Peru proposes state-owned bank buys gold from artisanal miners – by Mitra Taj (Reuters U.S. – September 8, 2016)

The government of Peru wants a state-owned bank to buy gold from artisanal miners in order to replace a lucrative but shady informal market, Finance Minister Alfredo Thorne said on Wednesday.

Thorne said the miners would receive a better price for their gold and would not have to pay the value added tax rate, giving them incentives to register with the government and comply with environment and labor laws.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a former investment banker who took office on July 28, had previously proposed establishing a “mining bank” to buy the gold. Kuczynski said the bank could be controlled in part by private shareholders.

But the government now thinks it would be more appropriate for a new fund in the state-owned Banco de la Nacion or Corporacion Financiera de Desarrollo SA (Cofide) to buy the gold before it is exported, Thorne said.

“In this way we’ll be able to formalize a large part of artisanal miners that today make up almost 50 percent of the gold production in our country,” Thorne said in broadcast comments to journalists after a presentation in Congress.

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