GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – The government of Guyana is committed to safeguarding the nation’s interests and ensuring that the potential benefits of the Karouni Mining Site continue to contribute to the economic growth and development of Guyana.
In light of Troy Resources Guyana Inc., failure to remedy its default concerning several matters, inclusive of the outstanding royalties, rental fees, non-compliance with the work programme, and matters relating to environmental management the Government of Guyana (GoG) has taken necessary actions.
The Karouni Mineral Agreement issued to Troy Resources Guyana Inc., Troy Resources Limited and Pharsalus Gold Inc., and the Mining Licence are now both cancelled and terminated.
Key facts about the cancellation of TRGI’s license and agreement are outlined below.
On October 16, 2014, the GoG entered into a Mineral Agreement with TRGI and other stakeholders, which centred on the development and operation of a mining project at the Karouni Property.
TRGI commenced operations with the first gold poured in November 2015.
After a few years of mining operations TRGI reportedly encountered “operational issues and required organisational restructuring.”
The company went into “care and maintenance” in early 2021 and despite commitments to resume its operations, TRGI failed to do so and even approached the government with proposals to liquidate its assets. This was rejected for several reasons including the fact that the payment of outstanding sums was not being addressed promptly under the proposal. However, the GoG remained engaged with a view to have mining restarted and outstanding debts settled.
TRGI owes the government above $2.6 billion for unpaid royalties. This substantial financial liability, coupled with other concerns, has led to the cancellation of the license. The Office of the Attorney General has taken the necessary steps to have these sums paid.
It is important to note that despite the Guyana Gold Board’s (GGB) disapproval and the suspension of TRGI’s exports due to outstanding royalties owed, the Ministry of Finance in 2019, under the former APNU+AFC administration took the decision to override the GGB export restrictions and thus TRGI was allowed to resume exports, hence the royalties owed to the GOG.
Furthermore, the GoG learnt that Troy Resources had reportedly entered into receivership and initiated the process of liquidating its assets and holdings.
The lack of management and abandonment of the site by TRGI led to the raiding of the mining lands, larceny of items, destruction of key assets, and a series of other illegal activities.
A significant number of companies and sub-contractors are reported to be owed millions of dollars for goods and services provided and were awaiting payment from TRGI. We have seen reports of workers who were not paid for extended periods, these matters are engaging the ministry of labour.
Cognisant of the above-mentioned information the government of Guyana has cancelled and terminated the Mineral Agreement and Mining License. Further, the government has taken possession of the mining site and all remaining materials.
To date, the government has taken proactive measures to ensure the Karouni mining site remains viable and does not fall into ruin. The GGMC, Corp of Wardens, Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) are all involved in the monitoring and enforcement patrols at the Karouni site.