When mining opportunity knocks on Suriname’s door, WE answer!
Suriname is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west and Brazil to the south. Situated on the Guiana Shield, it lies mostly between latitudes 1° and 6°N, and longitudes 54° and 58°W . At just under 165,000 square kilometers (64,000 square miles), it is the smallest sovereign state in South America. We gained independence from the Netherlands in 1975 and has a population of approximately 575,000. Paramaribo is the capital city. Suriname has an equatorial rainforest climate with a mean annual rainfall of 2.2 meters and a mean annual temperature of 27 degrees Celsius. The official language is Dutch; however, English is widely spoken.
Large scale gold mining began in 2002 and since then the economy is based on gold mining, logging, agricultural products, fishing, a steady oil production and very encouraging offshore oil findings. Suriname is a safe country to work in and it is in the early stages of industrial development. The business case histories of the Rosebel (IAMGOLD) and Merian (Newmont Goldcorp) gold mines indicate that the existing business environment is acceptable to large, international companies.
Exploration and mining legislation
The Ministry of Natural Resources in Suriname has taken a unique approach to encourage the development of the private industry in this country regarding the exploration and exploitation of natural resources. Exploration and mining activities are managed by the Suriname Ministry of Natural Resources and the Geology and Mining Department (GMD), according to the Mining Code of 1986 (Decree E-58, 1986).
Some of the strategies that were implemented is the comprehensive review of the mineral exploration, the development of the regulatory and legal environment and the strengthening of the geological database and institutions in Suriname. Furthermore, Mineral Agreements are (re)negotiated to provide incentives and support to investors and joint venture partner such as:
- fiscal stability for basic provisions such as income tax rates and depreciation schedules,
- free convertibility of currency at open market rates,
- U.S. dollar-based accounting and North American Generally Accepted Accounting Principles,
- international arbitration for contract dispute resolution,
- free export of gold production with efficient and secure procedures and
- exemptions from payment of import duties for mining equipment.
Furthermore, revisions to the existing mining code are currently being developed and considered by the Surinamese Government. This new code further encourages private investment in the minerals sector of the country.
There are four types of mineral rights that can be granted under the Decree E-58 including:
- “Rights of Reconnaissance” (up to 200,000 ha),
- “Rights of Exploration” (up to 40,000 ha),
- “Rights of Exploitation” (up to 10,000 ha), and
- “Right of Small-Scale Mining” (up to 200 ha).