HISTORY / POPULATION / CULTURE
Located on the northern mainland of South America, Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south, Suriname to the east and Venezuela to the west. Spanning 215,000 square kilometers (83,000 square miles), Guyana is the fourth smallest and only English-speaking country on mainland South America resulting from history as English Colony. Guyana has one of the most competitive wage rates when compared to Latin America and the Caribbean. The labor force is well educated, with literacy estimated at close to 99 percent, and is regarded as trainable and hard working.
Guyana was first colonized by the Dutch from 1667–1814, then by the British from 1814–1966. No other South American countries were ever British colonies and Guyana remains an active member of the Commonwealth even though it gained Independence on 26 May 1966.
The country comprises 10 administrative regions. Georgetown is the capital and is located on the coast. The current population of Guyana is 786,552 people according to the latest UN data with 90 percent living on the coast.
There are 7,900 kilometers of roadway and 1,000 kilometers of navigable waterways including the Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo rivers. There are two international airports: Cheddi Jagan International Airport and Eugene F. Correia International Airport, and other airstrips in the hinterland regions.
Guyana is culturally diverse, which contributes to the vibrant nature of the country.
“The [Reunion JV] agreement expands Barrick’s exploration footprint in the Guyana Shield, a significantly underexplored region and one of the most prospective in the world for large scale gold discoveries”
Mark Bristow, CEO Barrick, Feb 4, 2019
Guyana is a country of vast, often untapped, natural resources. Endowed with extensive savannahs, productive land and forests, rich mineral deposits of gold, bauxite, diamonds, abundant water resources, and Atlantic coastline, the country presents dynamic business opportunities across multiple sectors of the economy.
The mining industry is a crucial sector of Guyana’s economy, contributing 15.4% of Guyana’s GDP, a 4.5% increase from its 2015 figure. Extractive sectors accounted for 52% of Guyana’s total exports in 2016.
Notably, in 2016, the total gold declaration increased by 58.1% to 712,706 ounces. The expansion in gold declarations was on account of contributions from Guyana Goldfields, Troy Resources, and local miners.
Guyana Goldfields: Guyana Goldfields has been operating its open-pit Aurora Mine in Guyana since 2015. The Mine has been in production since 2015 and in 2019 processed 9.79 Mt of ore grading 2.20 g/t Au, recovering 623,000 ounces of gold.
Troy Resources: The Karouni Mine began gold production in November 2015 with FY 2017 being the first full year of production. Cumulative production through 2019 has been 220,335 ounces.
Local Miners: produce ~480,000 ounces per year
Guyana is a country of vast, often untapped, natural resources. Endowed with extensive savannahs, productive land and forests, rich mineral deposits of gold, bauxite and diamonds, abundant water resources and Atlantic coastline, the country presents dynamic business opportunities across multiple sectors of the economy.
ExxonMobil made its first offshore oil in 2015 and has since made an additional 15 discoveries through 2019 with an estimated 8 billion barrels of gross recoverable resource and only 25% of its Stabroek Block explored.
3 productions project currently scheduled estimated to produce 560,000 bo/d:
Liza Density FPSO – 120,000 bo/d
Liza Unity FPSO – 220,000 bo/d
Prosperity FPSO – 220,000 bo/d
Current estimates put Guyana’s oil output at 1,200,000 bo/d and Guyana’s share of oil revenue at $10 billion / year.
The Government has established a Natural Resource Fund to focus on the development of Guyana infrastructure and employment.
NATURAL RESOURCE FUND
Due to the need to manage the economy and expected revenue, the Government considered it prudent to create legislation to establish an SWF ahead of oil production. The Natural Resource Fund (NRF) was established to manage the natural resource wealth of Guyana for the sustainable development of the country. The objectives of the NRF are to:
- Ensure that volatility in natural resource revenues do not lead to volatile public spending
- Ensure that natural resource revenues do not lead to economic loss
- Fairly transfer natural resource wealth across generations of Guyana
- Use natural resource wealth to finance national infrastructure and development priorities
Government revenues from natural resource operations will be directly deposited into the NRF. The Ministry of Finance, with the advice of an Investment Committee, will have responsibility for providing the Bank of Guyana with an investment mandate focused around the development of the country.