To provide an efficient & transparent service for licensing & permitting mineral property holders, administering licenses & permits, & providing map-based information, giving active consideration to customer satisfaction & feedback

The Land Management Division falls under the Commissioner’s office and consists of the following units:

  • Cartographic /GIS
  • Mineral Property Administration

The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) is the statutory body that processes all applications for mineral properties in Guyana. This page provides an overview of the application procedure.

The document : 'Mining Act 1989' (Guyana Act No. 20 of 1989) defines the procedures for making such applications. This document is available at the GGMC's library.

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The Mining Act, 1989 allows for four scales of operation:

  1. A Small Scale Claim has dimensions of 1500 ft x 800 ft whilst a river claim consists of one mile of a navigable river.
  2. Medium Scale Prospecting and Mining Permits. These cover between 150 and 1200 acres each.
  3. Prospecting Licences for areas between 500 and 12,800 acres.
  4. Permission for Geological and Geophysical Surveys for reconnaissance surveys over large acreages with the objective of applying for Prospecting Licences over favorable ground selected on the basis of results obtained from the reconnaissance aerial and field surveys.

Small and medium scale property titles (items 1 and 2 above) are restricted to Guyanese, however, foreigners have been entering into joint-venture arrangements whereby the two parties jointly develop the property. This is strictly by private contract. In 2003 there were 2513 Medium Scale Prospecting Permits and 18 Prospecting Licences in existence.

Foreign companies may apply for Prospecting Licences and Permission for reconnaissance surveys.


Who can apply?

  • An individual who is a citizen of Guyana and an adult
  • A company within the meaning of the companies Act
  • A public Corporation
  •  A co-operative society registered under the Co-operative Societies Act
  • Any other corporate body incorporated in or outside Guyana, including a company established outside Guyana
  • Any organization established by Government or by or under written law in Guyana and authorized to carry on mining operations

Application Procedure

  1. Fill out the prescribed 5D Form.
  2. Pay of US$l00 application fee.
  3. Work Program and Budget for first year activities.
  4. Submit of a map on Terra Survey 1:50,000 sheet.
  5. Cartographic description of area.
  6. Proof of Financial and Technical capability.

After satisfactory submission of the required documents the application is processed and, if recommended will be sent to the official gazette for publication. If there are no objections to the grant then ministerial approval is sought. When this is obtained the licence becomes available on payment of the first year's rental and submission of an acceptable Performance Bond. Rental rates are: US$0.50 acre for first year; US$0.60 for second year and US$1.00 for third year. Performance Bond is equivalent to 10% of the approved budget for the respective year. However since 1998 there has been a 50% rebate on rental rates, which in effect have halved rentals.

The term of the Prospecting Licence is for three years, with two rights of renewal of one year each. The Mining Act 1989 stipulates that three months prior to each anniversary date of licence, a Work Program and Budget for the following year must be presented for approval for the work to be undertaken during the following year.

The Obligations of the licensee include quarterly technical reports on its activities and an audited financial statement to be submitted by June 30 of the following year for the previous year's expenditure. Should the licensee relinquish part or all of the Prospecting Licence area then he is required to submit an evaluation report on the work undertaken therein. Prospecting Licence properties are subject to ad hoc monitoring visits by technical staff of the GGMC. It is the applicant's ONUS to select the area of interest, this will be based, principally, on availability and good geological prospectivity.

At any time during the Prospecting Licence, and for any part or all of the Prospecting Licence area, the licensee may apply for a Mining Licence. This application will consist of a Positive Feasibility Study, Mine Plan, an Environmental Impact Statement and an Environmental Management Plan. Rental for a Mining Licence is currently fixed at US$5.00 per acre per year and the licence is usually granted for twenty years or the life of the deposit, whichever is shorter; renewals are possible.


  1. The holder of a prospecting licence may, within the period of one year specified in section 40 (2) or within such further period as may be allowed by the Commission under the proviso thereto, apply under this subsection for the grant of a mining licence in respect of any discovery parcel or parcels, which following appraisal, can be shown to contain any mineral to which the licence relates.
  2. Any person. notwithstanding that he does not hold a prospecting licence in respect of any parcel or parcels, and on the Commission being satisfied on data supplied by that person or otherwise that a mineral is located therein, may apply under this subsection for the grant of a mining licence in respect of that parcel or parcels.
  3. An application under subsection (1) or (2):-
    • shall be made to the Commission;
    • shall be accompanied by such reports, analysis and data resulting from the investigations and studies carried out under section 42 or otherwise;
    • shall be accompanied by detailed proposals by the applicant for the construction, establishment and operation of all facilities and services for and incidental to the recovery, processing, storage and transportation of the mineral from the proposed mining area; and
    • shall be accompanied by such other particulars as may be prescribed;
  4. Where an application is duly made under section 43(1) by the holder of a prospecting licence, the Commission shall grant the mining licence applied for on such conditions as are necessary to give effect to the application and the requirements of this Act; and
  5. Where an application is duly made under section 43(2), the Commission may grant on such conditions as it determines, or refuse to grant, the mining licence applied for.


Section 97 of the Mining Act empowers the minister to grant Permission for Geophysical and Geological Survey. Basically application for a permission is based on some new or special concepts that need to be tested on a Reconnaissance level. The objectives can be based on geological hypotheses, the need to obtain regionalised information, etc.

There is no fixed format for these Permissions, however, an application will have to contain some fundamental elements such as an elaboration of the geological objectives and program, the area(s) of interest, proposed fees and scheduling. Technical and financial capability of the applicant will also be considered.

  1. Acceptance, processing and granting of permits and licences in the medium and large scale mineral sector i.e Prospecting and Mining Permits, Prospecting Licence, Mining Licence, Quarry Licence and Permission for Geological and Geophysical Surveys (on behalf of the Minister)
  2. Processing and endorsement of all applications for the remission of taxes on the purchase or importation of items for use in the mining and exploration sector by its operatives.
  3. Preparation of official notices in the Official Gazettes such as Grants, Rescissions, Orders and Regulations pertaining to Medium and Large Scale permitting and licensing.
  4. Maintenance of an up to date mineral licence database.
  5. Cartography services.
  6. Maintenance of the Commission’s GIS in conjunction with the IT Department.
  7. Administration of auctions and lotteries.