AFRICANGLOBE – The Government of Suriname has embarked on a joint venture with the Kaloti Group of Dubai to establish the first gold refinery in the Caribbean.
The refinery that is being built near the village of Wit Santi, close to the country’s International Airport, is expected to start operating by next year and produce as much as US$2.77 billion worth of refined gold.
On the weekend, President Desi Bouterse joined Kaloti Chairman Munir Kaloti in expressing high expectations of the facility.
The US$20 million plant should make Suriname into a “centre of excellence for the region’s gold and precious metals industry,” a joint release said.
The Government entered into a joint venture with the precious metal refiners out of Dubai last year, and over the weekend the start of the construction of the smelting and bullion manufacturing plant was announced.
The 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 and is also located in Singapore, Hong Kong, Miami and Istanbul and a gold and precious metals refinery in Sharjah (UAE).
Suriname produces an average of 40 tons of gold a year, but until now it has had no large scale refining capacity.
The new refinery will be called Kaloti Suriname Mint House and will be the first of its kind in Suriname and the region, the company boasted.
The refinery is expected to produce as much as 60 tons of refined gold when it is fully up and running in 2016. Initial refining is scheduled to begin by the middle of next year. It will focus on melting and producing gold bars to international purity standards of 999.9%.
“We are pleased to have been handpicked by Suriname’s government to construct its first gold and precious metals refinery and mint house as they push ahead with their efforts of regulating, monitoring and modernizing the country’s gold and precious metals sector,” said Kaloti Group Chairman Munir Kaloti. ”
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 Suriname gold traders.” He said the joint venture strengthens his company’s position as a global provider of refined gold and increases its presence in the western hemisphere.
President Bouterse said the joint venture is meant to maximise the value of Suriname’s mineral assets. “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,” he said.