Claim by Canadian Mint of tampered Guyana gold under probe- Min. Bharrat

Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat

The Guyana Gold Board (GGB) is continuing its investigation into the allegations that gold sold by a local exporter has been tarnished with illegal gold coming from neighbouring Venezuela. The GGB launched its investigation following a letter from the Royal Canadian Mint to GGB, that letter documented a complaint from the London Bullion Mark Association, LBMA. In a letter seen by this publication, the Mint said that the LBMA “contacted the Mint to advise that a grievance had been filed via the Minerals Grievance Platform (MGP), connecting El Dorado to illegally sources Venezuelan gold.” El Dorado Trading which is a company based in Guyana, exports gold.

On Thursday, Minster of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat said that the GGB has been instructed to do “a thorough investigation” and to keep in direct contact with the Royal Canadian Mint so that the government “can work through the allegations that are being made and to verify whether the information is true and if there is evidence to substantiate such a claim.”

Speaking to this publication, the Minister said that the Board headed by Bank of Guyana Governor Dr Gobin Ganga “has been doing extensive work in address this issue so that we can come to a position where by we can be definitive and we can say to the RCM that we would have investigated this matter to the fullest and there is no evidence to substantiate these claims or otherwise,” Minister Bharrat said.

The Minister said that the government wants an early resolution to the matter “because as you are aware it can affect the country as a whole if these allegations are allowed to fester or if there is any truth in the matter for it to continue without the authorities taking corrective action.”

In December El Dorado Trading distanced itself from allegations that its gold is contaminated by illegal gold. The Company said that prior to the letter, it had engaged Binder Dijker Otte,  an auditor to “audit our supply chain and compliance regime dating back to year 2018.”

The company said that is ready to work with investigator as it has authorised BDO to share with its international business associates “all information necessary in keeping with the Precious Metals Industry best practices supervised by the LBMA.