Suriname

EITI Status Yet to be assessed against the Standard
Joined EITI in 2017
Latest Data From 2017
Website EITI Suriname
Last updated 9 June 2020

Overview

Suriname is a country of approximately 560.000 inhabitants, with a long history in the extractive sector. Gold mining started in the 18th Century and the oil sector has been developed since 1920. abundant natural resources, primarily gold and crude oil. Currently the country’s economy is dominated by the extractive industry. Oil and gold account for approximately 85% of the country’s exports and 27% of its government revenues. This means that the economy of Suriname is highly vulnerable to mineral price volatility. For example, during the past few years, the worldwide drop in international commodity prices and the cessation of alumina mining in Suriname, have significantly reduced the government revenues and national income.

Suriname had only onshore production oil to date. The State-owned enterprise Staatsolie is the predominant company in the country’s oil sector: they explore, drill, produce, refine, market, sell and transport petroleum in Suriname. Until 2016 Staatsolie had been mainly active in onshore production, and ever since has been the contracting party for IOCs on behalf of the government for offshore exploration. Apache Suriname Corporation LLC (Apache) and Total have recently made the first-ever offshore discovery for Suriname.

In terms of mining, Suriname had a prosperous bauxite industry for decades. However, the main company shut its aluminium smelter in 1999 and in 2015, alumina production in the refinery was stopped. Currently, the gold industry has surpassed the bauxite/alumina industry in Suriname. Gold is an essential export good for the country and made up approximately three-quarters of its exports by value in 2017. The Artisanal and Small-scale gold Mining (ASM) plays an important role in Suriname: in 2014, ASM gold production represented 65.4% of total gold production in the country.

Suriname's economic prospects for the medium-term depend on its commitment to responsible monetary and fiscal policies and on the introduction of structural reforms to liberalize markets and promote competition. The ministries responsible for the extractive sector in the country are the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Natural resources. The Ministry of Finance is responsible for the government budget and collection of direct and indirect taxes and other levies relating to the sector. The Ministry of Natural Resources oversees and stimulates the natural resources sector. In terms of revenues, these are allocated centrally: meaning that there is no direct earmarking to specific project or sub-national budgets.

EITI Implementation

Suriname announced its commitment to join the EITI in February 2016, and later, in October of the same year established its Multi-Stakeholder Group which submitted the application in early 2017. In May 2017 Suriname became an EITI implementing country.

Suriname has published two EITI Reports, covering fiscal years 2016 and 2017, respectively. The MSG has defined as the main strategic objective for Suriname EITI to mainstream EITI implementation within government systems. With this intention in mind, their 2019-2020 work plan includes the following objectives for implementation: disseminating key information from EITI Reports; implementing the Beneficial Ownership Roadmap; and expanding the reporting scope to also include construction materials.

The MSG has acknowledged that there are still some challenges to overcome regarding the implementation of the EITI Standard. Nonetheless, by the end of 2019 the government made a significant step in terms of transparency of licenses in the mining sector, by launching an online system for its allocations. Previously, licensing in Suriname was handled through paper forms, but the portal launched by the government has allowed to mainstream the process by requiring applications to be submitted digitally. The applications can be tracked live throughout all the process, allowing anyone to consult this information. Consequently, the portal has improved the cadaster management and has made the data more easily accessible to the public.

Governance

The EITI Champion for Suriname is the Minister of Natural Resources, Sergio Akiemboto, and the National Coordinator is Dave Abeleven. The multi-stakeholder group of Suriname EITI is comprised by:

Government constituency

  • Ministry of Natural Resources.
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Regional Development
  • Ministry of Trade and Industry

Industry constituency

  • Staatsolie
  • Kosmos Energy
  • Rosebel Gold Mines/IAMGOLD
  • Newmont Suriname
  • Canasur Gold
  • Nana Resources

Civil Society constituency

  • Stichting Projekta
  • VIDS
  • VSG & 12 Lo’s
  • SWOS
  • Green Heritage Fund
  • Tropenbos Suriname

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