While agriculture, fishing, and forestry gave lackluster performances for 2019, the mining and quarrying industries stepped up to the proverbial plate and expanded by 10.6 percent. Minister of Public Infrastructure and Finance, Juan Edghill, made this disclosure during the presentation of his 2020 budget at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre.
There, Minister Eghill noted that mining and quarrying’s growth was driven by the emerging petroleum and gas and support services industry, which grew by 124.2 percent over the previous year. This was further supported by growth in gold mining, by three percent, other mining, and quarrying, by 7.3 percent, and bauxite, by 1.7 percent.
With respect to the outturn in the gold mining industry, Minister Edghill said that this was spurred by small and medium scale miners, whose declarations increased by 25 percent over the previous year. The Minister said that this was large enough to offset lower production by the two large scale mining companies, who faced several operational setbacks in 2019.
In the bauxite industry, Guyana Standard understands that growth slowed to 1.7 percent, its lowest rate since 2015. Nevertheless, the positive outturn in this industry was attributed to the scaling up of production activities by Guyana Industrial Minerals Incorporated, at their Bonasika site, which offset lower output by the two incumbent mining companies.
Turning to the other mining and quarrying industries, Minister Edghill stated that growth was driven by increased sand mining, by 12.9 percent, which outweighed a 11.5 percent contraction in diamond declarations and a 2.5 percent contraction in stone quarrying.