GUYANA: Chinese owner of Aurora Gold Mine (AGM) ditches local contractors

—- applies to bring in hundreds of Chinese workers

The AGM mines in Cuyuni, Region Seven

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) has written to President Irfaan Ali asking for his intervention in a case involving Aurora Gold Mine (AGM).

According to officials, the company has applied to bring in over 200 Chinese workers for that Region Seven mine, the biggest gold mining operations in Guyana.The company was fully taken over by Chinese-owned Zijin Mining Group Company last month and already the signs are not encouraging for local businesses.         

In the meantime, several local contractors who were working with previous Canadian owners, have been let go. Between them, almost 300 workers have been affected.

According to a letter sent by the PSC to President Ali, the issue is one concerning local content.

A complaint has been filed with the Commission.

It was pointed out that AGM’s new Chinese owners abruptly terminated the contracts of local contractors despite no breaches or issues.

A number of the companies have hundreds of millions of dollars of equipment lying idle.

The PSC called on the President to intervene. It was pointed out that the country stands to lose millions of dollars in revenue as well as local employees losing jobs.

.Kaieteur News was told that another major Chinese company, China Harbor Engineering Company, which ran into trouble with the construction of the US$150M Timehri airport, has been earmarked for taking over the contracts.

The contracts which locals lose out on include transporting of fuel and explosives, food, hydrated lime, trucking and the stripping of the soil, haulage of water, and stripping in the open pit.

The issue of local content has been dominating the news in light of the oil and gas production.
There has been increasing calls for local companies to benefit.

AGM started commercial production in 2016 but there were questions over their seemingly excessive concessions.
The company ran into financial problems and was eventually sold to the Chinese buyer.

The company has been planning, under the Canadians, to venture into underground mining, the first for the country.

It has not been the first time that the Chinese has been accused of not employing locals.
There was accusations while the Marriott Hotel was constructing and of course, at the CJIA.

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  • Seelochan Beharry  On 09/21/2020 at 1:23 pm

    This pattern was predictable – as it happens again and again, irrespective of which Govt. runs the country. We allow others to exploit us at will and give away the resources of Guyana for nothing.
    The only thing we do well is fight each other while others exploit us. We are the dumbest people on the planet as we do the same thing over and over again.

  • brandli62  On 09/21/2020 at 4:26 pm

    This problem can be easily solve by the Guyanese government. 1. No work permits will be issued for Chinese workers, with the exception of a few for management. 2. The Guyanese EPA will rigorously enforce environmental standards and close down operation, if violations are found. 3. AMG could loose mining permits, if it does not adhere to good business practices. Why can’t this be implemented?

  • geoffburrowes  On 09/21/2020 at 5:12 pm

    I agree with brandli62! Refuse to accede to Chinese imperialism in Guyana regardless of what incentives they offer! Why should Guyanese workers lose out to Chinese colonialism – If you invest in Guyana to make a profit employ Guyanese!

  • brandli62  On 09/22/2020 at 3:39 am

    I forgot to add that the Guyanese government should communicate the three points made above to the Chinese Embassy in Georgetown in order to set precedence for other Chinese companies thinking of operating in Guyana.

  • Jasmine  On 09/22/2020 at 7:54 am

    Here’s an opportunity for the government to show that they put Guyana and Guyanese people first. Hopefully all Guyanese are paying attention.

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