Pixels Guyana Inc.

Troy Resources’ gold licence terminated; mine now under Govt control – Guyana Times

…APNU/AFC went over Gold Board’s head to allow company to export gold

…owes billions to State, sub-contractors, workers

The Government has announced the termination of the gold licence that was issued by Troy Resources Guyana Incorporated (TRGI), the Australia-based company that has now exited Guyana, owing over $2.6 billion to the state.

A map of the mine

In a statement on Tuesday, the Government explained that it has terminated both the Karouni mineral agreement and licence Troy Resources and Pharsalus Gold Incorporated had to mine gold in Guyana.
Additionally, the Government has taken control of the Karouni mine in Region Seven, with the Guyana Geology and Mines (GGMC), the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Police on the ground.
It was explained that Troy has failed to pay its outstanding royalties and rental fees, as well as failed to adhere to its environmental obligations to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and work programme.
“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.”

The Karouni mine in Region 7

“In light of Troy Resources Guyana Inc’s 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 statement said.
In fact, it now seems that Troy Resources has entered into receivership, the process where creditors sell off a company’s assets to recover monies owed. According to the statement, Troy actually initiated this process, but due to poor site management, persons have been raiding the site and stealing equipment and material.
“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 licence. The Office of the Attorney General has taken the necessary steps to have these sums paid,” the statement said.
“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, GRA and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) are all involved in the monitoring and enforcement patrols at the Karouni site.”

APNU override
It was also revealed that despite the Guyana Gold Board’s (GGB) disapproval and the suspension of Troy Resources’ exports due to outstanding royalties owed, the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government had, in 2019, decided to override the GGB export restrictions on Troy Resources. This resulted in the Australian company resuming its exports, for which it still owes royalties.
To make matters worse, the Government confirmed that a number of companies and sub-contractors are owed millions by Troy. Additionally, there are workers who are owed wages for extended periods by Troy, and according to the Government, the Ministry of Labour is dealing with this.

“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 Licence. Further, the Government has taken possession of the mining site and all remaining materials,” the Ministry of Labour said.

On October 16, 2014, the then People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government had 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.
However, 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, failed to do so.

The company did approach the Government with proposals to liquidate its assets, however, the Government had rejected these proposals for several reasons, including the fact that the payment of outstanding sums was not being addressed promptly under the proposal. Despite this, however, the Government had remained engaged with the company in the hopes of having mining restarted and outstanding debts settled.
GGMC Commissioner Newell Dennison had confirmed to this publication on Monday that Troy has indeed left Guyana, all while owing $2.6 billion. Troy had been sent a demand letter by the Attorney General Chambers since September, to pay their debts.

The content of this article may have been taken from one or multiple sources. See article title for content credit.