From January 10 there will be a rise in the fees for operating licenses for extracting construction materials, precious stones and semiprecious stones and other materials.
Arguing that the charges that have been in effect up until now"do not allow the state to comply with the policies and plans of the government, for the mining sector,"the Ministry of Energy and Mines has made changes to the the fees for mining licenses.
The decline in global prices is the main reason behind the abandonment of several areas on the part of concessionaires, added to which is confusion around the mining moratorium.
Guatemala went from extracting 9 million barrels of oil in 2003 (a daily average of 24 thousand barrels) to just 3 million in 2015 (10 thousand barrels per day), recording a drop in production of 59.4% in twelve years. Factors such as the rapid decline in oil prices, lack of implementation of contracts and lack of transparency continue to affect the competitiveness of companies interested in investing in exploration and exploitation.
Although the government is threatening to cancel concessions, aggregate traders have raised their prices by up to 17% in opposition to the tax on the extraction of construction materials in Panama.
Fourteen days after the start of collections of the tax on extraction of materials, increases of up to 17% have been recorded in final consumer prices in some retail outlets. The law prohibits the transfer the tax to the final price, but builders say that "... it is very difficult to control because it is an operating cost" in the case of housing prices and other real estate projects.
In order to pay for the increase in pension payments, an increase has been made to taxes on extraction of aggregates, which represents an increase of 12 to 25% in the price of housing.
Government officials say that the new tax on the final price of housing only represents an increase of 1%, while the construction industry argues that prices will rise by 25%. In light of this situation different unions have presented several alternatives, including a 0.5% increase on building permits and raising the tax on casino winnings by 5%.
The mining company is progressively reducing gold extractions and will achieve total closure in 2017, while efforts begin to recover the area.
During 2013 202.200 ounces of gold were extracted, while in 2014 a decrease was reported of at least 185,000 ounces. It is expected that production this year will be equal to or lower to those last year and 2016 is expected to be the last year that extractions will be made, projecting approximately 150,000 ounces.
An announcement has been made that there will be a review on the structure of taxes charged to businesses engaged in sand mining in the district Capira province of Panama.
Currently just 5 sand providers pay tax on extraction of mineral stone, which is $0.40 per cubic meter, therefore the structure and form of tax collection will be reviewed in order to increase municipal revenues.
Representatives from Petaquilla Minerals, the Canadian company which owns the mine, told Prensa.com that the restructuring being prepared by the company would be ready by the end of the year and would involve "... a reduction in the extraction of gold from the mine, which would decrease from the 9000 ounces mined in 2009 to 4000 at the close of this year. "
The decline in the price of precious metals worldwide has forced the company to temporarily suspend operations at Cerro Blanco.
"The Cerro Blanco mine in Asuncion Mita, Jutiapa, will enter into a state of maintenance and care, ie only keeping areas active that are necessary for the development of the mine and its infrastructure, but it will not perform exploitation activities as was planned. "
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