s gold reserves, saying the move reflected “strategic trading”.
The Central Bank at the time had said it was trading gold and replenishing the stock on the basis of market opportunities. The bank noted that gold is not managed as a unique holding asset for a holding, but as part of a portfolio of assets.
However, the former Leader of the Opposition has pointed out and now Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, while pursuing the campaign, that the former Ministry had exhausted hundreds of millions of dollars left in the country’s treasury and handed over to him in 2015, but there have been few developments to date that would account for taxpayer dollars.
A total of 584,291 ounces of gold was issued to the Guyana Gold Board in 2020. Of this amount, small and medium-scale miners increased their production to 485,552 ounces of gold for the year – 75 percent of the country’s. total production.
The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) highlighted the contributions made by these stakeholders, noting that it equates to US $ 808,587,118 in export earnings, compared to US $ 619 million earned in 2019 .In 2019, gold releases were 634,905 ounces.
While 2020 saw fewer gold releases compared to the previous year, it saw a number of gold discoveries. For example, Australian mining company Alicanto Minerals made its first-ever gold discovery in Guyana in November, just days after another mining company, Troy Resources, announced it had found gold deposits beneath the earth.