Suriname is located in northern South America and forms part of the Guyana Shield, bordering French Guiana, Guyana, Brazil and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Kaloti Suriname Mint House refinery is part of a joint-venture with the Government of Surinam and local Suriname gold traders and is expected to have an annual output of 60 tons of refined gold in its second phase, said a top company official during the project's ground breaking ceremony held in the presence of President Desire Bouterse and other top governement officials.
The initial phase is scheduled to begin physical processing in mid-2014 while the second phase is to commence in 2016, remarked the chairman Munir Kaloti.
“With the appropriate services, products and policies, Suriname can become a centre of excellence for the region’s gold and precious metals industry. With an average gold production 40 tons a year, the majority of which comes from a combination of artisanal and large scale mining, it is important to ensure the gold mined is evaluated (melted and assayed) in situ before it is shipped abroad."
Kaloti said the company was delighted to have been handpicked by Suriname’s Government to construct its first gold and precious metals refinery and mint house as it pushed ahead with its efforts of regulating, monitoring and modernising the country’s gold and precious metals sector.
"It is a real testament to our international reputation and market leadership position based on more than 25 years of continuous operation in emerging markets and more than 17 years of collaboration with the Surinam gold traders," he added.
The refinery will be the first of its kind in Suriname and the region, taking in the Guyana Shield and the Caribbean. It will focus on melting and producing gold bars to international standards (999.9 purity) for the local and international markets.
When operational, the Kaloti Suriname Mint House will add to the Dubai-based Kaloti Jewellery Group refined gold and precious metals output and physical trading activity, which reached $32 billion in 2012.
In his comments, president Desire Bouterse said, "In order to maximise the value of our mineral assets, we have turned to Kaloti as our partner of choice in helping us construct our very first gold and precious metals refinery and to play a leading role in modernising this industry."
"This collaboration will bring significant value to Suriname and its mining industry in terms of international reputation, knowledge and experience of gold and precious metals refinery and bullion trading. The long-term goal of transforming Suriname into a major producer and refiner has been set in motion and we are grateful to Kaloti for accepting our offer," he added.
Established in 1988, Kaloti Group is one of the world’s largest gold and precious metals refiners and trading houses. The company, its subsidiaries and associates employs 300 people in 6 offices, located in Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Miami, Istanbul, Suriname and a gold and precious metals refinery in Sharjah.-TradeArabia News Service