Former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mahdia Gold Guyana, Sheik ‘Allan’ Zaakir, has broken his
Breaks his silence: Sheik ‘Allan’ Zaakir
Breaks his silence: Sheik ‘Allan’ Zaakir
silence over the troubles at the Omai mines, in Region Eight.
Zaakir was reported sacked over a week ago by Canadian-owned gold exploration company Mahdia Gold, a company he founded.
Mahdia Gold Corp., through its Guyana subsidiary, Mahdia Gold Guyana, had acquired the rights to develop the Omai mines, following the departure of its operator a few years before.
However, the site, known for being gold rich, has not been developed as yet with the company owing the Government of Guyana US$10M.
It has only paid US$1.5M of the US$11.5M that the previous Government had asked for.
Last week, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), as the regulator, wrote to the company for the fourth time demanding the US$10M.
It was also alleged that the company, in breach of its prospecting permit, was allowing local miners to operate.
Yesterday, Zaakir, along with his lawyer, James Bond, told the newspaper that he is preparing to take legal action against that company he helped found. He is suing for libel, slander, conspiracy to commit murder and fraud.
The official explained that after acquiring the licence in the 2011-2012 periods, he was engaged in finding investors.
He was responsible for remitting over US$1.5M. He left the company in 2013 but came on back in 2014.
During that period of his absence, it appears that no monies were raised and little activities took place at the Omai concession.
By then, GGMC started demanding its monies. The company was given, sometimes one month, and other times, two weeks, to pay up. However, the company could not find the monies.
An overhead shot of the Omai mines area, Region Eight.
An overhead shot of the Omai mines area, Region Eight.
GGMC has since 2013 issued four letters of demand for payments, including the one last week by Government.
“I was asked by the company and I approached GGMC and vigorously and successfully negotiated for some more time for the payments.”
He also said that during the time in Guyana, he applied for mining lands next door to the one that Mahdia Gold had at Omai and GGMC granted him almost 1,400 acres.
He said that he opened a company, Roraima Investment and Consulting Services, which he controls.
Acting as the lawyer at the time was former Opposition Leader, Robert Corbin.
Corbin he said has since stepped down as the lawyer and trustee.
“I want to make it clear that Roraima Investment is separate from Mahdia Gold.”
The official claimed that last week, Mahdia Gold sent representatives to his personal concession and uplifted over 12 ounces gold that was produced by operators there.
It was on this property that he allowed a number of local operators to conduct operations.
Zaakir claimed that in recent weeks directors of Mahdia Gold Corp issued a statement that his services had been ended.
The official said that the decision would not hold water as the only way he could step down is, if he voluntarily resigns or there is a court order.
One of the officials who collected the gold had even threatened to have him killed and boasting of having links with authorities in Canada.
“We reported the incident last week to the police where an official claimed he was sent by the company to uplift gold from my operations. It was illegal what he did. It is fraud. I am taking the threat to my life seriously and am speaking to my lawyer about also filing charges of fraud and libel and slander.”
Asked about perceptions that Mahdia Gold was favoured by GGMC to pay up the monies, Zaakir was emphatic that he had approached the entity and asked for more time, owing to difficulties in raising finances.
The Omai property dispute and its ripple problems would be significant as local miners have been clamoring for more mining lands.
The part that Mahdia Gold controls at Omai is over 7,000 acres. In total, the company and its Guyana subsidiary has over 28,000 acres under its control.
Omai is known for rich gold deposits with GGMC hard pressed to control the area.
Gold production over the last seven years have been providing thousands of jobs despite falling prices and a run to a record run US$1,900 per ounce.
It has fallen back now to almost US$1,240.